Who's Who - Raymond Collishaw

Raymond Collishaw Raymond Collishaw (1893-1975) was Canada's second-highest scoring fighter pilot during World War One, achieving 60 aircraft victories by the war's close, plus a further eight observation balloons.

Born on 22 November 1893 in Nanaimo, British Columbia, Collishaw joined the Canadian Fisheries Protection Services in 1908 while aged 15.  With the outbreak of war in Europe he managed to join the Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS) in January 1916 as a probationary Flight Sub-Lieutenant (having earlier applied to the Royal Canadian Navy without success).

As commander of the so-called 'Black Flight' Collishaw was the first pilot to claim six victories in a single day.  He was also the highest scoring ace to fly the Sopwith Triplane.  Towards the close of the war Collishaw flew long-range bombing missions from France to Germany.

With the armistice Collishaw elected to remain with the air service, initially serving in Russia during 1919 and finally attaining the rank of Air Vice-Marshal following distinguished service during the Second World War in the Western Desert.

Having retired (involuntarily) from the RAF in July 1943 Collishaw - the recipient of the DSC, DSO with bar, and DFC - died in West Vancouver in 1975 at the age of 82.

In slang a "beetle" was a landing craft for 200 men.

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