The Aerodrome Home Page
Aces of WWI
Aircraft of WWI
Books and Videos
The Aerodrome Forum
Sign the Guestbook
Help
WWI Web Sites
Medals & Decorations
The Aerodrome News
Search The Aerodrome
Today in History




Name: Andrew Frederick Weatherby "Proccy" Beauchamp-Proctor Balloon-Buster
Victoria Cross (VC)
Distinguished Service Order (DSO)
Military Cross (MC)
Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC)
Andrew Beauchamp-Proctor
Rank: Captain
Service: Royal Flying Corps
Royal Air Force
Units: 84
Country: South Africa
Victories: 54
Born: 04 September 1894
Place of Birth: Cape Province
Died: 21 June 1921 Killed In Flying Accident
Place of Death: Near Enford, Wiltshire, England
Cemetery: Mafikeng, South Africa Image
 
 
   The son of a school teacher, Andrew Frederick Weatherby Beauchamp-Proctor was South Africa's highest scoring ace during World War I. When the war began, he was a student of engineering at the University of Cape Town but abandoned his studies to join the army. He served as a signaller in the Duke of Edinburgh's Own Rifles and saw action in German South-West Africa before his discharge from the army in August 1915. After completing his education, Beauchamp-Proctor joined the Royal Flying Corps in March 1917 and was commissioned upon his arrival in England. Having successfully completed pilot training, he was posted to 84 Squadron in late July and accompanied this unit to France in September 1917.
   An S.E.5a pilot, Beauchamp-Proctor was just five feet two inches tall. His height made it necessary to raise the seat and modify the controls of the aircraft he flew. Despite these difficulties and a crash on 11 March 1918, Beauchamp-Proctor claimed 54 victories that year and became the British Empire's highest scoring balloon-buster.
   Beauchamp-Proctor was killed in a flying accident at Central Flying School, Upavon on 21 June 1921.
Evening Telegraph, Dundee, Scotland, Thursday, 23 June 1921, page 7
 
Military Cross (MC)
T./2nd Lt. Andrew Weatherby Beauchamp-Proctor, Gen. List, and R.F.C.
   For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. While on offensive patrol he observed an enemy two-seater plane attempting to cross our lines. He engaged it and opened fire, with the result that it fell over on its side and crashed to earth. On a later occasion, when on patrol, he observed three enemy scouts attacking one of our bombing machines. He attacked one of these, and after firing 100 rounds in it, it fell over on its back and was seen to descend in that position from 5,000 feet. He then attacked another group of hostile scouts, one of which he shot down completely out of control, and another crumpled up and crashed to earth. In addition to these, he has destroyed another hostile machine, and shot down three completely out of control. He has at all times displayed the utmost dash and initiative, and is a patrol leader of great merit and resource.
 
Military Cross (MC) Bar
T./2nd Lt. (T./Capt.) Andrew Weatherby Beauchamp-Proctor, M.C., Gen. List., attd. R.A.F.
   For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty while leading offensive patrols. He has lately destroyed three enemy machines, driven down one other completely out of control, and carried out valuable work in attacking enemy troops and transport on the ground from low altitudes. He has done splendid service.
   (M.C. gazetted 22nd June, 1918.)
 
Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC)
Lt. (T./Capt.) Andrew Weatherby Beauchamp-Proctor, M.C.
   A brilliant and fearless leader of our offensive patrols.
   His formation has destroyed thirteen enemy machines and brought down thirteen more out of control in a period of a few months.
   On a recent morning his patrol of five aeroplanes attacked an enemy formation of thirty machines and was successful in destroying two of them. In the evening he again attacked an enemy formation with great dash, destroying one machine and forcing two others to collide, resulting in their destruction.
 
Distinguished Service Order (DSO)
Lieut. (T./Capt.) Andrew Weatherby Beauchamp-Proctor, M.C., D.F.C.
   A fighting pilot of great skill, and a splendid leader. He rendered brilliant service on the 22nd August, when his Flight was detailed to neutralise hostile balloons. Having shot down one balloon in flames, he attacked the occupants of five others in succession with machine-gun fire, compelling the occupants in each case to take to parachutes. He then drove down another balloon to within fifty feet of the ground, when it burst into flames. In all he has accounted for thirty-three enemy machines and seven balloons.
 
