Officer of the Order of the British Empire, Military 2nd Type, Distinguished Flying Cross, GV WW1, British War and Victory Medal, WW2 Defence and War Medal, Wing Commander O.C. Cassels, Royal Air Force, late Royal Flying Corps. In later life an Author of Short Stories in Blackwood Magazine, Agricultural and Cattle Expert and Expert Salmon Fisherman.
Oliver Cassels’s family were friends with the Von Richtofen family before the war and he claims to have fought a young ‘Red Baron’ in a fistfight as a boy on a train going across Germany, being again engaged in aerial combat with him during the War, many of his fellow officers in 12 squadron fell to the guns of the Red Baron. His father was a Pioneer in Electrical Engineers mother was named Gottwaldt from Kleve, in Germany. Further research in Germany could be most interesting.
Medals are period mounted on silk ribbons as worn, WW1 pair named: “Lieut O.C. Cassels R.A.F.”
With an impressive large folder of comprehensive research including identified group photo of 12 Squadron in 1918 and his original certificate for the issue of his O.B.E. also a photo from a newspaper article upon his retirement in 1959. And another enjoying his retirement as an expert Salmon fisherman.
Birmingham Post article 1st January 1959:
“OFFICER WHO TWICE FOUGHT RICHTOFEN
F./Lt. Oliver Cassels, at the age of 60, the ‘oldest inhabitant’ of RAF Station, Hereford, who retired from the RAF Yesterday. He twice fought Von Richtofen, the German fighter-ace of the first world war: Once as a boy with his fists in a train going across Germany – the two families were friends – and later with machine-guns over the Western Front. He was then a Lieutenant in the Royal Flying Corps.
He has served at Hereford for the past 14 years – for a period as a Wing Commander Chief Instructor of the RAF School of Administration before reverting to Flight Lieutenant Rank on the active reserve as a training officer.
He plans a very active retirement at his home, the Old Rectory, Hope-under-Dinmore, Herefordshire, as an expert salmon fisherman and author.”
O.B.E. Announced in the London Gazette 8th June 1944, his original recommendation:
“This officer has been Chief Instructor of the Senior Course of the Royal Air Force School of Administration for 27 months. During this time, 49 courses have passed through the school. Wing Commander Cassel’s exceptional ability as Chief Instructor, combined with his hard work, enthusiasm and leadership, have been the inspiration of instructors and students alike.”
D.F.C. announced in London Gazette 3rd December 1918, his original recommendation:
“For gallantry and skill. On 12 August 1918, he carried out a very successful shoot with 266 S.B., causing several fires in the battery position, and also exploding an ammunition dump. This shoot was carried out under very adverse weather conditions.
On 21 August 1918, this officer carried out a most successful artillery patrol lasting three and a half hours, during which he observed 13 active hostile batteries, three of which he silenced.
As an artillery pilot this officer’s work has been quite exceptional, particularly during the offensive, and he has had a number of combats with enemy aircraft whilst carrying out his patrols. He has always shown courage, devotion to duty and reliability of a very high order.”
Oliver Chance Cassels was born during July 1898 in Blackheath Kent, a native of Ottery, St Mary, Devon his home. He was the son of Francis Kennedy Cassels M.I.E.E. and Dorothea Gottwaldt (who was born in Cleve, Germany during 1872 to Theodor Gottwaldt). He spent his childhood as an Agricultural Student and his family made frequent trips to Buenos Aires, Argentina where many other Cassels lived.
His father was a Pioneers of the Electrical Industry and spent much of his Life in Argentina, erecting the first supply stationed in Argentina at Buenos Ayres, La Plata and many other cities.