Raised in the northeast of Scotland near Stonehaven, Findlay joined the Black Watch when war broke out. He transferred to the Royal Naval Air Service in 1917 and was posted to 6 Naval Squadron where he scored his first two victories flying the Sopwith Camel. He then joined 10 Naval Squadron and scored 12 more victories by the end of May 1918. Captain Findlay received Royal Aero Club Aviator's Certificate 6566 on a Sopwith biplane at military school, Freiston on 6 December 1918. Post-war,
Findlay was killed in a crash during the Johannesburg Air Race of 1936.
Great Britain, Royal Aero Club Aviators' Certificates, 1910-1950
Distinguished Service Cross (DSC)
Flt. Sub-Lieut.. Maxwell Hutcheon Findlay, R.N.A.S.
For the courage and daring displayed by him as a pilot. On the 8th March, 1918, whilst on patrol, he engaged an Albatross scout, firing effectively from very close range. The enemy aircraft went down completely out of control. He has also destroyed or driven down out of control many other enemy machines.
Lt. (temp. Capt.) Maxwell Hutcheon Findlay, D.S.C.
A skilful and courageous patrol leader.
During the past few months this officer has destroyed seven enemy machines and brought down seven more out of control. On one occasion he fought an enemy machine from 18,000 feet down to an altitude of 10,000 feet, at which point he gained an advantage and destroyed his antagonist.