Service Number 81552
Unit 144 Squadron
Regiment Royal Air Force
|Aircraftman 3||81552||144 Squadron RFC|
David Jackson Howorth was born in Collingham on the 7th May 1898 the son of Charles Henry Howorth and his wife Annette. In 1901 the family were living in East Keswick, the home village of his mother, but in 1911 the whole family lived in Collingham where his father was a timber merchant. In 1917, at the time of his enlistment, David gave his occupation as a shell plug turner, so it seems he was working in the munitions industry.
On the 14th May 1917, David enlisted as an Aircraftman 3rd Class in the Royal Flying Corps. David was appointed as an Aircrafman 2nd Class on the 5th Sept 1917 and a few days later his service started overseas in Egypt with 144 Squadron. When the RAF was formed on the 1st April 1918, David was transferred to the RAF, initially as a 3rd Aircraftman and was promoted to 2nd Aircraftman on the 1st August 1918. From the 9th November 1918 to the 16th December 1918 he was attached to 16 Wing before returning to 144 Squadron.
144 Squadron, a new squadron of the Royal Flying Corps, was formed on the 20th March 1918 at Port Said in British administrated Egypt. It was intended as a corps reconnaissance squadron, to work in support of the Army, and initially operated a mix of aircraft, including Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.2es and Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.12s. The squadron re-equipped with Airco DH.9 light bombers in August that year, reinforcing 40th (Army) Wing as it prepared for a major offensive against Ottoman forces. On 19 September, the opening actions of the Battle of Megiddo began, with 144 Squadron attacking Turkish communication and command centres, including the headquarters of the Ottoman Seventh Army at Nablus. The Ottoman forces were soon in full retreat, and all available air power, including 144 Squadron, was sent to repeatedly attack the force of the Ottoman Seventh Army as it retreated through the Wadi al-Far'a, with the Seventh Army effectively destroyed by these sustained aerial attacks.
On 17 October 1918, the squadron moved to Mudros on the island of Lemnos near the Dardanelles, but the Armistice of Mudros ended the war against the Ottoman Empire on 30 October. The squadron returned to the United Kingdom in December 1918, disbanding at RAF Ford on 4 February 1919. David Howorth was demobilised and placed in the reserve on the 2nd April 1919.
After the war David returned to the West Yorkshire area. He married Doris Rayner on the 27th June 1920 at Potternewton, and from 1928 to 1939 we have found electoral roll records for him living at Orchard House, East Keswick. David and Doris had at least two children, both born in 1922. At the time of the registration in 1939, David, Doris and their two children were still living at Orchard House East Keswick. David's occupation was given as Timber merchant, but he was also listed as a Special Constable in the West Riding Police.
David Jackson Howorth died on the 7th June 1987 at Orchard House, East Keswick.
Biography last updated 01 October 2021 14:43:51.
1911 Census. The National Archives. Class RG14 Piece 25962
First World War Medal Index Cards. The National Archives (WO372).
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