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Name: Douglas John Bell
Military Cross (MC) and Bar Douglas Bell
Country: South Africa
Rank: Captain
Service: Royal Flying Corps
Royal Air Force
Units: 3, 27, 78
Victories: 20
Born: 16 September 1893
Place of Birth:
Died: 27 May 1918 Killed In Action
Place of Death: Near Thiepval, France
Memorial: Arras Flying Services Memorial, Pas de Calais, France
 
 
On 1 June 1916, Douglas John Bell enlisted in the Royal Flying Corps and received his Royal Aero Club Aviator's Certificate on 22 September 1916. In October 1916 he was assigned to 27 Squadron. Credited with three Albatros D.IIIs, Bell and John Gilmour of Scotland were the two highest scoring aces to fly the Martinsyde G.100. Following a promotion to flight commander in March 1917, Bell was reassigned to 78 Squadron in England. Though never confirmed, he and his observer scored the first victory for the Home Defence on the evening of 25 September 1917. Flying a Sopwith 1½ Strutter, Bell and Lt. G.G. Williams attacked a Gotha bomber south of Brentwood, firing into it for nearly fifteen minutes before it crashed into the North Sea. On 13 February 1918, Bell returned to France, joining 3 Squadron as a flight commander. Flying the Sopwith Camel, he scored 17 victories in less than two months before he was killed in action attacking a two-seater during the German offensive on the Aisne. Bell was the highest scoring ace to serve with 3 Squadron.
Great Britain, Royal Aero Club Aviators' Certificates, 1910-1950
 
Military Cross (MC)
2nd Lt. Douglas John Bell, R.F.C., Spec. Res.
   For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty when in command of a long distance bomb raid. Owing to his good leadership and skill a large ammunition dump was destroyed. Later, he single-handed carried out a difficult mission and succeeded in reaching his objective under extremely adverse weather conditions.
 
Military Cross (MC) Bar
2nd Lt. (T./Capt.) Douglas John Bell, M.C., R.F.C., Spec. Res.
   For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. He has led his formation with great skill and has destroyed three enemy aeroplanes and driven down two others, one of which was seen to be completely out of control. The high state of efficiency which his flight has attained is due to his splendid example and fearless leadership.
 
Victories
Date Time Unit Aircraft Opponent Location
1 01 May 1917 27 Martinsyde G.100 Albatros D.III (OOC) Near Epinoy
2 04 Jun 1917 1415 27 Martinsyde G.100 (A6262) Albatros D.III (DES) 1 W of St Denis Westrem
3 04 Jun 1917 1415 27 Martinsyde (A6262) Albatros D.III (OOC) Hausbeke
4 11 Mar 1918 1730 3 Sopwith Camel (C1615) Albatros D.V (OOC) Queant-Pronville
5 13 Mar 1918 1545 3 Sopwith Camel (C1615) Albatros D.V (DESF) Villers
6 16 Mar 1918 0915 3 Sopwith Camel (C1615) Albatros D.V (DES) Cambrai
7 16 Mar 1918 0930 3 Sopwith Camel (C1615) C (DES) Cambrai
8 17 Mar 1918 1330 3 Sopwith Camel (C1615) Albatros D.V (DESF) 2 Cagnicourt
9 22 Mar 1918 1430 3 Sopwith Camel (C1615) Albatros D.V (DESF) Havrincourt Wood
10 23 Mar 1918 1540 3 Sopwith Camel (C1615) Balloon (DES) Queant
11 23 Mar 1918 1545 3 Sopwith Camel (C1615) Albatros D.V (OOC) Queant
12 23 Mar 1918 1545 3 Sopwith Camel (C1615) Albatros D.V (OOC) Queant
13 27 Mar 1918 abt 0700 3 Sopwith Camel (C1615) LVG C (DES) 3 Fricourt
14 01 Apr 1918 1815 3 Sopwith Camel (C6730) Fokker DR.I (DES) Combles
15 08 Apr 1918 0655 3 Sopwith Camel (C6730) Balloon (DES) 4 N of Mory
16 11 Apr 1918 1600 3 Sopwith Camel (C6730) Albatros C (DESF) 5 Ervillers
17 12 Apr 1918 1900 3 Sopwith Camel (C6730) Albatros D.V (DES) Albert
18 12 Apr 1918 1915 3 Sopwith Camel (C6730) Albatros D.V (OOC) Pozieres
19 20 Apr 1918 1750 3 Sopwith Camel (C6730) Fokker DR.I (DES) NE of Villers Brettoneaux
20 27 May 1918 1240 3 Sopwith Camel (C6730) C (OOC) 6 57D R32

1 Shared with Lt D V D Marshall (A1573)
2 Shared with 2Lt A A M Arnot (B5448)
3 Shared with Lt George Riley, Lt W C Dennett
4 Shared with Capt Cyril Ridley
5 Shared with Lt Lloyd Hamilton, Lt Adrian Franklyn, Lt C E Mayer
6 Shared with Lt Lloyd Hamilton, Lt Will Hubbard
 
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