Who's Who - George McElroy
George Edward Henry "McIrish" McElroy (1893-1918) was one of Britain's top-scoring air aces (and Ireland's highest) of World War One, with 47 victories.
Born on 14 May 1893 in Donnybrook, Dublin, McElroy was prompt in enlisting once war broke out in August 1914, arriving in France two months later. The following May McElroy joined the Royal Irish Regiment where, at Ypres, he suffered badly from a mustard gas attack.
Having spent a period recuperating at home in Dublin McElroy was drafted in to assist in quelling the Easter Rising in his home city in April 1916. Refusing to fire upon his countrymen McElroy was despatched to a southern garrison for the duration of the summer as a form of punishment.
Towards the close of 1916 McElroy, fascinated by the air war, sought and received a transfer to the Royal Flying Corps. He received training at Upavon in February 1917 after which he travelled once again to France, serving with Squadron 40 in Bruay.
As a protégé of Edward Mannock he proved a highly successful fighter pilot, achieving 47 'kills' within the space of just forty weeks. Tragically, McElroy was lost (probably to anti-aircraft fire) while flying an S.E.5a just five days after Mannock himself, the former on 31 July 1918 in the skies above Laventie.
A "Communication Trench" was a narrow trench constructed at an angle to a defensive trench to permit concealed access to the defensive trench.
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