Victoria Cross (VC)
Lieut. (A./Capt.) Andrew Weatherby Beauchamp-Proctor, D.S.O., M.C., D.F.C., No. 84 Sqn., R.A. Force.
   Between August 8th, 1918, and October 8th, 1918, this officer proved himself victor in twenty-six decisive combats, destroying twelve enemy kite balloons, ten enemy aircraft, and driving down four other enemy aircraft completely out of control.
   Between October 1st, 1918, and October 5th, 1918, he destroyed two enemy scouts, burnt three enemy kite balloons, and drove down one enemy scout completely out of control.
   On October 1st, 1918, in a general engagement with about twenty-eight machines, he crashed one Fokker biplane near Fontaine and a second near Ramicourt; on October 2nd he burnt a hostile balloon near Selvjgny; on October 3rd he drove down, completely out of control, an enemy scout near Mont d'Origny, and burnt a hostile balloon; on October 5th, the third hostile balloon near Bohain.
   On October 8th, 1918, while flying home at a low altitude, after destroying an enemy two-seater near Maretz, he was painfully wounded in the arm by machine-gun fire, but, continuing, he landed safely at his-aerodrome, and after making his report was admitted to hospital.
   In all he has proved himself conqueror over fifty-four foes, destroying twenty-two enemy machines, sixteen enemy kite balloons, and driving down sixteen enemy aircraft completely out of control.
   Captain Beauchamp-Proctor's work in attacking enemy troops on the ground and in reconnaissance during the withdrawal following on the Battle of St. Quentin from March 21st, 1918, and during the victorious advance of our Armies commencing on August 8th, has been almost unsurpassed in its Brilliancy, and. as such has made an impression on those serving in his squadron and those around him that will not be easily forgotten.
   Capt. Beauchamp-Proctor was awarded Military Cross on 22nd June, 1918; D.F. Cross on 2nd July, 1918; Bar to M.C. on 16th September, 1918; and Distinguished Service Order on 2nd November, 1918.
 
