Thomas Culling

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Thomas Grey Culling
Born 31 May 1896
Dunedin, New Zealand
Died 8 June 1917
Warneton, France
Allegiance British Empire
Service/branch Royal Naval Air Service
Rank Flight Sub-Lieutenant
Unit No. 1 Squadron RNAS
Awards Distinguished Service Cross

Flight Sub-Lieutenant Thomas Grey Culling was New Zealand's first World War I flying ace, and was credited with six aerial victories.[1][2]

Culling was assigned to fly Sopwith Triplane No. N5444 with 1 Naval Squadron after joining the Royal Naval Air Service in 1916. He began to score victories in Bloody April 1917, with his first three coming that month.[3] The third one was significant; it was part of one of the war's epic dogfights. On 23 April, Culling was the wingman of the great Australian ace, "Stan" Dallas. The two ANZAC pilots took on a formation of fourteen German planes; using impeccable air tactics suiting the Triplane's technological advantages, the two Naval aces thwarted the pending air offensive in a 45-minute debacle for the Germans that resulted in three losses.[4]

Culling went to three more wins in May. He was killed in action on 8 June 1917[1][5] by Vizeflugmeister Hans Bottler of the Imperial German Navy. [1]

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.
  • Australian Hawk Over the Western Front: A Biography of Major R S Dallas DSO, DSC, C de G Avec Palme. Adrian Hellwig. Grub Street, 2005. ISBN 1-904943-34-9, ISBN 978-1-904943-34-1.
  • Guttman, Jon (2003), Naval Aces of World War 1 part 2 (Aircraft of the Aces 104), Osprey Publishing, ISBN 9781849086646 

Sources of information[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Guttman 2003, p. 34.
  2. ^ http://www.theaerodrome.com/aces/nzealand/culling.php Retrieved 13 February 2010.
  3. ^ Above the Trenches: A Complete Record of the Fighter Aces and Units of the British Empire Air Forces 1915-1920. p. 128. 
  4. ^ Australian Hawk Over the Western Front: A Biography of Major R S Dallas DSO, DSC, C de G Avec Palme. pp. 94–101. 
  5. ^ Above the Trenches: A Complete Record of the Fighter Aces and Units of the British Empire Air Forces 1915-1920. p. 128. 


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