Edward Mannock
Edward Mannock
Edward Corringham "Mick" Mannock
  • Country: England
  • Rank: Major
  • Service: Royal Flying Corps
  • Royal Air Force Units: 40, 74, 85
  • Victories: 61
  • Date Of Birth: 24 May 1887
  • Place of Birth: Aldershot
  • Date Of Death: 26 July 1918
  • Place of Death: Near Lestrem

When the war began, Mannock was interned in Turkey while working as an inspector for a British telephone company. After an unsuccessful escape attempt, he became deathly ill and was repatriated by the Turks in 1915. When he recovered, he joined the Royal Army Medical Corps before transferring to the Royal Engineers. Despite a congenital defect that left him virtually blind in his left eye, Mannock was accepted by the Royal Flying Corps in 1917, training under the scrutiny of James McCudden.

In April, he was assigned to 40 Squadron where he got off to a slow start with his peers and his Nieuport scout. To the other flying officers, he seemed aloof and perhaps overly cautious in the air. It was not until a month later that he scored his first victory by flaming an enemy balloon. Eventually, Mannock earned the respect and friendship of men like Keith Caldwell.

In February of 1918, he was reassigned to 74 Squadron as a flight commander, scoring thirty six victories with an S.E.5a before replacing William Bishop as the commanding officer of 85 Squadron on July 3, 1918. Mannock never achieved the public notoriety of Albert Ball, but he was revered by his men and proved to be one of the greatest flight leaders of the war. Often physically ill before going on patrol, Mannock routinely shared victories with other pilots or didn't bother submitting claims for enemy aircraft he'd shot down in combat. After selflessly sharing his 61st victory with Donald Inglis, a newcomer from New Zealand who had yet to score, Mannock was killed when his aircraft was shot down in flames by machine gun fire from the ground. Inglis was also brought down by ground fire but survived. On August 12, 1917, Mannock shot down and captured Joachim von Bertrab of Jasta 30. Mannock was credited with 46 victories while flying the S.E.5a. On July 18, 1919, it was announced that Mannock had won the Victoria Cross.