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Youth Leads As Killer of Huns
Youth Leads As Killer of Huns
Published by Scott
8 November 2007
Youth Leads As Killer of Huns


British Aviator of Twenty-two is the Most Successful of Air Fighters.


Captain McCudden Wins the Victoria Cross and About Every Other Honor His Government Can Bestow for Gallantry.

London—Wherever flying men or men interested in flying meet today, be it in Britain or at the British front in France, there is only one name on their lips. It is that of Capt. James Byford McCudden, who has just been awarded the Victoria cross, the most honorable decoration that British valor can win, and who, in receiving it, has been officially revealed as the greatest and most successful air fighter, living or dead, that the allies have yet produced. Captain McCudden, who is only twenty-two, has a bigger bag of hostile machines brought down than Bishop, Guynemer or Ball, or any other flying man that the war has brought forward, with the single exception of Baron von Richthofen, who recently was killed in action.
McCudden's record of hostile machines accounted for up to February 27 is 54. Of these 42 were definitely destroyed—four of them in just 90 minutes, 19 falling on the British side of the lines. Only 12 out of the 54 were driven down out of control.

Wins Victoria Cross.
No wonder that, in recounting the feats of the young British champion, even the writers of the sober Official Gazette are inspired to use the language of enthusiastic admiration. They tell us that Second Lieut. (temporary Captain) James Byford McCudden, D. S. O., M. C., M. M., Royal Flying corps, has now received the V. C. "for conspicuous bravery, exceptional perseverance, keenness and very high devotion to duty on various occasions during December, 1917, and January and February of the present year."
As the other initials after his name indicate, Captain McCudden also has the distinguished service order, the military cross and the military medal. Moreover, he has added a bar to both his D. S. O. and his military cross.
"The military medal," says the official announcement, "was awarded this officer (when a flight sergeant in the R. F. C.) for consistent gallantry, courage and dash during the month of September, 1916, in attacking and destroying an enemy machine and forcing down two others to land. He also twice crossed the enemy lines at a very low altitude in attacks on hostile balloons under very heavy fire.
"The military cross was awarded for conspicuous gallantry in action on February 15, 1917, on which occasion this officer followed a hostile machine down to a height of 300 feet, and drove it to the ground.

Conspicuous Gallantry.
"Captain McCudden earned the bar to bis military cross for conspicuous gallantry, dash and skill during the period of August 15-September 28, 1917, when he took part in many offensive patrols (over thirty of which he led), and destroyed five enemy machines, driving three others down out of control.
"The distinguished service order was bestowed, on him for conspicuous gallantry on November 29. 1917, when he attacked and brought down an enemy two-seater within our lines, both occupants being taken prisoner. He also encountered an enemy machine during very bad weather conditions at 2,000 feet and fought it down to a height of 100 feet, when it was destroyed. Captain McCudden came down to within a few feet of the ground in the enemy's lines and finally crossed the line at a very low altitude. Subsequent to the award of the bar to the military cross he had been responsible for the destruction of seven enemy machines, two of which fell within our lines.
"For his skill and gallantry on November 23, 1917, Captain McCudden was awarded a bar of the distinguished service order. On this occasion he destroyed four enemy machines, three of which fell within our lines, by fearlessness and his clever maneuvering. He also drove his patrol against six enemy machines, driving them off."

The Gettysburg Times (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania) - Tuesday, May 14, 1918

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james mccudden

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