Raymond was arguably the top scoring ace of WW1 with upto 81 kills to his credit. Yet he is almost unknown.
The war was nearly over, but Collishaw persisted in attacking enemy aircraft, almost getting shot down in October, 1918. Collishaw was given another Mention in Despatches for exceptionally fine work in the air. He was ordered to report to the Air Ministry in London, and three weeks later the Armistice was signed. He was officially credited with 60 kills, however, that doesn't take into account the 8 balloons he shot down. Balloons were frequently more hazardous to attack than fellow aircraft due to the defensive arms and supporting aircraft they had around them, but for some reason they were not credited as an aircraft kill. Collishaw claimed that he downed 81 aircraft and balloons. Had be flown for the RFC this total would have been closer to his credited kills than 60, as the RFC was more lenient in awarding kills to pilots. In the RFC Raymond Collishaw would have been the highest ranked ace of the war, and would undoubtedly have been awarded the Victoria Cross. Many pilots in the RFC were given the VC for efforts less heroic or hazardous than many of Collishaw's, but the RNAS pilots were definately second-class when it came to awards.
Once they were in the Crimea they reassembled their planes and were back in action. Collishaw blew an enemy train off the tracks and damaged a second one with bombs. On the second foray his motor was damaged and he was forced down behind enemy lines. Fortunately, the ground was frozen so he taxied back to his lines. By the time the Allies pulled out of Russia, Ray Collishaw had destroyed 2 planes, 2 trains, a gunboat and a bridge. He also collected three Czarist medals the Order of St.Anne (White Russian), the Order of St.Stanislaus (White Russian) and the Order of St. Vladimir. He was also made an Officer in the Order of the British Empire "for services in Russia".
The next action that Collishaw saw was when WWII started in 1939. He was promoted to Air Commodore and took over as Air Officer Commanding, Egypt Group in charge of RAF units in North Africa. He concentrated on strategy and tactics to neutralize the Italian air force and to gain aerial superiority in North Africa. This was a tough challenge considering that his men were flying outdated Gloster Gladiator biplane fighters and Vickers Wellesley bombers.. The day the war started Collishaw's men were off the mark quickly, striking at an Italian airbase destroying 18 aircraft in two days with only three losses.
Raymond Collishaw - RNAS
2 replies to this topic
Posted 26 October 2012 - 12:31 AM
Posted 26 October 2012 - 01:18 AM
No Offence, but i dont really care about the pilots of WW1 and WW2 even though theyre famous, and got 81 kills or 100 kills.
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