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Today in History

Name: James Fitz Morris
Military Cross (MC) and bar
Croix de Guerre [Belgium]
James Fitz Morris
Country: Scotland
Rank: Captain
Service: Royal Flying Corps
Units: 11, 23, 25
Victories: 14
Born: 06 April 1897
Place of Birth: Falkirk, Stirlingshire, Scotland
Died: 14 August 1918 KIFA
Place of Death: Western Hills Country Club near Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
Cemetery: Old Polmont Parish, Polmont, Stirlingshire, Scotland Image
From Polmont, James Fitz Morris, the son of James and Jane (Brown) Morris, was educated at Laurieston School. Enlisting early in the war, he served as a motor despatch rider with the Highland Light Infantry before he transferred to the Royal Flying Corps. Prior to becoming a pilot, he served with 11 Squadron in France as an observer on Vickers Gunbuses and was mentioned in despatches. After recovering from a serious accident in August 1916, he served as an instructor at Harlaxton aerodrome and was promoted to Temporary Captain. Returning to France with 25 Squadron in the summer of 1917, he scored seven victories flying the D.H.4. With 23 Squadron in March 1918, he scored seven more victories flying the SPAD XIII. Captain Morris was killed in a crash while touring the United States with a contingent of R.A.F. fliers in the summer of 1918.

Appears as James Fitz-Morris, James FitzMorris, and James Fitzmorris in the London Gazette and other secondary sources.
Extract from British Roll of Honour, page 1
Extract from British Roll of Honour, page 2
The Idaho Statesman, Boise, Idaho, Thursday Morning, 15 August 1918, page 2
Death Certificate, Hamilton County, Ohio, USA
Military Cross (MC)
T./Capt. James Fitz-Morris, Gen. List, and R.F.C.
   For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty on photographic and offensive patrols. On at least four occasions he has displayed great dash and courage in attacking hostile machines, two of which he completely destroyed, and has driven others down out of control.
Military Cross (MC) Bar
Lt. (T./Capt.) James FitzMorris, M.C., High. L.I., and R.F.C.
   For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. During operations he carried out many reconnaissances at a low altitude and obtained valuable information. On one occasion, while on a bombing patrol, he saw an enemy machine attacking our troops with machine gun fire from about 500 feet, and at once attacked it and drove it to the ground. He then attacked seven enemy scouts, one of which he drove down in flames inside our lines. He has also destroyed five other enemy machines and driven down two others out of control. He has always set a magnificent example of dash and determination.
Date Time Unit Aircraft Opponent Location
1 07 Jul 1917 0940 25 D.H.4 (A7505) 1 Albatros D.V (OOC) Dorignies
2 11 Jul 1917 1300 25 D.H.4 (A7505) 1 Albatros D.V (OOC) 5 mi W of Douai
3 22 Jul 1917 1430 25 D.H.4 (A7505) 1 Albatros D.V (DESF) Lille
4 05 Aug 1917 1720 25 D.H.4 (A7505) 1 Albatros D.V (DESF) Perenchies
5 14 Aug 1917 1300 25 D.H.4 (A7505) 1 Albatros D.V (DES) NE of Dourges
6 14 Aug 1917 1300 25 D.H.4 (A7505) 1 Albatros D.V (DES) NE of Dourges
7 15 Aug 1917 1015 25 D.H.4 (A7505) 1 Albatros D.V (DESF) La Bassée
8 01 Mar 1918 1030 23 SPAD XIII (B6856) Albatros D.V (OOC) St. Quentin
9 07 Mar 1918 0810 23 SPAD XIII (B6846) Rumpler C (DESF) Urvillers
10 09 Mar 1918 0915 23 SPAD XIII (B6846) 2 Rumpler C (DES) S of Masnieres
11 12 Mar 1918 1030 23 SPAD XIII (B6856) C (OOC) St. Quentin
12 21 Mar 1918 1420 23 SPAD XIII (B6856) Albatros D.V (DES) Aubencheul au Bois
13 24 Mar 1918 1400 23 SPAD XIII (B6856) C (DESF) Canizy
14 24 Mar 1918 1415 23 SPAD XIII  (B6856) Pfalz D.III (CAP) Viefville

1 Observer Lt David Luther Burgess
2 Shared with Lt John Finlay Noel MacRae, Lt G W R Pidsley (B3479)
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