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Robert John Orton Compston Flt. Lieut.

Major Robert John Orton Compston (9 January 1898 - 28 January 1962) was an English fighter pilot credited with 25 victories during World War I. He was one of only seven airman in this war who won three awards of the Distinguished Service Cross.



Robert John Orton Compston was a clergyman's son. He joined the Royal Naval Air Service in 1915 when he was 17 years old. He originally flew Home Defence missions, but was reassigned to 8 Naval Squadron when it went to France.


He was a close friend of ace Robert Little.


Distinguished Service Cross (DSC)


Flt. Lieut. Robert John Orton Compston, R.N.A.S.


For conspicuous skill and gallantry during the past nine months, in particular when attached to the Royal Flying Corps, when he had numerous engagements with enemy aircraft, and certainly destroyed one.


Supplement to the London Gazette, 12 May 1917 (30066/4626)


Distinguished Service Cross (DSC) First Bar


Flt. Cdr. Robert John Orton Compston, D.S.C., R.N.A.S.


For gallantry in action and for very good work in driving away German artillery aeroplanes. On the 12th June, 1917, with three other machines, he attacked six hostile scouts. He got close to one, and shot it down out of control.


On the 16th June, 1917, he attacked and brought down a two-seater Aviatik


On the 3rd July, 1917, he attacked two Aviatiks, which he drove down and forced to land.


Supplement to the London Gazette, 11 August 1917, (30227/8207)


Distinguished Service Cross (DSC) Second Bar


Flt. Cdr. Robert John Orton Compston, D.S.C., R.N.A.S.


For ability and determination when leading offensive patrols, in which he displays entire disregard of personal danger.


On the 1st January, 1918, he observed a new type twin-tailed two-seater enemy machine, which he attacked, firing a good many rounds at point blank range. The enemy machine dived, but was again attacked and went down vertically with his engine full on. The wings came off, and the machine was observed to crash. Later in the day Flt. Cdr. Compston observed two formations of ten and five Albatross scouts respectively. He attacked one of the enemy machines and sent it down in a flat spin and falling over sideways completely out of control.


On numerous other occasions Flt. Cdr. Compston has destroyed or driven down enemy machines completely out of control, and has frequently had more than one successful engagement in the same day.


Supplement to the London Gazette, 16 March 1918 (30581/3396)


Born at Farnham, Hampshire, England

Births Mar 1898    

COMPSTON  Robert John O    Farnham  2a 130


Marriages Dec 1919    

Compston  Robert J O   Chelsea  1a 1131 to Barclay  Nina M

Robert is a member of the Lancashire Family Tree 1

Although he was born in Hampshire his other family links are under the Lancashire Tab