Wing Commander F. W. Stent

Picture of Wing Commander F. W. Stent

A short history

2nd Lt. Royal Flying Corps, Special Reserve, 3rd August 1914. Granted Royal Aero Club Certificate 2748 at Farnborough on 31.8.15.

Served with 17 Sqn. RFC from September 1915 in Egypt, Darfur and Salonica, Greece.  This qualified him for the 1914-15 Star and the Khedive's Sudan Medal with the Darfur Clasp.

Posted to 14 Sqn RFC in March 1917 he took over from Major Ross D.S.O. as Officer Commanding "C" Flight in the Hejaz.  At the end of the Hejaz campaign he commanded the Special Duty Flight and "X" Flight of 14 Sqn until the end of October.  As a temporary Major he went on to command 111 Sqn in Palestine until the end of hostilities.

The medal group of Wing Commander F. W. Stent


With 111 Sqn he was awarded his M.C. for destroying an enemy observation flight and three other enemy aeroplanes. He was awarded his "Order of the Rising Sun" shortly after the war probably as an exchange award.

In 1920 he briefly commanded No. 2 Squadron Royal Air Force in Ireland before returning to England for further training at the Imperial College in London.

Shown in the RAF Lists with an I Qualification as an interpreter in Arabic, also with an E* Qualification as an Engineering Officer who has passed a University Course in Theory. This at Imperial College London.

He stayed on with the Royal Air Force after the war rising to the rank of Wing Commander and retired in 1936. He became a test pilot for Phillips and Powis Aircraft flying out of Woodley Aerodrome. This was conveniently close to his home in Sonning near Reading where he lived.

He survived baling out of a Miles Nighthawk that was on spinning trials, being one of the first men to bale out of an aeroplane with a closed in cockpit. For this he was presented with the "Caterpillar Badge" by the Irvin Parachute Co. for having his life saved by parachute.

In 1937 he took part in the "Kings Cup" air race flying a Sparrow hawk and finished in seventh place. Whilst practising for the "Kings Cup" air race of 1938 he was killed when the Miles M11c Whitney Staight he was flying crashed at Harefield in Berkshire.

He is buried at Hillingdon Cemetery London.  (See photograph of his headstone)



Military Cross London Gazette
June 22nd 1918
111 Sqn RFC
For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty.  He attacked and brought down a hostile two-seater, the observer of which was in a position to give the enemy valuable information on our movements.  On another occasion he encountered and brought down an enemy two-seater, wounding both pilot and observer, who were made prisoners.
14/15 Star Lieut.
17 Sqn RFC
Entry into theatre of war May 1915
War Medal Major 111 Sqn RFC  
Victory Medal Major
111 Sqn RFC
M.I.D. 7th October 1918
(On same list is T.E.Lawrence C.B. D.S.O. Temp Lt./Col)
M.I.D. 1st August 1919
Japanese Order of the Rising Sun 4th Class Squadron Leader
London Gazette
4th Jan 1921
Exchange award
Hejaz Order of El Nahda 4th Class Squadron Leader
London Gazette
25th Jan 1921
Served with "C" Flight 14 Sqn RFC
(The Arabian Detachment)
Khedives Sudan Medal 1910 2nd/Lt
17 Sqn RFC
Clasp Darfur 1916
(Does not appear to be entitled to)
Caterpillar Badge Wing Commander
RAF (Ret'd)
Engraved W/C F.W.Stent M.C.
Pres by the Irving Co