BENDER, FS Desmond Sarafield (R53647) - Mention in Despatches - No.436 Squadron (AFRO identifies unit only as "Overseas) - Award effective 1 January 1946 as per London Gazette of that date and AFRO 155/46 dated 15 February 1946.  Home in Ottawa; enlisted there 16 January 1940.  No citation.  DHist file 181.009 D.1769 (RG.24 Vol.20610) has recommendation dated 9 June 1945.  Airframe mechanic, NCO in charge of Engineering Section.

 

This NCO is an exceptional tradesman and an outstanding organizer.  His untiring efforts and devotion to duty have been an inspiration to the entire squadron during the formation of this unit; obtaining of equipment and spare parts were our main obstacle, but due to the efforts of Flight Sergeant Bender, this obstacle was successfully overcome.  It is strongly recommended that his distinguished services be recognized by an award of "Mention in Despatches".

 

* * * * *

 

BENDIXSEN, F/L John (J13401) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.541 Squadron - Award effective 29 March 1945 as per London Gazette dated 10 April 1945 and AFRO 824/45 dated 18 May 1945.  Born in London, England, 1923; home in New York City; enlisted Toronto, 3 September 1941. Trained at No.1 ITS (graduated 2 January 1942),  No.6 EFTS (graduated 13 March 1942) and No.1 SFTS (graduated 14 August 1942).  Commissioned 1942.  Award sent by registered mail 15 January 1946.

 

This officer has completed a large number of photographic reconnaissances.  He has photographed some of the most heavily defended targets.  On one occasion he obtained photographs of Essen, Duisburg, Gelsenkirchen, Eindhoven, Venlo, Westkapelle and Flushing in one sortie and on another he photographed two flying bomb sites from an altitude of 100 feet.  Flight Lieutenant Bendixsen has throughout his operational career displayed a high standard of efficiency, courage and determination.

 

NOTE:  Public Records Office Air 2/9075 has recommendation dated 21 February 1945.  Credited with 92 sorties (212 hours ten minutes).  The draft citation differs in detail from the one published.

 

Flight Lieutenant Bendixsen has completed an operational tour on Photographic Reconnaissance during which time he has flown 92 sorties.  On November 28th, 1944 he photographed targets in Rochum, Essen, Duisburg, Hamborn, Gilsenkirchen [sic], Eindhoven, Gilze, Rijen, Venlo, Wanne-Eickel, Westkapelle, Flushing and Terneizen in one sortie.  On May 21st, 1944, Flight Lieutenant Bendixsen photographed two flying bomb sites from 100 feet.  On returning, a successful landing was made although the cloud base was only 150 feet.  Flight Lieutenant Bendixsen proved himself to be a most reliable and thorough photographic reconnaissance pilot.

* * * * *

 


BENITZ, P/O Frank Malcolm (J15035) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.104 Squadron - Award effective 7 April 1942 as per London Gazette dated 4 April 1942 and AFRO 611/42 dated 24 April 1942.  Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, 26 April 1917; home in Entasia La California, La California, Argentina; enlisted in Ottawa, 17 October 1940.   Trained at No.1 ITS and No.10 EFTS.  Graduated from No.5 SFTS, 10 April 1941.  Commissioned October 1941.  Medal presented 16 November 1943.  Later prisoner of war.

 

One night in October 1941, this airman was the captain of an aircraft which carried out a raid on Naples.  After a successful attack during which he remained over the target area for an hour, the port engine of his aircraft began to fail.  Pilot Officer Benitz thereupon set course for his base but on making an inspection he discovered that several of his bombs still remained hung up.  Although the defective engine was giving little power causing the aircraft to lose height, Pilot Officer Benitz changed course for an alternative target and finally released his remaining bombs over the heavily defended area of Palermo.  By now the port engine had failed completely and the aircraft was flying at some 4,500 feet.  Nevertheless, Pilot Officer Benitz headed the aircraft towards the coast in order to avoid the mountains and displaying fine airman ship he finally succeeded in reaching his base and landing safely.  Throughout, this airman showed great courage and determination.

 

NOTE: Public Records Office Air 2/4782 has message dated 26 February 1942, RAFHQ Middle East to Air Ministry, with original recommendation which is more detailed.  He was a Sergeant (R74280) and the award was to have been a Distinguished Flying Medal:

 

The above-named Non-Commissioned Officer was captain of an aircraft which attacked Naples on the night of October 31, 1941.  After remaining at the target for an hour successfully attacking, it [suffered] loss of revolutions and overheating developed in his port engine.  He set course for home but on making an inspection [he] discovered that several of his bombs had hung up.  Although by this time his engine was giving little power he changed course for the alternative target, Palermo, which was off his route for the last 30 minutes of his Estimated Time of Arrival.  He could not maintain height but he still carried on and dropped his bombs in the heavily defended target rather than jettison them into the sea.  By the time this attack was over his height was only 4,500 feet and the port engine had completely failed.  He fully feathered the airscrew and, turning to the coast to avoid the mountains in Sicily, brought his aircraft and crew home and made a successful landing at base.  During the whole operation Sergeant Benitz showed the highest courage.  His attack was pressed home with determination and his skill alone was responsible for the safe return of his aircraft.

 

* * * * *

 

BENJAMIN, F/L Paul Murray (J20637) - Mention in Despatches - Overseas - Award effective 1 January 1946 as per London Gazette of that date and AFRO 155/46 dated 15 February 1946.  Home in Johnson City, New York; enlisted in Hamilton, 21 November 1941.  Trained at No.3 ITS (graduated 10 April 1942), No.22 EFTS (graduated 3 July 1942) and No.8 SFTS (graduated 6 November 1942).

 

* * * * *

 

BENNELL, S/L Richard James (C1376) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.418 Squadron - Award effective 7 October 1943 as per London Gazette dated 26 October 1943 and AFRO 2507/43 dated 3 December 1943.  Born in England, 1912; living in Venezuela before the war; enlisted in Ottawa, 6 November 1939. Trained at No.1 SFTS (graduated 15 July 1940).  Involved in following successful air actions: 27 February 1943, one unidentified enemy aircraft damaged; 3 March 1943, one Do.217 destroyed; 21 May 1943, one unidentified enemy aircraft damaged; 6 September 1943, one Do.217 and one unidentified enemy aircraft destroyed. Killed in action 9 March 1944 while serving with No.418 Squadron.

 

This officer has completed many sorties over enemy territory at night.  He has attacked numerous airfields with success, while on operations against rolling stock he has damaged several locomotives.  In addition he has shot down three enemy aircraft.  Squadron Leader Bennell is an inspiring leader whose great skill and determination have been reflected in the high standard of efficiency of his flight.

 

BENNELL, S/L (now W/C) Richard James, DFC (C1376, deceased) - United States Air Medal - Overseas - Award effective 4 June 1943 as per Canada Gazette dated 4 May 1946 and AFRO 473/46 dated 10 May 1946.  Public Records Office Air 2/9599 has recommendation dated 14 May 1943.

 

When certain U.S. aircraft which were moving from Northern Ireland to the United Kingdom became lost while flying in bad weather, Squadron Leader Bennell and another officer located them and enabled them to land successfully.

 

Press Release 1523 from Headquarters, European Theatre of Operations, United States Army, 14 July 1943 (found with Air Ministry Bulletins) gives a portion of a more complete citation:

Squadron Leader Bennell, Royal Canadian Air Force, while serving as a pilot of a Royal Air Force plane (in 1942) was despatched to intercept and guide to base a flight of United States planes. Under extremely adverse weather conditions he located the flight and, displaying exceptional courage and skilful airmanship, led it to a safe landing at a friendly base. Without this assistance it is highly probable that several airplanes and their crews would have been lost.

* * * * *

 

BENNER, F/O Keith Johnstone (J22565) - Distinguished Flying Cross -No.44 Squadron - Awarded effective 6 November 1943 as per London Gazette dated 12 November 1943 and AFRO 358/44 dated 18 February 1944.  Born 1908 in South River, Ontario.  Home in Cobalt, Ontario; enlisted North Bay, 15 August 1941.  Trained at No.2 ITS (graduated 14 January 1942), No.8 BGS (graduated 6 June 1942), No.2 AOS (graduated 25 April 1942) and No.1 ANS (graduated 20 July 1942).  Commissioned 1942.  Medal presented 11 August 1944.

 

Flying Officer Benner has completed a number of sorties as a navigator.  The majority of these have been operations against the Ruhr targets and he also went to Berlin and Peenemunde.  On one occasion while attacking Cologne the aircraft in which he was flying was turned on its back by a burst of anti-aircraft fire and fell for fourteen thousand feet before control was regained.  Coolly, Flying Officer Benner not only gave his pilot valuable assistance at an extremely difficult moment, but he also heartened the remainder of the crew.  His work on the ground as well as in the air has always been most praiseworthy.

 

* * * * *

 

BENNET, F/O Robert Cottingham (J27537) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.626 Squadron - Award effective 1 December 1944 as per London Gazette dated 8 December 1944 and AFRO 293/45 dated 16 February 1945.  Home in Vancouver (ex-Royal Canadian Artillery); enlisted there 13 June 1942.  Trained at No.4 ITS (graduated 18 December 1942), No.5 EFTS (graduated 19 February 1943) and No.3 SFTS (graduated 25 June 1943).  Commissioned 1943.  Medal presented 27 March 1949.

 

As pilot and captain of aircraft this officer has taken part in many operational sorties.  He has led his crew with gallantry and high courage, inspiring them with his own cheerful confidence in times of stress.  In May 1944, while over enemy occupied territory, he observed an enemy fighter attacking a Lancaster aircraft.  Flying Officer Bennet immediately closed in, drew fire from the enemy and skilfully manoeuvred his aircraft to enable his gunners to drive off the enemy.

 

* * * * *

 

BENNETT, F/O Charles Erickson (J15964) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.424 Squadron - Award effective 1 December 1944 as per London Gazette dated 8 December 1944 and AFRO 337/45 dated 23 February 1945.  Born 1914 in Creston, British Columbia; home in Penticton; served three years in Canadian Army.  Enlisted 1941. Trained at No.4 ITS (graduated 26 June 1941), No.8 EFTS (graduated 13 September 1941) and No.3 SFTS (graduated 5 December 1941).  Commissioned 1942.  Medal presented at Sea Island, 22 October 1949.  No citation other than "..in recognition of gallantry and devotion to duty in the execution of air operations against the enemy." DHist file 181.009 D.1730 (RG.24 Vol.20607) has recommendation dated 19 September 1944 when he had flown 35 sorties (171 hours 50 minutes) in tour from 5 June to 12 September 1944.

 

Flying Officer Bennett on the completion of his first tour of operations has proven himself to be a most courageous and skilful captain of his aircraft.  Though detailed to attack some of the enemy's most heavily defended targets, this officer with complete disregard of all opposition never once failed to successfully bomb his objective and bring his crew back safely to base.  Flying Officer Bennett, under a calm and quiet manner, has shown a fine offensive spirit in action which set a magnificent example to his crew...

 

* * * * *

 

BENNETT, F/O Gordon (J15248) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.408 Squadron - Award effective 26 July 1943 as per London Gazette dated 6 August 1943 and AFRO 1849/43 dated 10 September 1943.  Born in St.Boniface, Manitoba; home in Winnipeg; enlisted there 20 November 1940. Trained at No.2 ITS (graduated 26 February 1941), No.14 EFTS (graduated 4 May 1941) and No.7 SFTS (graduated 14 July 1941).  Commissioned 1942.  Cited with Sergeant A. Rogers (RAF).  Medal presented 17 December 1943.  See also Baker, Eli (navigator).

