Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation
Airmen awarded the Conspicuous Gallantry Medal (Flying)
621162 Flight Sergeant George Frederick DOVE, D.F.M., No. 101 Squadron.
1313768 Sergeant Ivan Henry HAZARD, No. 101 Squadron.
1127080 Sergeant William Ernest" WILLIAMS, No. 101 Squadron.
654077 Sergeant James Fortune BAIN No. 101 Squadron.
1112525 Sergeant Leslie AIREY, No. 101 Squadron.
On the night of i4th February, 1943, Pilot Officer Gates, Flight Sergeant Dove and Sergeants Williams, Bain and Airey were members of the crew of an aircraft captained by Sergeant Hazard, which was detailed to attack Milan. Whilst over the target area, the aircraft was attacked by an enemy fighter from -close range. Its gunfire exploded some incendiary bombs which had failed to release and a fire quickly developed in the bomber. The fuselage became a mass of flames reaching through the mid-upper turret manned by Flight Sergeant Dove. Ammunition in the turret boxes and ducts commenced to explode in all directions. In the.face of an appalling situation, Flight Sergeant Dove coolly remained at his post. Although he was burned about the hands and face, he manned his guns with grim resolution, skill and accuracy. He delivered a devastating burst at the attacker, which had already been engaged and hit by the rear gunner and succeeded in destroying it. Disregarding the roaring flames, he then descended from his turret and went to the assistance of Sergeant Airey, the rear gunner, who had been wounded, and extricated him from the rear turret. The situation had become extremely critical and Sergeant Hazard ordered the crew to prepare to abandon aircraft. When informed that one of his comrades was helpless he decided, in spite of the grave risk entailed, to attempt a forced landing. Meanwhile, Pilot Officer Gates, assisted by Sergeants Williams and Bain bravely tackled the fire with extinguishers and succeeded in getting it under control. The aircraft was now down to 800 feet but, as the fire had subsided. Sergeant Hazard quickly decided to attempt to fly the badly damaged bomber home. He regained height and displaying fine airmanship crossed the Alps in safety, although i engine failed whilst so doing. On the remainder of the journey Pilot Officer Gates rendered valuable assistance to his captain and frequently ministered to his wounded comrade, Although this necessitated clambering over a hole sin the floor of the aircraft in darkness. Aided by the skilful navigation of Sergeant Williams and good work by Sergeant Bain, the flight engineer, Sergeant Hazard succeeded in flying the seriously damaged aircraft back to this C9untry. In circumstances of the greatest danger, this aircraft crew displayed-courage, fortitude and devotion, to duty in keeping with with the highest traditions of the Royal Air Force.
Pilot Officer Frederick William GATES (126623), Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, No. 101 Squadron was awarded the DSO.
(London Gazette - 23 March 1943)
1383853 Sergeant Edward Wells TICKLER, No. 49 Squadron.
One night in February, 1943, Flight Sergeants Matthews and Lowans and Sergeant Silvester were members of the crew of an aircraft captained by Sergeant Tickler, which was detailed for a minelaying mission. When well on the outward flight an armed ship opened fire on the aircraft and the rear turret was hit but the captain proceeded on his course. Visibility in the target area was poor and Sergeant Tickler had to bring the aircraft down to 700 feet to locate the objective. Whilst at this height, during the commencement of its attacking run the aircraft was engaged by the ground defences. A number of anti-aircraft guns opened fire whilst it was held in the searchlights and the bomber was hit in the navigator's compartment, the rear turret, the pilot's cockpit and in the port wing. The flight engineer was severely wounded in the head and became unconscious. Sergeant Tickler was hit in the left shoulder and side, becoming so dazed that he almost lost control of the aircraft which commenced to dive. Sergeant Matthews, with great promptitude, however, pulled back the control column and brought the aircraft back to a height of 700 feet. Displaying great fortitude, Sergeant Tickler kept to his course and the mines were dropped in the correct place. Not until this was accomplished did he inform his comrades of his injuries. On the return flight, although his left arm was entirely useless, he. remained at the controls, being greatly assisted by Flight Sergeant Lowans and Sergeant Silvester who did everything possible to mitigate his task. Meanwhile, Flight Sergeant Matthews displayed great navigational ability and, although deprived of all wireless aid, he set courses which enabled his captain to leach an airfield in this country. Despite his injuries, Sergeant Tickler effected a, perfect landing before collapsing over the controls. This captain displayed courage, fortitude and devotion to duty of the highest order, while the skill, gallantry and team work of his comrades, who rendered such valuable support, were worthy of high praise.
Can/R. 103101 Flight Sergeant John Lamont MATTHEWS, Royal Canadian Air Force, No. 49 Squadron was awarded the DFM
Can/R.96467 Flight Sergeant Edward John LOWANS, Royal Canadian Air Force, No. 49 Squadron was awarded the DFM
977392 Sergeant George Bernard SILVESTER, No. 49 Squadron was awarded the DFM
(London Gazette – 2 April 1943)
1161447 Flight Sergeant (now Pilot Officer) Charles Clayton CORDER, No. 248 Squadron.
This airman has participated in 71 operational missions, including sorties off the Norwegian coast, over the Mediterranean and over the Bay of Biscay. He has displayed great navigational skill and perfect teamwork which have made him a valuable member of aircraft crew. On one occasion, in August 1942, he skilfully located a dinghy adrift in the Mediterranean and the crew were later rescued. In March, 1943, he was the navigator of one of a section of Beaufighters patrolling over the Bay of Biscay. During the operation his aircraft sustained severe damage in an encounter with a Junkers 88, which was shot down. The situation appeared hopeless but, as the intercommunication system was unserviceable, Flight Sergeant Corder crawled through to the cockpit where he gave his pilot a course for base. Returning to his seat he attempted to signal their plight to other aircraft of the formation but his efforts were unavailing. In the meantime, the pilot was having considerable difficulty in controlling the aircraft so Flight Sergeant Corder once more crawled to the cockpit to assist. The port engine failed and the possibility of flying to this country seemed remote. Nevertheless, Flight Sergeant Corder calmly continued his duties, repairing the intercommunication, obtaining bearings and doing everything within his power to assist his pilot. The aircraft, which was extremely difficult to control, was now being flown almost at sea level. When nearing the English coast the second engine caught fire while some oil in the cockpit also caught alight. Just as the pilot had decided that the damaged aircraft should be abandoned the English coast was sighted, so he struggled on. Meanwhile, Flight Sergeant Corder coolly sent out distress signals and fired Verey cartridges intermittently to attract the attention of people on shore. He guided the pilot to the lowest part of a cliff which was crossed safely and a crash-landing effected on an airfield. On impact the aircraft burst into flames but both Flight Sergeant Corder and his pilot were able to jump clear. In the face of an appalling situation, this airman displayed skill and courage in keeping with the highest traditions of the Royal Air Force.
(London Gazette – 13 April 1943)
923049 Flight Sergeant Geoffrey Frank KEEN, D.F.M., No. 427 (R.C.A.F.) Squadron.
One night in March, 1943, this airman was the wireless operator of an aircraft detailed to attack Essen. Whilst over the target area the aircraft was hit by heavy anti-aircraft fire. The navigator was killed instantaneously. Flight Sergeant Keen, who was in the astro-dome, had his right foot blown off and received cuts on both legs. Disregarding his wounds, Flight Sergeant Keen regained his seat in the wireless cabin. For over two hours he laboured to repair the damaged apparatus. He could not speak to other members of the crew owing to damage to the inter-communication apparatus. Another airman spoke to him, however, on at least a dozen occasions and found him still conscious and working at his self-imposed task of directing the manipulation of various installations. He also offered assistance in navigating the aircraft and actually managed to drag himself on two occasions to the navigator's compartment to obtain essential information. His courage and fortitude in such circumstances were of the highest order.
(London Gazette – 23 April 1943)
1382143 Flight Sergeant George ASHPLANT, No. 166 Squadron.
One night in February, 1943, Flight Sergeant Ashplant, after successfully completing an operational, sortie on Lorient, was returning to base when, while over this country, his aircraft came -into collision with a Halifax bomber. As a result his aircraft was severely damaged. Both engines were torn from their bearers, the front turret and the underside of 'the nose were completely ripped parachute were carried away and both propellers were missing. The aircraft went out of control into a spin. Regaining control, however, Flight Sergeant Ashplant gave his parachute to the bomb aimer and ordered the crew to abandon the aircraft. By a fine display of airmanship and determination .he managed to make a crash-landing with the remains of his bomber, without personal injury. Flight Sergeant Ashplant, in an appalling situation, displayed the utmost courage and devotion to duty and acted in accordance with the highest traditions of the Royal Air .Force.
(London Gazette - 30 March 1943)
628437 Flight Sergeant Anthony Futcher ELCOATE, D.F.M., No. 156 Squadron.
Flight Sergeant Elcoate has taken part in numerous operational sorties with great keenness. Recently he has trained himself to be a bomb aimer with excellent results, though his air crew category is that of Wireless Operator/Air Gunner.
(London Gazette - 20 April 1943, Flight - 20 May 1943)
Warrant Officer Harry Forbes McPherson TAYLOR (748057), No. 156 Squadron.
This Warrant Officer has completed a fine record of operational work, in the course of which he has displayed sustained courage and devotion to duty. His missions include attacks on targets in Germany, Italy and occupied territory, which he has pressed home in the face of much opposition.
