Squadron Leader David Mary Tidmarsh MC (28 January 1892 – 27 November 1944) was an Irish-born World War I Royal Flying Corps flying ace credited with seven aerial victories.
Tidmarsh was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the 4th Battalion, Royal Irish Regiment (Special Reserve) on 23 April 1915. He began flying training at Shoreham on 27 August 1915, and transferred into the Royal Flying Corps on 13 January 1916 when he was appointed a Flying Officer in 24 Squadron. He was piloting an Airco DH.2 on 2 April 1916 when he scored his – and his squadron’s – first victory, destroying a German Albatros two-seater and killing its crew of Karl Oscar Breibisch-Guthmann and Paul Wein. On 21 April, a dud antiaircraft shell blew through the nacelle of his plane without harming him. On 25 April, Tidmarsh was flying Airco DH.2 No. 5965, escorting a mission of Royal Aircraft Factory FE.2s, when he dived on an approaching Fokker Eindekker fighter. It fled. He pursued. The German had a 500 yard lead on Tidmarsh, who was not close enough to fire, when the Fokker lost its wings at an altitude of 1,000 feet. A German report would later blame flying wires severed by bullets for breaking up the airplane. However, Tidmarsh received credit for the victory, his second. He would score once more while with 24 Squadron, when he set a two-seater on fire on 20 May 1916, killing Franz Patzig and Georg Loenholdt.
Tidmarsh then went on leave to England, followed by instructional duties there. He was promoted lieutenant on 1 July 1916, and appointed Flight Commander and temporary captain on 16 August 1916. He returned to combat in March 1917 with 48 Squadron, flying the new Bristol F.2 Fighter. He transferred to the newly formed Royal Air Force on 1 April 1918. In four days fighting, between 8 and 11 April, he was part of various formations that won victories over four more airplanes. On 11 April, after the destruction of two Albatros D.IIIs, Tidmarsh was shot down by Leutnant Kurt Wolff of Jasta 11, and spent the rest of the war in a prisoner of war camp. He was repatriated to the United Kingdom, arriving at Hull on 30 December 1918. He was placed on the RAF unemployed list on 28 October 1919, and relinquished his army commission on 1 April 1920.
With the outbreak of World War II imminent, he was recommissioned as a flying officer in the Administrative and Special Duties Branch, RAF on 31 August 1939. He was promoted temporary squadron leader on 1 September 1942, and relinquished his commission due to ill-health on 20 January 1944. He died in a Dublin nursing home on 27 November 1944, just 18 days after his brother Gerard, who was serving as a major in the British Army.
Honours and awards:
He was awarded the Military Cross (MC) on 31 May 1916, the citation read:
2nd Lt. David Mary Tidmarsh, 4th Bn., R. Ir. R. (Spec. Res.) and R.F.C.
For conspicuous gallantry and skill when attacking hostile aircraft on several occasions, notably on one occasion when he dived at an enemy machine and drove it down wrecked to the ground.