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Air Commodore E B Sismore (130208)

Edward Barnes                         b:   23 Jun 1921                       r:  23 Jun 1976                        d: 22 Mar 2012

DSO – 18 Jun 1943, DFC – 16 Feb 1943, Bar – 15 Dec 1944, Bar – 22 Jun 1945, AFC – 31 May 1956, AE – xx xxx xxxx, OD (K) - 18 Mar 1949, MBIM.

(RAFVR): -Sgt: xx xxx 1939, Flt Sgt: xx xxx xxxx, Plt Off:  29 Aug 1942, Fg Off (WS):  28 Feb 1943, Act Flt Lt: xx xxx xxxx,  Flt Lt (WS):  29 Aug 1944, Act Sqn Ldr: xx xxx xxxx,  Flt Lt:  28 Feb 1946,

(RAF): - Fg Off: 2 Apr 1946 [1 Sep 1945], Flt Lt: 1 Jul 1946, Sqn Ldr:  1 Jan 1951, Wg Cdr:  1 Jan 1957, Gp Capt:  1 Jul 1962, Act A/Cdre: 4 Jan 1971, A/Cdre: 1 Jul 1971.

Picture ©Crown Copyright

xx xxx xxxx:                 U/T Observer

xx xxx xxxx:                 Navigator, No 110 Sqn. (Blenheims)

26 Aug 1941:               Screened Instructor, No 13 OTU

xx xxx xxxx:                 Screened Instructor, No 24 OTU

 3 Nov 1942                 Attended Mosquito conversion course, No 1655 Conversion Unit

xx Dec 1942:                Navigator, No 105 Sqn. (Mosquito's)

xx xxx 1942:                 Navigator, No 139 Sqn

xx Mar 1943:               Gee-H Instructor, Swanton Morley

xx xxx 1943:                Navigation Leader, No 21 Sqn

2 Apr 1946 [1 Sep 1945]:       Appointed to Permanent Commission in the rank of Flying Officer (retaining rank current at the time).

24 Dec 1945:              Air Staff, HQ No 12 Group.

27 May 1946:             Air Staff, HQ, No 47 Group.

xx xxx 1947:                Navigator, London-Cape Town Record Flight

xx xxx 1951:                U/T, Pilot, No ? FTS

11 May 1953:             Officer Commanding, No 29 Sqn. (Meteor NF11)

xx Oct 1954:              Attended Day Fighter Leaders School

xx Feb 1955:             Attended Guided Weapons Course, RAF Manby

xx Jan 1956:                Attended RAF Staff College

xx xxx xxxx:                 Officer Commanding, No ? AFS

9 Nov 1959:                Joint Planning Staff, HQ British Forces Arabian Peninsula

13 Jan 1961:                Air Attache, Addis Ababa.

9 Jul 1962:                   Deputy Director of Personnel (Air).

xx xxx 1964:                Officer Commanding, RAF Bruggen.

24 Oct 1966:               SASO, RAF Central  Reconnaissance Establishment

? 1970                         Staff, Central Defence Staff.

 4 Jan 1971:                 Commandant, Royal Observer Corps.

29 May 1973:              Director, Air Defence Environment Team.

Born in Kettering, he joined RAFVR as an Observer and was soon making a name for himself in the Mosquito force.  In January 1943 he acted as Lead Navigator  (pilot - Wing Commander Reynolds) on a daylight raid to Berlin which was timed  to coincide with Goering's speech on the 10th Anniversary of the Werhmacht.  By the end of WW2, he had been awarded the DSO, DFC and 2 Bars. 

In March 1943 he was posted to teach Gee-H at Swanton Morley.  He was one of only six people to be awarded the DSO, DFC , 2 Bars to the DFC and the AFC

After retiring from the RAF he joined Marconi as a service adviser.

Citation for the award of the Distinguished Service Order

"SISMORE, Edward Barnes, F/L (130208) – No. 139 Squadron.

On the 27th May 1943, a force of bombers were detailed to attack targets at Jena, Germany, in daylight.  The operation called for a high degree of skill and necessitated a flight over strongly defended areas and difficult terrain.  Whilst still a considerable distance from the target, the weather deteriorated and visibility became very poor.  Nevertheless, the objective, far away in enemy territory, was reached according to plan.  In spite of balloon defences, and in the face of fierce anti-aircraft fire, a low level attack was pressed home with great vigour.  The success achieved reflects the greatest credit on the efforts of the above mentioned personnel who took part in the operation in various capacities, as members of aircraft crews.  Their skill, courage and determination were of a high order."

