MacINTYRE, F/L Gordon Leslie (42718) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.221 Squadron - awarded as per London Gazette dated 18 September 1942. Born in Arnprior, Ontario, 1915; educated there; served in Canadian militia. Appointed Acting Pilot Officer on Probation, RAF, 18 September 1939; confirmed as Flying Officer, 20 April 1941; confirmed as Flight Lieutenant, 20 April 1942; completed two twos (Bomber and Coastal Command); killed in action, 29 April 1943. AFRO 925/43 dated 21 May 1943 (reporting his death) identified him as a Canadian in the RAF. No published citation other than "for gallantry and devotion to duty in the execution of air operations". AFRO 1653/42 dated 16 October 1942 (reporting his DFC) identified him as a Canadian in the RAF. Air Ministry Bulletin 8079 refers.

 

This officer is a captain of outstanding courage and ability. Although engaged on operations almost continuously since the war began he has never shown signs of tiredness or wanting enthusiasm. He has completed many hours of operational flying involving patrols over various areas. This officer has always displayed exceptional skill and determination.

 

Public Record Office Air 2/9596 has a letter dated 6 August 1942 from Group Captain W.J.M. Akerman, Headquarters, Royal Air Force, Middle East, to Air Ministry, recommending a non-immediate award of the Distinguished Flying Cross:

 

This officer is a captain of aircraft of outstanding courage and ability. He has been operating continuously since the war began and has never shown signs of tiredness or waning enthusiasm, being eager to undertake any job and has never left it until successfully completed. He has completed many hours operational flying involving patrols over the North Sea, the Atlantic during the Battle of the Atlantic from England, Northern Ireland and Iceland. On two occasions he has succeeded in locating and attacking enemy submarines, the second occasion being almost certainly successful.

 

Throughout this officer has displayed exceptional skill and determination which has earned for him the confidence and admiration of the squadron.

 

* * * * *

 

MACKID, F/L John Goodair (41042) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.97 Squadron - awarded as per London Gazette dated 23 January 1942. Born in Calgary, 1914; home there; educated in Victoria, University of Alberta and University of Washington, specializing in aeronautical engineering. Appointed Acting Pilot Officer on Probation, RAF, 20 August 1938 and served as a flying instructor. Royal Air Force Quarterly (June 1942) has citation (with S/L John Seymour Sherwood, awarded Bar to DFC): Name Goodsir ? Missing in action, 27 April 1942. Air Ministry Bulletin 6124 refers.

 


In December 1941, Squadron Leader Sherwood and Flight Lieutenant Mackid participated as leaders of formations of aircraft in a daylight attack on the battle cruisers Gneisenau and Scharnhorst at Brest. Extremely heavy and accurate anti-aircraft fire and opposition from enemy fighters was encountered, but although Squadron Leader Sherwood's aircraft was hit several times by shell fire he skilfully kept his formatioon together and finally an accurate run was made over the target.

 

Flight Lieutenant Mackid admirably supported Squadron Leader Sherwood and pressed home a successful attack with great determination. Throughout the operation, which demanded a high degree of skill and courage, both these officers played a conspicuous part and contributed materially to the success obtained.

 

* * * * *

 

MacLACHLAN, W/C James Robert (36005) - Mention in Despatches - awarded as per London Gazette dated 11 June 1942. Born at Longueil, Quebec, 27 February 1911. Home in Ottawa. Provisional Pilot Officer with the RCAF (C552, 3 October 1932 to 23 May 1933. Appointed Acting Pilot Officer on Probation, RAF, 26 May 1933; placed on Reserve of Officers, 1 June 1933; applied for permanent commission in the RAF which was approved (letter to him dated 8 May 1934); resigned his RCAF commisison 25 May 1934. Aeroplane, issue of 26 July 1939 (announcing his forthcoming marriage) described his as "Squadron Leader Robert James MacLachlan, RAF, only some of Mr. and Mrs. J.D. MacLachlan, Ottawa, Canada." AFRO 1000-1001/42 dated 3 July 1942 (award of Mention in Despatches) identified him as a Canadian in the RAF. In the RAF he was with Technical Branch (Engineers); promoted to Wing Commander, 1 March 1941; to Group Captain, 1 January 1954; retired 1 September 1956.

 

* * * * *

 

MacLACHLAN, F/L Victor Davidson. (82024) - Mention in Despatches - awarded as per London Gazette dated 11 June 1942. Signals Officer; born 25 April 1913 at Paisley, Ontario; home in Owen Sound, Ontario; served as a First Class Signaller, the Grey Regiment, Owen Sound, 1929 to 1937, rising to Sergeant. He was employed by International Business Machines, 1935-1936; then as a salesman and technician with Brown Instruments (Philadelphia), 1936-37; went to England in 1938 as a salesman and technician with Honeywell-Bowen Limited, London. Commissioned 5 July 1940; transferred to Technical Branch, 17 February 1941; confirmed as Flying Officer, 5 September 1941 and as Flight Lieutenant, 1 July 1943. He was posted to Kirton Lindsey on 21 January 1941 (Section Signals Officer) and to Station Digby on 1 June 1941; posted to Canada, 26 May 1942 as a specialist in Fighter Control Signals. AFRO 1000-1001/42 dated 3 July 1942 (award of Mention in Despatches) identified him as a Canadian in the RAF. Transferred to RCAF, 27 November 1944 while serving at No.5 Radio School, Clinton (C50474); to United Kingdom, 13 April 1945; retired from RCAF, 20 December 1945.

 

* * * * *

 


MACLEAN, Sergeant Ian Dugald (100644) - Distinguished Flying Medal - No.99 Squadron - awarded as per London Gazette dated 14 April 1942. Born in Prince Rupert, British Columbia, 1921; however, Commonwealth War Graves Commission gives his next of kin as "John MacDonald MacLean and Agnes Marshall MacLean of Glasgow", suggesting tentative Canadian roots. Commercial artist before the war; enlisted June 1940. Killed in flying accident, No.20 Operational Training Unit, 8 November 1942 (Hitchins) or with No.238 Squadron, Egypt (Allison). No citation in London Gazette other than "for gallantry and devotion to duty in the execution of air operations". AFRO 611/42 dated 24 April 1942 identifies him as a Canadian in the RAF. Air Ministry Bulletin 6672 refers. Although an abbreviated citation was published in Flight, 30 April 1942, Public Record Office Air 2/9585 has the following text, drafted when he had flown 27 sorties (154 operational hours):

 

This airman is an extremely reliable pilot. On all his operational flights he has shown great persistence both to attack and, whenever possible, to obtain photographs of the target area. On one occasion this led to his being caught in an extremely accurate barrage over Emden for some 20 minutes. He eventually evaded the barrage only to return through it to secure another photograph. Sergeant Maclean has participated in numerous sorties, including attacks on Berlin, Kiel, Mannheim, Brest, Wilhelmshaven and other highly defended areas. His efficiency and disregard of danger have contributed materially to the high morale of his crew.

 

NOTE: Ian Tavender records his recommendation dated 20 February 1942 (found in Public Record Office Air 2/9585) in his book The Distinguished Flying Medal Register for the Second World War (London, Savannah Publications, 2000).

 

This Non-Commissioned Officer has been in the squadron since 16th July 1941, during which time he has carried out 27 sorties involving 154 hours flying. He is an extremely reliable pilot whom it is impossible to perturb. On all flights on which he has been engaged, he has spent a long time identifying the target and makes a habit of hanging about trying to get photographs to show results of other aircrafts' attacks as well as his own. On one occasion this led to him being caught in an extremely accurate barrage over Emden for 20 minutes. He eventually evaded it, only to return through it to take another photograph. As a result, his aircraft was slightly damaged in several places. By his coolness and complete disregard for danger and by the efficient way in which he has carried out his duties, Sergeant MacLean has not only raised the morale of his own crew to a very high pitch but also that of the other crews in the squadron. He is strongly recommended for the award of the Distinguished Flying Medal.

