Edgar James (aka KINGSTON) MCCLOUGHRY CB, CBE, DSO, DFC*, MiD

MCCLOUGHRY, Edgar James (aka KINGSTON)

Service Number: Officer
Enlisted: 16 December 1915
Last Rank: Air Commodore
Last Unit: Unspecified British Units
Born: Hindmarsh, South Australia, 10 September 1896
Home Town: North Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia
Schooling: Adelaide University and South Australian School of Mines
Occupation: Engineer
Died: Natural Causes, Edinburgh, Scotland, 15 November 1972, aged 76 years
Cemetery: No known grave - "Known Unto God"
body willed to science
Memorials: Adelaide HB09 South Australian Railways - Adelaide Railway Station*, North Adelaide M1* War Memorial WW1
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World War 1 Service

16 Dec 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Lieutenant, 15th Field Company Engineers
20 Jan 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Lieutenant, 15th Field Company Engineers, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
20 Jan 1916: Embarked AIF WW1, Lieutenant, SN Officer , 15th Field Company Engineers, HMAT Runic, Sydney
17 Nov 1916: Wounded GSW (foot and left arm)
24 May 1917: Transferred AIF WW1, Lieutenant, Australian Flying Corps (AFC)
14 Aug 1917: Wounded AIF WW1, Lieutenant, AFC / RFC operations Western Front / Middle East, training flying accident (fractured skull)
4 Apr 1918: Promoted Australian Flying Corps, Captain, Australian Flying Corps (AFC)
31 Jul 1918: Wounded "The Last Hundred Days"
7 Oct 1919: Discharged Australian Flying Corps, Captain, No. 4 Squadron, Australian Flying Corps

Non Warlike Service

1 Jan 1926: Enlisted Royal Air Force, Squadron Leader, Unspecified British Units, Date is not specified. Following a short service Commission in the RAF 1922

World War 2 Service

3 Sep 1939: Involvement Royal Air Force, Air Commodore, Unspecified British Units

Awarded the Distinguished Service Order

Capt. Edgar James McClaughry, D.F.C. (Australian F.C.). (FRANCE)
A bold and fearless officer, who has performed many gallant deeds of daring, notably on 24th September, when, attacking a train at 250 feet altitude, he obtained a direct hit, cutting it in two, the rear portion being derailed. He then fired a number of rounds at the fore portion, which pulled up. Sighting a hostile two-seater he engaged it and drove it down. Proceeding home he observed seven Fokker biplanes; although he had expended the greater part of his ammunition, Captain McClaughry never hesitated, but engaged the leader. During the combat that ensued he was severely wounded by fire from a scout that attacked him from behind; turning, he drove this machine off badly damaged. His ammunition being now expended he endeavoured to drive off two hostile scouts by firing Very lights at them. Exhausted by his exertions, he temporarily lost consciousness, but recovered sufficiently to land his machine safely. This officer has destroyed fourteen machines and four balloons, and has repeatedly displayed an utter disregard for danger in attacking ground targets.
Supplement to the London Gazette, 3 December 1918 (31046/14315)

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Awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and Bar

Lieut. (T./Capt.) Edgar James McClaughry (Australian Flying Corps).
Early one morning this officer left the ground, and, meeting an enemy two-seater ten miles over the lines, he engaged and destroyed it. He was immediately attacked by five scouts; these he out-manoeuvred, destroying one and driving the remainder down. He is a determined and successful scout leader, who in recent operations has accounted for nine enemy machines, in addition to three others and one balloon when serving with another squadron.
Supplement to the London Gazette, 21 September 1918 (30913/11252)

Bar to the DFC
Lt. (T./Capt.) Edgar James McClaughry, D.F.C. (Australian Flying Corps).
In the short space of one month this officer has destroyed ten enemy aeroplanes and balloons. He has organised and carried out numerous raids on the enemy, frequently at very low altitudes. Altogether he has destroyed fifteen aeroplanes and four balloons. Early one morning he crossed our lines to attack a balloon which he had previously located. As soon as daylight allowed he dived and opened fire on the balloon, which was on the ground, descending to within fifty feet of it. The balloon burst into flames. He then attacked some horse transport, dropping bombs and firing, some 300 rounds at 1,500 feet altitude.
(The award of D.F.C. is also contained in this Gazette.)
Supplement to the London Gazette, 21 September 1918 (30913/11248)

