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Today in History

Name: George Stanley Bell
Distinguished Flying Medal (DFM) George William Bell
Country: England
Rank: Sergeant
Service: Royal Flying Corps
Royal Air Force
Units: 9, 11, 49
Victories: 6
Born: 23 August 1897
Place of Birth: Margate, Kent
Died: 1960
Place of Death: Reading, Birkshire
According to relatives, George Stanley Bell joined the Territorial Force in 1914 under an assumed name and date of birth. It is believed he enlisted as George W. Bell. After deserting in late 1914, he joined the Royal Flying Corps in 1915 under another name and date of birth. As a D.H.9 observer, he shared six victories with his pilot, Arthur Rowe Spurling. On 23 August 1918, Bell's twenty-first birthday, he and Spurling downed five Fokker D.VIIs near Lens. The following day, Bell was admitted to hospital and transferred to London on 28 August 1918. On 6 October 1918, he was posted to 11 Squadron at Cheltenham. It is believed that Bell served in the reserves during World War II and was based at Woodley Aerodrome in Reading.

Appears in primary sources as Frank William Bell. Bell signed his pilot log entry for 23 August 1918 as "Bell, G.W."
Distinguished Flying Medal (DFM)
No. 402108 Serjt.-Mech. Frank William Bell (Egremont).
   A keen and reliable Observer, who has taken part in eighteen bomb raids, invariably showing gallantry and devotion to duty, notably on a certain occasion not long since, when his Pilot dived through the centre of an enemy formation of some thirty machines; five of these subsequently closed on his machine, but by skilful manoeuvring the Pilot gave Serjt. Bell the opportunity, which he took quick advantage of, by shooting down two of the enemy aircraft in flames, while the remaining three broke off the combat and disappeared in the mist.
Date Time Unit Aircraft Opponent Location
1 25 Jul 1918 1900 49 D.H.9 (D3056) 1 Fokker D.VII (OOC) Mont Notre Dame
2 23 Aug 1918 1915 49 D.H.9 (D3056) 1 Fokker D.VII (DESF) Lens
3 23 Aug 1918 1915 49 D.H.9 (D3056) 1 Fokker D.VII (DES) Lens
4 23 Aug 1918 1915 49 D.H.9 (D3056) 1 Fokker D.VII (OOC) Lens
5 23 Aug 1918 1916 49 D.H.9 (D3056) 1 Fokker D.VII (DESF) Lens
6 23 Aug 1918 1916 49 D.H.9 (D3056) 1 Fokker D.VII (OOC) Lens

1 Pilot Arthur Rowe Spurling
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