Joseph Callaghan

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Joseph Creuss Callaghan alias Joseph Cruess Callaghan
Nickname(s) The Mad Major
Born 4 March 1893
Kingstown
Died 2 July 1918
Contay British Cemetery Contay, France
Allegiance United Kingdom
Service/branch Infantry; aviation
Years of service ca 1915–1918
Rank Major
Unit Royal Munster Fusiliers, No. 18 Squadron RFC
Commands held No. 87 Squadron RAF
Awards Military Cross

Major Joseph Creuss Callaghan (4 March 1893 – 2 July 1918) was a World War I flying ace credited with five aerial victories.[1]

The Irish-born Callaghan was living in Texas when World War I began; he returned home to join the Royal Munster Fusiliers. He transferred to the Royal Flying Corps on 1 September 1915. He was assigned to No. 18 Squadron in April 1916;[2] he promptly piloted an FE.2b to victory on the 26th, getting credit for destroying a Fokker Eindekker (though the Germans recorded no casualties). He crashlanded near Château de la Haie because of damaged controls, to discover his observer dead, shot through the head.[3]

His next posting was to No. 2 School of Aerial Gunnery. His final posting was command of No. 87 Squadron in January 1918. He scored four more victories in a month, between 29 May and 28 June 1918, flying Sopwith Dolphin No. D3671. On 2 July, he launched a solo attack on a large formation of German fighters,[4] estimated to number as many as 25.[5] He was shot down in flames by German ace Leutnant Franz Büchner.[6]

Honors and awards

Military Cross (MC)

2nd Lt. (temp. Capt.) Joseph Cruess Callaghan, R. Muns. Fus. and R.F.C.

For conspicuous gallantry in action. He displayed marked courage and skill on several occasions in carrying out night bombing operations. On one occasion he extinguished a hostile searchlight.

Supplement to the London Gazette, 13 February 1917 (29940/1540)

Sources of information

  1. http://www.theaerodrome.com/aces/ireland/callaghan.php Retrieved 4 February 2010.
  2. Above the Trenches: A Complete Record of the Fighter Aces and Units of the British Empire Air Forces 1915-1920. p. 94.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Pusher Aces of World War 1. pp. 26–27.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Above the Trenches: A Complete Record of the Fighter Aces and Units of the British Empire Air Forces 1915-1920. p. 94.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. http://www.theaerodrome.com/aces/ireland/callaghan.php Retrieved 4 February 2010.
  6. Above the Trenches: A Complete Record of the Fighter Aces and Units of the British Empire Air Forces 1915-1920. p. 94.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

References