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Ernest Hardcastle

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Allegiance  United Kingdom
Unit  No. 20 Squadron RAF
Name  Ernest Hardcastle
Rank  Lieutenant

Ernest Hardcastle Raymond Ernest Hardcastle 1934 2008 Find A Grave Memorial
Born  31 December 1898 Dudley Hill, Bradford, England (1898-12-31)
Service/branch  British Army Royal Air Force
Battles/wars  World War I  • Western Front World War II
Died  1973, Bexhill-on-Sea, United Kingdom
Awards  Distinguished Flying Cross

Years of service  c.1916–1919 1940–1945

Lieutenant Ernest Hardcastle (31 December 1898 – November 1973) was an English World War I flying ace observer/gunner credited with twelve aerial victories. He would return to military service during World War II.


Ernest Hardcastle Ernest Hardcastle Tombstone Our Family Tree

Early life and service

Hardcastle worked for the Bradford Chamber of Commerce until World War I began. He enlisted in the Yorkshire Regiment, but transferred to the Royal Flying Corps in August 1917, and after initial training as a cadet, was commissioned as a temporary second lieutenant (on probation) on 30 January 1918. He was assigned to No. 20 Squadron as an observer/gunner on 18 April 1918.

World War I aerial service

Hardcastle's winning streak began on 8 May 1918 and ended on 30 July 1918, with all but one victory being over an enemy fighter aircraft. His final claim tally was nine destroyed and three 'driven down out of control'. The pilots aiding him included fellow aces Lieutenants August Iaccaci and Victor Groom, as well as Captains Douglas Graham Cooke, and Horace Percy Lale. Hardcastle was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, which was gazetted on 2 November 1918.

On 20 December 1918 he relinquished his commission for reasons of ill health resulting from military service. Hardcastle was transferred to the unemployed list by the Royal Air Force on 13 February 1919.

World War II

Hardcastle returned to military service in World War II, being commissioned as a pilot officer (on probation) in the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve on 30 September 1940. On 30 September 1941 he was confirmed in his appointment as a flying officer. On 1 January 1943 he was promoted to flight lieutenant. On 9 June 1945, he again relinquished his commission on account of medical unfitness.

Honours and awards

Distinguished Flying Cross
Lieutenant Ernest Hardcastle


Ernest Hardcastle Wikipedia

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