 

Flying Officer Bennett and Sergeant Rogers were pilot and wireless operator of an aircraft detailed to attack Gelsenkirchen.  Whilst over the target area the bomber was hit by anti-aircraft fire.  Some stores caught fire and burned furiously.  Coolly, Flying Officer Bennett dived his aircraft and the force of the wind put out the flames on the burning fabric.  Meanwhile, acting with great promptitude, Sergeant Rogers fought the flames inside the bomber with the extinguishers.  By these means he succeeded in subduing the fire although much of the equipment including the hydraulic system were rendered unserviceable.  Flying Officer Bennett flew the damaged bomber to an airfield in this country and landed it safely.  His skill and resource were worthy of high praise while Sergeant Rogers displayed commendable promptitude and skill.

 

BENNETT, S/L Gordon, DFC (J15248) - Distinguished Service Order - No.405 Squadron - Award effective 14 July 1944 as per London Gazette of that date and AFRO 1861/44 dated 25th August 1944.  Medal presented 1 April 1949.

 

As captain of aircraft, Squadron Leader Bennett has taken part in a very large number of sorties during which he has successfully attacked such targets as Berlin, Mannheim and Munich.  He has displayed skill of a high order whilst his unconquerable spirit of determination and contempt for danger have been a notable feature of his efforts throughout.  Squadron Leader Bennett has rendered valuable service.

 

* * * * *

 

BENNETT, S/L Gordon Wellington (J9180) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.405 Squadron - Award effective 8 September 1945 as per London Gazette dated 21 September 1945 and AFRO 1704/45 dated 9 November 1945.  Born 1919 in Toronto; home in Algonquin, Ontario.  Educated at Ottawa Normal School; teacher; enlisted in Winnipeg, 11 March 1941.  Trained at No.2 ITS (graduated 9 July 1941), No.14 EFTS (graduated 13 September 1941) and No.11 SFTS (graduated 5 December 1941).  Commissioned December 1941.  Medal presented 25 April 1949.  No citation other than "completed...numerous operations against the enemy in the course of which [he has] invariably displayed the utmost fortitude, courage and devotion to duty."  Public Records Office Air 2/8751 has recommendation dated 20 April 1945 when he had flown 37 sorties (233 hours).

 

9 July 43         Gelsenkirchen (6.30)                   28 Oct 44       Cologne (5.45)

14 Aug 44      Aisy (4.35)                                     30 Oct 44       Cologne (6.20)

16 Aug 44      Kiel (5.05)                                     1 Nov 44         Oberhausen (6.35)

18 Aug 44      Cannantre (7.00)                          2 Nov 44         Dusseldorf (6.10)

25 Aug 44      St.Mathieu (5.05)                          6 Nov 44         Gelsenkirchen (5.40)

27 Aug 44      Marquise Mimoyecques              16 Nov 44      Julich (5.05)

(3.55)                                             18 Nov 44      Munster (5.20)

28 Aug 44      Fresney (3.55)                              21 Nov 44      Oslo (8.30)

10 Sep 44      Le Havre (4.10)                            29 Dec 44      Scholven (6.40)

12 Sep 44      Dortmund (5.15)                           30 Dec 44      Cologne (6.50)

15 Sep 44      Kiel (6.10)                                     2 Jan 45         Nuremburg (9.25)

17 Sep 44      Air/Sea Rescue                            14 Jan 45       Merseburg (9.10)

Search (5.20)                                28 Jan 45       Stuttgart (7.50)

24 Sep 44      Calais (5.05)                                 13 Feb 45      Dresden (11.15)

25 Sep 44      Calais (4.25)                                 14 Feb 45      Chemnitz (9.10)

27 Sep 44      Sterkrade (5.25)                           21 Feb 45      Duisburg (6.55)

28 Sep 44      Cap Gris Nez (3.15)                     14 Mar 45      Zweibrucken (7.00)

9 Oct 44         Bochum (6.20)                              10 Apr 45       Plaven (7.00)

23 Oct 44       Essen (6.20)                                 14 Apr 45       Potsdam (7.45)

24 Oct 44       Oslo (6.45)

 

Squadron Leader Bennett is an outstanding pilot and captain, now on his second tour of operations. He has taken part in attacks against such heavily defended areas as Kiel, Essen and Dortmund.  He is an excellent leader and organizer who, by his own personal example of fearlessness and devotion to duty, has inspired not only his crew but his entire squadron with the same spirit.  Strongly recommended for the non-immediate award of the Distinguished Flying Cross.

 

* * * * *

 

BENNETT, F/O Lancelot Gordon Hambleton (J36690) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.419 Squadron - Award effective 8 September 1945 as per London Gazette dated 21 September 1945 and AFRO 1704/45 dated 9 November 1945.  See War Service Records 1939-1945 (Canadian Bank of Commerce, 1947).  Born 19 May 1921 at Paris, Ontario; educated there.  Enlisted in Hamilton, 28 August 1941. Trained at No.1 ITS (graduated 14 February 1942), No.1 AOS (graduated 6 June 1942) and No.1 BGS (graduated 25 July 1942).  Flew with No.113 Squadron, Eastern Air Command; overseas February 1944.  Released 17 September 1945.  Award sent by registered mail 28 January 1949.  No citation other than "completed...numerous operations against the enemy in the course of which [he has] invariably displayed the utmost fortitude, courage and devotion to duty."  DHist file 181.009 D.1941 (RG.24 Vol.20612) has recommendation by W/C M.E. Ferguson dated 5 April 1945 when he had flown 31 sorties (222 hours 40 minutes), 27 November 1944 to 25 March 1945.

 

This officer flew approximately three hundred and fifty hours with Coastal Command in Canada before coming overseas.  He has completed an operational tour of thirty-one trips, all over Germany.

 

Throughout his tour he displayed the utmost tenacity, courage and devotion to duty.  His undoubted skill has at all times been an inspiration to his crew and to a large degree responsible for their success and safety.  His cheery, confident manner was a splendid example to all his associates bot on the ground and in the air.

 

I consider that Flying Officer Bennett's devotion to duty merits the award of the non-immediate D.F.C.

 

* * * * *

 

BENNETT, G/C Walter Edwin (C144) - Mention in Despatches - Western Air Command Headquarters - Awarded 1 January 1945 as per London Gazette of that date and AFRO 89/45 dated 19 January 1945 - Born in Halifax, 21 December 1908; educated there, attaining B.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering from Dalhousie University.  Enlisted in Halifax, 4 June 1928, serving at Camp Borden, Vancouver and Ottawa, and attending the RAF Photo School at Farnborough (January to November 1937).  Further service at Ottawa and Trenton; No.2 (AC) Squadron, 1 October 1939 to 27 December 1939.  In Ottawa again, 28 December 1939 to 17 December 1942.   Station Sea Island, 18 December 1942 to 11 November 1943; WAC Headquarters, 12 November 1943 to 5 October 1944; Sea Island, 5 October 1944 to 5 April 1945.  Overseas with No.127 Wing and RCAF Overseas Headquarters, 14 April 1945 to 4 April 1947.  Ex-COTC cadet, qualified for pilot's badge 27 August 1930.  Made Chevalier of the Legion of Honour (France), 18 June 1949, and awarded Queen's Coronation Medal, October 1953, while at CJS Washington.  NOTE: In a record of service in biographical file, Temporary Duty in UK is noted for 13 February to 17 September 1941, with following: "During a period of eight months in 1941 this officer completed 14 operational sorties over European targets.  These particular sorties were flown in connection with the testing of special photographic equipment, the ultimate results of which were invaluable on photo reconnaissance ops in the later stages of the war."  P/P/O, 4 June 1928 - F/O, 1 June 1933 - F/L 1 April 1937 - S/L 1 April 1939 - W/C 1 February 1941 - G/C 1 November 1943.  Died in Ottawa, September 19th, 1993.

 

This officer served overseas for a short period, during which time he successfully carried out valuable experimental work in night photography.  As commanding officer of a west coast station and in his present position as senior air staff officer at this command, he has executed his duties in a most capable manner, earning the respect of both his juniors and seniors.  He is an outstanding officer who has made an excellent record in this command and by reason of his initiative and devotion to duty has done much to maintain the high standard of operational fitness in aircrew.

 

BENNETT, A/C Walter Edwin (C144) - AFHQ - Chevalier of the Legion of Honour (France) as per Canada Gazette, 18 June 1949 and AFRO 260/49. "In recognition of distinguishedservices rendered in the cause of the Allies."

 

* * * * *

 

BENNETT, FS William Edward (R112547) - British Empire Medal - No.7 Photo Wing - Award effective 1 January 1946 as per Canada Gazette of that date and AFRO 82/46 dated 25 January 1946.  Enlisted at Toronto, 24 June 1941.  Award sent by registered mail 1948.

 

This non-commissioned officer, a former instructor at the School of Photography, instilled many students with his patience and instructive ability.  For the past two years, in charge of Vertical Survey Photography camera operators, his initiative, untiring efforts and exceptional skill have kept his equipment in good working condition.  By these qualities he has et a standard for other camera operators.  he has acted as navigator at times when the loss of a regular navigator would have delayed operations.

 

* * * * *

 

BENNETT, F/O William Russell (J21557) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.158 Squadron - Award effective 4 November 1944 as per London Gazette dated 14 November 1944 and AFRO 239/45 dated 9 February 1945.  Born 1921 in Liverpool, England; home in Toronto (research worker); enlisted there 30 January 1942.  Trained at No.5 ITS (graduated 15 August 1942) and No.8 AOS (graduated 4 December 1942).  Commissioned December 1942. Award sent by registered mail 20 February 1949.  No citation other than "completed...numerous operations against the enemy in the course of which [he has] invariably displayed the utmost fortitude, courage and devotion to duty."  Public Records Office Air 2/8827 has recommendation dated 16 August when he had flown 39 sorties (193 hours two minutes).

 

                                                        (* denotes daylight sortie)

 

29 Jan 44       Berlin (8.16)                           12 May 44      Hasselt (4.13)

30 Jan 44       Berlin (5.59)                           19 May 44      Boulogne (4.10)

15 Feb 44      Berlin (6.48)                           24 May 44      Aachen (4.08)

20 Feb 44      Stuttgart (7.07)                      27 May 44      Bourg Leopold (4.28)

1 Mar 44         Stuttgart (8.36)                      1 June 44       Ferme d'Urville (4.27)

6 Mar 44         Trappes (5.19)                      22 Jun 44       Siracourt (3.39)*

7 Mar 44         Le Mans (5.29)                      24 Jun 44       Le Grand Rossignel (3.01)

26 Mar 44      Essen (4.52)                          28 Jun 44       Wizernes (3.26)*

30 Mar 44      Nuremburg (8.02)                  30 Jun 44       Villers Bocage (4.00)*

9 Apr 44         Villeneuve St.Georges (5.54)                      1 July 44         Oisemont (3.44)*

10 Apr 44       Tergnier (5.21)                      4 July 44         Domlefer (3.43)*

18 Apr 44       Tergnier (4.37)                      6 July 44         Marquis Mimoyecques (3.26)*       

20 Apr 44       Ottignies (4.19)                     7 July 44         Caen (4.14)*

22 Apr 44       Dusseldorf (5.10)                  12 Jul 44        Ferme de Forestel (3.51)

24 Apr 44       Karlsruhe (6.33)                    15 Jul 44        Les Landes Vielles et

26 Apr 44       Villeneuve St.Georges (5.28)                                  Nouvelles (4.18)

27 Apr 44       Aulnoye (4.35)                       18 Jul 44        Caen H.1

30 Apr 44       Acheres (4.43)                      20 Jul 44        Bottrop (3.43)

1 May 44        Malines (3.37)                       24 Jul 44        Stuttgart (8.17)

8 May 44        Morsallines (3.40)                 28 Jul 44        Foret de Nieppe (3.38)*

 

Flying Officer Bennett has just completed an excellent tour of 39 operational sorties.  He started with three exciting visits to Berlin and then gained in experience on such operations as Stuttgart, Nuremburg and Essen.  Latterly he has taken part in a number of daylight attacks on targets in northern France.

