Joining the Royal Flying Corps in July 1917, Camille Henri Raoul Lagesse was promoted to temporary 2nd Lieutenant (on probation) on 26 September 1917 and posted to 29 Squadron on 20 March 1918. Flying the S.E.5a, he scored 20 victories, including two balloons and accumulated 426 hours of flight time in combat. Credited with his 5th victory on 6 June 1918, he forced down a Fokker D.VII and captured its pilot. Today, the plane he captured is part of the Royal Air Force Museum Collection. Claiming three aircraft on 7 October 1918, Lagesse downed a Fokker D.VII in flames near Staden. His opponent, German ace Herbert Boy, was captured after jumping from his plane with a burning parachute.
Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC)
Lt. (T./Capt.) Camille Henri Raoul Lagesse.
When on wireless interception duty Capt. Lagesse, in company with another officer, was attacked by seven scouts. Engaging one, he followed it down from 11,000 feet to 2,000 feet, when it crashed. Bold in attack, skilful in execution, he has proved himself on many occasions to be a fine airman.
Lieut. (A../Capt.) Camille Henri Raoul Lagesse, D.F.C. (FRANCE)
A scout leader of marked ability and daring who, since 28th August, has destroyed thirteen enemy aeroplanes, displaying at all times brilliant leadership and courage. On 2nd October, when leading a patrol of four machines, he dived on eight Fokkers; four of these were destroyed, Captain Lagesse accounting for one.