 

* * * * *

 


MacLEOD, F/O Roderick John Angus (155116) - Mention in Despatches - No.107 Squadron - awarded as per London Gazette dated 8 June 1944; born 31 May 1918 in Keeler, Saskatchewan. Education not fully explained, but his senior matriculation, 1930-34 was taken in Ireland. Joined Oxford City Police, November 1938; attended Birmingham City Police College, November 1938 to February 1939; appointed a Probationary Constable with Oxford Police, February 1939; appointed to Permanent Police Force, November 1940 but was released to join RAF. enlisted in RAF, 29 April 1941 (Oxford Recruiting Unit); received basic training at Aircrew Receiving Centre, 15 July to 5 August 1941; at No.6 Initial Training Wing, Aberwisthwth, Wales (ground training for aircrew), 6 August to 22 November 1941; at No.9 Air Observers School, Penrhos, Wales, 23 November 1941 to 12 May 1942 (training in navigation, bombing and gunner); at OTU, 13 May to 13 July 1942; instructing in navigation and bombing at an OTU, 14 July 1942 to 10 April 1943; with No.107 Squadron, 11 April to 27 August 1943; safe in UK about 7 November 1943; with Air Ministry, London, 8 November 1943 to 4 January 1944 ("Survival Leave"); with No.1482 Flight, Swanton Morley, Norfolk, 5 January to 14 April 1944 (Staff Navigator); with No.1 Air Armament School, Manby, Lincolnshire, 15 April to 14 May 1944 (training in Bomber Leaders Course); with No.2 Group Support Unit, Swanton Morley, Norfolk, 15 May to 17 August 1944 (training of formation leading); with No.88 Squadron, Hartford Bridge and B.50, Vitry-en-Artois, 18 August 1944 to 14 March 1945; with No.84 Group Communication Squadron, 15 March to 1 May 1945; to Air Ministry pending allocation, 2 May to 16 July 1945; RAF Station Broadwell, Oxfordshire, 17 July 1945 to 16 May 1946 (Station Recreation Officer)l released 17 July 1946. Attained rank of LAC on 23 November 1941, Sergeant on 10 May 1942, and Flight Sergeant on 11 May 1943. Commissioned 29 June 1943; promoted Flying Officer, 29 December 1943; Flight Lieutenant, 29 June 1945. Resumed career with Oxford City Police, September 1946 but resigned due to lack of prospects, May 1947; migrated to Canada and sat for Toronto police exams but declined appointment in favour of business in western Canada. Joined RCAF, 16 April 1952 (Flying Control Officer, 43657), serving at Rivers and Penhold until retiring, 2 November 1964. Died in Calgary, Alberta, 18 January 1977.

 

MacLEOD, F/O Roderick John Angus (155116) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.88 Squadron - awarded as per London Gazette dated 29 June 1945. Air Ministry Bulletin 19108/AL.1054 refers.

 

Flying Officer MacLeod commenced operational flying in May 1943. In August 1943, while taking part in an attack on a power station in France, his aircraft was so badly damaged it was forced down on enemy territory. He evaded capture and returned to England. Undeterred by this trying experience, this officer resumed operational flying with undiminished enthusiasm. Since then he has participated in attacks on such important and well-defended targets as the Venlo Bridge, Deventer and Emmerich. His bombing results have been consistently good and his navigation excellent. Throughout, Flying Officer MacLeod has set a high standard of courage, initiative and determination.

 

NOTE: In his application for Operational Wings dated 9 October 1952 he listed the following sorties:

 

With No.107 Squadron (Bostons)

 

11 June 1943 Circus, Bethune, France (2.30)

12 June 1943 Circus, Rouen Power Station (2.40)

13 June 1943 Circus, Gosnay Power Station (2.30)


17 June 1943 Circus, Flushing (20 minutes, returned)

17 June 1943 Circus, Flushing docks (2.05)

20 June 1943 Circus, Poix aerodrome (2.35)

23 June 1943 Air/Sea Rescue, search for dinghy (2.20)

24 June 1943 Circus, St.Omer rail yards (1.50)

25 June 1943 Circus, Amsterdam docks (1.55)

26 June 1943 Circus, Abbeville aerodrome (2.05)

3 July 1943 Low level, Gosnay Power Station (1.55)

11 July 1943 Low level, Yainville Power Station (2.35)

 

With No.88 Squadron (Bostons)

 

26 July 1943 Circus, Courtrai aerodrome (3.20))

 

With No.107 Squadron (Bostons)

 

8 Aug 1943 Low level, Rennes U-boat base (4.00)

13 Aug 1943 Low level, combined rehearsal (3.30)

16 Aug 1943 Low Level, Denain locomotive works (3.15)

27 Aug 1943 Low level, Gosnay Power Station (1.00, posted as missing, evaded capture and returned to United Kingdom; screened from operations; posted to No.88 Squadron on 27 August 1944.

 

With No.88 Squadron (Bostons)

 

8 Sept 1944 Ramrod, Boulogne gun positions (2.00)

11 Sept 1944 Ramrod, Breskens ferry (2.15)

12 Sept 1944 Ramrod, Rail junction, Flushing

13 Sept 1944 Ramrod, Boulogne gun positions (1.40)

14 Sept 1944 Ramrod, Boulogne gun positions (1.40)

15 Sept 1944 Ramrod, Terneuzen ferry (2.40)

17 Sept 1944 Ramrod, Arnhem landing (3.00)

25 Sept 1944 Ramrod, Arnhem gun positions (3.20)

26 Sept 1944 Ramrod, Cleve, Germany (3.25)

28 Sept 1944 Ramrod, Emmerich, Germany (3.00)

2 Oct 1944 Ramrod, Arnhem gun positions (3.30)

5 Oct 1944 Ramrod, Arnhem gun positions (3.25)

13 Oct 1944 Ramrod, Utrecht rail yards (3.30)

15 Oct 1944 Ramrod, Deventer rail yards (3.30)

22 Oct 1944 Ramrod, Cadzand gun positions (1.10)

3 Nov 1944 Ramrod, Venlo Bridge (1.05)

18 Nov 1944 Ramrod, Kempen, Rhur (2.00)

19 Nov 1944 Ramrod, Venlo Bridge (2.00)

21 Nov 1944 Ramrod, Randerrath, Germany (2.00)

26 Nov 1944 Ramrod, Rheydt, Germany (1.45)


11 Dec 1944 Ramrod, Zutphen Docks (2.00)

18 Dec 1944 Ramrod, troop concentrations at Daun

1 Jan 45 Ramrod, Drasborg, Ardennes (2.10)

5 Jan 45 Ramrod, Sart Lex, St.Vith (2.15)

24 Jan 45 Ramrod, Dunkirk docks (1.00)

2 Feb 45 Ramrod, Hilden, Germany (2.05)

8 Feb 45 Ramrod, Kranenborg, Germany (2.00)

10 Feb 45 Ramrod, Xanten village (2.10)

14 Feb 45 Ramrod, Stadt-Stralen (2.00)

 

 

* * * * *

 

MACRAE, F/O William John (39089) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.9 Squadron - awarded as per London Gazette dated 20 February 1940. Born in Regina, 1915; Commonwealth War Graves Commission confirms that his parents were John James MacRae and Eliza May MacRae of Regina. To RAF, 1936; killed in action, 8 March 1940, aged 26; buried in Brookwood Cemetery.

 

* * * * *

 

MAJOR, F/L Kenneth Albert (47262) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.100 Squadron - awarded as per London Gazette dated 23 May 1944. Born in Faversham, Kent, 1914; home in Manitoba. Enlisted as aircraft apprentice, 1940, later training as aircrew. Commissioned 1941. No citation other than "completed many successful operations against the enemy in which he has displayed high skill, fortitude and devotion to duty." Air Ministry Bulletin 14007/AL.805 refers.

