Service Details
Name:
BELL
Given Name:
DOUGLAS JOHN
Initials:
D J
Trade:
Pilot
Rank:
Captain
Other Casualties of this Rank
Regiment:
Royal Air Force
Other Casualties from this Regiment
Unit:
No. 3 Sqdn.
Other Casualties from this Unit
Former Regiment:
formerly Transvaal Horse Artillery
Date of Death:
1918-05-27
Other Casualties on this Date
Age:
24
Cause of Death:
Died of wounds, attacking a two-seater during the German offensive on the Aisne. Flying on Sopwith Camel, shot down in Thiepval sector
Decorations:
M C and bar
Citations:
1st MC LG Sup 18 June 1917 - "For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty when in command of a long distance bomb raid. Owing to his good leadership and skill a large ammunition dump was destroyed. Later, he single-handed carried out a difficult mission and succeeded in reaching his objective under extremely adverse weather conditions." Bar to MC LG Sup 13 May 1918 - "For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. He has led his formation with great skill and has destroyed three enemy aeroplanes and driven down two others, one of which was seen to be completely out of control. The high state of efficiency which his flight has attained is due to his splendid example and fearless leadership."
Additional
Information:
Son of Christine Williams (formerly Bell), of Johannesburg, Transvaal, and the late Herbert Bell. Also served in German South West Africa in Transvaal Light Horse. Credited with 13 victories. On 1 June 1916, Douglas John Bell enlisted in the Royal Flying Corps and received his RAC certificate on 22 September 1916. In October 1916 he was assigned to 27 Squadron. Credited with three Albatros D.IIIs, Bell and John Gilmour of Scotland were the two highest scoring aces to fly the Martinsyde G.100. Following a promotion to flight commander in March 1917, Bell was reassigned to 78 Squadron in England. Though never confirmed, he and his observer scored the first victory for the Home Defence on the evening of 25 September 1917. Flying a Sopwith 1 1/2 Strutter, Bell and Lt. G.G. Williams attacked a Gotha bomber south of Brentwood, firing into it for nearly fifteen minutes before it crashed into the North Sea. On 13 February 1918, Bell returned to France, joining 3 Squadron as a flight commander. Flying the Sopwith Camel, he scored 17 victories in less than two months before he was killed in action attacking a two-seater during the German offensive on the Aisne. Bell was the highest scoring ace to serve with 3 Squadron.
Commemoration
Country:
France
Other Casualties commemorated in France
Locality:
Pas de Calais
Other Casualties commemorated in Pas de Calais
Cemetery:
ARRAS FLYING SERVICES MEMORIAL
Other Casualties commemorated in this Cemetery

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