After serving with the 40th Panthans of the Indian Army Reserve, 2nd Lieutenant Edward Dawson Atkinson transferred to the Royal Flying Corps and received Royal Aero Club Aviator's Certificate 2145 on a L. & P. biplane at the London and Provincial School, Hendon on 12 December 1915. On 1 May 1917, he encountered Jasta 28 and was attacked by "an exceptionally good pilot" flying a red Albatros scout. The German pilot was Karl Schäfer and Atkinson was forced down behind the safety of his own lines in a Nieuport scout that was damaged beyond repair.
Great Britain, Royal Aero Club Aviators' Certificates, 1910-1950
Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC)
Lt. (temp. Capt.) Edward Dawson Atkinson.
A brilliant fighting pilot whose flight has proved very successful under his leadership, often in combats where the enemy formation was numerically superior. Capt. Atkinson destroyed single-handed five enemy machines during May, and previously, whilst serving with another squadron, he brought down two enemy aeroplanes and one balloon.