 

* * * * *

 

MANAHAN, F/L James Ross (41443) - No.148 Squadron - Distinguished Flying Cross - awarded as per London Gazette dated 4 November 1941. Born in Winnipeg, 11 January 1917; home there; educated there. Father living in Lanark as of 1943. Appointed Acting Pilot Officer on Probation, RAF, 26 May 1933; 14 December 1938; F/O on 3 September 1940; F/L on 3 September 1941. Missing, presumed dead, 11/12 June 1943. AFRO 1340/41 dated 14 November 1941 (announcing DFC), AFRO 1651/43 dated 20 August 1943 (reporting him missing) and AFRO/358/44 dated 18 February 1944 (reporting his death) identified him as Canadian in the RAF. No citation other than "for gallantry and devotion to duty in the execution of air operations." Air Ministry Bulletin 5486 refers. Notes transcribed by W/C F.H. Hitchins, citing a file 22-12, folio 34 (not further identified) had a citation which apparently was a summary of that subsequently filed with Public Record Office Air 2/8907:

 


Since September 1940, this officer has carried out 42 operational sorties involving 310 flying hours. Whilst serving in England, Flying Officer Ross [sic] completed 15 missions against targets in Germany, France and Belgium. Posted to Malta in March 1941, he flew his aircraft out from this country [Britain]. Since then, he has been intensively engaged on operations in the Western Desert, Crete, Rhodes and in Greece. On 15th April 1941, in an attack on shipping in Tripoli harbour, Flying Officer Manahan obtained a direct hit on a 2,000-ton vessel. On 4th August 1941, he participated in the first attack on Corinth Canal. Despite the most intense anti-aircraft fire, he descended to less than 1,000 feet and, although his aircraft had been hit by shell fire, succeeded in placing two mines in the harbour entrance. Some nine days he again flew over the same area and released a 1,000-pound bomb on the target. This officer has at all times shown himself to be an exceptionally determined operational pilot who combines a natural flying ability with coolness and judgement.

 

This appears to paraphrase a recommendation (Public Records Office, Air 2/4782, Non-Immediate Awards, Middle East, 1941-1943), communicated by RAFHQ Middle East to Air Ministry, 12 October 1941. Although the award was to him as a Flight Lieutenant, the telegram with the recommendation gave his rank as Flying Officer; the text itself erroneously gives his rank as Pilot Officer in one place, but corrects itself as to rank further on:

 

This officer commenced operational flying in a Blenheim squadron in September 1940 and transferred to Wellingtons when his unit was re-equipped. He carried out from England fifteen operations in Blenheims and Wellington aircraft against targets in Belgium, France and Germany. In March he was posted to Malta and flew his own aircraft out from England. Later in the month he was transferred to Kabrit on the move of 148 Squadron to Egypt and since that time he has been engaged intensively on operations in the Middle East Command against targets in Western Desert, Crete, Rhodes and Greece. Pilot Officer [sic] Manahan has now completed 42 operational sorties with a total operational flying time of 310 hours. On 15 April a brief re-attachment to Malta he carried out a most successful attack on shipping in Tripoli harbour securing hit on a 2,000 ton ship. On 4 August he participated most successfully in the first attack on Corinth Canal being engaged in the particularly hazardous operation of mine laying at the south east entrance. Despite the most intensive high and low anti-aircraft [fire] and the fact that his aircraft had been hit, Flying Officer Manahan descended to less than 1,000 feet and successfully placed two mines in the harbour entrance. On 13 August he again visited the Corinth Canal and dropped a 1,000 pound bomb on the target. This officer has shown himself at all times an exceptionally able and determined operational pilot who combines a natural ability for flying with coolness and good judgement.

 

* * * * *

 


MARCOU, S/L Howard Fortescue (41350) - Air Force Cross - Awarded as per London Gazette dated 2 April 1943. Born in Westmount (Montreal), 21 February 1917; home there; secured junior matriculation at McGill College. RCAF Provisional Pilot Officer, 3 January 1938; trained at Trenton; wings on 18 October 1938 under a short-lived pre-war scheme to provide pilots to the RAF. Transferred to RAF, 5 November 1938; AFRO 757/43 dated 30 April 1943 (reporting his AFC) described him as a Canadian in the RAF. At RAF Station Uxbridge, 6-23 November 1938; at No.6 SFTS, Rissington, 24 November to 15 April 1939 (detached to Warmwell Practice Camp, 11 March to 6 April 1939); with No.52 (Bomber) Squadron, Upwood, 15 April to 27 July 1939; with Central Flying School, Upavon, 24 July to 12 September 1939; instructing with No.5 SFTS, Sealand, 13 September 1939 to 21 April 1941 (on detachment to Ternhill, 2 November 1940 to 21 April 1941); with Central Flying School, Upavon, 22 April 1941 to 1 January 1942; with No.2 Flying Instructor School, Montrose, 3 January 1942 to 26 April 1943 (Deputy Chief Flying Instructor); with Empire Central Flying School, Hullavington, 27 February to 26 May 1943; to No.2 FIS, Montrose, 27 May 1943 to 17 August 1944. During this time he transferred to RCAF, 7 November 1943 (C795). To Pathfinder Night Training Unit, Warboys, 18 August to 3 September 1944; with No.405 Squadron, 4 September 1944 to 20 February 1945. He flew 31 trips (141 hours 50 minutes). Adventures with that unit including having his aircraft, Lancaster PB516, being struck by incendiaries from another aircraft. On the night of 20/21 February 1945 he went missing on operations (Lancaster PB530 "W"); reported safe in Britain, 24 April 1945. Awarded DFC as a member of the RCAF (see that data base). In the postwar RCAF he reverted to Squadron Leader (1 October 1946), being promoted to Wing Commander, 1 September 1951. His major postings included Experimental and Proving Establishment, Rockcliffe, 21 September 1947 to 31 October 1949; Air Defence Group (later renamed Air Defence Command), 1 November 1949 to 3 April 1952; Canadian Joint Staff, London, 4 April to 9 September 1952; Air Defence Command, 10 September to 7 October 1952; Station St.Denis, 8-19 October 1952; Commanding Officer of No.12 Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron. Mont Apica (radar base), 17 August 1953 to 25 January 1956 (awarded Queen's Coronation Medal, 23 October 1953); Air Force Headquarters, 26 January 1956 to 3 January 1960; Northern NORAD Region Headquarters, North Bay, 2 August 1963 to 20 January 1964. He retired from the RCAF on 21 February 1966 and died in Drummond Township, Nepean, Ontario on 5 January 1999.

 

NOTE: The types of aircraft he flew were sufficiently varied as to bear remark. Two forms, one filled in March 1948 and the other in June 1951, track his flying career. The numbers are not consistent from one date to the next, but the range of machines flown remains interesting:

 

March 1948 June 1951

 

Single Engine

 

Hart 85.55 64.55

Audax 60.40 48.20

Battle 51.20 44.35

Tutor 63.25 159.20

Harvard 11.10 47.50

Fury 8.05 1.45

Master 979.00 1,155.30

Hind - .20

Spitfire 2.40 5.00

Miles M.18 1.00 .30

Magister 62.20 70.05

Mustang 1.15 .45


Bermuda 1.40 .45

Bonanza - .30

Norseman - 4.00

Hotspur - .20

Finch - 65.00

Tiger Moth - 68.15

 

Twin-Engine

 

Anson 82.35 153.00

Oxford 420.25 485.00

Dominie 12.15 5.20

Blenheim 10.15 8.55

Hudson 1.00 1.10

Whitley 1.00 1.00

Wellington 9.15 7.55

Expeditor 85.45 214.55

Dakota 10.20 57.25

Beaufighter - .45

Fairchild 71 3.05 -

Canso 3.00 9.20

Ventura - 1.05

 

Multi-Engine

 

Halifax 5.00 5.20

Lancaster 210.10 226.45

North Star - 17.25

 

Helicopters - 2.00

 

* * * * *

 

MARDON, Flight Sergeant George Frederick (364219) - Mention in Despatches - No.30 Operational Training Unit - awarded as per London Gazette dated 1 January 1943. Described as a Canadian airman serving in the RAF in DHist file 181.005.D.271, about June 1941; he was then a Flight Sergeant and an aero engine fitter at Training School, Eastchurch; wife living in Britain. Royal Air Force Personnel Management Agency, in a letter to H.A. Halliday dated 21 February 2000, identified his unit and stated stated he was born in Toronto, 5 13anuary 1907.

