James McCudden

James McCudden

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James McCudden

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<!-- This article is a part of WikiProject Aircraft and WikiProject Biography/Military. -->James Thomas Byford McCudden VC, DSO & Bar, MC & Bar, MM (28 March 1895&ndash;9 July 1918) was an English recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest award for Valour in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces. With his six British medals and one French one, McCudden received more medals for gallantry than any other airman of British nationality serving in the First World War. He was also one of the longest serving, having joined the Royal Flying Corps in 1913. McCudden's story is all the more remarkable as he rose through the RFC ranks (from Air Mechanic to Major) during the war to become one of the most decorated soldiers of the conflict. At his death he had amassed 57 victories, making him the seventh highest scoring ace of World War I.

Early and family life

James McCudden was born in Gillingham, Kent to ex-Sergeant-Major William H. McCudden and his wife Amelia of "Pitlochry", 37 Burton Road, Kingston-on-Thames, London. Two of his brothers (killed in 1915) and (killed in 1918) were also military pilots.

Military service

He joined the Royal Engineers in 1910, but after a flight with his brother Willie across Salisbury Plain requested transfer to the RFC, which was granted...
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