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Richard M. Trevethan

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Title: Richard M. Trevethan  
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Subject: Royal Aircraft Factory F.E.2, No. 20 Squadron RAF
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Richard M. Trevethan

Richard Michael Trevethan
Born (1895-01-24)24 January 1895
Park City, USA
Died 30 December 1971(1971-12-30) (aged 76)
Cornwall, England
Allegiance England
Service/branch Aviation
Rank Captain
Unit No. 20 Squadron RFC
Awards Military Cross
Other work Continued service in Royal Air Force

Captain Richard Michael Trevethan (24 January 1895 – 30 December 1971) was a World War I flying ace credited with twelve aerial victories.[1]

Early life

Richard Michael Trevethan was born in the United States, though which one is open to question; however, he claimed English citizenship. He was raised at St. Kew, Cornwall, England.[1] He attended Falmouth Grammar School, Portsmouth Grammar School, and the Imperial College of Science, London.[2]

World War I service

On 22 September 1914, Trevethan was commissioned a temporary second lieutenant.[3] On 14 May 1917, he transferred from his home regiment to the General List of Royal Flying Corps.[4]

Trevethan first scored on 2 June 1917, piloting a two-seater Royal Aircraft Factory FE.2d for 20 Squadron. While he had fellow ace John Cowell as gunner for one victory, Campbell Hoy was his gunner for nine others. One combat report indicates he participated in a dogfight with Manfred von Richthofen's squadron.[2] His last victory occurred on 9 August 1917. In the end, Trevethan was credited with destroying six Albatros fighters and driving down as many out of control.[1] He was wounded on 18 September 1917, apparently bringing his aerial combat to an end.[2]

Post-World War I

On 1 August 1919, Trevethan was granted a permanent commission as a pilot officer.[5] On 22 December 1919, he was Mentioned in Despatches while serving with the British Syren Force in northern Russia during the Allied intervention in the Russian Civil War.[2]

Trevethan was Senior Meteorological Officer, Iraq (1926-1929); commander of the Reconnaissance Squadron, Far East, H.M.S. Hermes (1930-1933), during which on 1 December 1932, he was promoted to squadron leader;[6] and commander of the Flying and Parachute Test Squadron, Home Aircraft Depot (1934-1935).[2] In 1937, he left the Royal Air Force to become Air Advisor to the Kwantung Government in China.[2]

He was "attached to the Admiralty during the second world war, serving as mate and second officer in Royal Navy small ships."[2]

"He became a Fellow of the Royal Meteorological Society, a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, and for many years was Superintendent of Falmouth Observatory."[2]

Richard Michael Trevethan died in his native Cornwall on 30 December 1971.[7]

Honors and awards

Military Cross (MC)

T./2nd Lt. Richard Michael Trevethan, Gen. List and R.F.C.

For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty when on offensive patrols. He has continuously displayed the greatest dash and determination in attacking enemy formations, regardless of their superiority in numbers, and has shot down at least four, driving others down out of control.[8]

Other awards include:[2]


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