 

* * * * *

 


MARSH, F/L Lawrence Edward (173337) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.9 Squadron - awarded as per London Gazette dated 24 April 1945. Home in Verdun, Quebec. Transferred from RAF to RCAF, 5 February 1945 (London Gazette dated 13 March 1945) with service number C89563. Repatriated to Canada, 18 June 1945; released from RCAF, 26 Sepetmber 1945. Air Ministry Bulletin 10430 refers. Cited with Flight Sergeant Finlay Robert Riches (awarded DFM).

 

This officer and airman were pilot and rear gunner respectively of an aircraft which successfully attacked the submarine pens at Bergen in January 1945. When crossing the enemy coast on the return flight, the aircraft was attacked by five fighters. After the first attack, which was made in formation, the fighters closed in, time and again, singly and in pairs. Nevertheless, skilful maneouvering by Flight Lieutenant Marsh and good shooting by Flight Sergeant Riches and his co-gunner prevented the attacks being pressed home. After the combat had been in progress for some time, the starboard outer engine of the bomber was hit. Smoke began to issue from it. Flight Lieutenant Marsh did not at first father the propeller of the damaged engine but it burst into flames and he was compelled to do so. The mid-upper gun turret later became unserviceable. Despite this, Flight Sergeant Riches in the rear turret defended the aircraft well until the attackers finally broke away. Flight Lieutenant Marsh afterwards flew the damaged bomber to base and landed safely in spite of a burst tyre on one of the landing wheels. This officer and his air gunner, Flight Sergeant Riches, displayed noteworthy skill and courage in very trying circumstances.

 

* * * * *

 

MARSHALL, Flight Sergeant John Roy (515903) - Distinguished Flying Medal - No.211 Squadron - awarded as per London Gazette dated 22 August 1941. Born in Ottawa, 1914; enrolled in RAF as aircraft hand, 1932; mother living in Glasgow as of 1941 so his Canadian roots may be tenuous although specifically listed in AFRO 1292/41 dated 7 November 1941 as a Canadian in the RAF who had been decorated as of that date. Name also given as John Ray. No citation other than "for gallantry and devotion to duty in the execution of air operations." However, notes by W/C F.H. Hitchins, Directorate of History (probably from contemporary Air Ministry Bulletin 4812) state that he had flown 52 raids in Libya; that on two occasions after his aircraft was hit he regained base by skilful manoeuvring, and that during the evacuations from Greece he had carried out 12 flights from Menidi to Crete in the face of enemy opposition. Ian Tavender records his recommendation found in Public Record Office Air 2/8899 in his book The Distinguished Flying Medal Register for the Second World War (London, Savannah Publications, 2000); it is close to the notes transcribed by Hitchins:

 


This Senior Non-Commissioned Officer has done 52 raids over Libya and Greece and has always shown the greatest determination. On one particular raid to Durazzo, Albania, his aircraft was hit very badly and he managed, by skilful handling, to outmanoeuvre fighters in the vicinity and land safely and unharmed at Larissa. On another raid on Valona, his aircraft was badly hit in the tailplane by an anti-aircraft shell but he again arrived safely back at Menidi. During the evacuation from Greece he did several evacuation trips (12) from Menidi to Crete in the face of enemy danger always around Menidi.

 

* * * * *

 

MARTIN, F/O Harold Brownlee (68795) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.50 Squadron - awarded as per London Gazette dated 6 November 1942. Listed in DHist cards as CAN/RAF with no biographical details. Royal Air Force Personnel Management Agency, in a letter to H.A. Halliday dated 21 February 2000, stated he has been born 27 February 1918 in Sydney, Australia. Cited with F/O J.F. Leggo (RAAF); citation published in AFRO 2069/42 dated 18 December 1942. AFRO 2069/42 also describes him as a Canadian in the RAF but gives second name as "Brownlow".

 

Flying Officer Harold Brownlee Martin and Flying Officer Jack Frederick Leggo have flown together as captain and observer respectively of an outstanding succeesful, efficient crew, who have consistently bombed the target from a low altitude and returning with excellent photograaphs. On one occasion in August he spent 30 minutes locating the target in the face of intense opposition. The aircraft was hit in many places and one engine caught fire. Nevertheless the attack was pressed home in a most resolute and determined manner. Again in August they were detailed for a mission calling for a high standard of navigation and crew cooperation, which was accomplished in a highly successful manner. Martin and Leggo displayed valour and courage of the highest order in the face of the enemy.

 

* * * * *

 

MARTYN, Lieutenant (Air) William Haig - Mention in Despatches - awarded as per London Gazette dated 4 October 1940. A native of Calgary, Alberta; Pilot Officer in RAF, 1936; transferred to Fleet Air Arm, 1938. Sub-Lieutenant (Air), Royal Navy at No.14 Elementary Flying Training School and then No.5 Service Flying Training School; promoted to Lieutenant (Air), 1940. Flying from HMS Formidable with No.888 Squadron as Senior Pilot in 1942; commanded No.888 Squadron aboard HM Ships Argus, Indomitable, Stalker and Furious. Promoted Lieutenant-Commander, 1944. Died in April 1975. Combat claims as follows (provided by Frank Olynk): 17 April 1940, 1400 hours, No.801 Squadron, one Do.18 or Do.26 destroyed west of Stavanger while flying Skua II (serial unknown), shared with Lieutenant-Commander H. Peter Bramwell in Skua II L2907, 7A and Sun-Lieutenant Bernard Frank Wigginton in Skua II L2921, 7F, combat report in Public Record Office ADM 199/115-464, 465 and 466; 26 April 1940, No.801 Squadron, one He.111 destroyed, 1145 hours over Lesjaskog, Skua coded 7C, shared with Lieutenant-Commander H. Peter Bramwell in L2907; 12 August 1942, No.800 Squadron, one Ju.88 destroyed, 0900-1930 hours, between Gibraltar and malta, Sea Hurricane I V7516, combat report in Public Record Officer ADM 199/115-248; 12 August 1942, one Ju.88 destroyed, shared with Sub-Lieutenant J.L. Hastings (Z4056), combat report in ADM 119/115-252. No citation other than "for good services in an air attack on oil tanks in Norway."

 

MARTYN, Lieutenant (Air) William Haig - Distinguished Service Cross - awarded as per London Gazette dated 22 November 1940.


MARTYN, Lieutenant (A) William Haig - Mention in Despatches - awarded as per London Gazette dated 10 November 1942, "For bravery and dauntless resolution...when an important convoy was fought through to Malta in the face of relentless attacks by day and night from submarines, aircraft and surface forces."

 

MARTYN, Lieutenant Commander William Haig, DSC - Bar to Distinguished Service Cross - No.888 Squadron - awarded as per London Gazette dated 5 September 1944. This was one of a group of awards made "for courage, skill and devotion to duty while operating from or serving in His Majesty's Ships Furious and Victorious during many successful strikes at enemy shipping off the coast of Norway."

 

* * * * *

 

MATTHEWS, Flight Sergeant Jack Edward Stuart (1194201) - Distinguished Flying Medal - No.35 Squadron - awarded as per London Gazette dated 20 June 1944 with effect from 27 June 1943. Born in West Holme, British Columbia, 1921; home in Laughton, Essex; horsebreaker before enlistment; joined RAF in 1940. Air Ministry Bulletin 14360/AL.833 refers. Recommendation found in Public Record Office Air 2/9578 (which spells name as "Matthews".

