Philip Fullard

First World War and Second World War


Philip Fullard was one of the most successful fighter aces of the First World War, scoring 40 confirmed victories. Born 26 July 1897 in Wimbledon, Fullard was educated at King Edward VI School in Norwich.

In 1915, he enlisted in the British Army, where he initially served with the Royal Irish Fusiliers before transferring to the RFC in 1916. Fullard trained at the School of Aeronautics at Oxford before moving onto Netheravon and then Upavon. He received his Royal Aero Club Certificate in December 1916 and served as a flight instructor at Upavon until April 1917, when he was posted to No. 1 Squadron on the Western Front. 

It was here that Fullard amassed his victories, achieving all 40 between May and November 1917 and becoming No. 1 Squadron’s highest scoring ace of the war. While flying in September 1917, Fullard suffered an eye injury that led to temporary blindness and kept him away from the war for the rest of that month. In mid-November 1917, he suffered another injury. On this occasion, Fullard broke his leg while playing football. The injury meant that he was unfit for active duty for ten months, by which time the war was approaching its end.

Following the end of the First World War, he chose to remain in the RAF and eventually achieved the rank of Air Commodore. During the Second World War, Fullard served again and even spent some time as Deputy Air Commodore at HQ Fighter Command. In November 1946, he retired at the age of 49.

For his service, Fullard was awarded a DSO, MC (with Bar) and CBE. He died on 24 April 1984, aged 86.