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British Industrial History

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Roderic Dallas

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Roderic Stanley "Stan" Dallas DSO, DSC & Bar (30 July 1891 - 1 June 1918) is probably the highest-scoring Australian air ace of World War I and all subsequent wars. Dallas flew with British units, rather than the nascent Australian Flying Corps (AFC). Estimates of the number of his kills range from the official tally of 39, to 50 credited to him by some researchers. Another Australian, Robert Little, is credited with 47 kills. (The highest scoring ace in the AFC was Harry Cobby, with 29 kills.)

Dallas was born on 30 July 1891, in Mount Stanley, Queensland. His family moved to Tenterfield, New South Wales, and later back to Queensland, at Mount Morgan, in 1898. He attended the local school, and in July, 1907 joined the assay office of the Mount Morgan Gold Mining Co. He studied chemistry and technical drawing at the technical college, during the night.

He joined the Australian Army as a career soldier in 1913, and was an infantry officer when the war began. He applied to join the British Royal Flying Corps, but was rejected. Dallas was accepted by the Royal Naval Air Service, topping the entrance examination over eighty-four students, and began flying combat missions in France at the end of 1915. By the end of 1916 he was among the earliest RNAS aces with six victories.

Dallas was one of the best known pilots of Sopwith Triplanes, with No. 1 Squadron RNAS. He had brought his score to 20 by August 1917. He commanded the unit from June 1917 to March 1918.

Following the amalgamation of the RFC and RNAS, to form the Royal Air Force, on April 1, 1918, Dallas assumed command of No. 40 Squadron RAF, flying SE5s. He scored nine more victories in March and April but disappeared on a solo mission on June 1. It was later learned that he had been killed during combat with Fokker Triplanes from Jagdstaffel 14, probably by Jasta 14's Commander Leutnant Johannes Werner.

Dallas is buried at the Pernes British Cemetery, France.

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