(London Gazette - 20 April 1943, Flight - 20 May 1943)
846405 Sergeant Edward Francis HICKS, Auxiliary Air Force, No. 466 (R.A.A.F) Squadron.
In April, 1943, Pilot Officer Hopkins, Flying Officer Clayton and Sergeants Hicks and Blair were air bomber, navigator, captain and wireless operator respectively of an aircraft detailed to attack a target in the Ruhr. Over Germany the aircraft was attacked by an enemy fighter. The first burst of fire from the attacker fatally injured the rear gunner and wounded the air bomber, navigator and wireless operator. The fighter made a second attack but Sergeant Hicks avoided its gunfire by turning steeply under the enemy aircraft which was not seen again. Although the hydraulic and brake systems of the bomber were damaged, causing the wheels to drop down and the bomb doors to open, the crew decided to continue their mission. Pilot Officer Hopkins, the air bomber, although suffering from a compound fracture of the arm and, at times, only retaining consciousness with great difficulty, displayed unsurpassed determination by directing his pilot to the target and bombing it successfully. On the return flight, Pilot Officer Hopkins, Flying Officer Clayton and Sergeant Blair laboured for more than 2 hours to assist the mortally wounded rear gunner, extricating him from his turret and administering morphia; some of their efforts were made whilst flying at 15,000 feet and without oxygen. Sergeant Hicks eventually flew the damaged aircraft to an airfield in this country, where he effected a landing without the aid of flaps. These members of aircraft crew displayed great courage, fortitude and determination in most hazardous circumstances.
Pilot Officer Raymond John HOPKINS (129481), Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, No. 466 (R.A.A.F.) Squadron was awarded the DSO
Flying Officer Reginald Francis CLAYTON (121139), Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, No. 466 (R.A.A.F.) Squadron was awarded the DFC
1126195 Sergeant Frederick Charles BLAIR, No. 466 (R.A.A.F.) Squadron was awarded the DFM
|Edward Hicks (right) and his crew outside
Buckingham Palace following their investiture.
Photo courtesy - Norman Hood ©AWM
|Edward Hicks and his crew at RAF Driffield,
No 466 Sqn.
Photo courtesy - No 76 (R) Sqn via Norman Hood
(London Gazette – 14 May 1943)
Can/R. 107665 Sergeant Leonard Franklin WILLIAMSON, Royal Canadian Air Force, No. 428 (R.C.A.F.) Squadron.
In April, 1943, this airman was pilot and captain of an aircraft detailed to attack Duisburg. Whilst over the target area the aircraft was hit by anti-aircraft fire. The bomber commenced to vibrate violently, while the rudder bar swung loosely. Despite this, Sergeant Williamson continued his run-up and successfully bombed the target. The situation became critical and Sergeant Williamson gave orders to prepare to abandon aircraft. As no answer was received from the rear gunner, the navigator went to investigate and found that the rear turret had been blown away. The rudder was very badly damaged and all the fuselage to the rear of the beam gun position was stripped of fabric. The hydraulic system was out of action, causing the undercarriage to sag and the bomb doors to open. In spite of this. Sergeant Williamson kept the seriously damaged bomber headed for home and eventually reached an airfield where he effected a landing. In most hazardous circumstances this airman displayed fortitude and courage of a high degree.
(London Gazette – 14 May 1943)
552693 Flight Sergeant Robert Service HOGG, No. 49 Squadron.
This airman has participated in a large number of operational sorties which have included a high proportion of attacks on Essen, Hamburg, and targets in the Ruhr.
(London Gazette - 14 May 1943, Flight - 10 June 1943)
1344057 Sergeant John Patrick MCGARRY, No. 70 Squadron.
One night in April, 1943, this airman was the navigator of an aircraft detailed to attack an enemy landing ground. During the operation the aircraft was hit by anti-aircraft fire. The pilot was severely wounded, while Sergeant McGarry was wounded in the leg. Despite his injury, this airman helped to remove the wounded pilot from the cockpit and afterwards rendered efficient first aid. Meanwhile, another member of the crew took over the control and Sergeant McGarry, displaying great fortitude, continued his navigational duties. In addition, throughout the return flight, he tended his injured pilot. When base was reached the pilot took over the controls to attempt a landing. Sergeant McGarry was given permission to leave by parachute but elected to stay with his pilot and a successful crash-landing was made near the airfield. In perilous circumstances, Sergeant McGarry displayed courage, fortitude and coolness worthy of the highest praise.
(London Gazette – 4 June 1943)
1070296 Sergeant Thomas Parker PETRIE, No. 70 Squadron.
One night in April, 1943, this airman was the pilot and captain of an aircraft detailed to attack an enemy landing ground. In the run up the aircraft was hit by anti-aircraft fire but Sergeant Petrie held course and a stick of bombs was released. Almost immediately the aircraft was again hit which caused it to dive steeply. Sergeant Petrie was severely wounded, his foot being practically severed, while other members of the crew were slightly wounded. Despite his injuries, Sergeant Petrie skilfully regained control of his aircraft, circled and released the remaining bombs over the target area. Course having been set for home, the injured pilot was removed from his seat and given first aid, while another member of the crew kept the aircraft on its course to base. When the airfield was reached, Sergeant Petrie who, throughout the return flight, though in considerable pain and faint through loss of blood had remained in command as captain, gave the crew permission to leave by parachute. They elected to remain, however, confident in his ability to effect a landing. By strapping him in the pilot's seat and tying his uninjured foot to the rudder bar, Sergeant Petrie was able to take over the controls. When approaching land, at a height of 300 feet, the petrol supply ran out but a successful crash-landing was made. This gallant airman displayed great courage and fortitude in keeping with the highest traditions of the Royal Air Force.
(London Gazette – 4 June 1943)
1550966 Sergeant Stuart Nimmo SLOAN, No. 431 (R.C.A.F.) Squadron.
One night in May, 1943, Flying Officer Bailey and Sergeants Sloan and Parslow were members of the crew of an aircraft detailed to attack Dortmund. Shortly after its bombs had been released, the aircraft was badly damaged by antiaircraft fire whilst held by the searchlights. Evasive action was taken by putting the aircraft into a steep dive but this proved ineffective and the bomber was subjected to heavy fire whilst still illuminated. The situation became critical but Sergeant Sloan, displaying superb skill and determination eventually flew clear of the defences and headed for this country. A hatch was open and could not be closed, the rear turret door was also open and wind of great force blew through the length of the aircraft. All the lights in the navigator's cabin were extinguished but in the face of extreme difficulty, Sergeant Parslow plotted a course. On the return flight, he and Flying Officer Bailey assisted Sergeant Sloan in every way within their power and eventually this gallant airman flew the badly damaged bomber to an airfield and effected a good landing. In appalling circumstances these members of aircraft crew displayed courage, determination and fortitude of the highest order.
Flying Officer John Brian Godfrey BAILEY (48551), No. 431 (R.C.A.F.) Squadron was awarded the DFC.
1332251 Sergeant George Charles William PARSLOW, No. 431 (R.C.A.F.) Squadron was awarded the DFM
(London Gazette - 11 June 1943)
655888 Sergeant James Stephen POWELL, No. 224 Squadron.
In May, 1943, this airman captained an aircraft engaged on an anti-submarine patrol. During the flight a U-boat was sighted on the surface of the water. In the face of fire from the vessel's guns, Sergeant Powell executed 2 vigorous attacks. Sergeant Powell was compelled to rest, as he was dazed from the concussion of a cannon shell which had burst beside his cockpit but, half an hour later, he once more assumed control and, shortly afterwards, 2 further attacks were executed on enemy submarines. This airman displayed conspicuous gallantry and skill throughout.
(London Gazette - 11 June 1943)
Warrant Officer (now Pilot Officer) Bernard William CLAYTON, D.F.C. (998503), No. 51 Squadron.
During the course of two operational tours, Warrant Officer Clayton has participated in attacks on the enemy’s most heavily defended and long distance targets, including Hamburg, Berlin and Turin. He has always pressed home his attacks in a fearless and determined manner and has secured some excellent photographs.
(London Gazette - 11 June 1943, Flight - 22 July 1943)
Originally recommended for Bar to DFC, having flown 51 sorties, 9 May 1941 to 16 April 1943. Later awarded DSO for services in No.617 Squadron, having completed 77 operations.
934814 Flight Sergeant Ivor Ward PREECE, No. 106 Squadron.
Flight Sergeant Preece is an air gunner of proved ability, who has participated in a large number of bombing raids on enemy targets in Europe and the Middle East. Early in his operational career he completed sorties to Hamburg, Dusseldorf and Brest, and later he operated during the Western Desert campaign against Tripoli, Palermo, Naples and Crete. On numerous occasions whilst in the Middle East he has taken part in a very commendable manner in low level machine gun attacks, firing many thousands of rounds of ammunition. In the course of the last two months he has again taken part in raids on Germany.
(London Gazette - 11 June 1943, Flight - 22 July 1943)
Warrant Officer Desmond Clive Camden BUSBY (936266), No. 156 Squadron.
Warrant Officer Busby, now on his second tour of operational duty, has taken part in a large number of operational sorties against targets in Germany, Italy and enemy-occupied territory. He has secured some excellent photographs. By his outstanding skill and courage this Warrant Officer has set a splendid example to the other members of his squadron.
(London Gazette - 6 July 1943)
Medals sold at auction, 27 September 1994 for £ 2,600. Information from website of Dix-Noonan-Webb. Pilot Officer D.C.C. Busby was reported missing as a result of air operations over Cologne on 16 June 1943. The CGM was presented to his father, Mr. F.G.C. Busby, at an investiture in Ceylon on 19 November 1946.
