Transition Year.
 Students Page
 Ex. curricular
 Parents Page
 Photo Gallery
 Colonel James Fitzmaurice

Colonel James Fitzmaurice


Past pupil of Portlaoise C.B.S. James Fitzmaurice was born on January 6th 1898. Son of a prison officer based in Portlaoise, the school records show his enrolment as a pupil in St Mary's C.B.S, Marlborough on January 9th 1905.

James Fitzmaurice, in 1914, joined the Cadet Company of the 7th Leinster Regiment. Three months later he joined the 7th Lancers. He landed in France in 1915. He was wounded 18 months later. He transferred to the infantry where he saw heavy fighting on the Somme and at Arras. He was awarded a commission in the 8th Irish (Kings) Liverpool Regiment. He was wounded again. In 1917, he transferred to the Royal Flying Corps. He was selected to pilot the first night mail flight from Folkestone to Cologne in 1919. In 1920 he joined the newly formed Royal Air Force and was commissioned. He resigned his commission on the signing of the Anglo-Irish Treaty. In 1922 he returned to Ireland and as a Lieutenant, joined the newly formed Irish Air Corps. In 1924 he became Officer Commanding Fermoy Aerodrome.

In 1927 Commandant James Fitzmaurice, attempted the East to West crossing of the Atlantic ocean in the Princess Xenia . They were forced to return due to weather conditions. They successfully force landed at Beale Strand, near Ballybunion.

In the attempts to fly from East to West across the Atlantic, six aircraft and some sixteen lives had been lost up to April 1928.

On April 12th, 1928 at 5.38am, the first successful flight from East to West across the Atlantic began from Baldonnel ( now Casement Aerodrome ) . The first pilot was Captain Herman kohl, ( second pilot) was Commandant James Fitzmaurice at that time Officer Commanding Air Corps with headquarters at Baldonnel. The Navigator was Baron E.G. Von Heumfeld.

The Bremen, a junkers aircraft, was formerly a junkers W33 Flying Boat, converted to an airplane. The flight took 36 hours.

He died in September 1965 in Dublin, he was given a State Funeral. Memorabilia can still been seen in the officer's mess at Casement Aerodrome. The Bremen is exhibited at the ford Museum, Dearborn, near Detroit USA.





[C.B.S] [Commitments] [History] [Curriculum] [Sport] [Principal] [Transition Year.] [Students Page] [Ex. curricular] [Parents Page] [Photo Gallery] [Tour]