James McCudden

Military Person

1895 – 1918


Who was James McCudden?

James Thomas Byford McCudden VC, DSO & Bar, MC & Bar, MM was an British First World War flying ace and among the most highly decorated airmen in British military history.

Born in 1895 to a middle class family with military traditions, McCudden joined the Royal Engineers in 1910. Having an interest in mechanics he transferred to the Royal Flying Corps in 1913 at which time he first came into regular contact with aircraft. Out the outbreak of war in 1914 he flew as an observer before training as a fighter pilot in 1916.

He claimed his first victory in September 1916. McCudden claimed his fifth victory—making him an ace—on 15 February 1917. For the next six months he served as an instructor and flew defensive patrols over London. He returned to the frontline in the summer, 1917. That same year he dispatched a further 31 enemy aircraft while claiming multiple victories in one day on 11 occasions.

With his six British medals and one French, McCudden received more awards for gallantry than any other airman of British nationality serving in the First World War. He was also one of the longest serving.

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Mar 28, 1895
Also known as
  • James Thomas Byford McCudden
  • Mac
  • United Kingdom
Lived in
  • Gillingham
Jul 9, 1918

on July 23, 2013


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