No. 41 Squadron RAF
| January 25, 1967, Lae, Papua New Guinea|
Distinguished Flying Cross
Eric John Stephens Wikipedia
Captain Eric John Stephens was an Australian flying ace who served in the Royal Air Force. He was credited with 13 confirmed aerial victories. He later became a Qantas pilot.
When Eric John Stephens joined the Australian Imperial Force on 19 July 1915, he named his father, John Thomas Stephens, as next of kin. The younger Stephens was a college student and was in the militia when he joined.
Stephens' service prior to his joining the Royal Flying Corps is unknown. He was commissioned in the RFC on 13 April 1917. He became a pilot on 30 June. He was retained as a flying instructor until his transfer to 41 Squadron on 16 March 1918. Using a Royal Aircraft Factory SE.5a, he shot down a Rumpler on 28 June for his first victory; he shared it with Frederick McCall. Stephens would accumulate 12 more wins after this, all solo, and most over enemy fighters, with the final one falling on 1 November 1918. By war's end, he was a Flight Commander, had destroyed five enemy airplanes, and driven down eight more out of control.
Stephens earned the Distinguished Flying Cross, which was gazetted to him on 3 June 1919. He was transferred to the RAF's unemployed list on 16 August 1919. He went on to fly for Qantas in the 1930s.