Mannock wasn't credited with any particular number of victories by the British High Command and the figure of 73, widely quoted by Ira Jones
, post-war, became the accepted figure.
The only "official" figure quoted was in the citation for his Victoria Cross which states "The total number of machines definitely accounted for by Major Mannock up to the date of his death in France (26th July, 1918) is fifty - the total specified in the Gazette of 3rd August, 1918, was incorrectly given as 48 instead of 41."
Modern-day research of primary sources (combat reports, Brigade summaries etc) has identified the claims made by Mannock and from this it is possible to derive a total of 62, 21 of which were classed as "out of control".
Some years ago I compiled a list of Mannock's victories using all sources available and came up with a figure of 85. However, when reviewing these it quickly became apparent that various sources had mis-dated claims, duplicated claims and even claims made by other pilots.
To further confuse matters, the citation for his Military Cross states "For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. In the course of many combats he has driven off a large number of enemy machines, and has forced down three balloons, showing a very fine offensive spirit and great fearlessness in attacking the enemy at close range and low altitudes under heavy fire from the ground." I have never been able to find any record of balloon victories other than his first claim on 7 May 1917.