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Richard Bell Davies
Birth: May 19, 1886
Death: Feb. 26, 1966

British Navy Vice Admiral, World War I Victoria Cross Recipient. He received the award on January 1, 1916 for his actions on November 19, 1915 at Ferrijik Junction in Bulgaria, near the border with Ottoman-controlled Europe. Born in Kensington, London, England he was orphaned as an early age and raised by an uncle who was a doctor. In 1901 he enlisted in the British Royal Navy and after taking flying lessons, he entered the Royal Naval Air Service in 1913. When World War I broke out in July 1914, he was assigned to the Number 3 Squadron and saw aerial combat action at Dunkirk, France in January 1915. He was then assigned to the Dardanelles during the Gallipoli Campaign in Turkey where he participated in the first combat search and rescue by aircraft in the history of combat aviation. After the end of World War I, he remained in the British Navy and served as a first lieutenant on the HMS Lion (1919 to 1920, head of the Air Section of the British Naval Staff (1920 to 1924), and executive officer of HMS Royal Sovereign (1924 to 1926). He was then promoted to the rank of captain and returned as head of the Air Section of the British Naval Staff. In 1929 he became Chief Staff Officer to the Rear Admiral commanding 1st Cruiser Squadron in the Mediterranean and two years later he served as Liaison Officer for the Fleet Air Arm at the Air Ministry. In 1933 he commanded HMS Cornwall on the China station and in 1936 he commanded the naval base at Devonport (HMS Drake). In 1938 he was promoted to the rank of Rear Admiral and from 1939 until 1941 he served as Rear Admiral, Naval Air Stations at Royal Naval Air Station Lee-on-Solent in Hampshire, England. In May 1939 he retired from the British Navy and was promoted to the rank of vice admiral and then joined the Royal Naval Reserve at the rank of commander. He served as a Convoy commodore, a commissioning captain of the escort carrier HMS Dasher, and the trials carrier HMS Pretoria Castle. In 1944 he permanently retired with 43 years of military service. In addition to the Victoria Cross, he received the Companion of the Order of Bath, the Distinguished Service Order, the British Air Force Cross, the French Croix de Guerre, and the Romanian Order of Michael the Brave. He died in Portsmouth, Hampshire, England at the age of 79. His Victoria Cross citation reads: "The KING has been graciously pleased to approve of the grant of the Victoria Cross to Squadron-Commander Richard Bell Davies, D.S.O., R.N., and of the Distinguished Service Cross to Flight Sub-Lieutenant Gilbert Formby Smylie, R.N., in recognition of their behaviour in the following circumstances: On the 19th November these two officers carried out an air attack on Ferrijik Junction. Flight Sub-Lieutenant Smylie's machine was received by very heavy fire and brought down. The pilot planed down over the station, releasing all his bombs except one, which failed to drop, simultaneously at the station from a very low altitude. Thence he continued his descent into the marsh. On alighting he saw the one unexploded bomb, and set fire to his machine, knowing that the bomb would ensure its destruction. He then proceeded towards Turkish territory. At this moment he perceived Squadron-Commander Davies descending, and fearing that he would come down near the burning machine and thus risk destruction from the bomb, Flight Sub-Lieutenant Smylie ran back and from a short distance exploded the bomb by means of a pistol bullet. Squadron-Commander Davies descended at a safe distance from the burning machine, took up Sub-Lieutenant Smylie, in spite of the near approach of a party of the enemy, and returned to the aerodrome, a feat of airmanship that can seldom have been equalled for skill and gallantry." His Victoria Cross is on Display at the Fleet Air Arm Museum in Yeovil, Somerset, England. (bio by: William Bjornstad) 
Southampton Crematorium
Southampton Unitary Authority
Hampshire, England
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Record added: Feb 05, 2005
Find A Grave Memorial# 10432564
Richard Bell Davies
Added by: Erik Skytte
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Thank you for courage and valor in time of battle. May you rest in peace.
- William Bjornstad
 Added: Jul. 7, 2015

- Tracey Reid
 Added: May. 19, 2015

- Tom Burnett
 Added: Nov. 19, 2014
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