This citation covered awards of one Bar to DSO, two DSOs (S/L W.W. Blessing and F/L E.B. Sismore), one DFC (F/O F.M. Fisher) and one DFM (Flight Sergeant L. Hogan).

Recommendation for the award of the Distinguished Service Order

"On 27th May, 1943, this officer was navigator of the leading aircraft of a formation of 14 detailed to attack targets at Jena, Germany, in daylight.

The total distance was 1,100 miles, over 500 of which were to be covered at very low level in daylight, through strong defences, both from the ground and the air, in occupied and enemy territory.  Weather conditions were not as expected, being very clear over the first part of the route, but deteriorating badly towards the target.  Visibility was reduced to less than a mile for the last 150, and was not more than half a mile for the last 40.

In spite of these difficulties, F/O Sismore navigated with extreme accuracy, and finally brought the formation up to the target along the pre-arranged run.  The attack was made at low level in the face of very heavy anti-aircraft defences and balloons.  Over the target itself, a light anti-aircraft shell burst in the cockpit, wounding the pilot.  F/O Sismore coolly rendered first aid, and helped the pilot to maintain control of the aircraft.  He then continued his accurate navigation and the aircraft returned safely to base.

This officer was navigator of the leading aircraft of a formation which attacked Berlin in daylight arriving precisely at the scheduled time.  Since then, he has completed 11 successful sorties, all of which have called for the highest degree of navigational skill at low level. 

All crews of the formation which carried out the attack on Jena are unanimous in saying that it was a magnificent navigational feat in face of difficulties.

"I strongly recommend the immediate award of the Distinguished Service Order". (Signed by Group Captain, Commanding, 29.4.43)

"This officer has done exceptional work as a squadron commander and I strongly endorse this recommendation.” 

(Signed by Air Commodore, Air Officer Commanding, No. 2(B) Group, 30.5.43)

(Source - Air 2/4974, drafted 29 May 1944, when he had flown 48 sorties (58 hours) 11 minutes), including 11 sorties 38 hours)

Citation for the award of the Distinguished Flying Cross.

“Pilot Officer Edward Barnes SISMORE (130208), Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, No.105 Squadron.

On the 3Oth January, 1943, two forces of bombers were detailed to attack Berlin, one during the morning and the other during the afternoon.  To reach the German capital necessitated a flight of more than 500 miles, mostly over heavily defended territory.  Close co-ordination and precise timing were essential but, such was the skill exhibited, that the target was reached and the attacks delivered within seconds of the specified  time.  That complete success was achieved, despite opposition from the ground defences, is a high tribute to the calm courage, resolution and endurance displayed by the following officers and airmen who, in various capacities, acted as members of the aircraft crews.”

(London Gazette – 16 February 1943)

Citation for the award of the Bar to the Distinguished Flying Cross

“Acting Wing Commander Reginald Wilfred REYNOLDS, D.S.O., D.F.C. (40259), R.A.F.O.

Acting Squadron Leader Edward Barnes SISMORE, D.S.O., D.F.C. (130208) R.A.F.V.R.

As pilot and navigator respectively these officers have taken part in numerous sorties against a wide I variety of targets.  In October 1944, they took part in a most successful attack on a vital German target.  In this well executed operation, these officers displayed skill and resolution of the highest standard.”

 (London Gazette – 15 December 1944)

 Citation for the award 2nd Bar to the Distinguished Flying Cross.

 "Acting Squadron Leader Edward Barnes SISMORE, D.S.O., D.F.C. (130208), R.A.F.V.R.

In March, 1945 Squadron Leader Sismore was the navigator in the leading aircraft of a laige formation detailed to attack the Gestapo headquarters at Copenhagen.   The operation, necessitating a flight of more than 1,000 miles, demanded the highest standard of navigational ability. In this direction, Squadron Leader Sismore's work was outstanding and contributed materially to the success obtained. Again,in April,1945,this officer flew with great distinction in an attack against a similar target at Odense.  This officer, who has completed much operational flying, has rendered very valuable service.”

(London Gazette – 22 June 1945)

This page was last updated on 07/12/23

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