Gould-Taylor, Lieutenant John DFC

No 3 Sqn AFC

John Gould-Taylor was born in Young, NSW, in 1897. He was a Student living in Melbourne when he enlisted in the 1st Divisional Ammunition Column in Melbourne on 18 September 1916. He departed from Melbourne on HMAT A20 Hororata on 23 November 1916. After a brief period in a UK hospital with mumps, he transferred to the AFC in August 1917 and graduated as a pilot in November, when he was commissioned. After another short spell in hospital with tonsillitis, he was posted to No 3 Sqn in France.

He is mentioned several times in the Official History, all when flying with Lt B G Thomson as observer: on 15 July the pair were flying in RE 8 C4586 when they were credited with shooting down an enemy two-seater over Méaulte; on 8 August they fought three actions against enemy aircraft over Proyart; on 9 August they located several enemy batteries and directed fire onto them; on 23 August, in the presence of some thirty hostile aircraft, they signalled the presence of ten enemy batteries as well as bombing a battery in Ceylon Wood and shooting at troops on the ground; and on 28 August they shot down a German machine – probably an escort to a balloon-busting patrol - during an exploit which earned him the DFC. The citation: On the 28th August, when on a reconnaissance this officer was attacked by five Fokker biplanes; with characteristic boldness and skill he drove them off, shooting down one out of control. He then continued reconnaissances, sending down calls on three hostile batteries (which were neutralised), six parties of transport, and two trains. During recent operations this officer has rendered most valuable service in sending down calls, displaying keenness of observation and great power of endurance. While on this duty he never hesitated to attack the enemy as opportunity occurred.
On 30 August, flying with Lt B G Thomson in RE 8 C4586, he was forced to land after machine gun fire damaged the aircraft, but both airmen were unharmed.

He was killed in action while on an artillery patrol near Estrées on 3 October 1918 while flying RE 8 E224, with Lt B G Thomson, who was also killed. The RE 8 was apparently hit by an artillery shell. The wreckage wasn’t found until 6 October, when an examination failed to find the cause of the crash.

Lt J Gould-Taylor DFC is buried in Grave III A 12 at Prospect Hill Cemetery, Gouy, France.

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