 

As a navigator Flying Officer Bennett has been sound, reliable and complete efficient, and much credit for the completion of the tour is due to his accurate and careful work.  An officer with an excellent sense of humour, he has been a cheering influence in a good and gallant crew.  He has been able to face the most difficult hazards with a smile, and neither flak nor fighters have been able to upset his balance or impair his efficiency.  His courage at all times has been of the highest order.

 

For his exceptional record of operations, his constant courage throughout a most exacting tour, and for his unfailing devotion to duty at all times, it is recommended that Flying Officer Bennett be awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.

 

* * * * *

 

BENOIT, F/L Frederick James (J24757) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.626 Squadron - Award effective 12 November 1945 as per London Gazette dated 16 November 1945 and AFRO 133/46 dated 8 February 1946.  Born in Montreal, 1917; home there (salesman); enlisted there 15 July 1941.  Trained at No.5 ITS (graduated 8 November 1941), No.9 EFTS (graduated 3 January 1942) and No.6 SFTS (graduated 8 May 1942).  Commissioned October 1942.  Medal presented 27 February 1947.  No citation other than "completed...numerous operations against the enemy in the course of which [he has] invariably displayed the utmost fortitude, courage and devotion to duty."  Public Records Office Air 2/9137 has recommendation dated 9 May 1945 when he had flown 30 sorties (208 hours 30 minutes):

 

                                   * mission abandoned on orders of Master Bomber

 

31 Dec 44        Osterfeld                                12 Mar 45         Dortmund

7 Jan 45            Munich                                    13 Mar 45         Gelsenkirchen

14 Jan 45         Merseburg                             15 Mar 45         Misburg

16 Jan 45         Zeitz                                        16 Mar 45         Nuremburg

1 Feb 45           Ludwigshaven                       4 Apr 45           Lutzkendorf

13 Feb 45         Dresden                                 9 Apr 45           Kiel

14 Feb 45         Chemnitz                                10 Apr 45         Plauen

20 Feb 45         Dortmund                               13 Apr 45         GARDENING, Kiel

21 Feb 45         Duisburg                                14 Apr 45         Potsdam

23 Feb 45         Pforzheim                               18 Apr 45         Heligoland

1 Mar 45           Mannheim                              22 Apr 45         Bremen*

2 Mar 45           Cologne                                 25 Apr 45         Berchtesgaden

5 Mar 45           Chemnitz                                29 Apr 45         EXODUS (POW evacuation)

8 Mar 45           Kassel                                    1 May 45          MANNA (food drops)

11 Mar 45         Essen                                     3 May 45          MANNA

 

Flight Lieutenant Benoit, as a Canadian pilot and captain of aircraft, has completed 30 sorties against such targets as Duisburg, Cologne, Nuremburg, Dresden and Munich.  He has displayed a cheerful disregard for his own safety and although he was forced to abandon aircraft on his first sortie he was not dismayed.

 

He has at all times shown the greatest keenness to carry out the tasks assigned to him, successfully bombing the enemy on every occasion and pressing home his attacks in a most fearless manner.

 

Throughout this, his first tour of operations, Flight Lieutenant Benoit has shown himself to be a competent and skilful pilot and his fine offensive spirit coupled with his determination has set a magnificent example to his crew.  For his work, skill and very fine spirit, I strongly recommend that this officer be awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.

 

* * * * *

 

BENOIT, P/O Jean Paul Raoul Conrad (J93505) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.433 Squadron - Award effective 10 May 1945 as per London Gazette dated 25 May 1945 and AFRO 1291/45 dated 10 August 1945.  Born 1920 in Hull, Quebec; home in Toronto (grocery clerk); enlisted in North Bay, 8 September 1941.  Trained at No.4 WS (graduated 23 November 1941) and No.1 BGS (graduated 21 December 1942).  Commissioned October 1944. Medal presented in Toronto.  No citation other than "completed...numerous operations against the enemy in the course of which [he has] invariably displayed the utmost fortitude, courage and devotion to duty."  DHist file 181.009 D.2610 (RG.24 Vol.20627) has recommendation dated 15 February 1945 when he was a WO1 (R130038) who had flown 30 sorties (164 hours 30 minutes), 18 July to 27 December 1944.

 

This Warrant Officer, the Wireless Operator of the crew captained by Flying Officer R.H. Simpson, DFC, has now completed his first tour of operations comprised of thirty trips over enemy territory.

 

Throughout his tour he has consistently displayed a high degree of courage, skill and initiative and has proven himself to be an outstanding member of a gallant crew.

 

Warrant Officer Benoit has also greatly strengthened the hand of the Signals Leader of this squadron when on the ground, his keenness, energy and reliability being a constant source of inspiration to his fellow Wireless Operators...

 

* * * * *

 

BENSON, F/L (now S/L) Thomas (J6938) - Air Force Cross - No.7 (BR) Squadron - Award effective 3 November 1944 as per London Gazette of that date and AFRO 2479/44 dated 17 November 1944.  Enlisted in Saskatoon, 7 November 1940.  Trained at No.3 ITS (graduated 22 April 1941), No.6 EFTS (graduated 9 June 1941), and No.4 SFTS (graduated 20 August 1941).  Medal presented 9 July 1949.  Governor General's Records (RG.7 Group 26, Volume 58, file 190-I) has citation.  As of recommendation he had flown 1,713 hours 35 minutes (605 hours 20 minutes on operations, 144 sorties).

 

This officer, for more than a year, has served as officer in charge of flying training at this unit.  His skill as a pilot and flying boat captain and his untiring devotion to duty have been responsible in a great measure for the long record of efficiency maintained by his squadron.  He has accepted additional duties in a most capable and cheerful manner and has at all times set an excellent example to subordinate pilots by successfully carrying out the most difficult operational tasks.

 

* * * * *

 

BENT, FS William Thomas (R83055) - Distinguished Flying Medal - No.142 Squadron - Award effective 23 September 1942 as per London Gazette dated 6 October 1942 and AFRO 1653/42 dated 16 October 1942. American in the RCAF; born 22 August 1916 in Glen White, West Virginia; home there or Sikeston, Mississippi (miner); enlisted Windsor, Ontario, 30 November 1940. Trained at No.1 ITS (graduated 29 March 1941), No.12 EFTS (graduated 9 June 1941), and No.1 SFTS (graduated 20 August 1941) Struck off strength to RAF overseas, 17 September 1941.. To No.142 Squadron, 13 May 1942. Commissioned 15 July 1942 (J15845). Killed in action 10 November 1942 (raid on Hamburg).

One night in September 1942, Flight Sergeant Bent, as captain of an aircraft, was detailed to attack a target in the Ruhr.  Just before reaching the target engine trouble developed and Flight Sergeant Bent was unable to fly the aircraft above 8,000 feet.  Nevertheless, displaying great courage and fortitude, he continued his mission and, after bombing his target, a successful photograph of the area was taken.  On the return journey the engine trouble persisted and Flight Sergeant Bent was considerably harassed by searchlights and anti-aircraft fire.  By skilful airmanship, however, he succeeded in returning to his base safely. Flight Sergeant Bent has at all times shown determination in pressing home his attacks.

 

* * * * *

 

BENTLEY, S/L William Arthur (C3643) - Mention in Despatches - Croft (AFRO gives only "Overseas") - Award effective 14 June 1945 as per London Gazette of that date and AFRO 1395/45 dated 31 August 1945.  DHist file 181.009 D.4364 (RG.24 Vol.20648) has recommendation submitted 2 February 1945.  Had enlisted 20 January 1941, spending 13 months in Canada, 34 months overseas.

 

This officer has been employed as an Intelligence Officer for the past four years and as Senior Intelligence Officer one year.  This officer's ability as a leader has contributed greatly to the efficiency of his section.  In addition to his many duties [he] has acted as P.M.C. [President of the Mess Committee] with untiring efficiency for the past year.  His devotion to duty under long hours of work day and night and trying circumstances has greatly inspired personnel under him and is highly commendable.

 

* * * * *

 

BENTON, F/L Charles Butts (J22891) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.426 Squadron - Award effective 5 June 1945 per London Gazette of that date and AFRO 1147/45 dated 13 July 1945.  American in the RCAF.  Born 1922 in Conifer, New York; home in Fulton, New York (paper maker); enlisted in Toronto, 24 November 1941.  Trained at No.3 ITS (graduated 9 May 1942), No.11 EFTS (graduated 1 August 1942) and No.13 SFTS (graduated 22 January 1943).  Commissioned 1943.  Medal presented 15 June 1949.

 

This officer has at all times proved a keen and reliable captain of aircraft and has displayed courage and skill of a high order.  One night in January 1945 he was detailed to attack Saarbrucken.  Soon after taking off the port inner engine failed.  Undeterred, Flight Lieutenant Benton continued to the target which was successfully attacked.  This officer has completed many sorties and his determination to press home his attacks on the enemy has set a fine example to all.

 

* * * * *

 

BENTON, P/O Ivan Duggan (J93253) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.405 Squadron - Award effective 10 May 1945 as per London Gazette dated 25 May 1945 and AFRO 1291/45 dated 10 August 1945.  Home in Perth, Ontario; enlisted Hamilton, 22 August 1942.  Trained at No.4 WS (graduated 6 August 1943) and No.6 BGS (graduated 20 September 1943).  Medal presented 21 May 1949.  No citation other than "completed...numerous operations against the enemy in the course of which [he has] invariably displayed the utmost fortitude, courage and devotion to duty."  Public Records Office Air 2/9070 has recommendation dated 20 February 1945 when he had flown 50 sorties (236 hours 36 minutes), 27 May 1944 to 14 February 1945.

