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Air Commodore F L Pearce (09078)


Frederick Laurence          b: 9 Aug 1898                     r: 17 Mar 1952                     d: 3 Dec 1975

CBE - 5 Jul 1945, DSO - 20 Feb 1940, DFC - 12 Jul 1940, MiD - 20 Feb 1940, MiD – 1 Jan 194, MiD - 14 Jun 1945.

(Army):- Dvr: 3 Aug 1916, 2 Lt: 23 Jan 1918,

(RAF):- 2 Lt (P): 1 Apr 1918, Lt: 13 Oct 1918, Fg Off: 1 Aug 1919 [1 Apr 1918], Fg Off: 1 Aug 1919 [13 Oct 1918*], Flt Lt: 1 Jan 1927, Sqn Ldr: 1 Dec 1935, Wg Cdr: 1 Jan 1939,   Act Gp Capt: xx Aug 1940, (T) Gp Capt: 1 Mar 1941, Act A/Cdre: 12 Oct 1943?, Gp Capt: 1 Dec 1944, A/Cdre: 1 Oct 1946.

* Reduction in seniority effective from 7 Jun 1922

3 Aug 1916:           Driver (624625), 1/A Battery, Honourable Artillery Company

23 Jan 1918:            Equipment Officer 3rd Class, RFC

xx xxx xxxx:              U/T Pilot,

15 Sep 1920:           Staff, No 3 FTS

30 Oct 1920:           Attended Instructor's course, Central Flying School.

15 Mar 1921:          Instructor, No 1 FTS.

 1 Jul 1922:              Pilot, No 100 Sqn.

 1 Sep 1923:            Instructor, No 2 FTS.

23 Nov 1925:          Pilot, No 17 Sqn.

23 Feb 1928:           Attended ? Course, RAF Training Base, Leuchars.

13 Jul 1928:             Officer Commanding, No 440 (Fleet Spotter Reconnaissance) Flight FAA.

20 Sep 1930:           Supernumerary, RAF Depot.

 6 Jan 1931:             Staff, RAF Training Base, Leuchars.

 5 Oct 1933:             Flight Commander, No 100 Sqn.

26 Oct 1935:            Officer Commanding, No 824 Sqn FAA.

 4 May 1937:            Supernumerary, RAF Gosport.

 3 Aug 1937:            Maintenance Liaison Officer, HQ No 5 (Bomber) Group.

16 Jan 1939:            Supernumerary, No 206 Sqn

 1 Jun 1939:             Officer Commanding, No 269 Sqn. (Anson I/Hudson I)

22 Jan - 30 Mar 1940:           Attended Hudson Conversion Course, RAF Silloth

 8 Aug 1940:             Special Duty List, Air Ministry

xx xxx xxxx:              Air Staff, HQ Coastal Command.

xx xxx xxxx:              Air Staff, HQ No 17 Group

15 Mar 1942:           Supernumerary, RAF North Coates

19 Mar 1942:           Officer Commanding, RAF North Coates

24 Jul 1942:             Supernumerary, HQ Coastal Command, attached to RAF North Coates

12 Oct 1943:            SASO, HQ No 16 (Reconnaissance) Group.

27 Aug 1949:            AOC, AHQ Ceylon.

Whilst at Coastal Command in 1940, he was a member of the Tizard Technical Mission to the USA, which carried out negotiations with the Americans into the production of centimetric radar.  On his return, he was granted permission to fly one of the Hudsons across on the second Trans-Atlantic ferry flight from Botwood, Newfoundland to RAF Aldergrove.

He carried out a reconnaissance to North Russia, prior to the despatch of No 151 Wing in August 1941.

Citation for the award of the Distinguished Flying Cross.

“Wing Commander Frederick Laurence PEARCE, D.S.O.(09078).

Towards the end of June, 1940, Wing Commander Pearce led a formation of aircraft in an attack on a new enemy aerodrome.  As a result of his careful planning combined with initiative and leadership, the raid was a complete success and very severe damage was done.  Previously, this officer led a formation of aircraft in an attack on enemy warships in Trondheim and, in the face of intense opposition from anti-aircraft fire and enemy fighters, scored three direct hits on two enemy cruisers.”

(London Gazette – 12 July 1940)

This page was last updated on 02/08/21

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