David Stewart (aviator)

David Stewart (aviator)
David Arthur Stewart
Born 8 March 1890
Hull, England
Died Unknown
Allegiance England
Service/branch Aviation
Rank Captain
Unit No. 20 Squadron RFC, No. 18 Squadron RAF
Awards Military Cross with Bar, Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Force Cross[disambiguation needed ]

Captain David Arthur Stewart (born 8 March 1890, date of death unknown) was a World War I flying ace credited with 16 aerial victories. Remarkably, they were all scored while he was flying bombers instead of fighters.[1]


World War I flying service

He scored his first two victories over German fighters on 1 and 3 August 1916 while assigned to No. 20 Squadron as an Air Mechanic 2nd Class observer in the back seat of a F.E.2b.[2] He did not score again for another 16 months; he resumed his victory skein on 6 January 1918 while piloting an Airco DH.4 for No. 18 Squadron. On 6 March 1918, he destroyed a Pfalz D.III and drove three other German fighters down out of control. He continued to win through 27 March, when he achieved his eleventh win. After a two month lapse, he closed out his tally with a victory on 28 May and double victories on 30 May and 11 June 1918. Fifteen of his triumphs were over enemy fighters; he destroyed eight and drove seven down out of control. He also destroyed an enemy two-seater. Among his observer gunners were fellow aces Reginald Maxwell, Harry Mackay, Lewis Collins, and William Miller.[1]

He was awarded the Military Cross on 22 April 1918, a Bar in lieu of a second award exactly two months later, and a Distinguished Flying Cross on 2 November 1918.[1]

Post World War I service

David Arthur Stewart was promoted to Flight Lieutenant on 1 July 1921.[3] He was awarded the Air Force Cross on 5 January 1922.[4] He was elected for membership in the Royal Aero Club on 14 November 1923.[5]

Honors and awards

Military Cross (MC)

"T./2nd Lt. David Arthur Stewart, Gen. List, and R.F.C.

For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. On one occasion, when returning from bombing an enemy dump, he was intercepted by a formation of thirty hostile machines. He attacked the leader and shot his machine down out of control, whilst his observer shot down another enemy scout. He then fired a burst at another large scout, which dived down vertically out of control. On his observer being hit whilst engaged with another four machines, he spun down 4,000 feet and dived for our lines. Later, when on photographic duty, he was attacked by five enemy scouts, three of which were accounted for by his observer and himself. In the face of heavy odds, his courage, skill and fine tighting spirit have been most conspicuous."[6]

Military Cross (MC) Bar

"T./2nd Lt. (T./Capt.) David Arthur Stewart, M.C., Gen. List, and R.F.C.

For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. During the past month, when engaged with superior numbers of enemy aircraft, he has destroyed four hostile machines, all of which were seen to crash by other observers. He has in addition carried out nine successful reconnaissances, as a result of which he has returned with information of the greatest value. He has displayed the greatest courage and determination at all times on his many low flying and bombing attacks on hostile troops and transport.[7]

Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC)

"Lieut. (T./Capt.) David Arthur Stewart, M.C.

An able leader, conspicuous for initiative and dash. He has destroyed three enemy machines, and has, in addition, taken part in numerous bombing raids, reconnaissances and photographic flights. In the majority of these he has been leader, and frequently in order to obtain accurate information he has led his flight at very low altitudes."[8]

Sources of information

  1. ^ a b c http://www.theaerodrome.com/aces/england/stewart1.php Retrieved 12 January 2010.
  2. ^ Pusher Aces of World War 1. p. 24. 
  3. ^ Retrieved 12 January 2010.
  4. ^ Retrieved 12 January 2010.
  5. ^ Retrieved 12 January 2010.
  6. ^ Supplement to the London Gazette, 22 April 1918 (30643/4832)
  7. ^ Supplement to the London Gazette, 22 June 1918 (30761/7400)
  8. ^ Retrieved 12 January 2010.


  • Pusher Aces of World War 1" Jon Guttman, Harry Dempsey. Osprey Pub Co, 2009. ISBN 1846034175, 9781846034176.

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