 

27 May 44      Bourg Leopold (4.30)                27 Sep 44      Bottrop (3.10)

31 May 44      Monte Couple (3.05)                 5 Oct 44         Saarbrucken (4.55)

5 June 44       Houlgate (4.40)                          14 Oct 44       Duisburg (3.25)

6 June 44       Coutrances (4.10)                      23 Oct 44       Essen (4.20)

9 June 44       Le Mans (5.15)                           25 Oct 44       Homberg (3.15)

21 Jun 44       St.Martins (4.05)                        30 Oct 44       Cologne (4.25)

23 Jun 44       Bineque (3.40)                           11 Nov 44      Dortmund (4.10)

24 Jun 44       Bamieres (3.55)                         18 Nov 44      Wanne Eickel (4.30)

28 Jun 44       Metz (6.45)                                 20 Nov 44      Koblenz (4.15)

1 July 44         Biennais (4.00)                          21 Nov 44      Aschaffenburg (5.10)

4 July 44         Biennais (3.40)                          30 Nov 44      Duisburg (4.20)

5 July 44         Biennais (3.40)                          22 Dec 44      Bingen (5.40)

7 July 44         St.Germaine (4.05)                    28 Dec 44      Bonn (4.20)          

12 Jul 44        Thiverny (4.10)                           29 Dec 44      Scholven (4.50)

17 Jul 44        Caen (4.00)                                2 Jan 45         Nurnburg (6.45)

20 Jul 44        Caen (3.25)                                5 Jan 45         Royan (5.10)

25 Jul 44        Stuttgart (8.20)                           5 Jan 45         Hannover (4.40)

28 Jul 44        Hamburg (5.40)                          7 Jan 45         Munich (7.00)

4 Aug 44        Boise de Cassant (4.55)          14 Jan 45       Merseberg (6.00)

5 Aug 44        St.Leu d'Esserant (4.30)           16 Jan 45       Zeitz (6.50)

27 Aug 44      Homberg (3.05)                         1 Feb 45        Mannheim (5.10)

6 Sept 44       Emden (4.00)                             7 Feb 45        Cleve (4.00)

12 Sep 44      Frankfurt (6.00)                          8 Feb 45        Politz (7.50)

13 Sep 44      Nordstern (3.25)                         13 Feb 45      Bohlen (7.00)

20 Sep 44      Calais (2.07)                              14 Feb 45      Chemnitz (6.55)

 

Pilot Officer Benton is an exceedingly valuable and efficient member of aircrew.  He has always carried out his duties as Wireless/Air Gunner with high skill.  Throughout attacks on such targets as Politz, Munich and Nurnburg, he has always characterized his work by a great keenness and zeal to press home his attacks.  Pilot Officer Benton  has always carried out any of the specialized tasks assigned him in a most exemplary manner,

 

* * * * *

 

BENTSON, F/O Morris William (J19671) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.78 Squadron - Award effective 5 February 1945 as per London Gazette dated 16 February 1945 and AFRO 563/45 dated 29 March 1945.  Born in Larcrosse, Wisconsin; 1917; home in Broderick, Saskatchewan.  Formerly in Regina Reifles; enlisted in Regina, 4 February 1942.  Trained at No.7 ITS (graduated 25 September 1942), No.6 EFTS (graduated 18 December 1942) and No.4 SFTS (graduated 30 April 1943).  Commissioned 1944.  Medal presented 6 May 1950.  No citation other than "completed...numerous operations against the enemy in the course of which [he has] invariably displayed the utmost fortitude, courage and devotion to duty."  Public Records Office Air 2/8831 has recommendation dated 8 November 1944 when he had flown 40 sorties (175 hours 54 minutes).

 

18 Apr 44       Tergnier (4.19)                        8 July 44           Chateau Bernapre

24 Apr 44       Karlsruhe (6.44)                                                (3.44)

26 Apr 44       Paris (5.49)                             12 Jul 44           Thiverny (4.03)

27 Apr 44       Montzen (4.35)                        15 Jul 44           Nucourt (4.00)

30 Apr 44       Acheres (4.45)                        17 Jul 44           Caen H.2 (4.24)

9 May 44        Berneval (3.52)                       18 Jul 44           Acquet (4.11)

10 May 44      Lens (3.48)                              20 Jul 44           Bottrop (4.17)

19 May 44      Boulogne (3.01)                      1 Aug 44           Trouville (3.40)

22 May 44      Orleans (5.18)                         5 Aug 44           Foret de Nieppe

2 June 44       Trappes (4.57)                                                  (3.17)

12 Jun 44       Amiens (3.45)                         9 Aug 44           Foret de Mormal

14 Jun 44       Douai (3.45)                                                      (4.08)

22 Jun 44       Laon (4.36)                              10 Aug 44         Dijon (6.41)

24 Jun 44       Noyelle E.C. (3.36)                 12 Aug 44         Brunswick (5.29)

25 Jun 44       Montorgueil (5.09)                  14 Aug 44         Falaise (3.44)

27 Jun 44       Mont Condon (3.40)               15 Aug 44         Tirlemont (3.56)    

28 Jun 44       Plainville (6.39)                       16 Aug 44         GARDENING (5.32)

4 July 44         St.Martin L'Hey                       26 Aug 44         Homburg (4.26)

(3.25)                                       1 Sept 44          Lumbres (3.16)

5 July 44         St.Martin L'Hey                       10 Sep 44        Le Havre (3.09)

(3.28)                                       20 Sep 44        Calais (3.14)

6 July 44         Croixdale (3.48)                      23 Sep 44        Neuss (3.41)

25 Sep 44        Calais (3.12)

This officer has now completed his first operational tour consisting of 40 sorties (128 points) involving a total of 175 hours.

 

He has always shown great keenness for operations and pressed home his attacks.  The high standard of efficiency and splendid example of his crew is due to the very fine example that he has set.

 

During his operational tour he has always shown great enthusiasm for flying and has on a number of occasions handled his aircraft with great skill under difficult and hazardous conditions.

 

For his fine operational record and the qualities of leadership which he has shown both on the ground and in the air, he is strongly recommended for the award of the Distinguished Flying Cross.

 

* * * * *

 

BENTZ, P/O Wilbur Boyd (J87378) - Belgian Croix de Guerre 1940 with Palm (deceased) - Awarded 17 July 1948 as per Canada Gazette of that date and AFRO 455/48 dated 23 July 1948.  Home in Medicine Hat, Alberta.  Pilot, killed with No.426 Squadron, 12/13 May 1944, Halifax LW682.  Name on Runnymede Memorial.

The following refers to Public Record Office Air 2/9110. The award of Belgian Croix de Guerres appears to have been a minor embarrassment to British authorities, as witnessed by a letter dated 10 April 1946 from the Foreign Office to Sir Hughe Knatchbull-Hugessen, Brussels (presumably the British Ambassador). The Belgian Minister of War had, on 29 January 1946, offered to the Commander-in-Chief, British Army of Occupation on the Rhine, 1,000 additional awards of Belgian decorations to members of His Majesty’s Forces in connection with the liberation of Belgium. This was described as a "third batch of 1,000 honorary distinctions", for distribution to army, navy and air force personnel, and was to consist of the following:

250 National Orders with Palm and the Award of the Croix de Guerre 1940 with Palm, to be distributed to 30 Generals, or equivalent (Commander), 120 "senior officers" (Officer) and 120 (Chevalier).

750 Croix de Guerre 1940 with Palm

It is not clear what context this entailed; the Canadian Army alone was to gazette some 200 Belgian awards on 31 August 1946, but most had arisen from recommendations written the previous autumn. The Foreign Office letter read in part:

Although His Majesty’s Government are deeply susceptible of the kindness of the Minister in proposing this allocation, and of the graciousness of the Prince Regent in approving it, they would nevertheless prefer to refrain from taking advantage of it in view of the embarrassment that would be likely to result from awards being made on so considerable a scale, having regard to the carefully restricted principles on which the forces concerned have received British awards. In the light of these principles it is felt that His Royal Highness and the Belgian Government have already displayed the most ample generosity in honouring the British forces that were privileged to take part in the liberation of Belgium.
I shall be glad if Your Excellency will convey the substance of this despatch to the Belgian Government in whatever manner you may consider most suitable.

* * * * *

 

BERBERICK, Corporal Lawrence Joseph (R152313) - Mention in Despatches - Overseas - Award effective 1 January 1946 as per London Gazette of that date and AFRO 155/46 dated 15 February 1946.  Home in Bridgeport, Ontario; enlisted Hamilton, 21 January 1942.  Medal presented at Northwest Air Command, 1 April 1949.

 

* * * * *

 

BERENSON, WO Michael Solomon (R7156) - Member, Order of the British Empire - Repatriation Depot, Houghton Green, Warrington (AFRO gives unit only as " Overseas" -  Award effective 8 June 1944 as per London Gazette of that date and AFRO 1729/44 dated 11 August 1944.  Enlisted in Toronto, 12 August 1940.  Medal presented 13 October 1945.  No citation in Canadian sources.  Public Records Office Air 2/9004 identifies unit and has recommended citation.

 

The airman became Station Warrant Officer of the Depot in January, 1943.  He has had to deal with air crew personnel, both ex-operational and ex-training, who have been posted to the depot for a wide variety of reasons, including disciplinary cases and Waverers.  He has made a contribution to the war effort far beyond that which would normally be expected of a Station Warrant Officer.  His duties have been most difficult and varied, requiring tact and firmness, but he has discharged with extraordinary efficiency.

 

* * * * *

 

BERESFORD, F/O Donald Ashton (J15826) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.269 Squadron - Award effective 1 July 1943 as per London Gazette dated 9 July 1943 and AFRO 1724/43 dated 27 August 1943.  Home in Ottawa; enlisted Toronto 19 October 1940.  Trained at No.1 ITS (graduated 26 February 1941), No.1 EFTS (graduated 10 April 1941)  and No.5 SFTS (graduated 14 July 1942).  Medal presented 2 March 1945.

 

In April 1943, this officer was captain of a Hudson aircraft on anti-submarine patrol.  A U-Boat was sighted when surfacing two miles away.  Flying Officer Beresford immediately dived to attack and released his depth charges within three seconds of the U-Boat submerging.  This officer has completed a large number of operations, many of them in most adverse and difficult weather conditions, but throughout all his missions he has displayed constant skill and determination.

NOTE: Public Record Office Air 2/8961 has recommendation drafted by W/C J. Riley (Commanding Officer, No.269 Squadron). No date on his statement but the Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Coastal Command (Air Marshal Sir John Slessor) endorses it on 3 May 1943.

On the 25th April 1943, this officer was pilot and captain of a Hudson aircraft carrying out an anti-submarine sweep to the south of Iceland. He was flying at 4,000 feet when he sighted a U-boat surfacing two miles away. He immediately dived to attack at high speed and although sighted by the U-boat, released his depth charges within three seconds of the U-boat submerging. Photographs were taken showing the depth charges exploding, indicating by their position the almost certain destruction of the U-boat.

This officer has completed one year in Iceland during which time he has completed 445 hours operational flying, often under the most adverse and difficult weather conditions peculiar to Iceland. By his high standard of skill and determination he has set a fine example to the remainder of the squadron.

To this the Air Officer Commanding, Iceland, added:

Flying Officer Beresford has contributed magnificently to the efforts of his squadron throughout the year he has been here and is definitely worthy of recognition.

Perhaps it will be assessed that this particular attack was not a kill, but it was certainly extremely well executed and should at the least have caused considerable damage. In consider that the recommendation is well deserved.

* * * * *

 

BERGERON, FS (now P/O) Joseph Camille Yvan (R211205/J92622) - Distinguished Flying Medal - No.405 Squadron - Award effective 6 January 1945 as per London Gazette dated 16 January 1945 and AFRO 625/45 dated 13 April 1945.  Home in Montreal; enlisted there 19 December 1942.  Trained at No.9 BGS (graduated 3 September 1943.  Medal presented 5 October 1947.  No citation other than "completed...numerous operations against the enemy in the course of which [he has] invariably displayed the utmost fortitude, courage and devotion to duty." Public Records Office Air 2/9039 has recommendation dated 21 October 1944 when he had flown 53 sorties (206 hours 44 minutes).

