Roy McConnell (RAF officer)

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Roy Kirkwood McConnell
Born 19 December 1898
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Died After April 1945
Allegiance Canada
Service/branch Aviation
Years of service 1917-1919; 1940-1945
Rank Squadron Leader
Unit No. 46 Squadron RAF
Awards Distinguished Flying Cross
Other work Returned to service during World War II

Squadron Leader Roy Kirkwood McConnell was a World War I flying ace from Canada credited with seven aerial victories. His award of the Distinguished Flying Cross noted both aerial victories, as well as gallantry in hazardous ground attack missions.

He returned to his native Canada in 1919, and made his living in the business world until 1940. He then returned to military service, joining the Royal Canadian Air Force in a junior rank and rapidly rising to become a squadron leader. After holding crucial posts in training aviators for the war effort, he was medically discharged in April 1945.

Early life[edit]

Roy Kirkwood McConnell was born 19 December 1898 in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.[1] He graduated from Victoria High School, British Columbia in 1916.[2] He was a student when he enlisted into military service on 1 May 1917 in Victoria. He named his next of kin as Thomas McConnell.[3] After joining the military, the younger McConnell stayed in Canada until August 1917.[4]

World War I[edit]

After shipping to the British Isles, McConnell underwent aviation training that began on 14 September 1917[5] at Turnhill, England.[6] After completion of training, he was assigned to No. 46 Squadron of the Royal Flying Corps on 11 November 1917.[7] He would not score his first aerial victory until 23 March 1918. By 8 September 1918, he had run his string to seven wins.[8] On 16 September 1918, he was withdrawn from combat and posted to the Home Establishment in England.[9] He was awarded a Distinguished Flying Cross on 28 September 1918.[10]

List of aerial victories[edit]

See also Aerial victory standards of World War I

No. Date/time Aircraft Foe Result Location Notes
1 23 March 1918 @ 1410 hours Sopwith Camel serial number C1572 Albatros D.V Driven down out of control Morchies, France
2 2 April 1918 @ 1245 hours Sopwith Camel German two-seater Destroyed Courcelles Victory shared with Donald MacLaren, Sydney Philip Smith, two other aces
3 4 May 1918 @ 1800 hours Sopwith Camel s/n C1643 Albatros D.V Driven down out of control North of Bullecourt, France Victory shared with Donald MacLaren, another pilot
4 8 July 1918 @ 0530 hours Sopwith Camel s/n D9407 Fokker D.VII Driven down out of control Fromelles, France Victory shared with Donald MacLaren
5 1 August 1918 @ 1200 hours Sopwith Camel s/n D6693 German two-seater Destroyed Armentières, France Victory shared with Donald MacLaren, two other pilots
6 3 August 1918 @ 1835 hours Sopwith Camel s/n C9411 Fokker D.VII Destroyed East of Lens, France
7 8 September 1918 @ 0700 hours Sopwith Camel s/n D6693 Rumpler two-seater Set afire in midair; destroyed South of Peronne, France[11]

Post World War I[edit]

McConnell's Distinguished Flying Cross was gazetted on 3 December 1918, with the award citation appearing in the Edinburgh Gazette on the 5th:

"This officer has accounted for five enemy machines—destroying two and driving down three out of control, proving himself a gallant fighting airman. He has also shown conspicuous bravery in attacking troops and transport."[12]

He returned to Canada on 27 February 1919.[13] He was a businessman engaged in sales between the World Wars. However, he joined the Royal Canadian Air Force as a pilot officer in May 1940 to serve in World War II. He was promoted rapidly, rising to Squadron Leader in 1941. He was posted to five different training schools in Canada, holding responsible posts in each. He was medically discharged in April 1945.[14] Nothing more is known of him after that time.

References[edit]

  • Above the Trenches: A Complete Record of the Fighter Aces and Units of the British Empire Air Forces 1915-1920. Christopher F. Shores, Norman L. R. Franks, Russell Guest. Grub Street, 1990. ISBN 0-948817-19-4, ISBN 978-0-948817-19-9.

Endnotes[edit]

  1. ^ http://canadiangreatwarproject.com/searches/soldierDetail.asp?ID=97835 Retrieved 5 February 2012.
  2. ^ http://www.canadaveteranshallofvalour.com/McConnellRK.htm Retrieved 5 February 2012.
  3. ^ http://canadiangreatwarproject.com/searches/soldierDetail.asp?ID=97835 Retrieved 5 February 2012.
  4. ^ http://www.canadaveteranshallofvalour.com/McConnellRK.htm Retrieved 5 February 2012.
  5. ^ http://airforce.ca/uploads/airforce/2009/07/gong-6m-n.html Retrieved 5 February 2012.
  6. ^ http://www.canadaveteranshallofvalour.com/McConnellRK.htm Retrieved 5 February 2012.
  7. ^ http://airforce.ca/uploads/airforce/2009/07/gong-6m-n.html Retrieved 5 February 2012.
  8. ^ Above the Trenches, p. 251.
  9. ^ http://airforce.ca/uploads/airforce/2009/07/gong-6m-n.html Retrieved 5 February 2012.
  10. ^ Above the Trenches, p. 267.
  11. ^ Above the Trenches, p. 267.
  12. ^ Supplement to the Edinburgh Gazette, 5 December 1918, p. 4475.
  13. ^ http://airforce.ca/uploads/airforce/2009/07/gong-6m-n.html Retrieved 5 February 2012.
  14. ^ http://www.canadaveteranshallofvalour.com/McConnellRK.htm Retrieved 5 February 2012.