1272592 Sergeant Cecil James Morley WILKIE, No. 50 Squadron.
One night in June, 1943, Flying Officer Hearn and Sergeants Pointon and Wilkinson were air bomber, mid-upper gunner and flight engineer respectively of an aircraft, piloted by Sergeant Wiikie, detailed to attack Cologne. Whilst over the target area, the bomber was hit by antiaircraft fire. The windscreen round the pilot's cabin was shattered and Sergeant Wiikie was blinded by flying splinters. Despite this he remained ac the controls. Flying Officer Hearn and Sergeant Wilkinson were injured by fragments of shrapnel. Nevertheless, the former uncomplainingly remained at his post ready to release his bombs whilst Sergeant Wilkinson went to the assistance of his pilot and .the bombing run was completed. Still unable to see. Sergeant Wiikie remained at the controls, piloting his aircraft by touch, being aided in various ways by the flight engineer and by Flying Officer Hearn who directed him in avoiding the searchlights and continuous anti-aircraft fire to which the bomber was subjected. Some time later, whilst still over enemy territory, Sergeant Wiikie recovered his vision in one eye and soon succeeded in flying clear of the defences, afterwards flying the aircraft back to this country. In the course of the action Sergeant Pointon had one finger severed when his turret was damaged by a shattering blow. Although in considerable pain he remained at his post, constantly alert to the danger of fighter interference. In most harassing circumstances these members of aircraft crew displayed courage, fortitude and determination of the highest order.
Flying Officer Edward Harty Elliot HEARN (131973), Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, No. 50 Squadron. was awarded the DFC
938804 Sergeant Frank POINTON, No. 50 Squadron. 993249 Sergeant Stanley WILKINSON, No. 50 Squadron was awarded the DFM
(London Gazette - 23 July 1943)
1308178 Sergeant Edwin Thomas George HALL, No. 115 Squadron.
Sergeants Hall and Crowther were mid-upper gunner and wireless operator respectively of an aircraft, captained by Sergeant Jolly, which attacked Cologne one night in June, 1943. On the homeward flight the bomber was intercepted by 2 enemy fighters and a running, combat ensued. Sergeant Jolly took violent evasive action but, eventually a burst of gunfire from 1 of the attackers, at close range, hit the rear turret, setting the fuselage on fire between the bulkhead doors. Sergeant Hall, the mid-upper gunner, kept firing his guns however, and the enemy aircraft was seen diving steeply and on fire. By this time, the rear turret was well alight and the fuselage became filled with smoke. The situation became critical but Sergeants Hall and Crowther, without waiting to connect the portable oxygen supply, attempted to quell the flames. Both airmen became thoroughly exhausted but gamely battled on and, after a prolonged struggle, succeeded in extinguishing the flames; it was then discovered that the rear turret had fallen off. Eventually, Sergeant Jolly flew the damaged bomber to an airfield in this country, landing it safely. In the face of a critical situation, these members of aircraft crew displayed courage, fortitude and determination of the highest order.
1346616 Sergeant William Porter JOLLY, No. 115 Squadron was awarded the DFM
1078262 Sergeant Ray Kingsley CROWTHER, No. 115 Squadron was awarded the DFM
(London Gazette – 23 July 1943)
Warrant Officer Michael George CLYNES (1377364), Royal Air Force, No. 431 (R.C.A.F.) Squadron.
This Warrant Officer has successfully completed a large number of operational sorties. He has taken part in attacks against Tripoli, Naples, Catania, Benghazi and other targets in the Middle East and North Africa. He has also attacked some of the most heavily defended targets in Germany. On four occasions his aircraft has been attacked by night fighters and each time he has successfully directed his captain's evasive action. During these combats he has destroyed at least two enemy aircraft. Over long period has set splendid example of courage, determination and devotion to duty.
(London Gazette - 13 August 1943)
Born 1914 at Longford, Eire; home in Edgworthstown, Longford, Eire (carpenter's mate); enlisted 1940. Killed 25 November 1943; buried in Durnbach War Cemetery.
NOTE: DHist file 181.009 D.5526 (National Archives of Canada RG.24 Volume 20667) has recommendation (undated) which states he had flown 47 ½ sorties but could not give total hours as his logbook had been destroyed by enemy action on his first tour. He had flown 45 sorties with No.104 Squadron, commencing with a raid on Cologne (30 July 1941). In all he flew twelve trips in Bomber Command (on six of which the aircraft was damaged). He went to Egypt in mid-October 1941 and commenced operations in North Africa on 19 October 1941; his last recorded sortie in that theatre was 20 November 1942, although a certificate from the Commanding Officer of No.104 stated he had flown nine additional trips for which no record had survived. His second tour had begun on 12 May 1943 (Duisburg) and had to date consisted of three trips (a sea search on 14 June 1943 and Krefeld on 21 June 1943).
618877 Sergeant George William OLIVER, Royal Air Force, No. 467 (R.A.A.F.) Squadron.
One night in August, 1943, these airmen were pilot and mid-upper gunner respectively of an aircraft detailed to attack Peenemunde. The objective was successfully bombed but, shortly afterwards, the aircraft was hit by cannon fire from an enemy fighter. The rear gunner was wounded, his turret was rendered useless and ammunition in the aircraft was set alight, while the elevator and rudder trimmers were shot away. In spite of these harassing circumstances, Sergeant Oliver fought the attacker with great determination and succeeded in shooting it down. He then turned his attention towards the fire which was beginning to spread and, with assistance from other members of the crew, succeeded in quelling it. Meanwhile, Warrant Officer Wilson coolly and skilfully evaded several fighters and afterwards flew the crippled bomber to base. This pilot displayed superb qualities throughout, while Sergeant Oliver's courageous and skilful efforts proved of the greatest assistance.
Warrant Officer Warren Leonard WILSON (Aus.403972), Royal Australian Air Force, No. 467 (R.A.A.F.) Squadron was awarded the DFC
(London Gazette – 7 September 1943)
1384134 Sergeant Bertram Gordon BENNETT, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, No. 623 Squadron.
Sergeant Bennett was the wireless operator of an aircraft detailed to attack Berlin one night in August, 1943. During the bombing run the aircraft was attacked by a fighter. Sergeant Bennett was badly wounded in the chest but, in spite of this, gallantly attempted to quell a fire which had broken out in the structure. With his bare hands he kept the flames under control until an extinguisher was obtained with which the fire was put out. Not until the aircraft was clear of the target area did Sergeant Bennett disclose that he had been hit. His prompt and courageous action contributed materially to the safe return of the aircraft.
(London Gazette – 17 September 1943)
1652936 Sergeant Owen Noel JONES, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, No. 90 Squadron.
In September, 1943, Warrant Officer Denton and Sergeants Jones and Suddens were pilot, flight engineer and navigator respectively of an aircraft detailed to attack Hanover. Just after the bombs had been released the aircraft was intercepted by a Junkers 88 which made several attacks. The bomber was repeatedly hit and sustained such damage. The gear gunner was killed, while Warrant Officer Denton was hit in the leg by a bullet and Sergeant Suddens was wounded in the hand. Nevertheless, Warrant Officer Denton succeeded in flying clear and set course for this country. Meanwhile, Sergeant Jones, displaying praiseworthy promptitude, dealt effectively with 2 fires which had broken out in the rear part of the fuselage, afterwards rendering first aid to his wounded comrades. In the face of many difficulties, Warrant Officer Denton succeeded in reaching this country and successfully crash-landed the damaged bomber at an airfield. Throughout the return flight Sergeants Jones and Suddens did everything within their power to assist and proved themselves cool and resourceful members of aircraft crew. These gallant airmen set an example worthy of emulation.
Acting Warrant Officer (now Pilot Officer) Raymond Frank DENTON (1390294), Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, No. 90 Squadron was awarded the DFC.
575577 Sergeant Ronald William Charles SUDDENS, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, No. 90 Squadron was awarded the DFM.
(London Gazette – 19 October 1943)
1313625 Flight Sergeant Ronald John Foss, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, No. 224 Squadron.
This officer and airmen were members of the crew of an aircraft engaged on an anti-submarine patrol in September, 1943. During the flight the aircraft was engaged by 4 Junkers 88. The captain was killed in the early stages of the combat and Flight Sergeant Foss, the second pilot, immediately took over the controls. Flying Officer Johnstone, with commendable initiative immediately went to his assistance and rendered material help in subsequent evading tactics. The enemy pressed home their attack, however, and the aircraft was extensively damaged and caught fire, while several of the crew were wounded. Although the aircraft was fast becoming uncontrollable, Flight Sergeant Foss and Flying Officer Johnstone, by a combined effort, succeeded in bringing the aircraft down on to the sea where it became wrecked on impact with the water. Although under water, Flying Officer Johnstone, who was himself injured, gallantly assisted 2 of his wounded comrades to get clear by allowing them to step on his shoulders and head and thus to scramble through a gaping hole in the submerged portion of the aircraft. Meanwhile, Flight Sergeant Foss assisted other members of the crew into the dinghy. For nine days, these members of aircraft crew were adrift and during this period, Flying Officer Johnstone, Flight Sergeant Foss and Sergeant Dilks displayed great courage and high morale. Throughout this trying ordeal their exemplary conduct set an example of the highest order.
Flying Officer David Malcolm JOHNSTONE (86904), Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve was awarded the DSO
1216857 Sergeant Maurice William DILKS, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, No. 224 Squadron was awarded the DFM
(London Gazette - 29 October 1943)
Warrant Officer Arthur Joseph Samuel WALKER (1380714), Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, No. 10 Squadron.