 

                                                       * counted as 1/3 Operation

 

15 Feb 44      Berlin (6.53)                                       18 Jul 44        Acquet (1.31)

19 Feb 44      Leipzig (6.53)                                    23 Jul 44        Kiel (5.17)

20 Feb 44      Stuttgart (6.18)                                  24 Jul 44        Stuttgart (7.01)

24 Feb 44      Schweinfurt (6.53)                             25 Jul 44        Stuttgart (7.18)

25 Feb 44      Augsburg (7.05)                                28 Jul 44        Stuttgart (6.16)

1 Mar 44         Stuttgart (7.01)                                  30 Jul 44        Battle area (2.15)

15 Mar 44      Stuttgart (6.55)                                  1 Aug 44        Belle Croix (1.55)

18 Mar 44      Frankfurt (5.02)                                  4 Aug 44        L'isle Adam (2.59)

22 Mar 44      Frankfurt-on-Main (5.19)                  5 Aug 44        Bordeaux (7.20)

24 Mar 44      Berlin (6.44)                                       7 Aug 44        TOTALIZE 5 (2.21)

30 Mar 44      Nuremburg (6.39)                              8 Aug 44        Lucheux (3.10)

18 Apr 44       Paris (3.37)*                                      9 Aug 44        Coulonvilliers (2.23)

8 May 44        Haine St.Pierre (2.44)                      10 Aug 44      La Pallice (5.18)

10 May 44      Ghent (2.19)                                       12 Aug 44      La Pallice (5.22)

11 May 44      Boulogne (2.33)                                28 Aug 44      Cezembie (3.16)

19 May 44      Le Mans (3.58)                                  5 Sept 44       Le Havre (2.15)

22 May 44      Le Mans (4.15)                                  6 Sept 44       Le Havre 6 (2.02)

28 May 44      Mardyck (1.54)                                  8 Sept 44       Le Havre (2.14)

12 Jun 44       Amiens (2.40)                                    10 Sep 44      Le Havre 3 (2.16)

4 July 44         Bienmais (2.22)                                12 Sep 44      Wanne Eickel (3.35)

5 July 44         Watten (1.38)                                     17 Sep 44      Boulogne (1.35)

6 July 44         Croixdale (2.28)                                20 Sep 44      Calais (2.24)

7 July 44         Caen (2.28)                                       24 Sep 44      Calais (2.16)

9 July 44         Mont Condon (2.04)                          25 Sep 44      Calais (2.42)

12 Jul 44        Acquet (1.31)                                     26 Sep 44      Cap Gris Nez (2.27)

14 Jul 44        Anderbelck (1.40)                             28 Sep 44      Cap Gris Nez (1.56)

17 Jul 44        Caen (2.25)                                       15 Oct 44       Wilhelmshaven (3.53)

 

Flight Sergeant Bergeron is a highly efficient and keen Non-Commissioned Officer now on his second tour of operations.  He has participated in attacks on such heavily defended enemy areas as Berlin, Leipzig and Stuttgart.  He is very enthusiastic in the performance of all tasks allotted to him, whether of an operational or non-operational nature.  Although of a quiet, reserved nature, he possesses a fine fighting spirit which can only be satisfied when he is engaged in offensive action.  The indomitable spirit shown by this Non-Commissioned Officer, coupled with his dogged determination and superior knowledge of his work makes him a very valuable member of a crew.  Strongly recommended for the non-immediate award of the Distinguished Flying Cross.

 

* * * * *

 

BERGEY, Sergeant Elden Kenneth (R107194) - Distinguished Flying Medal - No.76 Squadron - Award effective 1 September 1943 as per London Gazette dated 14 September 1943 and AFRO 2258/43 dated 5 November 1943.  Home in Guernsey, Saskatchewan; enlisted Saskatoon, 4 June 1941.  Trained at No.2 ITS (graduated 22 November 1941), No.2 BGS (graduated 25 April 1942), No.3 AOS (graduated 27 February 1942) and No.1 ANS (graduated 25 May 1942).  Award presented 29 February 1944.  Commissioned 1944.

 

Sergeant Bergey has taken part in many attacks against the enemy's most heavily defended targets including Hamburg, Berlin, and the Ruhr Valley.  He has secured some excellent photographs.  This airman's outstanding ability and unconquerable spirit of determination to achieve his objective have been an inspiring source of confidence to the other members of the crew.

 

* * * * *

 

BERGEVIN, WO2 Joseph Jean Charles (R117327) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.162 (Bomber Reconnaissance) Squadron - Award effective 26 September 1944 as per London Gazette of that date and AFRO 2534/44 dated 24 November 1944.  Home in Cochrane, Ontario; enlisted North Bay, 6 August 1941.  Trained at No.3 WS (graduated 3 July 1942) and No.7 BGS (graduated 3 August 1942).  Award presented 5 June 1949.  Cited with F/O James M. McRae (RCAF, pilot, awarded DFC) and Sergeant Robert F. Cromarty (RCAF, FE, awarded DFM).  Action described was sinking of U-715 north of the Shetlands, 13 June 1944.  See W.A.B. Douglas, The Birth of a National Air Force, pp.593-594.

These members of aircraft crew participated in an attack on a U-boat in 1944 and displayed a high standard of skill and co-operation which contributed materially to the success obtained.  In the fight the aircraft sustained severe damage and afterwards the captain was forced to bring it down on to the sea.  The inter-communication system had failed and, owing to the rapidity of the action, there was no time to plan for the landing.  Nevertheless, with great presence of mind and good judgement, Sergeant Cromarty lowered the wing tip floats and thus enabled the aircraft to touch down successfully.  Meanwhile Warrant Officer Bergevin had remained at his wireless apparatus transmitting distress signals and only left his post when the aircraft was on the verge of sinking.  Subsequently the crew were adrift in the dinghy for some seven hours.  During the period, Flying Officer McRae and his two comrades displayed much fortitude and cheerfulness and did much to succour and inspire other survivors in their distress.  Their example throughout was of the highest order.

 

* * * * *

 

BERGLUND, FS Wilfred Meriam (R70703) - British Empire Medal - No.6418 Servicing Echelon (AFRO gives unit only as "Overseas") - Award effective 1 January 1946 as per London Gazette of that date and AFRO 155/46 dated 15 February 1946.  Born in Melville, Saskatchewan, 6 March 1910. Automobile mechanic.   Enlisted in Regina, 11 September 1940. On strength of No.2 Manning Depot, Brandon, 11-30 September 1940; Technical Training School, St.Thomas, 25 October 1940 to 12 March 1941(promoted AC1, 8 March 1941); No.2 BGS, Mossbank, 13 March 1941 to 10 April 1943 (promoted LAC 8 June 1941; Corporal on 1 January 1942; Sergeant on 1 February 1943); Posted overseas, May 1943; to No.418 Squadron (date uncertain); to No.3078 Servicing Echelon, 3 December 1943; to No.6418 Servicing Echelon, 1 April 1944; promoted Flight Sergeant, 1 November 1944; repatriated 7 August 1945; released 4 October 1945. Award presented 21 February 1948.  Died in Vancouver, 14 March 1964.  No citation; a skilled aero engine mechanic throughout his career.

 

* * * * *

 

BERIAULT, F/O Vincent Edgar Antoine (J36896) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.420 Squadron -  Award effective 23 November 1945 as per London Gazette dated 7 December 1945 and AFRO 244/46 dated 8 March 1946.  Home in Montreal; enlisted there 15 June 1942.  Trained at No.5 ITS (graduated 20 February 1943, No.9 AOS (graduated 3 May 1943), and No.4 BGS (graduated 4 September 1943).  Award presented 25 February 1949.  No citation,  "completed...numerous operations against the enemy in the course of which [he has] invariably displayed the utmost fortitude, courage and devotion to duty."  DHist file 181.009 D.1746 (PAC RG.24 Volume 20607) has recommendation dated 6 May 1945 when he had flown 29 sorties (163 hours 55 minutes):

 

This officer has completed a tour of operations, many sorties of which were against heavily defended targets.

 

On his fifth sortie, on Kiel - 15.9.44, he called an orbit over the target in spite of intense flak and searchlight opposition, to be certain of bombing the aiming point.  On all his targets he has exercised great care and precision in placing his bombs, and bore out the confidence of his pilot in his ability to place his bombs correctly.

 

His navigational work has been of the highest calibre, and no trouble was too great in proving accurate assistance to his navigator.  His contribution in training newer members of the squadron is worthy of great praise, and he has been instrumental in eliminating a great many difficulties encountered by newer members.  In all phases of his work he has exhibited great skill and devotion to duty, whether in air or ground duties.

 

* * * * *

 

BERNARD, P/O Seymour (J15939) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.7 Squadron - Award effective 7 May 1943 as per London Gazette dated 13 May 1943 and AFRO 1035/43 dated 4 June 1943.  Home in Toronto; enlisted there 13 August 1940.  Trained at No.4 BGS (graduated 26 May 1941) and No.2 WS (graduated 25 April 1941).  Award presented at Buckingham Palace 22 June 1943.

 

Pilot Officer Bernard has completed thirty-nine operational sorties in heavy bomber aircraft, always displaying courage and determination of a high order. At all times he has executed his duty conscientiously and has been a cool and efficient member of aircraft [sic].

 

NOTE: Public Record Office Air 2/8950 has recommendation dated 14 March 1943 when he had flown 39 sorties (230 hours).  Although the text adds little to the published citation, the sortie sheet is illuminating; those flown from 18 August 1942 onwards were designated as having been with the Pathfinder Force.

 

1 June 1942               Essen                         15 Oct 1942               Cologne        

2 June 1942               Essen                         7 Nov 1942                Genoa

5 June 1942               Essen                         20 Nov 1942              Turin

6 June 1942               Emden                        28 Nov 1942              Turin

8 June 1942               Essen                         29 Nov 1942              Turin

24 June 1942            St.Nazaire                  6 Dec 1942                Mannheim

29 June 1942            Bremen                      8 Dec 1942                Turin

16 July 1942              Lubeck                       9 Dec 1942                Turin

19 July 1942              Vegasack                  11 Dec 1942             Turin

25 July 1942              Duisburg                    21 Dec 1942             Munich

28 July 1942              Hamburg                    30 Dec 1942             Hamburg

31 July 1942              Dusseldorf                 2 Feb 1943                Cologne

17 Aug 1942              Osnabruck                 3 Feb 1943                Hamburg

18 Aug 1942              Flensberg                   4 Feb 1943                Turin

24 Aug 1942              Frankfurt                     14 Feb 1943              Cologne

27 Aug 1942              Kassel                        18 Feb 1943              Wilhelmshaven

2 Sept 1942               Karlsruhe                    21 Feb 1943              Bremen

4 Sept 1942               Bremen                      8 Mar 1943                Nuremburg

8 Sept 1942               Frankfurt                     9 Mar 1943                Munich

2 Oct 1942                 Krefeld

 

Pilot Officer Bernard has now completed 39 operational sorties in heavy bomber aircraft, 26 of them with the Pathfinder Force.  He has always carried out his arduous duties very conscientiously and he has been a cool and efficient member of an aircrew.  He has throughout shown courage and determination of a high order.

