Thomas Sharpe (RAF officer)
|Thomas Sydney Sharpe|
24 February 1887|
Royal Air Force
|Years of service||1915–1920|
No. 24 Squadron RFC
No. 73 Squadron RFC
|Battles/wars||World War I
• Western Front
|Awards||Distinguished Flying Cross|
Sharpe was commissioned as a second lieutenant (on probation) in the 3rd Battalion, Gloucestershire Regiment, on 17 April 1915. He later trained as a pilot, being granted Royal Aero Club Aviator's Certificate No. 2471 on 19 February 1916. He was confirmed in his rank on 22 March, and was seconded to the Royal Flying Corps and appointed a flying officer on 21 April.
He was later posted to No. 73 Squadron as a flight commander, to fly the Sopwith Camel single-seat fighter. On 11 March 1918 he destroyed a Fokker Dr.I triplane, then an Albatros D.V and two LVG reconnaissance aircraft on 22 March, and a pair of D.Vs two days later. Three days later, on 27 March, he was shot down and wounded. The identity of his conqueror is debatable. It has been credited to Hans Kirschstein, or as the 71st victory of Manfred von Richthofen; Sharpe himself claimed to have been hit by enemy anti-aircraft fire.
Sharpe was promoted to lieutenant on 1 July 1918, while a prisoner of war, and his award of the Distinguished Flying Cross was gazetted on 20 September 1918. His citation read:
- Lieutenant (Temporary Captain) Thomas Sydney Sharpe (Gloucestershire Regiment).
- "A gallant officer who has always led his patrol with marked skill and judgment. On one occasion he chased down an Albatross scout and caused it to crash. He afterwards attacked five enemy machines, destroying two. On the following day, encountering four Albatross scouts, he engaged one, which crashed. Proceeding on his patrol, he met a formation of enemy scouts; he chased one and destroyed it."
- "Thomas Sydney Sharpe". The Aerodrome. 2016. Retrieved 25 January 2016.
- "No. 29133". The London Gazette. 16 April 1915. p. 3729.
- "No. 29517". The London Gazette (Supplement). 21 March 1916. p. 3156.
- "No. 29575". The London Gazette (Supplement). 9 May 1916. p. 4646.
- Shores, Franks & Guest (1990), p. 336.
- "No. 29958". The London Gazette. 23 February 1917. p. 1881.
- "No. 30553". The London Gazette (Supplement). 1 March 1918. p. 2706.
- "No. 30913". The London Gazette (Supplement). 20 September 1918. p. 11254.
- "No. 31271". The London Gazette. 4 April 1919. p. 4421.
- "No. 31887". The London Gazette (Supplement). 4 May 1920. p. 5194.