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Name: Arthur Percival Foley Rhys Davids
Distinguished Service Order (DSO)
Military Cross (MC) and Bar
Arthur Rhys Davids

Country: England
Rank: Lieutenant
Service: Royal Flying Corps
Units: 56
Victories: 25
Born: 26 September 1897
Place of Birth: Honor Oak Road, London
Died: 27 October 1917 Killed In Action 
Place of Death: E of Roulers
Memorial: Arras Flying Services Memorial, Pas de Calais, France Image
 
 
Rhys Davids attended Eton and received a scholarship to Oxford. Fearing he might be shot down and captured, he always carried a book of Blake's poetry into combat. In his first dogfight on 7 May 1917, his flight commander, Albert Ball, was shot down while Rhys Davids survived an attack by Kurt Wolff of Jasta 11. On 23 September 1917, during one of the most famous dogfights of the war, he shot down a Fokker Triplane piloted by Werner Voss. When Karl Menckhoff arrived on the scene in an Albatros Scout and attempted to assist Voss, Rhys Davids shot him down too. The following month, on 27 October 1917, Rhys Davids was missing in action. He was last seen pursuing an Albatros east of Roulers. It is believed that his S.E.5a was shot down by Karl Gallwitz.

Listed as Arthur Percival Foley Rhys-Davids in the London Gazette.
 
Military Cross (MC)
"2nd Lt. Arthur Percival Foley Rhys-Davids, R.F.C., Spec. Res.
   For conspicuous gallantry and devotion. On many occasions he has shot down hostile machines and put others out of action, frequently pursuing to low altitudes. On all occasions his fearlessness and dash have been most marked."
 
Military Cross (MC) Bar
"2nd Lt. Arthur Percival Foley Rhys-Davids, M.C., R.F.C., Spec. Res.
   For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty whilst on offensive patrols. He has in all destroyed four enemy aircraft, and driven down many others out of control. In all his combats his gallantry and skill have been most marked, and on one occasion he shot down an enemy pilot who had accounted for twenty-nine Allied machines. His offensive spirit and initiative have set a magnificent example to all.
   (M.C. gazetted 18th July, 1917.)"
 
Distinguished Service Order (DSO)
"2nd/Lt. Arthur Percival Foley Rhys-Davids, M.C., R.F.C., Spec. Res.
   For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty in bringing down nine enemy aircraft in nine weeks. He is a magnificent fighter, never failing to locate enemy aircraft and invariably attacking regardless of the numbers against him."
 
Opponents
#19 Germany Werner Voss
 
Victories
Date Time Unit Aircraft Opponent Location
1 23 May 1917 1900-2015 56 S.E.5 (A4868) Albatros D.III (OOC) E of Lens
2 24 May 1917 1900-2000 56 S.E.5 (A4868) Albatros D.III (OOC) 1 S of Douai
3 24 May 1917 1900-2000 56 S.E.5 (A4868) C (DESF) 2 Gouy sous Bellone
4 24 May 1917 1900-2000 56 S.E.5 (A4868) C (OOC) Sains
5 25 May 1917 0630-0730 56 S.E.5 (A4868) C (DES) W of Flers
6 26 May 1917 1900-2000 56 S.E.5 (A4868) Albatros D.III (OOC) Gouy sous Bellone
7 04 Jun 1917 0700-0845 56 S.E.5a (A8901) Albatros D.V (OOC) W of Moorslede
8 07 Jun 1917 0500-0645 56 S.E.5a (A8901) Albatros D.III (OOC) Westroosebeke
9 12 Jul 1917 1400-1500 56 S.E.5a (A4563) Fokker D.V (OOC) E of Roncq
10 12 Jul 1917 1400-1500 56 S.E.5a (A4563) DFW C (799/17) (CAP) N of Armentières
11 13 Jul 1917 1930-2100 56 S.E.5a (A4563) Albatros D.V (OOC) Moorslede
12 17 Jul 1917 1930-2110 56 S.E.5a (A4563) Albatros D.V (OOC) 3 Roulers Menin Road
13 21 Jul 1917 1930-2030 56 S.E.5a (A4563) Albatros D.III (OOC) Polygon Wood
14 03 Sep 1917 1845-1915 56 S.E.5a (B511) Albatros D.V (DES) 4 Houthem
15 05 Sep 1917 1815-1900 56 S.E.5a (A4563) Albatros D.V (DES) E of Menin
16 05 Sep 1917 1815-1900 56 S.E.5a (A4563) Albatros D.V (DES) NE of Poelcapelle
17 05 Sep 1917 1815-1900 56 S.E.5a (A4563) Albatros D.V (OOC) E of Menin
18 09 Sep 1917 1740-1845 56 S.E.5a (B525) Albatros D.V (OOC) SE of Houthoulst Forest
19 23 Sep 1917 abt 1800 56 S.E.5a (B525) Fokker DR.I (CAP) NE of Ypres Salient
20 23 Sep 1917 abt 1800 56 S.E.5a (B525) Albatros D.V (OOC) NE of Ypres
21 24 Sep 1917 1700-1820 56 S.E.5a (B525) C (DESF) S of Houthoulst Forest
22 28 Sep 1917 0815-0930 56 S.E.5a (B525) Albatros D.V (OOC) Comines
23 01 Oct 1917 1700-1815 56 S.E.5a (B525) Albatros D.V (OOC) Westroosebeke
24 01 Oct 1917 1700-1815 56 S.E.5a (B525) Albatros D.V (OOC) 5 Westroosebeke
25 11 Oct 1917 0730-0815 56 S.E.5a (B525) Albatros D.V (OOC) NE of Becelaere

1 Shared with Capt Cyril Crowe, 2Lt Reginald Hoidge, 2Lt Kenneth Muspratt, 2Lt John Turnbull
2 Shared with 2Lt Reginald Hoidge
3 Shared with Capt Ian Henderson, 2Lt Leonard Barlow, 2Lt Kenneth Muspratt, Lt V P Cronyn (A4856)
4 Shared with Lt Richard Maybery
5 Shared with Capt James McCudden, Lt Leonard Barlow, Lt M H Coote (B1), Lt D J Reason (A8961)
 
Books
Brief Glory
The Life of Arthur Rhys Davids, DSO, MC and Bar; Alex Revell / Hardcover / Kimber
High in the Empty Blue
The History of 56 Squadron, RFC/RAF 1916-1920; Alex Revell / Hardcover / Flying Machines Pr 1995
 
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