 

This was endorsed as "Strongly recommended" by Air Commodore Bennett, Commanding No.8 (Pathfinder) Group on 28 March 1943.

 

* * * * *

 

BERNIER, FS Joseph Stanislas (R55482) - Mention in Despatches - Overseas - Award effective 1 January 1943 as per London Gazette of that date and AFRO 232/43 dated 12 February 1943.  Home in Levis, Quebec; enlisted in Quebec, 21 September 1940.  Trained at No.1 ITS, No.11 EFTS and No.1 SFTS.  No citation.

 

* * * * *

 

BERNIER, F/O Joseph Wilfred Laurier Fernando (J29412) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.425 Squadron (deceased) - Award effective 5 February 1945 as per London Gazette dated 16 February 1945 and AFRO 563/45 dated 29 March 1945.  Home in Montreal; enlisted there 10 June 1942.  Trained at No.3 ITS (graduated 19 March 1943) and No.9 AOS (graduated 3 September 1943). Killed in action 18 December 1944 (Halifax MZ538).  Award presented at Government House to his sister, 7 November 1949.  No citation other than "completed...numerous operations against the enemy in the course of which [he has] invariably displayed the utmost fortitude, courage and devotion to duty."  DHist file 181.009 D.1730 (PAC RG.24 Vol.20607) has recommendation dated 14 November 1944 when he had flown 112 hours 30 minutes on operations (21 sorties).  It was for an immediate DFC with following statement:

 

Flying Officer Bernier was the navigator of a crew detailed to attack Bochum, Germany, on the night of November 4th, 1944.  Despite heavy flak and persistent coning by search lights, the run up to the target was made without incident.  As the target was approached, the mid-upper gunner reported an aircraft above.  The pilot weaved to starboard and as he did so, the aircraft was showered with some 33 incendiaries; one of these ripped the nose of the aircraft, at the same time smashing the bomb aiming instruments.  The starboard inner engine was set afire by one of these bombs.  A thousand-pound bomb greased the rudder, tearing away part of the tail assembly.  Other incendiaries buried themselves in the wings.  Three of them burst through the fuselage and remained in the aircraft.

 

In a very calm, comforting and convincing manner, as though nothing had happened, this officer did much to help the morale of the crew.  Very cooly he gave the pilot new courage and directions.  Under these adverse conditions, he materially helped in the aircraft's safe return.

 

Flying Officer Bernier displayed great presence of mind and has set a splendid example of fearlessness and outstanding leadership.  His exceptional cool courage and efficiency are worthy of high praise.

 

* * * * *

BERREY, F/L Albert Mallam (J23053) - Mention in Despatches - Overseas - Award effective 1 January 1946 as per London Gazette of that date and AFRO 155/46 dated 15 February 1946.  Home in Geraldton, Ontario; enlisted Fort William, 23 October 1940.  Trained at No.2 ITS (graduated 24 January 1941), No.2 EFTS (graduated 29 March 1941) and No.7 SFTS (graduated 21 June  1941).

 

* * * * *

 

BERRIGAN, F/O Leonard Thomas (J16898) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.7 Squadron (deceased) - Award effective 24 May 1944 as per London Gazette of that date and AFRO 1444/44 dated 7 July 1944.  Home in Dunedin, Prince Edward Island; enlisted Charlottetown, 25 October 1940.  Trained at No.6 BGS (graduated 29 September 1941).   No citation other than "completed...many successful operations against the enemy in which [he has] displayed high skill, fortitude and devotion to duty".  Killed in action 24/25 March 1944 (Lancaster ND581); name on Runnymede Memorial.  Award presented to next-of-kin, 1 December 1948.  Public Records Office Air 2/9149 has recommendation dated 19 February 1944 when he had flown 35 sorties (221 hours five minutes).  Sorties from 30 August 1943 onwards were in Pathfinders.

 

30 May 42      Cologne (5.35)                                  11 Jun 43       Munster (2.15, DNCO)

1 June 42       Essen (4.50)                                      12 Jun 43       Bochum (4.30)

25 Jun 42       Bremen (6.15)                                   30 Aug 43      Munchen Gladbach (4.00)

13 Oct 42       Kiel (4.15)                                          31 Aug 43      Berlin (7.25)

17 Oct 42       Le Creusot (4.00)                              3 Sept 43       Berlin (8.20)

22 Oct 42       Genoa (8.20)                                     22 Nov 43      Berlin (7.15)

6 Dec 42        Mannheim (6.35)                               23 Nov 43      Berlin (7.00)

8 Dec 42        Turin (9.05)                                        26 Nov 43      Berlin (7.20)

9 Dec 42        Turin (8.45)                                        2 Dec 43        Berlin (7.15)

13 Jan 43       Essen (4.50)                                      16 Dec 43      Berlin (8.20)

16 Jan 43       Berlin (7.00)                                       23 Dec 43      Berlin (7.35)

21 Jan 43       Essen (4.45)                                      29 Dec 43      Berlin (7.20)

27 Jan 43       Dusseldorf (4.35)                              2 Jan 44         Berlin (6.55)

26 Mar 43      Duisburg (4.40)                                 3 Jan 44         Berlin (7.00)

20 Apr 43       Stettin (7.35)                                      5 Jan 44         Stettin (9.45)

23 May 43      Dortmund (4.25)                                30 Jan 44       Berlin (6.25)

25 May 43      Dusseldorf (4.25)                              15 Feb 44      Berlin (6.55)

27 May 43      Essen (4.25)

 

Flying Officer Berrigan has completed 35 operational sorties, fifteen with the Pathfinder Force, ten of which have been as Marker.

 

This officer, as mid-upper gunner, has taken part in most of the recent raids on the heavily defended targets in enemy territory.  Recently, his aircraft suffered severe damage over the target when attacking Berlin. In the ensuing combat, the rear turret was placed unserviceable. However, this officer, through his decisive and clear-cut instructions, proved invaluable and enabled his skipper to avoid further action and return safely to base.

Flying Officer Berrigan has at all times displayed a high sense of duty and conscientiousness in all his work.

 

* * * * *

 

BERRY, P/O Donald Albert (J18864) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.426 Squadron - Award effective 18 April 1944 as per London Gazette dated 21 April 1944 and AFRO 1020/44 dated 12 May 1944.  Home in Trail, British Columbia; enlisted Calgary, 27 August 1941.  Trained at No.7 ITS (graduated 30 January 1942), No.18 EFTS (graduated 10 April 1942) and No.7 SFTS (graduated 28 August 1942).  Award presented 27 November 1948.

 

This officer has participated in many attacks on distant and heavily defended targets including eight on the capital of the German Reich.  He has invariably displayed commendable courage and determination and his example has greatly inspired his crew.  On one occasion following an attack on Berlin his aircraft sustained much damage but he flew it back to base.

 

* * * * *

 

BERRY, WO1 Douglas Elliott (R74338 - since promoted to P/O, J23034) - Air Force Cross - No.2 SFTS - Award effective 28 May 1943 as per Canada Gazette of that date and AFRO 1459/43 dated 30 July 1943.  Born in Ottawa, 1920. Enlisted in Ottawa, 22 October 1940.  Trained at No.2 ITS (graduated 27 January 1941), No.2 EFTS (graduated 8 April 1941), No.7 SFTS (graduated 22 June 1941) and No.1 ANS (graduated 12 September 1941).  Killed in action with No.428 Squadron, 2 February 1945 (Lancaster KB792); buried in Germany.

 

Warrant Officer Berry has been instructing in the Navigation Section at this school for the past eighteen months.  During this time he has put in 1,129 hours instructional flying, bringing his total to 1,480 hours.  His flying discipline has always been of the highest standard and he has been an outstanding example to his students.  On many occasions, under adverse weather conditions, he has displayed tenacity of purpose in completing the exercises and returning to base safely, thereby imbuing his pupils with the required spirit for service flying.

 

* * * * *

 

BERRY, F/L Glover Arnold (J23390) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.61 Squadron - Award effective 26 May 1944 as per London Gazette of that date and AFRO 1380/44 dated 30 June 1944.  Home in Victoria; enlisted Edmonton, 11 September 1940.  Initially trained as a gunner (graduated from No. 1 BGS, 29 October 1940).  Later trained at No.4 ITS (graduated 3 July 1942), No.5 EFTS (graduated 9 October 1942) and No.3 SFTS (graduated 5 February 1943).  Award sent by registered mail 14 October 1951; serving with FIS, Trenton at that time.

 

This officer has displayed great courage and determination in his attacks on the enemy and his achievements have been commendable.  On one occasion in an attack on Berlin his aircraft sustained severe damage in an encounter with a fighter.  One engine was put out of action, the elevators were damaged, both the turrets were put out of action and two of the petrol tanks were pierced by shrapnel.  In spite of this, Flight Lieutenant Berry flew the aircraft home.  More recently on the outward flight to Aachen one engine became defective and later failed completely, but Flight Lieutenant Berry continued to the target and executed a successful attack. He set a fine example of determination and devotion to duty.

 

* * * * *

 

BERRY, P/O Jack Pershing (J15759) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.142 Squadron - Award effective 22 March 1943 as per London Gazette dated 26 March 1943 and AFRO 757/43 dated 30 April 1943. American in the RCAF.  Born Parkensburg, West Virginia, 28 April 1917; home there; enlisted London, Ontario, 14 January 1941.  Trained at No.3 ITS (graduated 8 June 1941), No.10 EFTS (graduated 27 July 1941) and No.6 SFTS (graduated 8 October 1941).  Commissioned 1942.  Award presented 22 June 1943.

 

In July 1942, this officer was detailed to participate in the bombing attack on Dusseldorf.  Whilst approaching the target the aircraft was attacked by an enemy night fighter which was shot down by the rear gunner.  Afterwards the crew flew on and bombed the target successfully.  On another occasion, while bombing the Ruhr in daylight, by skilful airmanship Pilot Officer Berry made use of scanty cloud cover and completed a successful mission in difficult circumstances.  He has at all times displayed outstanding leadership and determination in his operational flying.

 

NOTE: Public Record Office Air 2/8942 has recommendation drafted 31 January 1943 when he had flown 548 hours 50 minutes (229 hours 35 minutes in previous six months); these included 29 sorties (159 hours 45 minutes).  It is difficult to reconcile the official citation (giving July 1942 for the attack on Dusseldorf) with the text that follows:

 

Pilot Officer Berry has been with No.142 Squadron for the past nine months during which time he has carried out 29 successful sorties.  Last August, Pilot Officer Berry was detailed to carry out a bombing sortie against Dusseldorf.  Whilst approaching the target area they were attacked by a night fighter which the rear gunner shot down.  They carried on successfully to bomb their target and returned to base.

 

On another occasion in October this pilot was detailed to carry out a daylight cloud cover raid on Essen.  Pilot Officer Berry determinedly carried on despite the fact that several other crews were forced to abandon the sortie due to lack of cloud cover.  He successfully dropped his bombs across the town of Essen and returned to his base.

 

This Pilot Officer has at all times shown the most outstanding leadership and determination in his operational flying.

 

The Officer Commanding, No.328 Wing, concurred on 1 February 1943, and the Air Officer Commanding, Eastern Air Command (RAF) agreed on 23 February 1943.

