The nephew of Lord Lovat, Maxwell was commissioned at the beginning of World War I. He fought at Gallipoli and served in Egypt before transferring to the Royal Flying Corps in September 1916. During pilot training that year, he received only 22 minutes of dual instruction before he soloed for the first time on 11 December. Posted to 56 Squadron in March 1917, he was assigned to A Flight under Albert Ball, scoring his first victory during his first patrol over the lines on 24 April 1917. Flying the S.E.5a, Maxwell scored 20 victories before returning to England on 21 October 1917. After serving as an instructor at Turnberry, he rejoined 56 Squadron in the summer of 1918, scoring 6 more victories during June and July. When the war was over, he joined the Stock Exchange but returned to service during World War II, commanding a night fighter squadron and attaining the rank of Wing Commander in the Royal Air Force. Wing Commander Gerald Maxwell died at the age of 60 in 1959.
Gerald Maxwell's younger brother Michael also served in the RAF during World War II and became an ace.
Military Cross (MC)
Capt. Gerald Joseph Constable Maxwell, Yeo. and R.F.C.
For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty on many occasions. He has taken part in forty-three offensive patrols, in fourteen of which he acted as leader. He has destroyed at least three enemy aircraft, and driven down nine others completely out of control. He has consistently shown great skill in aerial combats, and his fearlessness and fine offensive spirit have been a splendid example to others.
Supplement to the London Gazette, 7 March 1918 (30561/2925)
Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC)
Capt. Gerald Joseph Constable Maxwell, M.C.
This officer has at all times shown exceptional skill and gallantry, and on numerous occasions has fought against greatly superior numbers. During the last six weeks he has brought down five enemy aeroplanes. Recently, he approached unobserved to within ten yards of three Fokker triplanes, one of which he shot down. He was chased for about nine miles by the remaining two until he met a formation of six Camels; these he led to attack some enemy aircraft, although he had only twenty-five minutes petrol left.
Supplement to the London Gazette, 3 August 1918 (30827/9202)