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Jerry Pentland

Jerry Pentland

Australian fighter ace

Alexander Augustus Norman Dudley "Jerry" Pentland, MC, DFC, AFC (5 August 1894 – 3 November 1983) was an Australian fighter ace in World War I. Born in Maitland, New South Wales, he commenced service as a Lighthorseman with the Australian Imperial Force in 1915, and saw action at Gallipoli. He transferred to the Royal Flying Corps the following year, rising to captain. Credited with twenty-three aerial victories, Pentland became the fifth highest-scoring Australian ace of the war, after Robert Little, Stan Dallas, Harry Cobby and Roy King. He was awarded the Military Cross in January 1918 for "conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty" on a mission attacking an aerodrome behind enemy lines, and the Distinguished Flying Cross that August for engaging four hostile aircraft single-handedly.

Pentland served in the fledgling Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), and later the Royal Air Force, before going into business in 1927. His ventures included commercial flying around the goldfields of New Guinea, aircraft design and manufacture, flight instruction, and charter work. In the early 1930s, he was employed as a pilot with Australian National Airways, and also spent time as a dairy farmer. Soon after the outbreak of World War II, he re-enlisted in the RAAF, attaining the rank of squadron leader and commanding rescue and communications units in the South West Pacific. Perhaps the oldest operational pilot in the wartime RAAF, Pentland was responsible for rescuing airmen, soldiers and civilians, and earned the Air Force Cross for his "outstanding courage, initiative and skill". He became a trader in New Guinea when the war ended in 1945, and later a coffee planter. Retiring in 1959, he died in 1983 at the age of eighty-nine.


August 5, 1894
Jerry Pentland was born in Maitland.


Further Resources


Australia in the War of 1939–1945: Series Three (Air) Volume I – Royal Australian Air Force 1939–1942.

Gillison, Douglas


Australian Fighter Aces 1914–1953.

Garrisson, A. D.


Dolphin and Snipe Aces of World War 1.

Franks, Norman


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