 

This airman is a gunner of outstanding skill, who has always displayed the greatest keenness to fly on operations against the enemy. He is unperturbed by the heaviest opposition and has, several times, skilfully directed his captain in evading enemy night fighters. Flight Sergeant Mathews has completed sorties against Cologne, Le Creusot, Dusseldorf, Duisburg and Bremen and on many objectives in the Middle East.

 

* * * * *

 

McCARTNEY, Sergeant John Charles (542139) - Distinguished Flying Medal - No.224 Squadron - awarded as per London Gazette dated 8 February 1944. Born in Hampshire, 1918; home in Saskatoon, although Commonwealth War Graves Commission gives no home for his parents, his widow was living in Toronto; enlisted in RAF in 1937. Killed in action, 20 March 1944, still with No.224 Squadron; name on Runnymede Memorial.

 

As flight engineer he has taken part in a very large number of sorties and has proved himself to be a most dependable member of aircraft crew. On a recent occasion he took part in an anti-submarine patrol in the role of air gunner. During the operation his aircraft was attacked by a number of fighters. Although his turret was unserviceable, Sergeant McCartney called upon two members of the crew to turn it manually according to his instructions. Throughout the engagement which lasted for some 50 minutes Sergeant McCartney fought with great skill and resolution and played a good part in frustrating the attackers. His exemplary conduct in the face of very trying circumstances was worthy of the highest praise.

 


NOTE: Ian Tavender records his recommendation dated 10 January 1944, found in Public Record Office Air 2/9216 in his book The Distinguished Flying Medal Register for the Second World War (London, Savannah Publications, 2000); when recommended he had flown 52 sorties (103 hours ten minutes):

 

Sergeant McCartney is on his second tour of operations and was manning the mid-upper turret in a Liberator on anti-submarine patrol returning from Gibraltar to the United Kingdom when the aircraft was attacked by single and twin-engined night fighters over the Bay of Biscay. The mid-upper turret was found to be unserviceable at Gibraltar and could not be repaired. During a long engagement of nearly 50 minutes, several dozen attacks were pressed home with skill and vigour. Sergeant McCartney immediately called upon two members of the crew of the Liberator to man-handle his turret on instructions from him to meet each successive enemy attack as it was pressed home. His continual reporting, shared with the rear gunner, of the enemy's position to the captain, I consider, saved the aircraft and crew from disaster in this long and tiring combat. His guns registered strikes on one aircraft which broke away seawards and was not seen again. His coolness in reporting each successive attack as the enemy came in enabled the captain to take the best evasive action possible and the fact that little damage to the aircraft resulted is due to his and the rear gunner's outstanding actions whilst under fire at such close range and for such a long period. As captain of the aircraft, I consider McCartney and the rear gunner by their action certainly saved the Liberator and its crew from being shot down. Strongly recommended for the immediate award of the Distinguished Flying Medal.

 

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McDERMOTT, F/L Irvine Francis (41719) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.104 Squadron - awarded as per London Gazette dated 23 November 1943. Born in Winnipeg, 1916; home there. Appointed Acting Pilot Officer on Probation, RAF, 4 March 1939. Cards assembled by F.H. Hitchins from squadron diaries (held by Directorate of History and Heritage, Canadian Forces Headquarters) show him as posted to No.263 Squadron (Gladiators, 2 October 1939. Flew with that unit during Norwegian campaign. Flew Whirlwinds with the unit in summer of 1940 and may have instructed in Canada, 1941. Air Ministry Bulletin 12050/AL.702 refers. Killed in action, 1 November 1943. AFRO 2688/43 dated 30 December 1943 (reporting him missing) identified him as a Canadian in the RAF (but spelled his name "McDernott"; AFRO 297/44 dated 11 February 1944 (reporting his DFC) described him as "RAF Trained in Canada" (a graduate of No.36 SFTS), which appears odd; it is more probable that he had instructed as No.36 SFTS. AFRO 1338/44 dated 23 June 1944 (reporting his death) described him as a Canadian in the RAF.

 


One night in October 1943 this officer piloted an aircraft detailed to attack an objective near Formia. Soon after taking off the main electrical generator failed. Flight Lieutenant McDermott continued to the target, however, the navigator plotting the course by the light from a torch. Whilst over the target, at a low level, the aircraft was heavily hit by fire from the ground defences. Nevertheless, Flight Lieutenant McDermott maintained his run and made a successful attack. Although his aircraft was badly crippled, this pilot made strenuous and gallant efforts to keep it airborne but eventually was compelled to bring it down on to the sea. The crew was able to clamber aboard the dinghy and, after two hours paddling, reached shore. On this operation Flight Lieutenant McDermott displayed courage, tenacity and devotion to duty worthy of the greatest praise.

 

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McDONALD, S/L Kenneth John (39097) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.78 Squadron - awarded as per London Gazette dated 14 May 1943. Born in Bristol, England, 1 March 1914; home in Manitoba according to Air Ministry Bulletin, but Ferry Command crew cards, Directorate of History and Heritage Collection 84/44-3, give home as Barrie, Ontario; but educated at Selhurst Grammar School, Croydon. RAF Pupil Pilot. Appointed Acting Pilot Officer on Probation, RAF, 7 September 1936. Attained rank of Squadron Leader, 1 December 1941. Made at least one overseas delivery of a Ventura (July 1942). At one point was attached briefly to the RCAF and given the number C1028. Citation published in Flight, 10 June 1943. Air Ministry Bulletin 10225 refers.

 

This officer has completed 28 operations, a number of which have been against strongly defended enemy objectives. Recently during an attack on Essen his aircraft was heavily engaged by the defences during the bombing run and sustained severe damage. During this and all other sorties, Squadron Leader McDonald has always displayed the greatest coolness and courage.

 

DHist cards summarize a slight different text, presumably from Air Ministry Bulletin:

 

...has completed 28 operations against strongly defended objectives. During recent attack on Essen his aircraft heavily engaged by defences, sustained severe damage. During this and other sorties, has always displayed greatest coolness and courage. Exhibits utmost enthusiasm for operational flying and has produced many good photographs of target areas. A gallant officer whose work has been highly praiseworthy.

 

Public Record Office Air 2/8950 has recommendation dated 7 March 1943 when he had flown 28 sorties (206 hours 56 minutes) as follows:

 

13 Sept 42 Bremen (5.45)

16 Sept 42 Essen (5.55)

15 Oct 42 Cologne (6.21); fires seen and scattered bomb bursts in area.

23 Oct 42 Genoa (9.06); scattered fires in city area.

7 Nov 42 Genoa (9.57); many fire well alight. Stick of bombs seen to burst in Ansaldo Steel Works.

9 Nov 42 Hamburg (8.12); heavy flak over target.


15 Nov 42 Genoa (9.50); bombs exploded in dock area.

18 Nov 42 Turin (9.18); successful photo taken.

22 Nov 42 Stuttgart (9.50); bombs in town north of main railway station.

28 Nov 42 Turin (9.18); bombs exploded in aiming point.

8 Dec 42 GARDENING (4.43); parachutes seen to open.

11 Dec 42 Turin (8.50); incendiaries well alight.

20 Dec 42 Duisburg (5.38); extensive bombing over wide area.

14 Jan 43 Lorient (6.35); many fires seen in target area.

15 Jan 43 Lorient (5.37); fires seen from French coast.

17 Jan 43 Berlin (8.12); railway and southeast of city attacked.

2 Feb 43 Cologne (5.44); numerous fires seen.

4 Feb 43 Turin (8.40); many fires in built-up area.

11 Feb 43 Wilhelmshaven (5.36)

13 Feb 43 Lorient (6.12)

14 Feb 43 Cologne (5.04)

18 Feb 43 Wilhelmshaven (5.15); bombs burst across target area.

19 Feb 43 Wilhelmshaven (4.57); glow of fires seen through clouds.

25 Feb 43 Nuremburg (9.25); concentration of fires and high explosives seen.

28 Feb 43 St.Nazaire (7.28); target mass of flames; very successful operation.

1 Mar 43 Berlin (8.26); many fires covered whole area.

5 Mar 43 Essen (5.54); heavy concentrated raid.

9 Mar 43 Munich (8.50); target attacked.

 

This officer has now completed 28 sorties, some of which have been on very heavily defended targets. Two nights ago during an attack on Essen while running up to bomb he was heavily engaged by the defences, results being that his aircraft is now Category AC. He has at all times shown the greatest coolness and is greatly admired both by his crew and the flight which he commands, being an inspiration to all concerned.

