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Thread: Air Vice Marshal Cottle

  1. #1
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    Default Air Vice Marshal Cottle

    Hi,

    Any information on this officer welcome circa 1943/1944. I have no further details.

    Thank you

    Chaz

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    Default Re: Air Vice Marshal Cottle

    For some reason London Gazette searches don't find an AVM Cottle.


    Air Force Lists do a little better: a J Cottle advancing from W/Cdr in 1937 to Grp Capt in 1940 but then retiring in that rank c1943 (before reaching Air rank, let alone AVM).
    This seems the closest war-time match, assuming I've not missed an entry for someone else.

    Air Force List March 1939
    Wing Cdr J Cottle MBE DFC wef 1 Apr 1937
    Posted No 1 RAF Depot Uxbridge wef 2 Jun 1937

    Air Force List Jan 1941
    Group Captain wef 1 Jun 1940

    Air Force List Nov 1943
    Group Captain (ret, [rank] retained under KR 3543) wef 1 Jun 1940

    Air Force List Jan 1945
    finds five other Cottle entries inc inits & service. None of them in Group Captain, Air Commodore or Air Vice Marshal lists.

    Source
    1939 AFL own copy
    1941, 1943, 1945 AFLs National Library Scotland digital copies as listed at
    http://www.rafcommands.com/reference...r-force-lists/
    Last edited by Don Clark; 7th August 2022 at 22:42.
    Toujours propos

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    Default Re: Air Vice Marshal Cottle

    Would this man be Group Captain Sidney Joseph "Jack" Cottle? If so, the only thing I can add is that he commanded the RAF Ferry Command unit at Gander, Newfoundland, from April-Aug 1942.

    Darrell

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    Default Re: Air Vice Marshal Cottle

    Hello,

    07031 Jack COTTLE M.B.E., D.F.C.

    https://thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/34866/page/3436

    COTTLE, Jack - Captain - 45 Sqn.

    Jack Cottle was born in Plymouth, Devon, on 19 June 1892, but his early life was spent in Zululand, where he was known by a Zulu name which meant 'the man with the funny elbows'! He joined the South African Mounted Rifles and served with them until he transferred to the RFC in 1917, being commissioned on 27 July. Posted to 45 Squadron in Italy, he flew with this unit until the end of the war, being awarded a DFC and claiming his 13th and final victory when the squadron returned to France in the final months of 1918 to join the Independent Air Force. After the war he decided to stay in the RAF, becoming a flight commander in 79 Squadron in 1919, and subsequently serving in India with 48 Squadron. He later married a Major in the Women's Indian Army. He served in Iraq in 1924, ans was seconded to the Egyptian Air Force in 1932. He became a Group Captain in 1940 and retired from the RAF in 1942, being re-employed until 1944. He then retired to India where he died on 15 August 1967. He received an MBE, and had also been Awarded the Italian Silver Medal for Military Valour in 1918 - a listing of his combat claims follows.

    See:
    Above The Trenches A Complete Record of the Fighter Aces and Units of the British Empire Air Forces 1915-1920
    Shores,Christopher, Franks,Norman & Russell Guest.
    London:Grub Street,1990.
    p.122.

    And from, Above The Trenches Supplement:

    Cottle, J.

    Year of birth 1893*; wounded 30 May 1918 (B7360); MBE gazetted 12 July 1920; 5 July 1918 claim seems to be a Brandenburg C down at Astica, near Casotta which was later approved as destroyed, so total now 14.
    * Freebmd quotes D.O.B. as 2Q(June), 1892.

    See:
    Above The Trenches Supplement.
    Shores,Christopher, Norman Franks & Russell Guest.
    London:Grub Street,1996.
    p.17.

    OC - No.38 Sqn - 18/05/1937 - 02/06/1937
    OC - No.40 Sqn - 03/06/1937 - 28/06/1937
    OC - RAF Gatwick - 21/07/1940 - 22/07/1940

    rafweb.org

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 8th August 2022 at 02:01.

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    Default Re: Air Vice Marshal Cottle

    COTTLE, Jack, Captain - No.45 Squadron - Distinguished Flying Cross - awarded as per London Gazette dated 2 November 1918.

    On the 20th of August this officer engaged a two-seater, which crashed. On the evening of the same date he shot down another two-seater, which fell within our lines. In all he has destroyed or shot down seven enemy machines. He is a determined leader of patrols, and conspicuous for devotion to duty.

    COTTLE, Jack, Captain - No.45 Squadron - Italian Silver Medal for Military Valour - awarded as per London Gazette dated 2 November 1918.

