Ronald McClintock

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Ronald Saint Clair McClintock
Born (1898-07-13)13 July 1898
County Carlow, Ireland
Died 22 July 1922(1922-07-22) (aged 24)
RAF Northolt, London, England
Allegiance United Kingdom
Service/branch British Army
Royal Air Force
Years of service 1914–1922
Rank Major
Commands held No. 3 Squadron RAF
Awards Military Cross
Relations John McClintock (great-grandfather)

Major Ronald Saint Clair McClintock MC (13 July 1898 – 22 June 1922) was a British World War I flying ace credited with five aerial victories.[1][2]

Family background[edit]

McClintock was born in County Carlow, Ireland, the fifth and youngest son of Arthur George Florence McClintock JP DL, and first wife Susan Heywood-Collins. His grandfather was Lieutenant-Colonel George Augustus Jocelyn McClintock, of the 52nd Regiment of Foot and the Sligo Rifles, and his great-grandfather, John McClintock, was Serjeant-at-Arms to the Irish House of Commons and High Sheriff of Louth.[3]

World War I service[edit]

McClintock first served in Egypt from November 1914, as a private in the Ceylon Planters' Rifle Corps,[1] however he was soon commissioned as a second lieutenant in the West Lancashire Brigade, Royal Field Artillery (Territorial Force), and was promoted to temporary lieutenant on 5 July 1915.[4]

He was seconded for duty with the Royal Flying Corps on 4 April 1916,[5] and was appointed a flying officer (observer).[6] He first served as an observer/gunner in No. 2 Squadron RFC,[2] before training as a pilot, and being appointed a flying officer on 4 August.[7] On 1 January 1917 he was appointed a flight commander with the temporary rank of captain.[8] On 28 June his promotion to lieutenant in the Royal Field Artillery was made substantive, while remaining seconded to the RFC.[9]

In July he was posted to No. 64 Squadron RFC,[2] flying the Airco DH.5 fighter.[10] The squadron moved to France in October, and took part in the battle of Cambrai, flying low-level ground attack missions.[11] The squadron replaced their DH.5s with the SE.5a in March 1918.

McClintock gained his first aerial victory on 10 March 1918, driving down an LVG C reconnaissance aircraft over Marquion. On the afternoon of 23 March he destroyed a Pfalz D.III over Pronville, and an Albatros D.V over Biache. The following day he destroyed another Type C over Le Transloy, and finally on 2 April another D.V over Fricourt.[1][2] On 20 April he was appointed a temporary major,[12] to serve as commander of No. 3 Squadron RAF.[2]

McClintock was awarded the Military Cross which was gazetted on 21 June 1918. His citation read:

Lieutenant (Temporary Captain) Ronald Sinclair McClintock, RFA and RFC.
"For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. On one occasion he shot down two enemy machines, and on the following day he attacked and shot down a hostile two-seater machine at a height of 100 feet. He has led upwards of forty patrols and has performed much valuable work on low-flying reconnaissance and bombing patrols. As a flight commander he has been untiring in his care of personnel and machines, and as a patrol leader he has displayed the greatest courage and resource."[13]

Post-war career[edit]

McClintock was granted a permanent commission in the RAF, with the rank of captain, on 1 August 1919.[14] From 1920 he served at the No. 3 School of Technical Training (Men) at RAF Manston,[15] while living in Birchington-on-Sea.[16]

On 22 June 1922 Flight Lieutenant McClintock was flying a Sopwith Snipe at RAF Northolt, practising for a relay race to be held at the RAF's Annual Aerial Pageant at Hendon Aerodrome, when his aircraft crashed and he was killed.[16][17]

Personal life[edit]

McClintock married Mary Gordon Laird at the Church of the Holy Trinity, Kensington Gore, London, on 20 December 1916.[18] They had two children: John Arthur Peter McClintock (1920–1940), who served as a flight lieutenant in the Auxiliary Air Force, and was killed in action during World War II, and Pamela Mary McClintock, who was less than four months old at the time of her father's death.[3]


  1. ^ a b c "Ronald St. Clair McClintock". The Aerodrome. 2015. Retrieved 7 June 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Shores (1990), p.226.
  3. ^ a b Bunbury, Turtle (2015). "McClintock Family History". Retrieved 7 June 2015. 
  4. ^ "No. 29285". The London Gazette (Supplement). 3 September 1915. p. 8835. 
  5. ^ "No. 29589". The London Gazette (Supplement). 19 May 1916. p. 5048. 
  6. ^ "No. 29552". The London Gazette. 18 April 1916. p. 4024. 
  7. ^ "No. 29723". The London Gazette. 25 August 1916. p. 8399. 
  8. ^ "No. 29931". The London Gazette. 6 February 1917. pp. 1269–1270. 
  9. ^ "No. 30155". The London Gazette. 26 June 1917. p. 6398. 
  10. ^ Halley (1980), pp.101–102.
  11. ^ Jones (1934), pp. 235–240, 243–247, 253–254
  12. ^ "No. 30673". The London Gazette. 7 May 1918. p. 5483. 
  13. ^ "No. 30761". The London Gazette. 21 June 1918. p. 7418. 
  14. ^ "No. 31486". The London Gazette. 1 August 1919. p. 9867. 
  15. ^ Barrass, M. B. (2015). "No 3 School of Technical Training (Men)". Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation. Retrieved 7 June 2015. 
  16. ^ a b "Personals: Killed". Flight. XIV (706): 390. 6 July 1922. Retrieved 7 June 2015. 
  17. ^ Barrass, M. B. (2015). "RAF Casualties 1922". Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation. Retrieved 7 June 2015. 
  18. ^ "Personals: Married and to be Married". Flight. VIII (416): 1100. 14 December 1916. Retrieved 7 June 2015.