10402841 Flight Sergeant Stanley MAYER, Royal Air Force .Volunteer Reserve, No. 10 Squadron.
This warrant officer and airman were pilot and flight engineer respectively of an aircraft detailed to attack Hanover one night in September, 1943. In the run-up to the target, the bomber was illuminated by the searchlights and subjected to heavy anti-aircraft fire, while immediately afterwards it was attacked by an enemy fighter. The aircraft was repeatedly hit and sustained serious damage. .One of its engines was set alight but, with great coolness, Warrant Officer Walker went into a steep dive and thus evaded the fighter, whilst the force of the wind extinguished the flames. Meanwhile, a fire had started amidships. Flight Sergeant Mayer, displaying great gallantry and promptitude, made strenuous efforts to prevent the flames from spreading. He succeeded in getting the outbreak under control before he was overcome by the fumes. He was dragged clear, however, and the fire was afterwards extinguished. The situation was very serious but, undaunted Warrant Officer Walker went on to release his bombs on the target. Displaying superb airmanship, this gallant and resolute pilot flew his crippled bomber to this country where he effected a safe landing in appalling weather. Throughout the return flight, Flight Sergeant Mayer rendered material assistance, while his exemplary conduct in the face of imminent dangers was beyond praise.
(London Gazette – 2 November 1943)
Can/R.70142 Sergeant William Harry CARDY, Royal Canadian Air Force, No. 427 (R.C.A.F.) Squadron.
This officer and airman were pilot and flight engineer respectively of an aircraft detailed to attack Kassel one night in October, 1943. During the operation the bomber was hit by a hail of bullets from an enemy fighter. Nevertheless, Flight Lieutenant Laird coolly and skilfully outmanoeuvred the enemy aircraft and set course for this country. Two of his crew had been killed, however, and Sergeant Cardy was wounded in the arm and in the eye. In spite of intense suffering, this gallant airman refused to leave his post and executed his normal duties until he finally fainted through loss of blood. Later, when he again recovered consciousness, he attempted to. do as much as he could to assist his captain in the homeward flight. By a superb effort Flight Lieutenant Laird succeeded in reaching base where he effected a safe landing in difficult circumstances. This officer displayed outstanding skill, courage and tenacity, while Sergeant Cardy's exemplary conduct and great fortitude were beyond praise.
(London Gazette –9 November 1943)
Flight Sergeant Edward Ernest de JOUX DFM (1151582), Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, No.102 Squadron
Since being awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal, Flight Sergeant de Joux has participated in many attacks against some of the enemy's most heavily defended and major targets such as Berlin, Cologne, Hamburg and Essen. An excellent air gunner, he has shot down five enemy night fighters and damaged two others. His exceptional fighting spirits, courage and determination in the face of the enemy have set an inspiring example to all Air Gunners in his Squadron.
(London Gazette – 12 November 1943)
1151582 Flight Sergeant Edward Ernest de Joux, D.F.M., Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, No. 102 Squadron.
Since being awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal, Flight Sergeant de Joux has participated in many attacks against some of the enemy’s most heavily defended and major targets such as Berlin, Cologne, Hamburg and Essen. An excellent air gunner, he has shot down five enemy night fighters and damaged two others.
(London Gazette - 12 November 1943, Flight - 30 December 1943)
Warrant Officer Claude Edward WHITE (1383031), Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, No. 100 Squadron.
One night in October, 1943, Warrant Officer White and Sergeant Dowdell were pilot and navigator respectively of an aircraft detailed to attack Leipzig. Soon after leaving the airfield, the intercommunication system became unserviceable, and later after crossing the enemy coast, one of the bomber's engines became defective. Before the propeller could be feathered, the engine burst into names. An extinguisher failed to put out the fire completely and it burned sufficiently bright to illuminate the fuselage and tailplane. In spite of this, Warrant Officer White flew on to the target and bombed it. On the homeward flight, Sergeant Dowdell displayed exceptional skill and resource and, in spite of great difficulties, unerringly guided his pilot to base. The defective engine was still alight when the airfield was reached but Warrant Officer White effected a masterly landing. As the bomber touched down the flames from the engine shot upwards and threatened to envelop the bomber but Warrant Officer White coolly ensured that his crew safely disembarked whilst he attended to the switches and petrol cocks. In serious circumstances, this gallant pilot displayed skill, coolness and tenacity which inspired all, while Sergeant Dowdell proved a valuable member of aircraft crew and supported his captain valiantly.
1395833 Sergeant Leslie Charles Andrew DOWDELL, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, No. 100 Squadron was awarded the DFM
(London Gazette – 16 November 1943)
658038 Flight Sergeant Frederick John STUART, Royal Air Force, No. 426 (R.C.A.F.) Squadron.
One night in October, 1943, this airman piloted an aircraft detailed to attack Leipzig. Before the target was reached the aircraft was intercepted by a fighter which attacked with great persistence. Much damage was sustained before Flight Sergeant Stuart succeeded in flying clear. Shortly afterwards, another fighter made a series of attacks but, with superb skill, Flight Sergeant Stuart evaded them. His aircraft was badly crippled. The cockpits, turrets, hydraulic gear and other essential equipment were damaged. The petrol tanks had been pierced and one of the gunners wounded. Undaunted, this valiant pilot went on to bomb his target and afterwards flew the crippled bomber to base where he effected a masterly landing. In the face of heavy odds, this airman set an example of courage, resolution and devotion to duty beyond praise.
(London Gazette – 19 November 1943)
710111 Sergeant Arthur Humphrey COWHAM, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, No. 57 Squadron.
One night in October, 1943, this airman was the rear gunner of an (aircraft detailed to attack Hanover. Shortly after the target had been bombed the aircraft was engaged by a fighter and hit by a hail of bullets which caused much damage. Sergeant Cowham was struck in the face and suffered a severe injury to one of his eyes. Although his turret was virtually wrecked he fought on with great resolution and played a good part
in driving off the attacker. Throughout the long journey home this brave gunner, although in intense pain and suffering from the loss of blood, refused to leave his post. Twice, subsequently, his accurate shooting prevented an enemy aircraft from closing in, while his skilful directions assisted his pilot to out-manoeuvre the enemy and fly clear. In harassing circumstances his gallant example greatly encouraged his comrades who were striving to bring the crippled bomber home. On this, his first sortie, Sergeant Cowham displayed courage, fortitude and devotion to duty in keeping with the best traditions of the Royal Air Force.
(London Gazette – 19 November 1943)
1411327 Sergeant James William NORRIS, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, No. 61 Squadron.
This airman was the flight engineer of an aircraft detailed to attack Dusseldorf Soon after crossing the enemy coast, the aircraft was attacked by a fighter and sustained damage. A few minutes later another fighter attacked. The bomber was struck by a hail of bullets. The windscreen was broken, the wireless apparatus and other important equipment were destroyed and the oxygen system, was rendered useless. The pilot, the wireless operator and the flight engineer were wounded and the navigator was killed. The aircraft became difficult to control but, despite this, the pilot continued to the target, being greatly assisted by Sergeant Norris, whose strenuous efforts were invaluable. Shortly after the target had been successfully attacked, the pilot collapsed owing to his wounds. Sergeant Norris took over the controls and, at times aided by another member of the crew succeeded in flying the damaged bomber to this country. When an airfield was sighted, Sergeant Norris and his comrade succeeded in rallying the semi-conscious pilot sufficiently to take-over and land the aircraft safely. Not until then, did Sergeant Norris disclose that he had been wounded in the arm in circumstances, fraught with great danger, this airman displayed courage, fortitude and determination of the highest order.
(London Gazette - 30 November 1943)
1127605 Sergeant Thomas Ernest BISBY, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, No. 10 Squadron.
One night in November, 1943. Flight Sergeant Mowatt and Sergeants Bisby and Bridge were midupper gunner, wireless operator and flight engineer respectively in an aircraft piloted by Flight Lieutenant Trobe and detailed to attack Dusseldorf. During the operation the aircraft was subjected to a series of attacks by 4 fighters. In the actions the bomber was repeatedly hit. The rear turret, the hydraulic gear, the inter-communication system, the wireless apparatus and other important equipment were rendered unserviceable. Flight Sergeant Mowatt and Sergeants Bisby and Bridge were wounded. In spite of this, Flight Lieutenant Trobe succeeded in flying clear. Two of the bomber's engines had failed but Sergeant Bridge succeeded in re-starting one of them. He afterwards extinguished a fire which had started near one of the turrets and later assisted Flight Sergeant Mowatt to quell another fire which had commenced in the fuselage. Meanwhile, Sergeant Bisby, although in considerable pain, had remained at his post throughout the encounters, and worked unremittingly to effect a temporary repair to his wireless apparatus. He succeeded in obtaining a fix which proved of material help in enabling his pilot to set course for home. Later on, his wireless apparatus again failed but, although on the point of collapse Sergeant Bisby continued his task of repairing it. By a superb effort, Flight Lieutenant Trobe succeeded in reaching base and, in difficult circumstances, effected a masterly landing In the face of a perilous situation this officer displayed outstanding skill and courage and his valiant efforts were well supported by his comrades, whose courage, fortitude and devotion to duty were of a high order.
Acting Flight Lieutenant Jack Hewson TROBE (Aus.416468), Royal Australian Air Force, No. 10 Squadron was awarded the DFC.
Aus.413637 Flight Sergeant William MOWATT, Royal Australian Air Force, No. 10 Squadron was awarded the DFM.
1119242 Sergeant Robert Clough BRIDGE, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, No. 10 Squadron was awarded the DFM.
(London Gazette - 3 December 1943)
Acting Warrant Officer Edward Sydney ELLIS (1292427), Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, No. 625 Squadron.
One night in December, 1943, Warrant Officer Ellis was the pilot of an aircraft detailed to attack Berlin. During the initial bombing run the aircraft was hit by anti-aircraft fire, which injured the rear gunner and rendered his turret unserviceable. Warrant Officer Ellis maintained a steady run, however, and made his first attack. Just as the first bombs had been released the aircraft was raked by bullets from a fighter and the rear gunner sustained a further injury; the mid-upper gunner was also wounded. Although the enemy delivered another long burst of fire, Warrant Officer Ellis continued his run and attacked the target exactly as planned. On leaving the target area it was discovered that much damage had been sustained. The intercommunication and hydraulic systems and the turrets were all unserviceable. The mainplane and the fuselage had been damaged, while the bomb doors could not be closed. In spite of this, Warrant Officer Ellis flew on and eventually reached an air field in this country, landing his aircraft safely without the aid of flaps and in spite of punctured tyres. In harassing circumstances, this pilot displayed skill, courage and devotion to duty beyond praise.