    COTTLE, Jack, F/O, DFC (07031) - Member, Order of the British Empire - awarded as per London Gazette dated 12 July 1920; reported in Aeroplane, 21 July 1920; services in Afghanistan with No.48 Squadron. Most of the following biographical material comes from website of Dix-Noonan-Webb, who sold his medals for 3,500. Born in Plymouth, Devon, on 19 June, 1892; spent part of his early life in Zululand where he acquired a native name meaning “the man with the funny elbows”. Enlisted 1914 in the South African Mounted Rifles and was mentioned in despatches during his subsequent 34 months’ service in German East Africa. Transferring to the Royal Flying Corps, he underwent 46 hours flying training, of which only three and a half were on Sopwith Camels. Commissioned on 29 July, 1917. He joined No. 45 Squadron, a Camel unit, in France the day after it ceased operations on the Western Front, and accompanied it to Italy. Posted to “C” Flight, under Captain John Frith, who christened him “Crabs” on account of the red face he had acquired under the strong sun of Tanganyika. Flew his first operational sortie on 2 January, 1918, and made his first successful claim on 10 March when he shot down and destroyed a DFW C south east of Salagarada with 2nd Lieutenant R. J. Dawes. On patrol with two other Camels on 18 May, Cottle attacked an Albatross D III and “showing great tenacity, hung on to the tail of the H.A. [hostile aircraft], firing bursts at very short range. The H.A. [hostile aircraft] burst into flames and finally broke into pieces in the air over PONCEGNO (W. of BORG)”. On the 30th of that month he was slightly wounded by machine gun fire from the ground while flying down the Val d’Assa.

    On 5 July, he sent a Brandenberg two-seater down into a valley in the Forni - Casotta area, and despite patrolling the valley for a further ten minutes, did not see the H.A. [hostile aircraft] again. The original Combat Report allows “one destroyed”, subsequently confirmed by the A.A. group in the valley. In the past this victory has not been recognised by modern historians, and it has been erroneously stated that he was only credited with a “driven down”. However, this error has now been acknowledged bringing, his overall score for the War to 14 victories.

    On 12 July, he joined a fight between five hostile machines and several Italian machines and succeeded in destroying an LVG. Having been promoted to the command of “A” Flight on 29 July, Cottle, in Camel D8237 “D”, claimed an Albatross destroyed on 31st, but this is now thought to have been a Phonix DI, a very similar type to the Albatross, flown by Feldwebel J. Acs of Flik 60j. Post-war publications maintained that Cottle’s victim was Acs’ patrol leader and commanding officer, the 27-victory Ace Oberleutnant Frank Linke-Crawford (“The Falcon of Feltre”) who died the same day in a Berg DI Scout, crashing at Guia on the Piave. But a lengthy debate thrashed out in the pages of the Cross and Cockade journal now suggests that Linke-Crawford’s Berg crashed as the result of wing failure, and although an allied pilot is believed to have delivered the coup de grace, the victory can no longer be ascribed to Cottle, or to another named contender for the honour, the Canadian Ace, Major William G. Barker, V.C., nor indeed to the Italian Hanriot pilots Sergeant Ciampitti and Corporal Astofi of the 81st Fighter Squadron. However, among the many facts thrown up during the course of the debate to determine the identity of Linke-Crawford’s victor, it is suggested that some Italians had a somewhat embittered view of their British allies. Quite understandably, one particular Italian officer, a Colonel, had good reason to be suspicious of Cottle who, in a near disastrous case of mistaken identity, on an unrelated occasion, attacked his machine and shot him through the legs. An embarrassed Cottle was duly despatched to the hospital to apologize in person to the Colonel.

