To honour the pilots who served with gallantry and distinction during the Great War of 1914 – 1918.
Country: United Kingdom
Born: 28 March 1895
Place of Birth: Gillingham, Kent
Deceased: 09 July 1918
Service: Royal Flying Corps
Royal Air Force
Units: 3, 20, 29, 56, 66
In 1910, James McCudden joined his father in the Royal Engineers as a 15 year old bugler. By the time war was declared, he was an aircraft mechanic in the Royal Flying Corps. One of three brothers to serve with the RFC, he saw combat in France as an observer and gunner before returning to England for flight training in 1916. His talents as a pilot were so extraordinary that he became an instructor within days of receiving his aviator’s certificate. By the beginning of April 1918, 22 year old James McCudden was the most decorated pilot in the Royal Air Force. Sadly, he was killed three months later when his aircraft stalled after take off and crashed to the ground.
McCudden’s younger brother, John McCudden, also served in the Royal Flying Corps and became an ace before his death in 1918.