 

The Officer Commanding, Station Linton-on-Ouse, added on 12 March 1943:

 

A Flight Commander who has been a tremendous source of inspiration to his squadron and flight. He has always shown the keenest desire to proceed on operations, and not once has he returned early. H has produced many good pictures of the target. A gallant officer who richly deserves the award of the Distinguished Flying Cross.

 

On 30 March 1943 the Air Officer Commanding, No.4 Group, remarked:

 

Squadron Leader McDonald has now been posted for instructional duties on completion of a very fine operational tour. I strongly recommend the award of the Distinguished Flying Cross.

 

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McDOWALL, F/O Eric Roger (47887) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.37 Squadron - awarded as per London Gazette dated 20 April 1943. Born in Victoria, British Columbia, 23 March 1914; home there. Garage mechanic before the war; attempting to join either RAF or RCAF as early as February 1937. Enlisted in RAF, 27 February 1939. RAF St.Athans (training as a mechanic), 20 March 1939; RAF Stormy Down, 2 December 1939 (training as mechanic); to Station Torquay, 1 April 1941 (aircrew trainee); to RAF Ansty, 7 June 1941 (pilot training, 53 hours on Tiger Moths); to RAF Lynenam, 2 October 1941 (Oxfords, 110 hours); to RAF Ipswich, 20 January 1942 (Battles, Oxfords, ten hours); to No.21 OTU, 23 February 1942 (crewing, 70 hours on Wellington); to No.37 Squadron, Middle East, 27 June 1942 (140 hours on Wellingtons); to No.231 Wing 28 April 1943 (Wellingtons, 20 hours); to No.104 Squadron, Middle East, 8 October 1943 (Flight Commander, 210 hours on Wellingtons); to No.31 Military Field Hospital, February 1944 (diphtheria); to No.3 Personnel Reception Unit, 20 August 1944; to No.1 PTC, Britain, 25 September 1944; to Repatriation Depot, Britain, 24 November 1944. Commissioned 24 January 1941; promoted to Flying Officer, 1 October 1942; to Acting Flight Lieutenant, 3 April 1943 (confirmed in rank 24 January 1944); to Acting Squadron Leader, 2 December 1943, reverting to Flight Lieutenant, 27 February 1944). Involved in crash of Wellington HX514, 11 July 1942 at Portwreath while with No.1 Overseas Aircraft Delivery Unit, No.44 Group, Ferry Command (undercarriage failure on landing; no injuries). Transferred to RCAF, 10 November 1944 (C89505 and later 20462). Upon repatriation to Canada he claimed 67 sorties (410 operational hours) plus 403 non-operational hours. Promoted to Squadron Leader, 14 June 1951. To Station Patricia Bay, 22 January 1945 and subsequently to No.122 Squadron to 15 September 1945; with No.3 (Composite) Flight, 15 September 1945 to 7 December 1945; Western Air Command Composite Flight, 8 December 1945 to 28 February 1947; Station Rivers, 10 May to 20 December 1947; No.123 Search and Rescue Flight, 21 December 1947 to 27 June 1948 and again from 24 August 1948 to 19 February 1951. With Station Aylmer, 20 February 1951 to 31 October 1953. Station Trenton, 1 November 1953 until his death. Killed in crash of Expeditor 1420, 18 October 1958 while on VFR flight from Camp Borden to Trenton (possible structural failure). His last assessment, covering flying to the end of 1957, gave his total flying hours as 2,758 hours ten minutes, as follows: Tiger Moth (54 hours five minutes); Oxford (94 hours 24 minutes); Wellington (545 hours 25 minutes); Bolingbroke (six hours 35 minutes); Lodestar(11 hours 20 minutes); Anson (121 hours 55 % hours); Ventura (three hours; Expeditor (679 hours 30 minutes); Canso (386 hours 50 minutes); Dakota (288 hours); Harvard (59 hours five minutes); Goose (33 hours five minutes); Hudson (138 hours 25 minutes); Lancaster (98 hours 10 minutes); Norseman (92 hours 55 minutes); North Star (45 hours 25 minutes). AFRO 1/45 dated 5 January 1945 (announcing the Bar to his DFC) described him as Canadian in the Royal Air Force. NOTE: His name has been rendered in two different ways in the London Gazette, as Eric Roger McDowall and Eric Robert McDowell; the correct useage is Eric Roger McDowall. Air Ministry Bulletin 9940 refers.

 


This officer has completed 34 sorties. Objectives in Sicily, Crete, Cyrenacia, Tripolitania and Tunisia have been targets for his activities. He has invariably completed his allotted task with thoroughness and tenacity of purpose which have set a fine example. One night in February 1943 he was detailed to illuminate an airfield preliminary to an attack by following aircraft; whilst searching for the target his aircraft was attacked by an enemy fighter, but displaying great skill, Flying Officer McDowall evaded the attacker and later released his flares over the correct target, which was then successfully bombed as planned.

 

McDOWALL, S/L Eric Roger (47887) - Bar to Distinguished Flying Cross - No.104 Squadron - awarded as per London Gazette dated 14 November 1944. Air Ministry Bulletin 16311/AL.925 refers.

 

This officer has completed a large number of operations. During two tours of duty he has achieved many successes as flight commander against important targets in Italy and the Balkans. In November 1943, he made a low level attack on an important railway bridge at Grosseto which resulted in severing completely an important supply line. On another occasion, while attacking Bucharest his aircraft was attacked for ten minutes by an enemy fighter. By skilful evasive action the attack was beaten off and the mission effectively completed. In July 1944 Squadron Leader McDowall took part in a sortie against the oil refinery at Smederovo. Although his aircraft was illuminated by flares and exposed to accurate fire from the ground defences, he pressed home his attack with great resolution. Throughout his operational career Squadron Leader McDowall has consistently shown himself to be an outstanding leader and has maintained a high standard of efficiency amongst those serving under him.

 

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McILVENNY, F/O Robert James (158981) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.604 Squadron - awarded as per London Gazette dated 2 January 1945. Born 1917 in Londonderry, Northern Ireland; home in Preston, Ontario (but does not appear in DHIst CAN/RAF cards). Education given as St.Columbia's School and College (his Canadian credentials seem rather slim). Enlisted 1940. Air Ministry Bulletin number not given on DHist card. Cited with F/L John Arthur Munro Haddon (awarded DFC); Observer.

 

As pilot and observer these officers have participated in a large number of sorties and have displayed a high standard of skill and devotion to duty throughout. They have invariably shown the greatest keenness and have been responsible for the destruction of five enemy aircraft. One of their victories was achieved by forcing the pilot of the enemy aircraft to take such violent evading action that it struck the ground and crashed.