    He became an ace on 5 August when he sent a hostile aircraft spinning into the side of a hill in the Val di Seren. Two more fell to his guns on two separate patrols on the 20th, and for the destruction of these and his five earlier victories he was awarded the DFC (London Gazette, 2 November 1918; “On the 20th of August this officer engaged a two-seater, which crashed. On the evening of the same date he shot down another two-seater, which fell within our lines. In all he has destroyed or shot down seven enemy machines. He is a determined leader of patrols, and conspicuous for devotion to duty.” On the morning of 31 August, Cottle led Lieutenants M.R. James and R.G.H. Davies on a WOP (Western Offensive Patrol) and fought No.45 Squadron’s last combat in Italy. In the locality of Mount Campomolon at 9:35 am they saw six H.A. [hostile aircraft] flying south in bad formation five hundred feet above at 17,500 feet. Cottle led his patrol up 500 feet into the sun and gained height unseen. Singling out an H.A. [hostile aircraft] each, they attacked the right flank of the hostile formation and it split up. Norman Macmillan takes up the story in his account of 45 Squadron in Italy Offensive Patrol. “Cottle fired a well aimed deflection burst at close range; the E.A. [enemy aircraft] turned over on its back and dived vertically towards the hill near Peralto, but was unable to see it crash because of the other E.A. [enemy aircraft] around him. He then attacked another E.A. [enemy aircraft] and from behind its tail put a burst of fire into it at very close range. It dived vertically, fell into the Freddo Valley near Arsiero, and was believed crashed. Cottle then attacked a third E.A. [enemy aircraft] nose on, outmanœuvred it, and from behind it fired several long bursts at close range and followed it down to 7,000 feet. That this E.A. [enemy aircraft] fell out of control and crashed near Posina, was confirmed by James who also fired several bursts into it.” Thus within ten minutes Cottle increased his tally by three victories, all Albatross D III’s from the 3rd Austrian Pursuit Company. Continuing on patrol, the three pilots saw A.A. fire on the British side of the lines, and flying towards it, Cottle spotted an enemy two-seater. He dived immediately at it with his engine at full throttle leaving Davis and James far behind. When within about two hundred yards of the H.A. [hostile aircraft], he opened fire. The enemy observer did not reply and the two-seater was seen to go down out of control into the Val Sugana.

    Contrary to the view of a fellow pilot, 2/Lt. “Voss” Williams, who labelled Cottle a ruthless “killer” who would “have been happy to kill on either side”, he had considerable sympathy for his victims. On Cottle’s return to Grossa airfield, he was sent off to obtain information regarding the downed aircraft. At Ponte Strenta he saw the remains of his second victory that morning, the Abatross flown by Oberleutnant Purer whom he was informed had been killed. He was then taken by his Italian guides to inspect three more wrecks at Posina, Brustole near Arsiero, and Roccolo-Bagathini, one of which was credited to Cottle and the other two to James. Only the pilot of the crashed machine at Posina, had survived, and the Italians asked Cottle if he wished to see the dead bodies to which he replied “No”. Whereupon they produced the identity cards of the dead. Macmillan continues: “Cottle said the first one bore a photograph of a young fellow who looked exactly like his favourite cousin who had been killed in the Tank Corps on the Somme. “That finished me and I asked for short local leave [Cottle later confessed] and went to Portofino, near Genoa.” He was awarded the Al Valore Militare (London Gazette, 2 November 1918) for his many combats in Italy, the decoration being handed on to him via the Wing Adjutant at the Villa Veralla, since he was informed while on leave that the Squadron was returning to France as the sole fighter unit in Boom Trenchard’s Independent Air Force. Back on the Western Front on 3 November, 1918, he accounted for his penultimate victory, a Fokker DVII, over Herbeville, and two days later was responsible for sending down a Rumpler C, “absolutely out of control in a series of spins and stalls”, having fired 900 rounds.

    After the War, Cottle was granted a permanent commission in the R.A.F., and in 1919 was posted to 48 Squadron (Bristol Fighters) based in Baluchistan. He served in the Third Afghan War. On 14 August 1920 he was involved in a flying accident, and was severely injured with concussion. Promoted Flight Lieutenant, 1 January 1923. To No.45 Squadron, India, 14 September 1923.

    On 23 October 1923, he joined No. 8 Squadron (D.H. 9a’s) in Iraq and took part in operations against Arab tribesmen and the Kurds. Soon after joining this unit, he was involved in the rescue of Pilot Officer Neville Vintcent and Squadron Leader H.A. Jones, DSO, MC, DFC, MM (see Vintcent DFC entry for details). To No. 4 Armoured Car Company at Hinaidi in Iraq, 8 April 1926. In 1928 took part in the “Southern Desert, Iraq” operations. After a course at the Armament and Gunnery School at Sheerness, he returned to the Middle East to join No. 2 Armoured Car Company stationed in Transjordan. Promoted to Squadron Leader, 1 June 1932 and seconded to the Egyptian Army Air Force. Promoted Wing Commander, 1 April 1937. Returning to the R.A.F., he was promoted Group Captain in 1940 and served during the Second World War as a station commander. He retired on 19 June 1942, but was re-employed from 20 June 1942 to 21 June 1944. Retired again, this time to India where he died on 15 August, 1967.

    COTTLE, Jack, S/L, MBE, DFC - Order of the Nile, 4th Class (Egypt) - awarded as per London Gazette dated 25 September, 1936, “in recognition of valuable services rendered by him in the capacity of Second-in-Command of the Egyptian Army Air Force.”’

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    Default Re: Air Vice Marshal Cottle

    Gents,

    Thanks to each of you for your posts.

    Chaz

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