Victories
Date Time Unit Aircraft Opponent Location
1 03 Jan 1918 1500 84 S.E.5a (B539) C (OOC) NE of St. Quentin
2 15 Feb 1918 1545 84 S.E.5a (B539) C (OOC) 1 S of Le Catelet
3 17 Feb 1918 1045 84 S.E.5a (B539) Albatros D.V (OOC) SE of St. Quentin
4 19 Feb 1918 1020 84 S.E.5a (B539) Albatros D.V (DES) SE of La Fère
5 28 Feb 1918 1630 84 S.E.5a (B539) Pfalz D.III (OOC) SE of La Fère
6 15 Mar 1918 0820 84 S.E.5a (D259) DFW C (CAP) S of Villaret
7 17 Mar 1918 1140 84 S.E.5a (D259) Albatros D.V (OOC) Busigny
8 17 Mar 1918 1142 84 S.E.5a (D259) Albatros D.V (OOC) W of Busigny
9 17 Mar 1918 1145 84 S.E.5a (D259) Pfalz D.III (DES) 4 mi W of Busigny
10 23 Apr 1918 1640 84 S.E.5a (C1772) Fokker DR.I (DES) Framerville
11 09 May 1918 1510 84 S.E.5a (C1772) Albatros D.V (OOC) W of Villers-Brettoneaux aerodrome
12 10 May 1918 1410 84 S.E.5a (C1772) Rumpler C (DES) SE of Bray
13 17 May 1918 1330 84 S.E.5a (C1772) Albatros D.V (DES) Hangest
14 19 May 1918 0945 84 S.E.5a (C1772) C (OOC) Vauvillers
15 19 May 1918 1000 84 S.E.5a (C1772) Albatros D.V (DES) Wiencourt
16 19 May 1918 1835 84 S.E.5a (C1772) Albatros D.V (CAP) Cachy
17 19 May 1918 abt 1835 84 S.E.5a (C1772) Albatros D.V (DES) 2 SE of Villers-Brettoneaux
18 19 May 1918 abt 1835 84 S.E.5a (C1772) Albatros D.V (DES) 2 SE of Villers-Brettoneaux
19 27 May 1918 1950 84 S.E.5a (C1772) Albatros D.V (OOC) S of Mézières
20 29 May 1918 1850 84 S.E.5a (D333) Albatros D.V (OOC) SE of Fricourt
21 31 May 1918 1245 84 S.E.5a (D333) Albatros D.V (OOC) Near Hangst
22 01 Jun 1918 1235 84 S.E.5a (D333) Balloon (DES) SE of Fricourt
23 05 Jun 1918 1235 84 S.E.5a (D333) Rumpler C (DES) 3 2000 yds W of Moreuil
24 06 Jun 1918 1010 84 S.E.5a (D333) Balloon (DES) NW of Proyart
25 06 Jun 1918 1025 84 S.E.5a (D333) Balloon (DES) N of Bray
26 11 Jun 1918 1350 84 S.E.5a (D333) Albatros D.V (OOC) 5 mi E of Montdidier
27 11 Jun 1918 1430 84 S.E.5a (D333) Pfalz D.III (DES) N of Cayeux
28 13 Jun 1918 0800 84 S.E.5a (D333) Balloon (DES) E of Contoire
29 08 Aug 1918 1440 84 S.E.5a (D6856) Balloon (DES) Rosières
30 11 Aug 1918 1810 84 S.E.5a (D6856) Fokker D.VII (OOC) Villers Carbonnel
31 14 Aug 1918 1055 84 S.E.5a (D6856) Fokker D.VII (DESF) Villers Carbonnel
32 14 Aug 1918 1130 84 S.E.5a (D6856) Fokker D.VII (OOC) Estrées
33 16 Aug 1918 1015 84 S.E.5a (D6856) DFW C (DESF) Estrées
34 21 Aug 1918 1530 84 S.E.5a (D6856) Albatros C (DES) Fay
35 22 Aug 1918 0940 84 S.E.5a (D6856) Balloon (DES) Assevillers
36 22 Aug 1918 0945 84 S.E.5a (D6856) Balloon (DES) Hem
37 24 Aug 1918 1815 84 S.E.5a (D6856) Fokker D.VII (OOC) Brie
38 24 Aug 1918 1830 84 S.E.5a (D6856) Fokker D.VII (DESF) E of Brie
39 25 Aug 1918 1020 84 S.E.5a (D6856) Fokker D.VII (DES) S of Tempeux
40 25 Aug 1918 1120 84 S.E.5a (D6856) Rumpler C (CAP) 4 S of Vrely
41 27 Aug 1918 0840 84 S.E.5a (D6856) Balloon (DES) 5 Flaucourt
42 27 Aug 1918 0945 84 S.E.5a (D6856) Balloon (DES) Mt. St. Quentin
43 29 Aug 1918 1925 84 S.E.5a (D6856) Fokker D.VII (DES) 6 1 mi E of Somme, S of Brie
44 07 Sep 1918 1135 84 S.E.5a (D6856) Balloon (DES)

Cambrai-St. Quentin

45 15 Sep 1918 0850 84 S.E.5a (C1911) Balloon (DES) 7 Bellicourt
46 24 Sep 1918 0915 84 S.E.5a (E6028) Balloon (DES) Gouy
47 27 Sep 1918 0850 84 S.E.5a (C1911) Balloon (DES) 2 mi W of Crevecoeur
48 01 Oct 1918 1605 84 S.E.5a (C1911) Fokker D.VII (DES) SE of Fontaine
49 01 Oct 1918 1640 84 S.E.5a (C1911) Fokker D.VII (DESF) SE of Ramicourt
50 02 Oct 1918 0830 84 S.E.5a (C1911) Balloon (DES) Selvigny
51 03 Oct 1918 1025 84 S.E.5a (C1911) Fokker D.VII (OOC) Mont d'Origny
52 03 Oct 1918 1145 84 S.E.5a (C1911) Balloon (DES) Mont d'Origny
53 05 Oct 1918 1155 84 S.E.5a (C1911) Balloon (DES) 8 W of Bohain
54 08 Oct 1918 1130 84 S.E.5a (C1911) Rumpler C (DES) NE of Mametz

1 Shared with Lt John McCudden
2 Shared with Lt Hector MacDonald, Lt B Oliver (C9519), 2Lt E E Biccard (C6442)
3 Shared with Lt Walter Southey
4 Shared with Lt I P Corse (D6897), Lt N H Goudie (D6917)
5 Shared with Lt I P Corse, Lt J E Boudwin
6 Shared with Lt Carl Falkenberg
7 Shared with Capt D Carruthers
8 Shared with 2Lt A E Hill (F5477)
 
Aces · Aircraft · Books · Forum · Guests · Help · Links · Medals · News · Search · Today