 

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BERRY, P/O Robert Charles (J16128) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.408 Squadron - Award effective 3 June 1943 as per London Gazette dated 15 June 1943 and AFRO 1338/43 dated 16 July 1943.  Born Hamilton, 1921; home there; enlisted there 20 August 1940.  Trained at No.1 ITS (graduated 6 November 1940), No.4 BGS (graduated 10 April 1941) and No.2 WS (graduated 17 March 1941).  Commissioned 1942.  Award presented 12 December 1944.

 

In the capacity of wireless operator/air gunner this officer has displayed commendable courage and devotion to duty.  In July 1942, when returning from an attack on Dusseldorf his aircraft was attacked by an enemy fighter which was destroyed after a ten minute combat.  On many other occasions this officer has displayed courage and resource during operations.  His conscientiousness and efficiency have contributed materially to the success attained by his crew.

 

* * * * *

 

BERRY, FS Walter (R128085) - British Empire Medal - No.4 SFTS - Award effective 8 June 1944 as per Canada Gazette of that date and RCAF Routine Order 1380/44 dated 30 June 1944.  Born in Aberdeen, Scotland; educated in Saskatchewan; enlisted in Saskatoon, 28 August 1941.  Award presented 16 February 1945.

 

This NCO has given over four years of cheerful and faithful service as a carpenter.  He has been an example and inspiration to all members of his section and has at all times completed his duties with willingness and efficiency.

 

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BERRYMAN, Sergeant Edward Hugh (R64450) - Mention in Despatches - Croft (AFRO gives unit only as "Overseas" - Award effective 14 June 1945 as per London Gazette of that date and AFRO 1600/45 dated 12 October 1945.  DHist file 181.009 D.4364 (RG.24 Vol.20648) has recommendation submitted 2 February 1945.  Home in Hamilton; enlisted there 6 July 1940, serving 27 months in Canada, 27 months overseas.  Cook.

 

This NCO enlisted 6th July 1940 and has served in the United Kingdom since 9th October 1942, and has been employed in the Airmen's Mess, as a cook, for the past thirteen months.  His devotion to duty and untiring co-operation has contributed in a large measure to the efficient operation of his section.  He has continually displayed exceptional tenacity of purpose in the improvement of meals and service; his outstanding ability and strong sense of duty under long hours of work and trying circumstances are highly commendable.

 

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BERRYMAN, F/O Lloyd Frederick (J24513) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.412 Squadron - Award effective 24 November 1944 as per London Gazette of that date and AFRO 1/45 dated 5 January 1945.  Born in Hamilton, Ontario, 31 December 1921.  Enlisted there 11 March 1942.  Trained at No.1 ITS (graduated 28 August 1942), No.7 EFTS (graduated 6 November 1942) and No.14 SFTS (graduated 19 March 1943).  Commissioned 1943.  Arrived in UK 17 April 1943.  With No.412 Squadron, 15 December 1943 to 11 October 1944.  Credited with the following victories: 15 July 1944. one FW.190 destroyed; 27 September 1944, three Bf.109s destroyed and one FW.190 damaged in two sorties. Released from service on 27 November 1945.  Award sent by registered mail.

 

In September 1944 this officer, against tremendous odds, destroyed three enemy aircraft and damaged another.  On a subsequent occasion Flying Officer Berryman engaged a superior number of enemy aircraft. His own aircraft sustained severe damage but he destroyed one enemy aircraft and damaged another.  He has achieved much success against ground targets.  Flying Officer Berryman has displayed a fine fighting spirit and his devotion to duty has been of a high order.

 

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BERRYMAN, F/O Roy William (C26872) - Medal for Bravery (Czechoslovakia) -  Canada Gazette dated 24 January 1948 and AFRO 81/48 dated 6 February 1948. Born 1 September 1916 in Victoria, British Columbia; enlisted in Vancouver, 21 January 1941. He was immediately attached to the Moose Jaw Flying Club for training; on 30 March 1941 he went to the Central Flying School, Trenton.  On graduation (3 May 1941) he was promoted from Aircraftman 2nd Class to Sergeant and posted to No.18 EFTS, Boundary Bay. On 1 December 1942 he was admitted to the General List (Pilot) and sent to No.15 EFTS, Regina (promoted WO2 on 3 December 1942); this was followed by the following postings: No.5 Manning Depot, Lachine (2 February 1943), No.6 SFTS, Dunnville (6 March 1943, commissioned 28 May 1943) and No.1 General Reconnaissance School, Summerside (5 June 1943).  He was posted to "Y" Depot, 26 September 1943, embarked from New York on 8 October 1943, arrived in Britain on 16 October 1943, and was posted to No.422 Squadron on 2 November 1943, serving with that unit until 30 April 1945 when he was posted to No.4 (Coastal) Operational Training Unit.  As of 9 July 1945 he claimed to have flown 632 hours 40 minutes on operations (62 sorties; last one flown on 27 April 1945) and 225 hours 20 minutes non-operational overseas (all on Sunderlands). Repatriated to Canada on 1 August 1945; released 1 October 1945.  Flew postwar with Queen Charlotte Airlines (Senior Pilot and Flight Operations Manager) and on 14 August 1953 was described as having flown over 6,000 hours. Served in Royal Canadian Navy (Reserve), 26 October 1953 to 30 June 1955 (Prince Rupert).

 

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BERTRAN, F/O Ross Herbert (J6396) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.38 Squadron - Award effective 4 January 1943 as per London Gazette dated 8 January 1943 and AFRO 232/43 dated 12 February 1943. Born Stevensville, Ontario, 13 October 1917; home there; enlisted Hamilton, 14 October 1940. Posted to No.1 ITS on 27 January 1941 (graduated 16 March 1941), to No.1 EFTS on 16 March 1941 (graduated 4 May 1941 when posted) and No.4 SFTS (graduated and commissioned 27 July 1941). Posted to No.31 GRS, 8 August 1941; to RAF overseas, 3 January 1942; promoted Flying Officer, 28 July 1942; promoted Flight Lieutenant, 24 January 1943. Killed in action, 2 February 1943 (Wellington HX398, No.221 Squadron; name on Malta Memorial).

 

In October 1942, this officer was the pilot of a formation of aircraft detailed to make a daylight attack on an enemy ship in Tobruk Harbour. Displaying great skill and determination, he made a successful attack scoring at least one hit on the target.  His determined attack contributed much to the combined effort of the operation which achieved the destruction of the vessel.  Flying Officer Bertran displayed high courage and devotion to duty.

 

* * * * *

 

BERTRAN, F/L Roy Franklin (J27716) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.433 Squadron - Award effective 8 September 1945 as per London Gazette dated 21 September 1945 and AFRO 1704/45 dated 9 November 1945.  Born Stevensville, Ontario, 1917; home in Hagersville (motor mechanic); enlisted Hamilton 22 May 1942. Trained at No.1 ITS (graduated 25 November 1942), No.9 EFTS (graduated 6 March 1943) and No.16 SFTS (graduated 9 July 1943).  Commissioned June 1943.  Award presented 14 June 1949.  No citation other than "completed...numerous operations against the enemy in the course of which [he has] invariably displayed the utmost fortitude, courage and devotion to duty."  DHist file 181.009 D.2610 (RG.24 Vol.20627) has recommendation dated 15 April 1945 when he had flown 33 sorties (197 hours 45 minutes), 17 September 1944 to 4 March 1945.

 

This officer has now completed his first tour of operations comprised of thirty-three trips over enemy territory.

 

This officer was captain of one of our outstanding specialist crews and in this capacity completed eleven mining operations, many of them in adverse weather conditions and under difficult circumstances.

 

The courage, skill and determination in action displayed at all times by Flight Lieutenant Bertram have been a great inspiration to his crew.  His coolness and devotion to duty has contributed on a large measure to the success of his many operational flights.

 

* * * * *

 

BERTRAND, F/O Joseph Norman (C21287) - Mention in Despatches - No.129 Squadron (now POW) - Award effective 1 January 1945 as per London Gazette of that date and AFRO 721/45 dated 27 April 1945.  Home in Ottawa;  educated there and was a prominent athlete including member of Ottawa Roughriders and Montreal Royals.  Enlisted there 21 January 1941.  Training pattern unclear; a news clipping says he got his wings at Rockcliffe.  Same source says he went overseas in January 1943.  Taken prisoner 18 October 1944 while on second tour. No citation.

 

* * * * *

 

BERVEN, Sergeant Bruce Martin (R106299) - Distinguished Flying Medal - No.40 Squadron - Award effective 20 April 1943 as per London Gazette dated 1 October 1943 and AFRO 2322/43 dated 12 November 1943.  Born 1918; home in Qu'appelle, Saskatchewan (mechanic); enlisted in Flin Flon, Manitoba, 28 June 1941.  Trained at No.4 ITS (graduated 11 September 1941), No.6 EFTS (graduated 8 November 1941) and No.11 SFTS (graduated 27 February 1942).  Killed in action with No.40 Squadron, 17 September 1943 (Wellington HF534); name on Malta Memorial.  Award presented to next-of-kin, 12 December 1944.  NOTE:  Although the award is effective 20 April 1943, the citation refers to events of July 1943 !

 

This airman has completed twenty-seven sorties and is a most determined and skilful captain of aircraft.  He has taken part in attacks against targets in Tunisia, Pantelleria, Sicily and Italy.  On the night of the invasion of Sicily he delivered an accurate low level attack on the seaplane base at Syracuse.

 

                                                                          * * * *

 

BERVEN, W/C John L. (C229) - Air Force Cross - No.1 Instrument Flying School - Award effective 21 April 1945 as per Canada Gazette of that date and AFRO 802/45 dated 11 May 1945.  Joined RCAF in Saskatoon, 9 June 1936 (P/P/O), qualified for pilots wings 4 May 1937.  Award presented 1 December 1948.  Awarded Queen's Coronation Medal, 23 October 1953 while a Wing Commander with No.14 (Training) Group Headquarters.  No citation in AFRO.  Governor General's Records (RG.7 Group 26, Vol.58, file 190-I, dossier 6) has citation.  When recommended he had flown 1,400 hours, 745 as instructor, 21 in past six months.

 

This officer has had the widest experience as an instructor and holds an "A-1" flying instructor category.  Since 1939 he has held many varied instructional positions.  As a chief instructor his work was of the highest quality.  As Commanding Officer of No.1 Instrument Flying School, by his ability, experience and devotion to duty, he has continued to contribute a great deal to the successful training of pilots and instructors.  Throughout his service the example he has set has been an inspiration to those associated with him.

 

* * * * *

 

BESSENT, FS (now P/O) William Francis (R198741/J88434) - Distinguished Flying Medal - No.426 Squadron - Award effective 4 November 1944 as per London Gazette dated 14 November 1944 and AFRO 239/45 dated 9 February 1945.  Born 1925 in Windsor, Ontario; home in Grande Prairie, Alberta; enlisted Edmonton, 11 November 1942.  Trained at No.9 BGS (graduated 23 July 1943).  Commissioned 1944.  Rear gunner (sometimes mid-upper gunner) to F/L B.D.C. Patterson.  Incident described was Berlin raid of 20 January 1944.  Award presented 18 July 1944.

 

Flight Sergeant Bessent has participated in many operational flights over enemy territory, including Nuremburg, Augsburg, Stuttgart and Berlin.  On one occasion when his aircraft was on fire over Berlin he displayed a high degree of courage and calmness which contributed largely to the safe return of his aircraft and crew.  Again when attacking Berlin and Nuremburg his skilful directions to the pilot more than once saved the crew from disaster.  He has at all times shown a remarkable amount of zeal and a high degree of efficiency.

