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Name: William Roy "Sambo" Irwin
Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) and bar William Irwin
Country: Canada
Rank: Captain
Service: Royal Flying Corps
Royal Air Force
Units: 56
Victories: 11
Born: 07 June 1898
Place of Birth: Ripley, Ontario, Canada
Died: 14 January 1969
Place of Death: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
An S.E.5a pilot, William Roy Irwin joined the Royal Flying Corps in April 1917. In January 1918, he was posted to 56 Squadron where he was credited with his first victory in May. In August and September, he shot down eight Fokker D.VIIs in four days. Wounded in action on 15 September 1918, he was sent back to England. During World War II, Irwin served with the Royal Canadian Air Force and received the MBE in 1944.
Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC)
Lieut. (T./Capt.) William Roy Irwin.
   This officer is a fine leader, displaying tactical skill and personal gallantry. On the 10th August he led his flight down to attack fifteen Fokkers. In the engagement that ensued he showed brilliant leadership and personal courage, accounting for two machines himself. He has destroyed five enemy aeroplanes and brought down three out of control.
Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) Bar
Lieut. (A./Capt.) William Roy Irwin, D.F.C. (FRANCE.)
   This officer is an exceptionally skilful pilot leader, combining fine fighting qualities with sound, clear judgement. On the 12 August [1918] he led his patrol to attack a large formation of Fokker biplanes; he himself accounted for two of them. On a later date, attacking a formation of Fokker biplanes, he again destroyed two, the patrol accounting for two others.
Date Time Unit Aircraft Opponent Location
1 03 May 1918 0955 56 S.E.5a (C5435) Rumpler C (DES) 1 Montauban
2 03 May 1918 1015 56 S.E.5a (C5435) Rumpler C (OOC) 1 SE of Bapaume
3 28 Jun 1918 2020 56 S.E.5a (B179) Albatros D.III (DES) Dompierre
4 08 Aug 1918 1905 56 S.E.5a (D6121) Fokker D.VII (DES) NE of Chaulnes
5 10 Aug 1918 1150 56 S.E.5a (D6121) Fokker D.VII (DES) Marchelpot
6 10 Aug 1918 1150 56 S.E.5a (D6121) Fokker D.VII (DES) Marchelpot
7 10 Aug 1918 2010 56 S.E.5a (D6121) Fokker D.VII (OOC) E of Roye
8 12 Aug 1918 1645 56 S.E.5a (D6121) Fokker D.VII (DES) Ham
9 12 Aug 1918 1645 56 S.E.5a (D6121) Fokker D.VII (DES) Ham
10 03 Sep 1918 0710 56 S.E.5a (D338) Fokker D.VII (DES) Etaing
11 03 Sep 1918 0710 56 S.E.5a (D338) Fokker D.VII (DES) Haynecourt

1 Shared with Capt Edward Atkinson, Lt Trevor Durrant
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