(London Gazette – 24 December 1943)
Acting Warrant Officer George Wilfred BROOK (1213186) Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, No. 550 Squadron.
This officer has completed a successful tour of operations during which he has attacked Berlin on 10 occasions. He has at all times displayed praiseworthy determination in the execution of his tasks, many of which were undertaken in adverse weather. He is a most efficient captain, whose example of courage and devotion to duty has proved inspiring.
Warrant Officer Ronald HAYWOOD (649966), Royal Air Force, No. 7 Squadron.
Warrant Officer Haywood has an outstanding operational record. An excellent wireless operator, he has served with distinction in both the European and Middle East theatres of war and attacked some of the most heavily defended targets in Germany and Italy, including Berlin, Peenemunde and Milan. At all times his courage and resolution in the face of the enemy have been exemplary, whilst his operational experience has been of great benefit to the squadron.
(London Gazette - 18 January 1944)
Born in Staffordshire, 1921; enlisted 1939. Citation from Flight, 27 February 1944.
745737 Warrant Officer James Michie ALEXANDER, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, No.7 Squadron
Since December 1940, Warrant Officer Alexander has completed a large number of operational sorties, formerly in the Middle East and latterly against European objectives. He is an outstanding navigator, whose fine spirit of cooperation and devotion to duty have set a splendid example.
Killed in action 15/16 February 1944.
(Flight - 27 February 1944)
1627924 Sergeant Barry Colin WRIGHT, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, No. 166 Squadron.
This officer and these airmen were pilot, flight engineer, rear gunner and wireless operator (air) respectively of an aircraft detailed to attack Leipzig one night in February, 1944. When nearing the target area the aircraft was intercepted by 2 fighters. One of them attacked from close range and the bomber was raked along the whole length of the fuselage by the enemy's bullets. Four of the crew were wounded, including Sergeants Hall and Wright, the latter being very severely injured. The aircraft sustained extensive damage, making it impossible for the pilot to take evasive action. Then, to add to the trials of the harassed crew, the bomber became fully illuminated in consequence of a short circuit occurring in the electrical system. The second fighter flew in to the attack but, although forced to operate his turret manually, Sergeant Birch met the attacker with a devastating burst of fire and the enemy aircraft burst into flames and dived to the ground out of control. Only 2 of his guns were now operating but Sergeant Birch used them most effectively and drove off the other attacker. Pilot Officer Catlin then set course for home. Meanwhile Sergeant Hall set to work to repair some of the damaged equipment and later succeeded in making the intercommunication system serviceable. Badly wounded as he was, Sergeant Wright retained consciousness and could not be dissuaded from attempting to fulfil his duties. He was deprived of the use of the instrument panel which had been shot away, while 1 of the petrol tanks was empty. Nevertheless, he continued to keep the enemies running at their maximum power. In his efforts, Sergeant Wright had to be supported by a comrade and 3 times fainted through loss of blood but he never wavered. In the face of heavy odds, Pilot Officer Catlin reached an airfield where he effected a masterly landing. His skill, courage and determination were beyond praise. Sergeants Wright, Hall and Birch proved themselves to be valiant members of aircraft crew and did everything within their power to assist their pilot in his endeavours to bring the crippled bomber home.
Pilot Officer James Henry CATLIN (168836), Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, No. 166 Squadron was awarded the DFC
2206989 Sergeant William BIRCH, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, No. 166 Squadron was awarded the DFM
1226285 Sergeant Thomas Paul HALL, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, No. 166 Squadron was awarded the DFM
(London Gazette - 17 March 1944)
1215802 Flight Sergeant Herbert Allison DONALDSON, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, No. 199 Squadron.
This airman was the wireless operator (air) of an aircraft detailed for an attack on a target in March, 1944. Soon after crossing the enemy coast, the aircraft was hit by fire from the ground defences. Flight Sergeant Donaldson was hit in the, leg by fragments of shrapnel which lodged against the bone, causing a most painful wound. Despite this, he acted with great promptitude in assisting to extinguish a fire which had commenced in the aircraft. He afterwards set to work to repair his wireless apparatus which had sustained damage. Not until this task was successfully completed did Flight Sergeant Donaldson report his injury. Later on, the aircraft again came under fire and received further damage. Although in considerable 'pain, Flight Sergeant Donaldson . made light of his injuries and remained at his post to execute his wireless duties until the sortie was completed. He displayed fortitude, courage and devotion to duty of a high order.
(London Gazette - 31 March 1944)
1576762 Sergeant Leslie CHAPMAN, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, No. 61 Squadron.
This officer (Pilot. Officer Desmond Clayton FREEMAN - awarded the DFC) and airman were pilot and wireless operator respectively of an aircraft detailed to attack Nuremberg one night in March, 1944. During the operation the aircraft was attacked by a fighter. It was driven off but shortly afterwards two more enemy aircraft attacked. Before they also were driven off the bomber had sustained, much damage. The starboard wing, the flaps and the undercarriage nacelle were all hit by bullets. The mid-upper and front turrets were damaged. The windscreen was shattered and other parts of the airframe were shot away. Four members of the crew were wounded. Most of the navigational equipment was useless but course was set for home. Sergeant Chapman had been wounded in the back, neck and head but .bravely remained at his post obtaining fixes which were of inestimable value in establishing the aircraft's position at various stages on the return flight. Finally the English coast was reached and Pilot Officer Freeman landed the aircraft safely although a tyre on one of the landing wheels had been punctured. Pilot Officer Freeman displayed great skill, courage and determination throughout; Sergeant Chapman also proved himself to be a gallant member of aircraft crew. It was not until the aircraft had been safely landed that he informed his captain of his wounds. He set a splendid example.
(London Gazette - 9 May 1944 )
1515563 Sergeant Edward Dyson DURRANS, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, No. 90 Squadron.
This airman was the wireless operator of an aircraft detailed for a sortie one night in April, 1944. On the return flight the aircraft was hit by anti-aircraft fire. Sergeant Durrans was severely wounded by flying fragments of shrapnel. Although suffering acutely and affected by the loss of blood, Sergeant Durrans would not leave his post and continued working his wireless apparatus until the aircraft reached the English coast. His courage, fortitude and utter disregard for his own welfare set an example in keeping with the best traditions of the Royal Air Force.
(London Gazette - 9 May 1944 )
Warrant Officer Wilfred George BICKLEY (530493). Royal Air Force, No. 61 'Squadron.
As air gunner, Warrant Officer Bickley has completed a very large number of sorties, many of them calling for a high degree of courage and resolution. His appreciation of the responsibilities entrusted to him and his determination to achieve success have been a notable feature of his service. His great gallantry and fine fighting qualities have set an example in keeping with the best traditions of the Royal Air Force.
(London Gazette - 26 May 1944 )
778890 Flight Sergeant John CASSON, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, No. 250 Squadron.
One morning in May, 1944, this airman took part in an attack on mechanical transport on the Alatri-Frosinone Road. Despite intense opposing fire, Flight Sergeant Casson pressed home his attacks with great determination. Whilst making a second, run over the target his aircraft was hit by a shell. Flight Sergeant Casson was badly wounded in the thigh. Although faint through the loss of blood and shock, this valiant pilot flew his damaged aircraft to base. He was unable to operate one rudder-bar owing to his exhausted condition. Nevertheless, he effected a safe landing. As he was lifted from the controls, Flight Sergeant Casson collapsed. This airman displayed courage, fortitude and devotion to duty of the highest order.
(London Gazette - 23 June 1944)
1210365 Sergeant Fielder Bennett DEW, R.A.F.V.R., 78. Sqn.
These airmen were flight engineer, pilot and wireless operator (air) of an aircraft detailed to attack Bourg Leopold one night in May, 1944. When nearing the enemy coast, on the homeward flight, the aircraft was attacked by a fighter and sustained considerable damage. Two engines were put out of action and extensive fires started in the fuselage. The bomber' temporarily went out of control. At this moment it was struck by bullets from another enemy aircraft. Sergeant Dew was badly wounded in the foot, the thigh and arm; Sergeant Browne also sustained severe wounds in the arm and thigh. The situation was critical but although Sergeant Long ordered his crew to prepare to abandon aircraft, he attempted to regain control. He succeeded in so doing. Meanwhile, Sergeant Dew, in spite of considerable suffering and weakness through loss of blood, fought the fires and his efforts were successful; he also succeeded in restarting one of the damaged engines. By now he was unable to move about. Nevertheless, throughout the remainder of the homeward flight he directed other of his comrades in the necessary engineering tasks. Sergeant Browne also proved himself to be a devoted member of aircraft crew for, injured as he was and suffering acutely, he insisted on remaining by his wireless apparatus to assist his pilot on his course. Eventually, Flight Sergeant Long reached an airfield in this country and made a safe landing. In the face of a trying ordeal, these airmen displayed high courage, great skill and endurance. Their example ranks high.
Can/R. 159115 Flight Sergeant Kenneth Lawrence LONG, R.C.A.F., 78 Sqn was awarded the DFM
1323439 Sergeant Ladislaus Corbishley BROWNE, R.A.F.V.R., 78 Sqn was awarded the DFM
(London Gazette - 7 July 1944)
1571262 Sergeant William James BAILEY, R.A.F.V.R., 78 Sqn.
One night in July, 1944, this officer and airman were captain and flight engineer respectively of an aircraft detailed to attack a target in North F rance. After the target had been bombed, the bomber was attacked by an enemy fighter and sustained severe damage. A fire broke out within the aircraft and an explosion occurred in Sergeant Bailey's compartment wounding him in both legs. Disregarding his injuries, this airman fought the fire until the flames were quelled. Meanwhile Flying Officer Buchanan, who had been severely burnt about the face, 'flew the aircraft on a level course. This officer and airman have completed many sorties and have at all times displayed courage, fortitude and determination of a high order.
