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Name: William Melville "Mel" Alexander
Distinguished Service Cross (DSC) (Franks collection)
Country: Canada
Rank: Captain
Service: Royal Naval Air Service
Royal Air Force
Units: 10N; 3W (RNAS)
210 (RAF)
Victories: 22
Born: 08 November 1897
Place of Birth: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Died: 04 October 1988
Place of Death:  
 
 
Immediately after receiving his certificate on a Wright biplane at the Stinson school, San Antonio, Texas, on 23 March 1916, William Melville Alexander joined the Royal Naval Air Service as a Flight Sub-Lieutenant, on probation. Posted to 3 Wing on 3 December 1916, he joined 10 Naval Squadron on 26 April 1917 and was assigned to the "Black Flight" under Raymond Collishaw. With this squadron he scored 22 victories flying Triplanes and Camels on the Western Front. In April 1917 his commanding officer recommended him for a Bar to the Distinguished Service Cross. He was also recommended for promotion to the rank of temporary Major in August 1918.

"By the end of 1915 Curtis School was filled, Wright Brothers had opened a school in Dayton, and it was filled. Well, I went down and signed up with the Stinson School in San Antonio, Texas. I went down there and learned to fly on a model B Wright, an old pusher where we sat... like you sit on a bob-sleigh, with your feet hanging out, looking down... The machine was put together with what we call baling wire, just fabric doped, cotton fabric or linen fabric, and wooden wings... I did exactly 210 minutes before I flew my test." Mel Alexander, Royal Naval Air Service
Great Britain, Royal Aero Club Aviators' Certificates, 1910-1950
 
Distinguished Service Cross (DSC)
Flt. Lieut. (Act. Flt. Cdr.) William Melville Alexander. R.N.A.S.
   On 16th August, 1917, he attacked at about 3,000 feet two hostile scouts, one of which, after a short combat, fell completely out of control.
   On 20th August, 1917, while returning from patrol, he observed three enemy scouts. These he pursued until they turned to fight. One of the scouts he shot down completely out of control, and the remaining two dived away.
   On 21st August, 1917, while on an offensive patrol, he attacked and drove down completely out of control an enemy scout, which was attacking another member of his patrol.
   Flt. Lieut. Alexander has at all times shown the greatest bravery and determination.
 
Victories
Date Time Unit Aircraft Opponent Location
1 02 Jun 1917 0700-0900 10N Sopwith Triplane (N5487) C (OOC) 1 St. Julien
2 04 Jun 1917 0850 10N Sopwith Triplane (N5487) Albatros D.III (OOC) NE of Ypres
3 06 Jun 1917 1150 10N Sopwith Triplane (N5487) Albatros D.III (OOC) Polygon Wood
4 06 Jul 1917 1100 10N Sopwith Triplane (N5487) Albatros D.III (OOC) Deulemont
5 06 Jul 1917 1100 10N Sopwith Triplane (N5487) Albatros D.III (OOC) Deulemont
6 11 Jul 1917 2045 10N Sopwith Triplane (N5487) Albatros D.V (OOC) Polygon Wood
7 20 Jul 1917 0805 10N Sopwith Triplane (N5487) Albatros D.V (DES) Menin-Messines
8 28 Jul 1917 1950 10N Sopwith Triplane (N5487) Albatros D.V (OOC) Dadizeele
9 16 Aug 1917 0850 10N Sopwith Camel (N6368) Albatros D.V (OOC) Wervicq
10 20 Aug 1917 1530 10N Sopwith Triplane (N6302) Albatros D.V (OOC) Roubaix
11 21 Aug 1917 1830 10N Sopwith Triplane (N6302) Albatros D.V (OOC) E of Menin
12 23 Sep 1917 1125 10N Sopwith Camel (B3910) Albatros D.V (OOC) Houthoulst
13 23 Jan 1918 1450 10N Sopwith Camel (B6289) Albatros D.V (OOC) Staden
14 06 Mar 1918 0830 10N Sopwith Camel (B7215) Albatros D.V (OOC) SE of Dixmude
15 10 Mar 1918 1545 10N Sopwith Camel (B7215) C (DES) Roulers
16 24 Mar 1918 0920 10N Sopwith Camel (B7215) Albatros D.V (OOC) Menin-Roulers
17 24 Mar 1918 0920 10N Sopwith Camel (B7215) Albatros D.V (OOC) Menin-Roulers
18 03 Apr 1918 1130 210 Sopwith Camel (B7215) C (DES) Roulers
19 11 Apr 1918 1515 210 Sopwith Camel (B7215) C (OOC) E of Estaires
20 11 May 1918 1925 210 Sopwith Camel (D3348) Albatros D.V (DES) Armentières
21 18 May 1918 2005 210 Sopwith Camel (D3348) Pfalz D.III (DES) Bac St. Maur
22 27 May 1918 0820 210 Sopwith Camel (D3348) Pfalz D.III (OOC) Bailleul

1 Shared with FLt Raymond Collishaw, FSL Ellis Reid, FSL Gerald Nash
 
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