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Percy Jack Clayson
Nickname Pip
Born (1896-06-07)June 7, 1896
Died Unknown
Place of birth Deptford, London, England
Service/branch Royal Naval Air Service
Royal Flying Corps
Royal Air Force
Years of service 1914–1929
Rank Flight Lieutenant
Battles/wars World War I
Awards Military Cross
Distinguished Flying Cross

Percy Jack Clayson MC, DFC was a British Flying Ace in World War I credited with twenty-nine victories.

Background

Clayson was born in Deptford, London[1][2] on 7 June 1896. In the 1910 Census of Watford he is a 14-year old Pupil at the Royal Masonic School at Bushey.[1]

Involvement in World War I

Clayson joined the Royal Naval Air Service at the outbreak of war and served in France from December 1914. He then transferred to the Royal Flying Corps and joined No. 1 Squadron on 31 October 1917.[3]

Clayson gained his first victory on 16 February 1918. He was awarded the Military Cross on 9 April 1918, and in May of that year became a flight commander. On 12 June 1918, he was cited for the Distinguished Flying Cross and by the end of July had achieved a total of twenty-nine credited victories; 1 shared destroyed ballon, 1 (and 1 shared) aircraft captured, 9 (and 9 shared) aircraft destroyed, and 5 (and 3 shared) aircraft 'out of control'. He was invested with his DFC on 24 July 1919 by The King at Buckingham Palace.[4] Clayson was posted to Home Establishment on 3 August 1918, ending his involvement in direct engagement with the enemy.[5]

Later Military Service

Clayson served during the 1920s with Nos. 6 and 70 Squadron, RAF. He retired due to ill health on 16 April 1929.[6]

Honours and awards

  • 22 June 1918 - T/2nd Lt. Percy Jack Clayson, Gen. List, and RFC is awarded the Military Cross:

For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. When on low-flying offensive patrol, he engaged an enemy scout and shot it down, with the result it crashed to earth. He has brought down several hostile machines, one of which was forced to land in our lines, and has engaged massed enemy troops and transport from a very low altitudes with machine-gun fire, inflicting heavy casualties. He has displayed the most marked determination, courage and skill.

— London Gazette[7]

A patrol leader of great skill, and a skilful marksman, whose personal fighting successes have proved of much value to his squadron. Captain Clayson's patrol frequently encountered enemy formations in superior numbers, but invariably succeeded in inflicting serious losses.

— London Gazette[8]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1910 Census of Watford, RG14/7698, Percy Jack Clayson, Royal Masonic School, The Avenue, Bushey, Hertfordshire.
  2. General Register Office index of Births registered in July, August, September, 1896 - Name: Clayson, Percy Jack District: Greenwich Volume: 1D Page: 1077.
  3. Shores, C., Franks, N., Guest, R. Above the Trenches. Grub Street, 1990. p.107 ISBN 0-948817-19-4
  4. "Error: no |title= specified when using {{Cite web}}". 25 July 1919. 
  5. Shores, C etc. p.107
  6. "No. 33488". 23 April 1929. https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/33488/page/ 
  7. "No. 30761". 22 June 1918. https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/30761/page/ 
  8. "No. 30827". 3 August 1918. https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/30827/page/ 

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