Flying Officer Malcolm Stjernqvist BUCHANAN (Aus-414641), R.A.A.F., 78 Sqn. was awarded the DFC
(London Gazette - 22 September 1944)
Warrant Officer Harold Arthur CORBIN (1295151), R.A.F.V.R., 248 Sqn.
This officer has taken part in many sorties, several of them being attacks on enemy shipping. On these operations many vessels of varying classes have been successfully attacked despite heavy enemy opposition. Throughout, Warrant Officer Oorbin has displayed a high degree of skill, courage and determination.
(London Gazette - 17 October 1944)
I555I02 Flight Sergeant Stuart Somerville CAMPBELL, R.A.F.V.R., 39 Sqn.
This airman has proved himself to be a valiant and devoted member of aircraft crew. He has participated in many sorties, including numerous attacks on enemy shipping and throughout has displayed a high standard of navigational ability. In June, 1944, when over a target in Northern Italy, his aircraft was struck by fragments of shell which started a fire. Flight Sergeant Campbell was wounded but, despite this, he succeeded in extinguishing the outburst. He afterwards navigated the aircraft home in the face of great difficulty. Towards the end of July, 1944, this airman was again a member of a crew detailed for an air operation. During the mission his aircraft was damaged by anti-aircraft fire. A fire started but he extinguished it. Although deprived of the full use of navigational aids he guided his pilot safely home. This airman has displayed a high degree r>f courage and resolution.
(London Gazette - 24 October 1944)
1600604 Flight Sergeant Anthony Clifford COLE, R.A.F.V.R., 622 Sqn.
In August, 1944, Warrant Officer Farquharson and Flight Sergeant Cole were navigator and wireless operator respectively of an aircraft detailed to attack Stettin. On the return flight the aircraft was intercepted and severely damaged by an enemy fighter. Although seriously wounded and in great pain, Warrant Officer Farquharson continued his navigational duties but was finally persuaded to be removed to a rest bed where he was given an injection of morphia. Meantime, Flight Sergeant Cole although injured in the thigh by a piece of shrapnel, concealed the seriousness of his wound and took over the task of navigating the aircraft back to base. The English coast was eventually crossed and a landing was made at the first available airfield. Weak from loss of blood Flight Sergeant Cole was on the verge of collapse and was removed to hospital. These airmen have completed many sorties and their gallantry and devotion to duty have been of a very high order.
Warrant Officer John Ernest FARQUHARSON (Can/R. 144254), R.C.A.F., 622 Sqn. was awarded the DFC
(London Gazette - 27 October 1944)
1802499 Sergeant Francis William CRIDGE, R.A.F.V.R., 166 Sqn.
This officer and airman were pilot and navigator . respectively of an aircraft detailed to attack Neuss one night in September, 1944. When nearing the target the aircraft was attacked by a fighter. The fight ended with the destruction of the enemy aircraft which exploded in the air. The bomber had sustained much damage. The midupper and rear turrets were wrecked, the gunner of the latter being killed. . The wireless apparatus, many of the pilot's instruments and much navigational equipment were rendered useless. The hydraulic gear was put out of action, making it impossible to operate the bomb doors mechanically. Even so. Squadron Leader Rippingale calculated that if the bombs were released their weight would force open the bomb doors. He gave the order and the bombs fell. A course was set for home and finally an airfield was reached and a safe landing made. In hazardous circumstances, Squadron Leader Rippingale displayed exceptional skill, inspiring leadership and great courage. Sergeant Cridge also proved himself to be a brave and devoted member of aircraft crew. In the fight he was wounded in the face, arm and the body by fragments of a cannon shell. His first thought was to give his captain all the assistance of which he was capable. Although in great pain and suffering from the .loss of blood he navigated the aircraft home with much skill.
Squadron Leader Thomas Woodruff RIPPINGALE (39159). R.A.F.O., 166 Sqn. was awarded the DSO
(London Gazette - 10 November 1944)
635682 Sergeant Ernest William KNIGHT, R.A.F., 432 (R.C.A.F.) Sqn.
One morning in October, 1944, this airman was the flight engineer of an aircraft detailed to attack Wanne Eickel. Whilst over the target the aircraft was badly hit by anti-aircraft fire. The bomb aimer was killed and Sergeant Knight was wounded. His injury was severe. Although suffering acutely he insisted on remaining at his post ready to give of his best to assist his captain in •his attempt to fly the badly damaged aircraft home. One engine was completely out of action, whilst a second was kept functioning only by Sergeant Knight's constant attention. This airman displayed courage, fortitude and devotion to duty of a high order. His example was most inspiring.
(London Gazette - 15 December 1944)
1580298 Flight Sergeant Stanley William WALTERS, R.A.F.V.R., 44 Sqn.
This airman has participated in a number of sorties, including attacks on Karlsruhe, Nuremburg and Munchen Gladbach. In November, 1944. he was air bomber in an- aircraft detailed to attack Homberg. In the vicinity of the target the aircraft came under heavy fire and was struck by high explosive shells. The cockpit was shattered. The pilot was killed and the flight engineer was badly wounded. Flight Sergeant Walters promptly assisted another member of the crew to remove his dead comrade from the pilot's seat and then took over the controls. The aircraft had sustained severe damage. One engine had been put out of action, whilst a second and a third were reduced in power and vibrating badly. The hydraulic system was damaged and the flaps had edged down. Despite this. Flight Sergeant Walters, though lesser experienced than a regular pilot, brought the aircraft to an even keel and headed for home. Although only one engine was giving full power he reached an airfield near the English coast. The aircraft was too badly damaged for Flight Sergeant Walters to attempt to bring it down safely. He gave orders to the crew to release their dead captain by parachute and then to abandon the aircraft themselves. Not until his comrades were all clear and he was satisfied that the aircraft was headed out to sea did this gallant air bomber leave himself. His cool courage, outstanding resource and determination set an example of the highest order.
(London Gazette - 2 January 1945 )
1579116 Flight Sergeant Frederick TOMKINS, R.A.F.V.R., 180 Sqn.
In December, 1944, this airman was the wireless operator in an aircraft detailed to attack a target in the Stralen area. During the sortie the aircraft was hit by anti-aircraft fire and sustained damage. The navigator and the pilot were wounded, the latter severely. Some Verey cartridges near the pilot were set alight. The cockpit became filled with smoke which obscured most of the flying instruments. A small fire started amidships. Flight Sergeant Tomkins saw that the navigator was dealing successfully with the fire so he promptly crawled over the bomb bay to assist the injured pilot who, by now, was in a state bordering on collapse. He rallied when succoured by Sergeant Tomkins who afterwards took over the controls and flew the aircraft to an airfield in friendly territory. Here, under the instructions of his wounded pilot, he brought the aircraft down safely. In the face of most trying circumstances, Sergeant Tomkins displayed courage, coolness and resource of a high order.
(London Gazette - 23 January 1945 )
1518651: Acting Flight Sergeant Thomas William Dennis KELLY, R.A.F.V.R., 7 Sqn.
One night in February, 1945, this airman was the navigator in one of a formation of aircraft detailed to attack an oil refinery at Bohlen. When approaching the target the aircraft was hit by anti-aircraft fire and sustained damage. Flight Sergeant Kelly was severely wounded in the leg. In spite of this, his first thought was the fulfilment of his allotted duties. Although in acute pain he insisted on remaining at his post. Throughout the attack and on the return flight home, Flight Sergeant Kelly displayed the highest standard of skill. After the English coast had been crossed he was overcome ,by faintness but he had accomplished his task and navigated the aircraft safely back. This airman displayed exceptional courage, fortitude and devotion to duty.
(London Gazette - 6 April 1945 )
1486967 Flight Sergeant Rupert Percy LONGLEY, R.A.F.V.R., 218 Sqn.
This airman was the wireless operator in an aircraft detailed to attack Neuss one night in January, 1945. During the operation the aircraft . sustained severe damage In spite of this the pilot succeeded in reaching Allied .territory where he was forced to give the order to abandon as the aircraft had now become uncontrollable. One member of the crew, whose parachute had opened by accident inside the fuselage, was therefore unwilling .to jump. He asked to be allowed to strap himself to Flight Sergeant Longley's back. The latter, without the slightest hesitation, agreed. After the two airmen had been strapped together they made their way, in total darkness, to the jumping point. On the way the ripcord of Flight Sergeant Longley's parachute caught in a projection. Although the parachute opened he was able to catch and hold the case intact and, with his comrade on his back, jumped clear of the aircraft. Unfortunately, in the descent, his comrade fell away. Flight Sergeant Longley came down on to a tall tree from which he fell to the ground and badly injured his back. His action in allowing a comrade to descend with him on a single parachute, although unavailing, showed a spirit of gallantry and self-sacrifice which will long be remembered.
(London Gazette - 13 April 1945 )
1147696 Flight Sergeant John BETTANY, R.A.F.V.R., 625 Sqn.
This airman was the wireless operator in an aircraft detailed to attack Pforzheim one night in February, 1945. Soon after the target had been bombed the aircraft sustained serious damage. Several small fires commenced but Flight Sergeant Bettany, displaying great promptitude and bravery, dealt with most of them effectively. Some few minutes later, one of the starboard tanks exploded and set the starboard outer engine on fire. The pilot gave the order to abandon the aircraft. The intercommunication system was out of action so he requested Flight Sergeant Bettany to give the message verbally to the mid-upper and rear gunners. As he made his way along the fuselage, this airman's parachute caught on some wreckage and opened. Undaunted, Flight Sergeant Bettany completed his errand and ensured that his comrades were clear before he, himself, donned the spare parachute and jumped. His coolness, bravery and resolution in a critical situation set an example of the highest standard.
