The son of Ernest Howell of Myall, Eaglemont, Heidelberg, Victoria, Cedric Ernest Howell was a draughtsman before he enlisted. He embarked from Melbourne on 14 March 1916 as a private with the 14th Infantry Battalion of the AIF. After serving as a sniper on the Western Front, he transferred to the Royal Flying Corps from 46 Battalion of the ANZAC. In 1917 he was posted to 45 Squadron in France and served with this squadron in Northern Italy in 1918. He scored 19 victories as a Sopwith Camel pilot. On 10 December 1919, enroute from Hounslow to Australia, Howell and Sergeant George Henry Fraser were killed when their Martinsyde aircraft crashed into the sea off Corfu.
The Argus, Melbourne, Victoria, Wednesday, 21 April 1920
Military Cross (MC)
Lt. Cedric Ernest Howell, R.A.F., Spec. Res.
For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. He bombed an electrical power-house with great skill, obtaining three direct hits from 100 feet. With two other machines he carried out a most dashing attack on a formation of twelve enemy aeroplanes. Although badly hampered by frequent jams in both of his machine guns, he destroyed three and drove down one out of control. He is a most successful and gallant patrol leader, and has destroyed six enemy aeroplanes and shot down one out of control.
Lieut. (T./Capt.) Cedric Ernest Howell.
On a recent occasion this officer, leading his patrol of three machines, attacked nine enemy aeroplanes, destroying six and driving down one out of control; he himself accounted for two of these. On a former occasion he destroyed three enemy aeroplanes in one flight. He is a fine fighting officer, skilful and determined.
Lieut. (T./Capt.) Cedric Ernest Howell, M.C., D.F.C.
This officer recently attacked, in company with one other machine, an enemy formation of fifteen aeroplanes, and succeeded in destroying four of them and bringing one down out of control. Two days afterwards he destroyed another enemy machine, which fell in our lines, and on the following day he led three machines against sixteen enemy scouts, destroying two of them. Captain Howell is a very gallant and determined fighter, who takes no account of the enemy's superior numbers in his battles.