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George William Francis Darvill
Born (1898-10-26)October 26, 1898
Died September 1950
Place of birth Petersfield, Hampshire, England
Place of death Christchurch, Hampshire, England
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch Royal Air Force
Rank Captain
Unit No. 9 Squadron RFC, No. 18 Squadron RAF
Battles/wars World War I
World War II
Awards Military Cross
Distinguished Flying Cross

Captain George William Francis Darvill was an English World War I flying ace credited with nine aerial victories.

Early life[]

George William Francis Darvill was born on 26 October 1898 in Petersfield, Hampshire, England.[1] He was the son of Minnie M. and George Darvill.[2] He worked as a farmer until he joined the Royal Flying Corps during World War I.[3]

World War I[]

Darvill was commissioned as a probationary second lieutenant on 20 April 1917. He was awarded Royal Aero Club Certificate No. 4973 at RAF Hendon on 13 July 1917. His first, brief, assignment was a posting to 9 Squadron from October to December 1917; the squadron then moved forward to action in France. On 13 January 1918, he transferred to 18 Squadron to fly Airco DH.4 light bombers. Beginning on 10 March 1918, he began a string of nine aerial victories that did not end until 4 September 1918.[4]

His succession of victories was rewarded by a Military Cross, which was gazetted on 3 June 1918. He was also promoted to temporary captain and appointed as a Flight Commander on 18 August 1918. August 1918 also saw his award of a Distinguished Flying Cross, although it was not gazetted until 2 November 1918:[5]

"When returning from a bombing raid this officer, singlehanded, engaged three Fokkers. Despite the fact that his observer's gun jammed, he drove down one out of control, which was seen to crash. He has carried out forty-four successful bombing raids, several of which he has led. In addition, he has rendered valuable service on photographic and other reconnaissance duty. A keen and zealous officer, who sets a fine example of devotion to duty to younger pilots."[6]

List of aerial victories[]

See also Aerial victory standards of World War I

No. Date/time Aircraft Foe Result Location Notes
1 10 March 1918 @ 1215 hours Airco DH.4 serial number B9435 Albatros D.V Driven down out of control Allenes Darvil's observer: Sgt A Pollard
2 19 May 1918 @ 1200 hours Airco DH.4 Albatros D.V Driven down out of control Douai Observer: Lt E Collins. Victory shared with Albert Gregory Waller, 3 other aviators
3 21 May 1918 @ 1045 hours Airco DH.4 s/n A8034 Albatros D.V Destroyed Douai Observer: AM2 L Vredenberg
4 8 July 1918 @ 0830 hours Airco DH.4 s/n A7815 Fokker D.VII Destroyed Hénin-Liétard Observer: Lt William Miller
5 28July 1918 @ 0735 hours Airco DH.4 s/n A7815 Fokker D.VII Driven down out of control Vitry Observer: Lt William Miller
6 9 August 1918 @ 1050 hours Airco DH.4 Fokker D.VII West of Douai Driven down out of control Observer: Lt J Fenwick. Victory shared with John Gillanders, Herbert Gould, 10 other aviators
7 12 August 1918 @ 1100 hours Airco DH.4 s/n F5857 Fokker D.VII Driven down out of control West of Somain Observer: Lt J Fenwick
8 4 September 1918 @ 0750 hours Airco DH.4 s/n A7815 Fokker D.VII Set on fire; destroyed Cantin Observer: Lt William Miller
9 4 September 1918 @ 0755 hours Airco DH.4 S/n A7815 Fokker D.VII Set on fire; destroyed Aubigny-au-Bac Observer: Lt William Miller[7]

Post World War I[]

Darvill was discharged from the Royal Air Force on 12 September 1919.[8]

On 16 January 1926, Darvill was married to Violet Ruth Collins at Ashtead; the report of the nuptials in Flight indicate that Darvill was still involved in the world of aviation.[9]

He would leave his home in Ramsdean, Peterfield to enter the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve in September 1939.[10] On 14 March 1941, he was commissioned as a probationary Pilot Officer with seniority from 14 February 1941.[11] On 14 February 1942, he was confirmed in rank as a Flight Lieutenant.[12]

George William Francis Darvill died in September 1950 in Christchurch, Hampshire, England.[13]

References[]

  • Franks, Norman; Guest, Russell; Alegi, Gregory. Above the War Fronts: the British Two-seater Bomber Pilot and Observer Aces, the British Two-seater Fighter Observer Aces, and the Belgian, Italian, Austro-Hungarian and Russian Fighter Aces, 1914-1918: Volume 4 of Fighting Airmen of WWI Series: Volume 4 of Air Aces of WWI. Grub Street, 1997. ISBN 1-898697-56-6, ISBN 978-1-898697-56-5.

Endnotes[]

  1. Franks, et al., p. 61.
  2. http://www.theaerodrome.com/aces/england/darvill.php Retrieved 27 June 2011.
  3. Franks, et al., p. 61.
  4. Franks, et al., p. 61.
  5. Franks, et al., p. 61.
  6. (Supplement to the Edinburgh Gazette, 4 November 1918, p. 4054) http://www.edinburgh-gazette.co.uk/issues/13346/pages/4054 Retrieved 28 June 2011.
  7. List compiled from http://www.theaerodrome.com/aces/england/darvill.php Retrieved 27 June 2011; Franks, et al., pp. 61–62
  8. Franks, et al., p. 61.
  9. (Flight, 28 January 1926, p. 55.) http://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1926/1926%20-%200067.html Retrieved 4 July 2011.
  10. Franks, et al., p. 61.
  11. (The London Gazette, 14 March 1941, pp. 1528-1529) http://www.london-gazette.co.uk/issues/35106/pages/1528; http://www.london-gazette.co.uk/issues/35106/pages/1529 Retrieved 28 June 2011.
  12. (The London Gazette, 31 March 1942, p. 1464) http://www.london-gazette.co.uk/issues/35508/pages/1464 Retrieved 28 June 2011.
  13. http://www.theaerodrome.com/aces/england/darvill.php Retrieved 4 July 2011.

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