(London Gazette - 24 April 1945 )
605494 Flight Sergeant James Mansfield HALL, R.A.F., 180 Sqn.
This officer and airman were pilot and air gunner respectively in an aircraft detailed to attack the railway yards at Bocholt in March, 1945. During the bombing run the aircraft was hit by fire from the ground defences. Pilot Officer Perkins was severely wounded. His -right thigh was smashed; he also sustained injuries to his back. His suffering became intense. Nevertheless this brave pilot, tended by Flight Sergeant Hall who stood at his side, flew the aircraft to an allied airfield. As the airfield was reached Pilot Officer Perkins was in great distress. Although the aircraft had sustained serious damage it was decided to attempt a landing. Flight Sergeant Hall assisted to remove his wounded comrade into the second pilot's seat and then himself took over the controls in an effort to bring the aircraft down. During the descent, Pilot Officer Perkins, injured as he was, advised and directed his resolute air gunner in the control of the aircraft so well, that a successful crash landing was affected. Pilot Officer Perkins displayed outstanding fortitude, great courage and unbeatable determination in the face of extreme suffering. Flight Sergeant Hail also proved himself to be a valiant crew member. His coolness, courage and resource set a fine example.
Pilot Officer Richard Marshall PERKINS (187258), R.A.F.V.R. 180 Sqn. was awarded the DSO.
(London Gazette - 27 April 1945 )
961648 Sergeant Dennis Ronald BOWERS, R.A.F.V.R., 156 Sqn.
Sergeant Bowers and Flight Sergeants Mann and Reynolds were flight engineer, rear gunner and second navigator respectively in an aircraft piloted by Flying Officer Hampson detailed to attack Harpenerweg in March, 1945. When nearing the target the aircraft was hit by anti-aircraft fire. Sergeant Bowers was severely wounded in the leg In spite of this he remained at his post. Almost immediately, another shell burst underneath the aircraft and caused extensive damage. The bomb bay was wrecked. A fire started and the fuselage became filled with smoke. The aircraft began to lose height and it seemed as though it would have to be abandoned, but Flying Officer Hampson succeeded in regaining control. Just then, the aircraft was again hit. Sergeant Bowers sustained further hi jury. His leg was almost severed. Whilst Flying Officer Hampson was taking evasive action, Flight Sergeants Mann and Reynolds went to the assistance of their badly wounded comrade to whom first aid was given. Afterwards, they did everything possible to assist their pilot and captain in his endeavour to fly the crippled aircraft home. Grievously wounded as he -was, Sergeant Bowers also was fully determined to be of assistance. After dragging himself nearer to his instrument .panel he kept his pilot advised of the fuel position and gave directions regarding the changing of the respective fuel tanks. Finally, Flying Officer Hampson reached an airfield. The bomb doors were open. The hydraulic gear and the flaps were unserviceable. Nevertheless, the undercarriage was lowered by means of the emergency system and Flying Officer Hampson brought the severely damaged aircraft safely down. This officer displayed the finest qualities of skill, courage and coolness. Flight Sergeants Mann and Reynolds gallantly supported their captain and their conduct throughout was exemplary. Sergeant Bowers, .though grievously injured, set a magnificent example of courage, fortitude and devotion to duty. His example will long be remembered.
Acting Flying Officer Gilbert Barrett HAMPSON (1841831), R.A.F.V.R., 156 Sqn.
1589153 Flight Sergeant John Rouffignac MANN R.A.F.V.R., 156 Sqn.
1233251 Flight Sergeant Francis Geoffrey REYNOLDS, R.A.F.V.R., 156 Sqn.
(London Gazette - 18 May 1945 )
Warrant Officer Angus ROBB (1550317), R.A.F.V.R., 405 (R.C.A.F.) Sqn.
Pilot Officer Van Metre and Warrant Officer Robb were wireless' operator and mid-upper gunner respectively in an aircraft detailed to attack Dessau one night in March, 1945. Whilst over the target the aircraft was attacked by 3 enemy fighters. The first enemy aircraft to attack was shot down by the rear gunner. Warrant Officer Robb engaged the second fighter. Following a short but accurate burst of fire from his .guns the enemy aircraft fell to the ground. The remaining fighter attacked with great persistence. The rear gain-turret of the bomber was badly hit and set on. fire. The rear-gunner was trapped. Pilot Officer; Van Metre and Warrant Officer Robb, displaying the greatest determination, immediately went to the assistance of their trapped comrade. By their joint efforts, these crew members finally extinguished the flames and extricated the rear-gunner from the gun turret. Pilot Officer Van Metre had severely burned his hands. In spite of much pain he returned to his post to work at his wireless apparatus throughout the return flight. Pilot Officer Van Metre and Warrant Officer Robb set a fine example of courage and resolution in very trying circumstances.
(London Gazette - 18 May 1945 )
Pilot Officer Roy Bentley VAN METRE (Can/J.89752), R.C.A.F., 405 (R.C.A.F.) Sqn was awarded the DFC.
1804406 Sergeant Jeffery George WHEELER, R.A.F.V.R., 101 Sqn.
Sergeant Wheeler was flight engineer in an aircraft detailed to attack the heavily defended target of Bremen hi March, 1945. Whilst over the target area the aircraft was hit and damaged by enemy fire. Sergeant Wheeler was seriously wounded in the thigh. Although in great pain this resolute airman concealed the fact until well clear of the target. After receiving attention, Sergeant Wheeler insisted on being allowed to carry on with his duties. Two of the starboard engines had sustained slight damage but so well did this engineer fulfil his tasks that his captain was enabled to have full use of the four engines throughout the homeward flight. In spite of much physical distress, Sergeant Wheeler displayed outstanding devotion to dhity, setting a splendid example to all. This airman has completed a large number of sorties and has invariably displayed a high degree of skill.
(London Gazette - 1 June 1945 )
1604111 Flight Sergeant Dennis EVANS, R.A.F.V.R., 250 Sqn.
Flight Sergeant Evans has displayed the highest standard of keenness, courage and devotion to duty. He has completed very many sorties and has at all times pressed home .his attacks with great determination. In April, 1945, this airman was engaged on an armed reconnaissance in Northern Italy. A convoy of enemy vehicles were sighted. During the attack his aircraft was hit and severely damaged -by anti-aircraft fire. Undeterred, Flight Sergeant Evans pressed home his attack, destroying two enemy vehicles. Later, Flight Sergeant Evans was compelled to abandon his crippled aircraft. He came down safely by parachute. Although landing in enemy territory the evaded capture and soon rejoined his squadron. He displayed great courage and tenacity throughout.
(London Gazette - 20 July 1945 )
1652870 Flight Sergeant Derrick Teify JONES, R.A.F.V.R., No 62 Sqn
This airman has completed a large number of day and night sorties many of which have been over mountainous terrain and in adverse weather. In May, 1945, his aircraft was hit and set on fire by anti-aircraft fire. Handing over control of the aircraft to his second pilot, Flight Sergeant Jones attempted to extinguish the flames. His efforts proved unsuccessful and he sustained burns. Upon resuming control of the aircraft, he realised that there was no alternative but to make a forced landing as the fire was spreading rapidly. Shortly after landing, the aircraft exploded. His ability and coolness undoubtedly saved the lives of his crew. This airman has set a fine example to his fellows.
(London Gazette - 3 August 1945 )
1594208 Sergeant George Wilfied SIMPSON, R.A.F.V.R., No. 463 (R.A.A.F.) Sqn.
One night in April, 1945, these officers and this airman were pilot, navigator and flight engineer respectively of an aircraft detailed to attack the heavily defended oil target at Tonsberg. When nearing the target the aircraft was attacked and severely damaged by an enemy fighter. Flying Officer Cox and Sergeant Simpson sustained injuries but nevertheless remained at their posts. The nose of the aircraft was shattered and gaping holes were torn in the fuselage. The windows of the pilot's compartment were blown out and much equipment was lost. The bombsight was rendered useless and it was therefore impossible to bomb the target with any accuracy. The aircraft began to lost height and it seemed as though it would have to be abandoned but Flying Officer Cox succeeded in regaining control. He then skilfully manoeuvred his aircraft to enable his gunners to attack the enemy fighter which was shot down in flames. Meanwhile, despite suffering intense pain from severe frost bite, caused to their hands by the bitter winds blowing through the open nose of the aircraft, Flying Officer Wainwright and Sergeant Simpson did everything possible to assist their pilot in his endeavour to fly the crippled aircraft to a friendly airfield. After much difficulty this was eventually accomplished and a skilful landing was made. The coolness, courage and devotion to duty of these officers and this airman were an inspiration to their squadron.
Acting Flying Officer Arthur Cox (184305), R.A.F.V.R., No. 463 (R.A.A.F.) Sqn. was awarded the DSO
Flying Officer John Alfred WAINWRIGHT (176147), R.A.F.V.R., No. 463 (R.A.A.F.) Sqn. was awarded the DSO
(London Gazette - 3 August 1945 )
622189 Sergeant Roy Kelly HEWITT, D.F.M., No. 61 Squadron.
622189 Sergeant Roy Kenneth (sic) HEWITT, D.F.M., No. 61 Squadron. (Wireless operator/air gunner; sorties 69; flying hours 379). This airman has completed 17 sorties since the award of the Distinguished Flying Medal. His courage and efficiency as a member of aircraft crew have always been of a very high order and have contributed much to the successful completion of many missions. On one occasion, when returning from an operational sortie, his aircraft was attacked by 4 enemy fighters. Sergeant Hewitt displayed the utmost courage and coolness in assisting to extinguish a fire which had resulted from the engagement. He also sent out wireless distress signals. His conduct throughout all his operations has been commendable.
