William Gordon "Dozy" Claxton
  • Country:Canada
  • Rank:Captain
  • Service:Royal Flying Corps Royal Air Force
  • Units:41
  • Victories:37
  • Date Of Birth: June 1, 1899
  • Place of Birth:Gladstone, Manitoba
  • Date Of Death: September 28, 1967
  • Place of Death:Toronto, Ontario

Claxton entered the Royal Flying Corps in 1917. An S.E.5a pilot, he was assigned to 41 Squadron on the Western Front in March 1918. Beginning in May of 1917, he scored 37 victories in 79 days and became the highest scoring ace in his squadron.

On the morning of August 17, 1918, Claxton's flight, under the command of Frederick McCall, encountered Jasta 20 while patrolling the front. In the battle that followed, Claxton was shot down behind enemy lines by Johannes Gildemeister. Suffering from a serious head wound, he was captured east of Wervicq. The immediate treatment by a German doctor saved his life and Claxton was repatriated on December 1, 1918. Upon his return to Canada, he became a journalist.

Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC)

"This officer at all times shows fine courage and disregard of danger. He has accounted for six enemy aeroplanes and one kite balloon, three of the aeroplanes being destroyed and three driven down out of control. On a recent occasion, having destroyed a hostile balloon, he pursued an enemy scout ten miles and eventually drove it down; he was then attacked by five enemy triplanes and other scouts, but managed to return to our lines, though his machine was riddled with bullets." DFC citation, London Gazette, August 3, 1918

Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) Bar

"This officer is conspicuous for his courage in attack. Recently, in one day he destroyed six enemy aeroplanes: four in the morning and two in the evening. In thirteen days he accounted for fourteen machines. His utter disregard of danger inspires all who serve with him." DFC Bar citation, London Gazette, September 21, 1918

Distinguished Service Order (DSO)

"Between July 4 and August 12 this officer destroyed ten enemy aeroplanes and one kite balloon, making in all thirty machines and one kite balloon to his credit. Untiring in attack in the air or on the ground, this officer has rendered brilliant service." DSO citation, London Gazette, November 2, 1918