Raymond Collishaw
Raymond Collishaw
Raymond "Collie" Collishaw
  • Country: Canada
  • Rank: Lieutenant Colonel
  • Service: Royal Naval Air Service
  • Royal Air Force Units: 3W, 10N, 13N (RNAS)
  • 47, 203 (RAF)
  • Victories: 61
  • Date Of Birth: November 22, 1893
  • Place of Birth: Nanaimo, British Columbia
  • Date Of Death: September 28, 1976
  • Place of Death: West Vancouver, British Columbia

In 1908 Raymond Collishaw joined the Canadian Fisheries Protection Services at the age of fifteen. In January of 1916, he joined the Royal Naval Air Service as a probationary Flight Sub-Lieutenant. Eventually commanding the famous "Black Flight," he was the first pilot to claim 6 victories in one day and the highest scoring ace to fly the Sopwith Triplane. When the war ended, he remained in the Royal Air Force, with the final rank of Air Vice-Marshal.

Quotes

"While in the air you constantly turned your head, first to one side and then to the other, making sure that nothing was on your tail. This, by the way, was the reason for the traditional silk scarves worn by the fighter pilots." Raymond Collishaw

Distinguished Service Cross (DSC)

"In recognition of his services on various occasions, especially the following: On 1 June 1917, this officer shot down an Albatros scout in flames. On 3 June 1917, he shot down an Albatros scout in flames. On 5 June 1917, he shot down a two-seater Albatros in flames. On 6 June 1917, he shot down two Albatros scouts in flames and killed the pilot in a third machine. He has displayed great gallantry and skill in all his combats." DSC citation, London Gazette, 24 July 1917

Distinguished Service Order (DSO)

"For conspicuous bravery and skill in consistently leading attacks against hostile aircraft. Since June 10, 1917, Flight Lieutenant Collishaw has himself brought down four machines completely out of control and driven down two others with their planes shot away. Whilst on an offensive patrol on the morning of June 15, 1917, he forced down a hostile scout in a nose dive. Later, on the same day, he drove down one hostile two-seater machine completely out of control. On June 24, 1917, he engaged four enemy scouts, driving one down in a spin and another with two of its planes shot away; the latter machine was seen to crash." DSO citation, London Gazette, August 11, 1917

Distinguished Service Order (DSO) Bar

"A brilliant squadron leader of exceptional daring who has destroyed 51 enemy machines. Early one morning, he, with another pilot, attacked an enemy aerodrome. Seeing three machines brought out of a burning hangar, he dived five times, firing bursts at these from a very low altitude, and dropping bombs on the living quarters. He then saw an enemy aeroplane descending over the aerodrome; he attacked it and drove it down in flames. Later, when returning from a reconnaissance of the damaged hangars, he was attacked by three Albatros scouts who pursued him to our lines, when he turned and attacked one, which fell out of control and crashed." DSO Bar citation, London Gazette, September 21, 1918

Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC)

"This officer is an exceptionally capable and efficient squadron commander, under whose leadership the squadron has maintained a high place in the Army Wing. He has carried out numerous solo patrols and led many offensive patrols, on all occasions engaging the enemy with great bravery and fearlessness. Up to date he has accounted for forty seven enemy machines, twenty two in the last twelve months." DFC citation, London Gazette, August 3, 1918