John Kenneth Summers attended Birmingham University and served with the Royal Warwickshire Regiment before he transferred to the Royal Flying Corps in April 1915. The following month, he was posted to 3 Squadron where he served as an observer for five months before becoming a pilot. 2nd Lieutenant Summers received Royal Aero Club Aviator's Certificate 2154 on a Maurice Farman biplane at military school, Birmingham on 13 December 1915. In June 1918, Summers was reassigned to 209 Squadron as a Flight Commander. On 12 August 1918, he was captured when his Sopwith Camel was shot down by Lothar von Richthofen of Jasta 11. Summers was the German ace's final victory of the war. Before he was transported to a prison camp, Summers met Richthofen and was entertained by members of the Richthofen Circus. Repatriated in December 1918, Summers remained with the Royal Air Force and was granted a permanent
commission to Flight Lieutenant on 1 August 1919. He retired from the RAF in 1943.
Great Britain, Royal Aero Club Aviators' Certificates, 1910-1950
Military Cross (MC)
"Temp. 2nd Lt. (temp. Capt.) John Kenneth Summers, Gen'l List, and R.F.C.
For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. He has continuously performed valuable work in co-operating with the artillery. He has on many occasions flown at a very low altitude in order to give information to the infantry, which has proved of the utmost value."