A Sopwith Dolphin pilot, James William Pearson joined the Royal Flying Corps in 1917 and was promoted to temporary 2nd Lieutenant (on probation) on 29 October 1917. On 6 April 1918 he was posted to 23 Squadron at Bertangles. He claimed 33 enemy aircraft, receiving credit for downing only 12 of them. After the war, he founded the J.W. Pearson Textile Company in Nutley, New Jersey. Pearson retired in 1960. Before his death in 1993, he was believed to be the last surviving ace of World War I.
Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC)
Lieut. (A./Capt.) James William Pearson.
On 26th October, while leading a patrol, this officer observed a formation of enemy scouts. Diving to the attack, he engaged one and drove it down out of control. He then attacked a second, which he drove down to crash. In all he has accounted for seven enemy aircraft, setting at all times a fine example of skill and courageous determination.