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Today in History

Name: Leonard Allan Payne
Military Cross (MC) Leonard Payne
Country: South Africa
Rank: Captain
Service: Royal Flying Corps
Royal Air Force
Units: 48
Victories: 11
Born: 15 July 1894
Place of Birth: South Africa
Died: 18 February 1919 Killed In Flying Accident
Place of Death: Cologne, Germany
Cemetery: Cologne Southern Cemetery, Germany Image
Leonard Allan Payne joined the Royal Flying Corps in Swaziland on 1 Feb 1917 and was commissioned in June 1917. He scored eleven victories flying the Bristol Fighter on the Western Front.
Letter from Frederick Joseph Cunninghame 2 of 3
Letter from
Military Cross (MC)
T./2nd Lt. Leonard Allan Payne, Gen. List, and R.A.F.
   For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. Volunteering to proceed on a special reconnaissance under adverse weather conditions, he penetrated for a distance of nine miles behind the enemy's lines, flying at an altitude of 200 feet, despite the most intense machine-gun and rifle fire. He returned later, his machine riddled with bullets, with the required information. Previous to this he had bombed and engaged with machine-gun fire bodies of hostile infantry with the most effective results. He has destroyed one hostile plane and driven down two others out of control. He has at all times displayed the greatest fearlessness and dash.
Date Time Unit Aircraft Opponent Location
1 29 Oct 1917 1620 48 Bristol Fighter 1 Pfalz D.III (DES) 6 NE of Dixmude
2 03 Jan 1918 48 Bristol Fighter LVG C (OOC)  
3 26 Feb 1918 48 Bristol Fighter 2 LVG C (DESF)  
4 08 Mar 1918 0800 48 Bristol F.2b (A7298) 2 Albatros D.V (OOC) Mont d'Origny
5 08 Mar 1918 0800 48 Bristol F.2b (A7298) 2 Albatros D.V (OOC) Mont d'Origny
6 12 Mar 1918 1200 48 Bristol Fighter 2 Fokker DR.I (OOC) NE of St. Quentin
7 21 Mar 1918 48 Bristol Fighter 2 LVG C (OOC)  
8 19 May 1918 1115 48 Bristol F.2b (C793) 3 Albatros D.V (OOC) E of Proyart
9 27 May 1918 1815 48 Bristol F.2b (C877) 3 Albatros D.V (OOC) S of Albert
10 30 May 1918 1745 48 Bristol F.2b (C877) 4 Albatros D.V (DES) Bray
11 04 Nov 1918 1515 48 Bristol F.2b (D6041) 5 Fokker D.VII (DES) Lessines-Gramont

1 Observer 2Lt V Bourdillon
2 Observer Lt G H H Scutt
3 Observer Lt C J R Gibson
4 Observer Lt Arnold Ansell
5 Observer 2Lt R L Ford
6 Shared with 2Lt Herbert Hartley & 2Lt E C Birch
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