 

* * * * *

 

BEST, WO2 (now P/O) Clyde Allison (R76417/J35949) - Mention in Despatches - No.10 Squadron (Canada) - Award effective 1 January 1944 as per London Gazette of that date, Canada Gazette of that date and AFRO 113/44 dated 21 January 1944.  Born 4 July 1920 at Weston, Ontario.  Home in Berwick, Nova Scotia.  Enlisted in Halifax, 30 December 1940.  Trained at No.3 BGS (graduated 22 December 1941) and No.1 WS (graduated 8 November 1941).

 

This NCO as Wireless Operator Air Gunner has carried out his patrol duties all over the North Atlantic in an exceptional manner.  His keenness and devotion to duty have been an inspiration to those who have worked with him.  On numerous occasions Warrant Officer Best has been solely responsible for the location and successful escorting of convoys passing through dangerous waters.

 

* * * * *

 

BEST, F/L Raymond Victor (C89536) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.10 Squadron - Award effective 30 October 1945 as per London Gazette dated 6 November 1945 and AFRO 155/46 dated 15 February 1946. Born 1915 on Galiano Island, British Columbia; home in Ganges, British Columbia; served in RAF, 1936 to 1945.  Entitled to Africa Star.  Transferred to RCAF in London, England, 8 January 1945.  Award presented 29 January 1947.

 

This officer has proved to be a most courageous and skilful pilot and captain of aircraft.  In January 1945 he was detailed for an attack against Ludwigshaven.  On approaching the target his aircraft was subjected to intense anti-aircraft fire.  Although his aircraft was hit, Flight Lieutenant Best pressed home his attack.

 

* * * * *

 

BEST, F/L Stephen (J8432) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.419 Squadron - Award effective 5 July 1945 as per London Gazette dated 17 July 1945 and AFRO 1558/45 dated 5 October 1945.  Born 1921 in Yorkshire; home in Woodstock, Ontario (sales clerk); enlisted in London, Ontario, 20 December 1940.  Trained at No.1 ITS (graduated 10 April 1941), No.1 AOS (graduated 18 August 1941), No.1 BGS (graduated 27 September 1941) and No.2 ANS (graduated 27 October 1941).  Commissioned 1941.  Award sent by registered mail 28 June 1949.  No citation other than "in recognition of gallantry and devotion to duty in the execution of air operations against the enemy".  DHist file 181.009 D.1941 (RG.24 Vol.20612) has recommendation dated 29 January 1945 when he had flown 21 sorties (134 hours), 27 September 1944 to 5 January 1945.  Described as having flown a tour with "Coastal Command in the Middle East" on which he flew 522 hours 45 minutes on 110 sorties.

 

This officer has now completed one tour on Coastal Command in the Middle East totalling 522.45 hours and one tour on Bomber Command of 21 operations.  Throughout his stay with the squadron he has shown a high standard of efficiency.

 

He has always been very keen and conscientious and his results have proved most satisfactory.  His captain held a high opinion of him.  Flight Lieutenant Best always strengthened and supported him in moments of danger.  His bombing was most accurate and his sole aim on all operations was to hit the aiming point if humanly possible.  His bombing runs were always given in a cool and calm manner which did much to reassure his fellow crew members.

 

* * * * *

 

BETCHER, F/L Bruce Ervin (J20078) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.419 Squadron - Award effective 19 June 1944 as per London Gazette dated 27 June 1944 and AFRO 1861/44 dated 25 August 1944.  American in the RCAF.  Born Ada, United States; home in Crookstown, Minnesota; enlisted Winnipeg, 16 September 1941.  Trained at No.4 ITS (graduated 11 February 1942), No.12 EFTS (graduated 3 July 1942) and No.5 SFTS (graduated 22 October 1942).  Commissioned 1944.  Award presented 11 August 1944.

 

This captain of aircraft has completed numerous operational sorties including many night attacks on some of the enemy's most heavily defended industrial targets.  His aircraft has twice been attacked by enemy night fighters, but although damage was sustained the attacks were successfully evaded.  On two other occasions Flight Lieutenant Betcher's aircraft has been hit by anti-aircraft fire.  Nevertheless, with determination he has pressed home his attack and successfully completed his mission.

 

* * * * *

 

BETTY, FS John Webster (R92610) - Distinguished Flying Medal - No.103 Squadron - Award effective 4 October 1943 as per London Gazette dated 15 October 1943 and AFRO 2610/43 dated 17 December 1943. Born 1912 in Ireland; home in Hanna, Alberta (clerk); enlisted Calgary, 19 February 141.  Trained at No.7 BGS (graduated 2 February 1942) and No.2 WS (graduated 23 June 1941).

 

Throughout his tour of operational duty Flight Sergeant Betty has consistently shown outstanding skill as an air gunner and unceasing anxiety to take part in operations on every possible occasion.  At all times his fine fighting spirit, courage and high sense of duty have been most praiseworthy.

 

* * * * *

 

BEVAN, Corporal Betty Olive (W310129) - Mention in Despatches - No.1 Group Headquarters - Award effective 1 January 1946 as per Canada Gazette of that date and AFRO 82/46 dated 25 January 1946.  Home in Carievale, Saskatchewan; enlisted in Deloraine, Manitoba, 25 March 1943.

 

This Corporal is a sincere, reliable and keen non-commissioned officer.  Her enthusiasm and keen co-operation have set a fine example to her fellow workers with the result that the standard of efficiency in her section has been raised considerably.  In her off-duty hours she takes the same keen interest in station activities as she does in her work.  She is well deserving of high praise.

 

* * * * *

 

BEVERIDGE, S/L Massey Williamson (J15070) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.418 Squadron - Award effective 26 October 1943 as per London Gazette dated 9 November 1943 and AFRO 358/44 dated 18 February 1944.  Born 1916 in Dryden, Ontario; home in Montreal (Westmount); enlisted Montreal, 14 August 1940. Trained at No.2 ITS (graduated 23 October 1940), No.13 EFTS (graduated 20 December 1940) and No.8 SFTS (graduated 3 April 1941).   Commissioned 1941.  To No.1459 Flight, 28 December 1941; to No.1422 Flight, 2 January 1942; to No.538 Squadron, 2 October 1942; to No.51 OTU, 9 February 1943; to No.418 Squadron, 5 April 1943.  Credited with the following victories: 13 May 1943, one unidentified enemy aircraft damaged plus one Ju.88 damaged plus one Ju.87 damged (all shared with two other crews); 21 June 1943, one Do.217 probably destroyed; 23/24 September 1943, one Bf.110 and one Do.217 destroyed. Killed in flying accident, 20 September 1944 (search for missing aircraft, No.409 Squadron, in foggy weather).  Award presented to next-of-kin, 27 June 1945.  Portrait painted by Edwin Holgate,  Cited with Sergeant Barnard Oswald Richard Bays (RAF) who received DFM.

 

As pilot and observer respectively, Squadron Leader Beveridge and Sergeant Bays have undertaken many successful sorties against the enemy airfields.  During a recent operation they shot down two enemy aircraft, one of them after a long pursuit.  Their skill and tenacity were highly commendable.  Squadron Leader Beveridge is a most efficient flight commander who has set a fine example of devotion to duty, while Sergeant Bays has proved himself to be a most valuable member of aircraft crew.

 

* * * * *

 

BEVERLY, F/L Edwin Paul (J22459) - Air Force Cross - No.407 Squadron (AFRO gives unit only as "Overseas") - Award effective 1 January 1946 as per London Gazette of that date and AFRO 155/46 dated 15 February 1946.  Home in Toronto; enlisted there 3 September 1941.  Trained at No.1 WS (graduated 25 April 1941) and No.1 BGS (graduated 13 June 1942).  Award sent by registered mail 28 May 1948.  No citation in AFRO or biographical file.  Public Records Office Air 2/9244 identifies unit and gives citation; had flown 932 hours, 400 on present duties, 102 in six months previous to recommendation.

 

As radar leader in the squadron, this officer has well demonstrated the good qualities necessary for such an appointment.  His expert and up to date knowledge of the subject and his ability to impart it to others have successfully carried the squadron through two radar conversions.  he has completed a tour of operational duty, flying mainly with different crews, in addition to many hours non-operational flying, thus attaining a high degree of efficiency among all crews.  The radar successes obtained by the squadron are a tribute to Flight Lieutenant Beverly's untiring efforts.

 

* * * * *

 

BEWS, F/L Andrew Robert Allan (J27814) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.432 Squadron - Award effective 8 September 1945 as per London Gazette dated 21 September 1945 and AFRO 1704/45 dated 9 November 1945.  Born 1921 in Eatonia, Saskatchewan; home there (truck driver); enlisted Saskatoon, 14 April 1941.  Trained at No.4 ITS (graduated 26 July 1941), No.16 EFTS (graduated 12 September 1941) and No.3 SFTS (graduated 21 November 1941).  Commissioned 1942No citation other than "completed...numerous operations against the enemy in the course of which [he has] invariably displayed the utmost fortitude, courage and devotion to duty."  DHist file 181.009 D.2618 (RG.24 Vol.20627) has recommendation dated 10 April 1945 when he had flown 36 sorties (219 hours 25 minutes), 12 September 1944 to 27 February 1945.

 

The above mentioned officer completed thirty-six successful operational sorties over enemy territory. Most of the targets were heavily defended and included Duisburg, Osnabruck, Dusseldorf, Saarbrucken, Wanne Eickel, and others.  During his tour he proved himself to be a most valuable member of his squadron.  His cheerful confidence inspired a high standard of morale in his crew.  His splendid example and outstanding ability warrant a strong recommendation for the award of the Distinguished Flying Cross (Non-Immediate).

 

* * * * *

 

BEYNON, LAC James Albert (R220040) - Mention in Despatches - No.126 Airfield - Award effective 1 January 1945 as per London Gazette of that date and AFRO 425/45 dated 9 March 1945.  Home in Guelph; enlisted North Bay, 16 February 1943.

 

* * * * *

 

BEZER, F/O John Moor (J9659) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.612 Squadron - Award effective 30 November 1943 as per London Gazette dated 7 December 1943 and AFRO 166/44 dated 28 January 1944.  Born Vancouver, 1919; home in New Westminster (ex-New Westminster Regiment); enlisted Victoria, 21 May 1941.  Trained at No.2 ITS (graduated 15 August 1941), No.6 EFTS (graduated 10 October 1941) and No.4 SFTS (graduated 2 January 1942).  Award presented 27 November 1948.

 

In September 1943, Flying Officer Bezer was captain of an aircraft engaged on anti-submarine patrol in the Bay of Biscay.  A U-Boat was sighted and attacked.  Accurate anti-aircraft fire from the submarine was encountered during the run-up.  Due to a technical fault outside the control of the aircraft crew, they were unable to reply to the U-Boat's fire with the front gun.  Despite this, however, Flying Officer Bezer delivered a telling attack.  The aircraft had been severely damaged, the hydraulic system was unserviceable and shortly afterwards the starboard engine failed, but by excellent airmanship and crew co-operation the aircraft was flown safely to an airfield where a crash landing was made without further incident.  Flying Officer Bezer previously delivered a night attack on an enemy submarine in September 1943.  Throughout his operational career this officer has proved himself an excellent captain of aircraft.

 

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