 

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McINTOSH, F/O Daniel (42511) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.9 Squadron - awarded as per London Gazette dated 22 August 1941. Born in Regina, 12 August 1916; educated there and father living there. Clerk in that city, 1936-1939. Militia machine gunner, January to December 1936 (12 Canadian Machine Gun Company). Built model airplanes. Served as a rigger in RCAF Auxiliary (No.120 Squadron), 21 January 1937 to 19 May 1939; attended 66 drill parades, 46 instructional parades, 14 days of annual camp (Dundurn, 4 July to 17 July 1938), and overall was credited with 51 days of training. Enlisted in RAF, 26 June 1939 (pupil pilot to 18 August 1939; granted six-year short service commission 19 August 1939 as Acting Pilot Officer on Probation; graded as Pilot Officer on Probation, 18 February 1940; confirmed as Pilot Officer, 26 June 1940; promoted to Flying Officer, 18 February 1941; to Flight Lieutenant, 18 February 1942; Acting Squadron Leader, 1 June 1942 (confirmed in rank, 12 July 1943); Acting Wing Commander, 12 April 1943. Flew with No.9 Squadron, 29 October 1940 to 20 May 1941 (but in application for RCAF Operational Badge he gave first tour as 29 October 1940 to 21 April 1941 - possible the date of his last sortie; claimed 28 sorties, 167 hours 50 minutes); with No.11 OTU on instructional duties, 22 May 1941 to 22 February 1943. To No.420 Squadron (tour from 21 February 1943 to 12 April 1944 - 20 sorties. 124 hours 30 minutes). Attached to No.1535 Beam Approach Training Flight, course lasting 21 March to 27 March 1943 (Oxford I aircraft) and to No.1659 Conversion Unit, 9 December 1943 to 9 January 1944. Attached to No.6 Group Headquarters, 6-12 April 1944. Promoted to Squadron Leader, 12 July 1943; to Wing Commander, 29 December 1944. Form dated 19 December 1944 stated he had flown 292 operational hours and 702 non-operational hours. Form dated 31 August 1945 reported he had flown 292 hours ten minutes on operations (48 sorties) and 707 hours 50 minutes non-operational. Flying hours as follows: Anson (70 hours 35 minutes), Oxford (59 hours 40 minutes), Wellington (753 hours 35 minutes), Halifax III (66 hours ten minutes), Tiger Moth (50 hours). This same form claimed an American DFC (this also appears on his Transferred to RCAF, 19 December 1944 (C89526) and taken on strength of RCAF Overseas Headquarters. Attached to 9th Air Force, USAAF, 15 January to 31 July 1945. For repatriation to Canada, 30 August 1945, arriving at No.1 Repatriation Depot, 5 September 1945. With No.2 Air Command, Winnipeg, 13 September to 21 October 1945; No.2 FTS, Yorkton, 21 October to 4 December 1945; Station Trenton, 5 December 1945 to 15 February 1946; RCAF Staff College, Toronto, 15 February to 30 July 1946; assessed as "unable to meet service requirements", he was sent on retirement leave, 8 August 1946 and struck off strength 14 September 1946. Died in Regina, 13 May 1965. No citation other than "for gallantry and devotion to duty in the execution of air operations." Air Ministry Bulletin 4812 refers. Public Record Office Air 2/8899 has a citation drafted when he had flown 28 sorties (165 operational hours):

 

This officer has displayed consistent enthusiasm and determination in operations against the enemy. On one occasion when returning from a bombing operation on Cologne, severe icing conditions caused port engine to fail and partial loss of flying controls. Although aircraft lost height from 17,000 feet to 3,000 feet Flying Officer McIntosh, by his fine display of airmanship and leadership was able to maintain height and get the defective engine started again. His skill, confidence and cheerfulness have inspired his crew at all times.

 

McINTOSH, W/C Daniel (42511) - Mentioned in Despatches - awarded as per London Gazette dated 1 January 1945.

 

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McKENZIE, Warrant Officer John Lloyd (340383) - Member, Order of the British Empire - Station Hawkinge or No.604 Squadron - awarded as per London Gazette dated 1 January 1943. The Directorate of History and Heritage card asks if he was a former member of Canadian Expeditionary Force, but National Archives of Canada attestation papers of CEF personnel do not list him. Royal Air Force Personnel Management Agency, in a letter to H.A. Halliday dated 21 February 2000, stated he had been born in "Colchester, Canada".

 

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McKNIGHT, P/O William Lidstone (41937) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.242 Squadron - awarded as per London Gazette dated 14 June 1940. Born in Edmonton, 18 November 1918; educated at University of Alberta. Appointed Acting Pilot Officer on Probation, RAF, 15 April 1939. Specifically listed in AFRO 1292/41 dated 7 November 1941 as a Canadian in the RAF who had been decorated as of that date. Air Ministry Bulletin 889 and Air Ministry Bulletin 1892 refer. Killed in action 12 January 1941. See H.A. Halliday, The Tumbling Sky and No.242 Squadron: The Canadian Years.

 

On the 28th May, this officer destroyed a Messerschmitt 109. On the following day, whilst on patrol with his squadron, he shot down three more enemy aircraft. The last one of the three enemy aircraft was destroyed after a long chase over enemy territory. On his return flight he used his remaining ammunition and caused many casualties in a low-flying atack on a railway along which the enemy was bringing up heavy guns. Pilot Officer McKnight has shown exxceptional courage and skill as a fighter pilot.

 

NOTE: Public Record Office Air 2/4095 has the original recommendation, apparently drafted by W/C R. Grice, Commanding Officer, RAF Station Biggin Hill, on 2 June 1940. The identity of several of his victims is confused; the victims of 1 June 1940 were more likely Ju.87s rather than Ju.88s.

 

Pilot Officer McKnight, a Canadian pilot, has shown exceptional skill and courage as a fighter pilot during the operations over France from 28th May to 1st June 1940.

 

On 28th May 1940, this officer destroyed one Messerschmitt 109 over Ostende.

 

On May 29th, whilst on patrol with his squadron over France, he shot down two Messerschmitt 109s and a Dornier 17. The Dornier 17 occasioned a long chase into enemy territory but the pilot with great tenacity and determination succeeded in destroying it. On the way back from this, the pilot used up the remainder of his ammunition by carrying out a low flying attack on a railway east of Dunkirk, along which the enemy were bringing up heavy guns, and caused many casualties.

 

On 31st May, this officer was again on patrol with his squadron and with great skill, whilst protecting the evacuation of the British Expeditionary Force from Dunkirk area, he shot down two Messerschmitt 110s.


On the afternoon of June 1st, he was again on patrol covering the evacuation of the Dunkirk beaches when his squadron encountered eighteen Junkers 88s about to attack our shipping and he succeeded in shooting down two Junkers 88s and two unconfirmed.

 

Between the 28th May and 1st June this officer has displayed great skill and courage and has destroyed two Messerschmitt 110s, three Messerschmitt 109s, one Dornier 17 and two Junkers 88s.

 

On 3 June 1940, Air Vice-Marshal Keith Park (Air Officer Commanding, No.11 Group) added the following minute:

 

This officer, a Canadian, has shown exceptional skill, determination and courage. He has destroyed eight enemy aircraft as well as attacking successfully heavy guns on the railway east of Dunkirk causing many casualties. I strongly recommend him for the award of the Distinguished Flying Cross.

 

The same day (3 June 1940) Air Chief Marshal Hugh Dowding minuted the document as "Approved".

 

McKNIGHT, P/O William Lidstone (41937) - Bar to Distinguished Flying Cross - No.242 Squadron - awarded as per London Gazette dated 8 October 1940.

 

This officer has destroyed six enemy aircraft during the last thirteen weeks. He has proved himself to be a most efficient section leader, and has consistently given proof that he is a courageous and tenacious fighter.

 

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McLAREN, F/O Andrew Hood (39019) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.233 Squadron - awarded as per London Gazette dated 16 April 1940. Born in Montreal, 21 April 1918; educated in Edinburgh and Dundee; sister living in Dundee (which suggests only the most tenuous of Canadian connections). Appointed Acting Pilot Officer on Probation, RAF, 24 August 1936. Specifically listed in AFRO 1292/41 dated 7 November 1941 as a Canadian in the RAF who had been decorated as of that date. Notes by W/C F.H. Hitchins, held by Directorate of History and Heritage, NDHQ, detail many sorties. The following are of particular note:

 

10 January 1940 - On Hudson N7243 with P/O Evans; 0818-1410. Sighted He.111K at 1150, attacked and fired all ammo, then two 250-pound bombs were dropped from 100 feet above but missed. Aircraft appeared materially damaged and was driven down to the sea. Hudson fired 1,500 rounds.

