287,292 Pages

John J. Cowell
Born 1889
Died July 30, 1918(1918-07-30)
Place of birth Limerick, Ireland
Longuenesse (St. Omer) Souvenir Cemetery Pas de Calais, France
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch Engineers; aviation
Rank Sergeant
Unit Royal Engineers, No. 20 Squadron RAF
Awards Distinguished Conduct Medal, Military Medal with Bar

Sergeant John J. Cowell was an Irish World War I flying ace credited with 16 aerial victories. Although he scored 15 of his victories as a gunner, he did move on to score once more as a pilot.

Success as an observer[edit | edit source]

Sergeant Cowell joined 20 Squadron as an observer/gunner during Bloody April 1917. He successfully manned the rear guns of a Bristol F.2 Fighter for such other aces as Richard M. Trevethan, Cecil Roy Richards, Reginald Condon, and Oliver Vickers. Beginning on 5 May 1917, and extending through 28 July, Cowell scored fifteen victories, destroying a German two-seater reconnaissance plane and five German fighters, and driving down nine more German fighters out of control. For his valor during these fights, he was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal on 11 June 1918, as well as the Military Medal with Bar.[1]

Death in action as a pilot[edit | edit source]

He was then posted to Home Establishment. While there, he trained as a pilot. He returned to 20 Squadron to pilot a "Brisfit" from the front seat, and scored his final victory a year and a day after his fifteenth. The following day, 30 July 1918, he was shot down and killed by balloon buster Friedrich Ritter von Röth of Jasta 16.[2]

Honors and awards[edit | edit source]

Distinguished Conduct Medal awarded on 18 July 1917

78171 Sjt. J. Cowell, R.F.C. For conspicuous gallantry whilst assisting as an aerial gunner during bomb raids. He showed remarkable skill and judgment in the eight combats in which he has been engaged, and on several occasions has shot down hostile air craft.[3]

Military Medal awarded by order of His Majesty the King on 27 October 1916.[4]

Bar to the Military Medal awarded in lieu of second award of MM, on 27 September 1917.[5]

External links[edit | edit source]

External Sources[edit | edit source]

  • 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. Norman L. R. Franks, Russell Guest, Gregory Alegi. Grub Street, 1997. ISBN 1-898697-56-6, ISBN 978-1-898697-56-5.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 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. p. 10–11. 
  2. Pusher Aces of World War 1. p. 80. 
  3. (Supplement to The Times, 18 July 1917) http://www.london-gazette.co.uk/issues/30188/supplements/7262; http://www.london-gazette.co.uk/issues/30188/supplements/7263 Retrieved 27 October 2010
  4. (Supplement to The Times, 27 October 1916) http://www.london-gazette.co.uk/issues/29805/supplements/10475 announces the honor; http://www.london-gazette.co.uk/issues/29805/supplements/10477 lists Cowell. Retrieved 27 October 2010
  5. 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. p. 10–11. 

This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).

city

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.