Edwin Harris Dunning
|Born||17 July 1892|
|Died||7 August 1917 25) (aged|
Scapa Flow, Orkney
|Service/||Royal Naval Air Service|
|Years of service||–1917|
|Battles/wars||World War I|
|Awards||Distinguished Service Cross|
Squadron Commander Edwin Harris Dunning, DSC (17 July 1892 – 7 August 1917), of the British Royal Naval Air Service, was the first pilot to land an aircraft on a moving ship.
Dunning was born in South Africaon 17 July 1892 the second child of Sir Edwin Harris Dunning of Jacques Hall, Bradfield, Essex. He was educated at Royal Naval Colleges at Osborne and Dartmouth.
Dunning landed his Sopwith Pup on HMS Furious in Scapa Flow, Orkney on 2 August 1917. He was killed five days later, during his third landing attempt of the day, when an updraft caught his port wing, throwing his plane overboard. Knocked unconscious, he drowned in the cockpit.
He is buried at St Lawrence's Church, Bradfield, between his parents. A plaque in the church states:
The Admiralty wish you to know what great service he performed for the Navy. It was in fact a demonstration of landing an Aeroplane on the deck of a Man-of-War whilst the latter was under way. This had never been done before;and the data obtained was of the utmost value. It will make Aeroplanes indispensable to a fleet;& possibly, revolutionise Naval Warfare. The risk taken by Squadron Commander Dunning needed much courage. He had already made two successful landings;but expressed a wish to land again himself, before other Pilots did so;and in this last run he was killed. My Lords desire to place on record their sense of the loss to the Naval Service of this gallant Officer.
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