14 October 2007

Victoria Cross: J. T. B. McCudden

JAMES THOMAS BYFORD McCUDDEN, DSO MC MM

Second Lieutenant (Temporary Captain), Royal Flying Corps; 56 Squadron

Born: 28 March 1895, Gillingham, Kent

Citation: For most conspicuous bravery, exceptional perseverance, keenness, and very high devotion to duty.
Captain McCudden has at the present time accounted for 54 enemy aeroplanes. Of these 42 have been definitely destroyed, 19 of them on our side of the lines. Only 12 out of the 54 have been driven out of control.
On two occasions he has totally destroyed four two-seater enemy aeroplanes on the same day, and on the last occasion all four machines were destroyed in the space of 1 hour and 30 minutes.
While in his present squadron he has participated in 78 offensive patrols, and in nearly every case has been the leader. On at least 30 other occasions, whilst with the same squadron, he has crossed the lines alone, either in pursuit or in quest of enemy aeroplanes.
The following incidents are examples of the work he has done recently:–
On the 23rd December, 1917, when leading his patrol, eight enemy aeroplanes were attacked between 2.30 p.m. and 3.50 p.m. Of these two were shot down by Captain McCudden in our lines. On the morning of the same day he left the ground at 10.50 and encountered four enemy aeroplanes; of these he shot two down.
On the 30th January, 1918, he, single-handed, attacked five enemy scouts, as a result of which two were destroyed. On this occasion he only returned home when the enemy scouts had been driven far east; his Lewis gun ammunition was all finished and the belt of his Vickers gun had broken.
As a patrol leader he has at all times shown the utmost gallantry and skill, not only in the manner in which he has attacked and destroyed the enemy, but in the way he has during several aerial fights protected the newer members of his flight, thus keeping down their casualties to a minimum.
This officer is considered, by the record which he has made, by his fearlessness, and by the great service which he has rendered to his country, deserving of the very highest honour.

(London Gazette Issue 30604 dated 2 Apr 1918, published 29 Mar 1918.)

2 comments:

mamagee said...

I have a photograph of Captain JTB Mccudden, VC,DSO (and bar, MC(and bar), Military medal, 1914 star and French Croix de Guerre. It is part of an album centreing around the Baring family. Would this be of interest to any archive?

Lynnco said...

I am a 1st cousin once removed of James and am compiling the family tree. Am having trouble with the Irish genealogy end of things, as are my three cousins. Any help or tips gratefully received.

Regards
Lynne