After attending the Longman Liver School, at Liverpool, John Stevenson Stubbs (and his brother) were enrolled at St. Bees for one year in 1910. Serving with the 3rd Battalion,
South Lancashire Regiment, he was promoted to Lieutenant on 13 February 1915. On 5 June 1915 he was promoted to Second Lieutenant (on probation) and sent to the School of Instruction at Liverpool on 11 June 1915. He was confirmed in the rank of Second Lieutenant on 21 January 1916 and granted a short service commission in the rank of Flying Officer, effective 24 October 1919.
Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC)
"Lt. (T./Capt.) John Stevenson Stubbs (S.
Lane. R.). 2nd Lt. John Bernard Russell.
Captain Stubbs is a fine leader and a skilful tactician, who during the last few months, has led fifty-one reconnaissances and raids over enemy lines with marked success, frequently extricating his formation, when attacked by large numbers of scouts, by his coolness and judgment. One evening this officer, with Lt. Russell as Observer, in company with another machine, encountered ten enemy aeroplanes. Regardless of their superiority in numbers, he at once attacked and shot down one. By skilful manoeuvring he enabled his Observer to bring down another; the remainder of the enemy were driven down to their lines; he then completed his reconnaissance and returned home. Leaving the other machine behind, he again crossed the enemy lines; he bombed a train and attacked some mechanical transport at 1,500 ft. altitude. This particular exploit is highly creditable to both these officers, the machine in which they flew being unsuitable for low bombing attacks; moreover, they were subjected to very heavy anti-aircraft and machine-gun fire."