Citation courtesy his son
Warrant Officer Leonard Eric GOSLING (1159184), R.A.F.V.R., 617 Sqn.
Warrant Officer Gosling has operated continuously since December 1943. He volunteered for two consecutive tours of duty and also to continue on operations after these tours had been completed. His record of attacks is outstanding. It has included missions against many of the most heavily defended targets in Germany. These attacks called for a high standard of navigation, which Warrant Officer Gosling has never failed to display. During the three attacks on the German battleship Tirpitz, in which he took part, he demonstrated his skill despite the long and arduous flights which were involved. The flight to the Russian base, from which the first attack was delivered, took place in appalling weather and, though his navigational aids were almost all unserviceable, he succeeded in directing his captain safely to base. Warrant Officer Gosling’s coolness and methodical and accurate work in the face of severe opposition have frequently enabled his captain to complete his sortie successfully.
(London Gazette - 21 September 1945, Flight - 18 October 1945)
Warrant Officer Alan PENROSE, D.F.C. (now Pilot Officer) (1113654), R.A.F.V.R., 157 Sqn.
Warrant Officer Penrose was awarded a Bar to the Distinguished Flying Cross in January 1945. Since then he has completed a number of long range bomber sorties of a difficult and dangerous nature. During these operations, this officer [sic] has been responsible for the destruction of two Junkers 88s. Warrant Officer Penrose has a splendid record of operations. He has assisted his captain in the destruction of ten enemy aircraft and six flying bombs. As a navigator, he has shown the highest degree of skill and determination. His ability and practical experience have been of the greatest value to his squadron.
(London Gazette - 21 September 1945, Flight - 18 October 1945)
1715036 Flight Sergeant Solomon Joseph Harold ANDREW DFM, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, No.35 Squadron
Since the award of the Distinguished Flying Medal, this airman has flown on a large number of operational sorties. Many of these have been flown in the Master Bomber aircraft and all have been with a Pathfinder force. An air gunner of outstanding ability, Flight Sergeant Andrew at all times has set a magnificent example by his courage, skill, and steadfast devotion to duty.
(London Gazette - 26 October 1945, Flight - 20 December 1945)
He had been awarded DFM on completion of 54 sorties; this was after flying 89 sorties.
Warrant Officer Squire NUTTALL, D.F.M. (1684518), R.A.F.V.R., 35 Sqn.
Since the award of the Distinguished Flying Medal this Warrant Officer has flown on many more operational sorties, serving in a crew engaged on many important marking duties. An air gunner of outstanding ability, his keen vigilance has, on many occasions, enabled his captain to take action to avoid enemy night fighters. Throughout a long period of operational flying, Warrant Officer Nurtall has displayed gallantry and devotion to duty of a high order.
(London Gazette - 26 October 1945)
Medals sold at auction 5 November 1991 for £ 3,800. Information from website of Dix-Noonan-Webb. Posted to No.77 Squadron in September, 1943; took part in four night operations before being posted to No.35 Squadron, “Pathfinder Force”. Between November, 1943, and April, 1945, he completed a further 87 sorties making 91 in total, amassing an incredible 500 hours of operational flying time. Awarded DFM, 12 December 1944. Nuttall flew most of his earlier missions as mid-upper gunner but for his last 40 missions he was more usually employed as rear gunner. These two positions were probably the most vulnerable and dangerous places to be on a heavy bomber and the life expectancy of such gunners was not long by any means. It is, then, all the more remarkable that Nuttall survived unscathed to fly so many missions. His operational career included the following missions: 30 March 1944 - Nurnberg - when Bomber Command suffered its heaviest losses in one attack; 9 May 1944 - Haine St Pierre - in Master Bomber aircraft; 2 June 1944 - Trappes - in Master Bomber aircraft; 5/6 June 1944 - Maisy - Early hours of D-Day the squadron attacked two German coastal batteries, one at Maisy and the other at Longues; 7 July 1944 - Caen - in Master Bomber aircraft; 5 January 1945 - Hanover - “mid-upper gunner baled out over target after being presumably hit by flak”; 12 March 1945 - Dorrmund - The largest daylight raid during the war against a single target when 1,107 aircraft dropped more than 4,500 tons of bombs; 4 April 1945 - Leuna (Merseburg) - in Master Bomber aircraft; 25 April 1945 - Wangerooge - The last operational mission of the Second World War for both Nuttall and No.35 Squadron when eight Lancasters bombed gun batteries on the island of Wangerooge; May 1945 - various missions marking for dropping of food supplies in Holland and ferrying released POWs from Belgium, France and Germany (Operation EXODUS).
Warrant Officer Hugh SCOTT (525496), R.A.F., 223 Sqn.
This Warrant Officer has completed two tours of operational duty and has served with both Coastal and Bomber Commands. He is an air gunner who, throughout a long operational career, displayed outstanding gallantry and devotion to duty. By his courage, skill and determination, he has set an inspiring example to all.
(London Gazette - 26 October 1945, Flight - 20 December 1945)
Warrant Officer Sidney James TREGUNNO (1031723), R.A.F.V.R., 51 Sqn.
Throughout two tours of operational duty, this Warrant Officer has displayed outstanding skill, courage and devotion to duty. As air gunner he has attacked most of the heavily defended targets in Germany. On his first mission in 1943, his aircraft was attacked by an enemy aircraft and so badly damaged it was forced down on to the sea. Warrant Officer Tregunno and the other members of his crew were rescued by an airborne lifeboat. Despite this trying experience, he resumed operational flying with undiminished enthusiasm, and later shared in the destruction of two Junkers 88s. On another occasion this Warrant Officer was involved in an air combat with three enemy fighters, the engagement lasting 20 minutes before the hostile aircraft were driven off. At all times Warrant Officer Tregunno has shown great courage and determination in the face of the enemy, and his calm, confident bearing has been a valuable asset to his crew.
(London Gazette - 26 October 1945, Flight - 20 December 1945)
1313283 Flight Sergeant Arthur Harrington. JEFFERIES, R.A.F.V.R., 550 Sqn., with effect from 30th March, 1944 (since deceased).
During his tour of operations this airman has attacked may important and heavily defended objectives in Germany. Eight of these have been against Berlin in the face of intense opposition and others against centres in the Ruhr. His coolness and deliberation have been most praiseworthy and he has always displayed high courage and determination.
(London Gazette - 21 December 1945)
Medals offered at auction by Spink, December 2002. Their catalogue provides the following information. Home in Grove (near Wantage); enlisted 1940; commenced operational flying with No.101 Squadron, May 1943. Soon after commencement of his tour his aircraft was damaged over Dusseldorf. This was followed by four sorties against the Ruhr and Krefeld. On 22 June 1943 his Lancaster was severely damaged by flak over Mulheim, but despite the loss of one engine, and with hydraulics, brakes and turrets out of action, he brought the airplane back safely. On 27 July 1943 (raiding Hamburg) one of his port engines caught fire over the Kiel Canal but bombed searchlights and flak positions near Rendsburg rather than abort the mission. On returning, engines gave further trouble and his turrets were again out of action. He ordered everything possible to be jettisoned, including guns and the bombsight, and made England safely. His final operation with No.101 Squadron was a raid on Nuremburg (27 August 1943). He then made one sorties with No.100 Squadron (target Berlin) before posting to No.550 Squadron (November 1943). He then participated in seven raids on Berlin and five against other industrial centres. Killed in action 31 March 1944 (Nuremburg raid - shot down by flak over Leige while outbound in Lancaster LM425 “C” - three crew survived). Recommendation drafted after a raid on Stuttgart (15 March 1944) when he had flown 25 sorties (184 operational hours). Apart from the recommendation itself, his Base Commander (Air Commodore Ivelaw-Chapman) wrote of his “magnificent record of deliberate and consistent coolness in the face of the enemy.”
638217 Acting Flight Sergeant Thomas Emmanuel WHITE, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, attached No. 357 Squadron.
This was announced in the London Gazette of 8 June 1944 but a citation was not published for security reasons.
On 15 March 1944 Hudson III, AM949 of No 357 Squadron was conducting a supply dropping sortie when it crashed on the Burma/Siam border. The squadron received a signal stating that there were survivors so volunteers were called to go and assist in their rescue. Flt Lt J A King DFC volunteered to fly the squadron medical officer, Flt Lt G D Graham, who had volunteered to make a parachute drop to the site, despite never having made a jump before, so to assist Flt Lt Graham, Flt Sgt White, a fully qualified Parachute Jumping Instructor, volunteered to accompany him. The parachute jump was successful but on arrival it was discovered that only one crew member had survived. As well as Flt Sgt White's CGM, Flt Lt Graham was awarded the DSO and Flt Lt King a Bar to his DFC.
Other RAF recipients of the Conspicuous Gallantry Medal (Flying)
Warrant Officer Sidney Charles HOPKINS (520203), RAF, 214 Sqn
Acting Warrant Officer Victor Arthur ROE, DFM (1813968), RAFVR, 35 Sqn.
656738 Flight Sergeant William Clifford TOWNSEND, DFM, No. 617 Squadron.
1192265 Sergeant (now Warrant Officer) Paul Alexander HILTON, RAFVR, 35 Sqn.
1460321 Sergeant Gilbert Ebenezer James STEERE, RAFVR, 427(R.C.A F.) Sqn.
My thanks to Hugh Halliday for providing a number of the citations and additional notes.
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