(Note the spelling of his surname in this instance)

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Biography

McCloughry Edgar James : SERN CAPT : POB Adelaide SA : POE N/A : NOK Father McCloughry James 45 Melbourne Street North Adelaide

Brother Wilfrid McCloughry - see entry

Edgar McCloughry (aka Kingston) - This article was first published in hardcopy in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 10, (MUP), 1986

Edgar was educated at Adelaide University and the South Australian School of Mines. Commissioned into the A.M.F. in May 1915, he transferred in December to the A.I.F. He embarked on the HMAT Runic although he is not listed on the Embarkation Roll (Ed.  detail from Service Record).

After service in Egypt and France with the Australian Engineers he was seconded to the R.F.C. in December 1916 for training as a pilot, graduating in August 1917.  He was posted to No.23 Squadron, R.F.C., in France. He was soon invalided to hospital in England after a serious crash. He was a flying instructor in the Sixth Training Squadron, A.F.C., then was posted in June 1918 as a flight commander and temporary captain to Wilfred's Fourth Squadron in France. Within four months Edgar was credited with shooting down nineteen enemy aeroplanes and four balloons and was awarded the Distinguished Service Order and Distinguished Flying Cross and Bar and mentioned in dispatches. A few fellow airmen, however, considered that some of his claims were over-enthusiastic. He was twice wounded. On leaving the A.F.C. in August 1919, Edgar, now known as Kingston, graduated M.A. at Cambridge in mechanical science, worked in the engineering industry, then joined the R.A.F. with a short service commission in December 1922, obtaining a permanent commission on 1 January 1926. His later postings included staff courses at Andover and Camberley.

Good-looking and ambitious, Kingston was reserved but at times outspoken. His closeness to leading political figures caused some displeasure to his service chiefs. In 1940, while an air commodore, he drew the attention of various prominent people to what he considered false information about Britain's effective aircraft strength presented to Cabinet by the R.A.F. This unconventional action was damaging to his career; he later attributed to it his failure to achieve the rank of air marshal and a knighthood. Of his several responsible positions, the most important was chairman of the Allied Expeditionary Air Force Bombing Committee which produced the tactical and strategic bombing plans for the invasion of Europe. He retired, as air vice marshal, in 1953, his last posting being chief air defence officer, Ministry of Defence. He had been appointed C.B.E. in 1943 and C.B. in 1950.

Kingston was the author of Winged Warfare (1937) and five books on air and defence strategy in 1947-64. He was an associate fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society. On 16 January 1924 in London he had married Freda Elizabeth Lewis. They had two daughters, and were later divorced. Kingston-McCloughry died on 15 November 1972 in Edinburgh. He willed his body to medical research and his papers and manuscripts to the Imperial War Museum.

Select Bibliography

  • E. J. Richards, Australian Airmen. History of the 4th Squadron, A.F.C. (Melb, nd)

  • F. M. Cutlack, The Australian Flying Corps: In the Western and Eastern Theatres of War, 1914-1918 (Syd, 1923)

  • I. Jones, Tiger Squadron (Lond, 1954)

  • A. Morris, Bloody April (Lond, 1967)

  • K. Isaacs, Military Aircraft of Australia 1909-1918 (Canb, 1971)

  • S. Zuckerman, From Apes to Warlords (Lond, 1978)

  • A. H. Cobby, High Adventure (Melb, 1981)

  • written records section 1914-18 (Australian War Memorial)

  • Air History Branch papers (National Archives of the United Kingdom)

  • Kingston-McCloughry papers (Imperial War Museum, London)

  • family papers (privately held).

Citation details

Alan Fraser, 'McCloughry, Edgar James (1896–1972)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/mccloughry-edgar-james-7788/text12691, published in hardcopy 1986, accessed online 25 September 2014.

 

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