The son of Frederick Joseph and Emily Elizabeth (Elbrow) Cunningham, Frederick Joseph "Freddie" Cunninghame was the eldest brother in a large family of nine. His surname at birth was spelled Cunningham (no "e"). He enlisted in the Northamptonshire Regiment at Northampton on 10 October 1914. In Warley, Essex, on 28 August 1917, he was "discharged in consequence of being appointed to a temporary commission as 2nd Lieutenant" in the Royal Flying Corps. Cunninghame completed his pilot's training on 20 March 1918 and was posted to 48 Squadron on 8 May 1918. He was transferred to the unemployed list on 25 May 1919. Post-war, Cunninghame returned to journalism and spent many years on the foreign desk of the Daily Herald where he was sub-editor. He died at his home in Worthing, aged 78, and was cremated.
He appears as F. J. Cunninghame in 48 Squadron combat reports and RAF Communiques (26 and 27). He also appears as Frederick Joseph Cunningham in the London Gazette (32054/9300). Cunninghame's pilot's log and a limited amount of other memorabilia are in the possession of a nephew.
British Army WWI Medal Rolls Index Cards, 1914-1920
Combat Report - 28 September 1918
28-9-18; 2.45 p.m. S.E. of Roulers; O.P. 10,000ft.
B-2532; Capt.F.J.Cunninghame & Lt.R.A.Brunton.
Whilst leading an O.P., I saw a formation of 6 Fokker Biplanes about 1,000ft. below me. I singled out one E.A. (the nearest) as they turned east, and shot 50 rounds into it at 200 yards as E.A. was attempting to dive off into a turn. I saw something fall from the E.A. and as I continued firing the E.A.'s top plane folded up and the machine went down. (Confirmed by Deputy leader, Lt.Phillips).
Combat Report - 3 October 1918
3-10-18; 17.50 Inglemunster & East; O.P. with Bombs;
Capt.F.J.Cunninghame & Lt.Brunton.
While on O.P. with Bombs, we had just dropped our bombs on Iseghen, when 12 Fokker Biplanes were seen coming on us from the S.W. They were in two formations, one of 5 and one of 7.
The formation of 5 commenced to attack us and the leader of the E.A. attacked the left of our formation. My Observer opened fire on the E.A. when still at a good range and, after a few rounds the E.A. burst into flames.
Immediately another E.A. was engaged and Observer fired a full drum into it, the E.A. fell Completely out of control ad crashed. During the fight two of our machines were seen to go down, one in flames and one smoking. (E.A. confirmed by Lt.Shurly same formation).
Combat Report - 14 October 1918
14-10-18; 08.55; West of Thielt; O.P. 5,000ft.
E-2507; Capt.F.J.Cunninghame & Lt.T.C.Jones.
While on O.P. I saw 10 Fokker Biplanes circling round, West of Thielt. I dived on them. After missing the E.A. nearest to me, I fired 100 rounds into another E.A. and shot away part of the tailplane. E.A. side-slipped and span down Completely out of control.