 

15 January 1940 - aircraft crashed on takeoff but crew escaped. Fire and explosion.

 


10 April 1940 - sighted 33 medium and seven large enemy aircraft dispersed at Stavager. Also ten motor vessels anchored at Haugesund and one motor vessel, Vingaren, Swedish, moving on coast.

 

11 April 1940 - again with P/O Evans; attacked by Do.18 flying boat which made surprise attack opening at range of 500 yards. Hudson manoeuvred onto enemy aircraft tail but enemy aircraft could turn inside Hudson and thus evaded fire. Hudson then fired over 100 rounds into enemy aircraft from front guns in head-on attack, hits being noted about enemy aircraft fuselage. At this stage however Hudson navigator was wounded and bleeding profusely so pilot broke off engagement and returned to base.

 

12 April 1940 - on N7258 sent out to shadow Scharnhorst and hipper-class cruisers. failed to return: F/L McLaren, F/O Yorke, Corporal Wilson and LAC Milne.

 

Missing, presumed dead, 12 April 1940. No published citation other than "for gallantry and devotion to duty in the execution of air operations." Notes transcribed by W/C F.H. Hitchins, citing a document described as Air Ministry Bulletin 538, writes:

 

Another [of the recipients of various awards] carried out a reconnaissance flight to the Norwegian coast which entailed returning to a strange aerodrome in darkness. He flew blind from Norway. On another occasion when his aircraft crashed, his prompt action saved many lives from the danger of exploding bombs.

 

Public Records Office Air 2/4078 (Recommendations for Awards, Non-Immediate, Coastal Command, 1939-1940) has a detailed recommendation dated 25 February 1940 compiled by W/C W.C.P. Bullock, Commanding Officer of No.233 Squadron:

 

Flying Officer A.H. McLaren has carried out valuable and continuous North Sea reconnaissance duties entailing some 150 hours flying, a large percentage of which has been in very unfavourable weather. On 25 November 1940 [sic - 1939] when orders were received for a reconnaissance to the Norwegian coast which entailed returning in darkness to a strange aerodrome, this officer, being the Flight Commander, elected to make the flight himself under the existing conditions. The conditions necessitated the pilot flying blind from Norway to Thornaby and this was accomplished successfully.

 

On 10 January 1940 he engaged an enemy aircraft with great determination, inflicting damage with both front and rear guns until his ammunition was expended, when he attempted to destroy the enemy by flying immediately above and dropping his bombs. The enemy disappeared into the clouds with the undercarriage hanging underneath. Flying Officer McLaren's aircraft was extensively damaged by gunfire.

 


On 15 January 1940 the aircraft in which he was flying crashed taking off and caught fire. The crew escaped uninjured and ran from the burning wreck before the bombs had time to explode. Flying Officer McLaren when well clear of the aircraft observed the Fire Tender and crew approaching to render assistance without knowing that the crew had already escaped. Without any hesitation he returned to the crash, warned the Fire Tender crew of the danger, and ordered them to get clear. Immediately after they were at a safe distance the bombs exploded. Had it not been for the prompt action of this officer several lives might have been lost.

 

This recommendation is supported by the Group Captain commanding his station on 25 February 1940: "Forwarded and strongly recommended". The AOC Commanding No.18 Group (7 March 1940) further supports the recommendation: "A courageous pilot whose actions are as skilled as they are prompt. Without taking unnecessary risks he does not consider the question of personal danger whatever the task to be done. Very strongly recommended for the Distinguished Flying Cross; placed first out of two in my order of priority. Further approved (date not given) by Air Marshall Bowhill, AOC Coastal Command.

 

Air 2/4078 has a list of subsequent citations for approved Coastal Command awards. This includes some notes indicating how awards were granted at that time. Coastal Command had flown 6,498 hours in January 1940 and 6,085 hours in February 1940 (total of 12,583 hours). A divisor factor of 1,000 was applied, making the Command eligible for twelve gallantry awards. From this were deducted two "immediate" awards already granted in January and two "non-immediate" awards granted in February, leaving six to be distributed. At this point, McLaren's recommendation had been boiled down to the following:

 

Carried out valuable North Sea reconnaissance duties under unfavourable conditions. On 25th November 1939, he carried out a reconnaissance flight to the Norwegian coast which entailed returning to a strange aerodrome in darkness and flying blind from Norway to Thornaby. On 10th January 1940, engaged enemy aircraft inflicting damage. When his aircraft crashed on 15th January 1940, his prompt action saved many lives from danger of bursting bombs.

 

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McLAREN, F/L Robert Duncan (73003) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.1409 Flight - awarded as per London Gazette dated 12 January 1945. Born in Toronto, 28 August 1917; commissioned in RAF, March 1939; confirmed as Flying Officer, 11 September 1940; as Flight Lieutenant, 11 September 1941. Ferry Command crew cards, Directorate of History and Heritage Collection 84/44-3, give home as Toronto. Delivered Dakota FD939 to Britain, July 1943. Missing, presumed dead, 4 April 1945 when he was a Squadron Leader, possibly with W/C F.S. Powley. Cited with F/O J.A.L. Lymburner, DFC (RCAF). AFRO 663/45 dated 20 April 1945 (reporting his death), described him as Canadian in the Royal Air Force. Air Ministry Bulletin 17021/AL.947 refers.

 


Flying Officer Lymburner and Flight Lieutenant McLaren, as observer and pilot respectively, were detailed for a reconnaissance far over enemy territory. The complete success achieved on this difficult mission reflects the greatest credit on the skill, courage and determination of these members of aircraft crew.

 

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McRAYE, Corporal Louis Drummond (915925) - Mention in Despatches - No.20 Operational Training Unit - awarded as per London Gazette and AFRO 1000-1001/42, both dated 11 June 1942. AFRO 1000-1001/42 dated 3 July 1942 (award of Mention in Despatches) identified him as a Canadian in the RAF. Royal Air Force Personnel Management Agency, in a letter to H.A. Halliday dated 21 February 2000, identified his unit and stated he had been born 21 April 1915 ay London, Ontario.

 

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McVEIGH, P/O Charles Norman (40243) - Mention in Despatches - No.12 Squadron - awarded as per London Gazette dated 1 January 1941. AFRO 2684/44 dated 15 December 1944 (announcing his award) described him as a Canadian in the RAF. Born in Calgary, 11 September 1918. Trained at Elementary Training School, Perth, 23 August to 23 October 1937 (60 hours on Tiger Moths). Appointed Pilot Officer on Probation in RAF, 24 October 1937. Attended No.7 FTS, Peterborough, 6 November 1937 to 30 April 1938 (70 hours on Hart and Audax); at No.1 Armament Training School, 1-29 May 1938 (20 hours on Hart and Audax); at No.1 Navigation School, Manston, 14 June to 19 August 1938 (70 hours in Ansons, chiefly as navigation trainee rather than pilot); with No.12 Squadron, 20 November 1938 to 17 August 1941. During this period he was confirmed as a Pilot Officer (23 August 1938), promoted to Flying Officer (23 April 1940) and Flight Lieutenant (22 November 1940 in temporary rank, being confirmed in that rank on 23 April 1941). Hitchins cards state that he accompanied No.12 Squadron (Battles) to France, 2 September 1939; on 25 September he was one of seven pilots on photo reconnaissance operation over Saarbrucken, 23,000 feet; destroyed squadron's petrol store at Amifontaine on retreat, 16 May 1940; on 20 May 1940 flew a night raid on Montcornet; another raid on 23 May frustrated by 10/10 clouds; night attack on engines (locomotives), Dinant, 24 May 1940; attacking aerodromes and yards, 28 May 1940; night raid on convoys near Hirson, 4 June 1940; on 7 June 1940 was on a day raid to Poix (combat with six enemy aircraft); night bombing raid to Trie, 8 June 1940 (low cloud); night raid of 12 June 1940 abandoned due to mist; dawn raid to Les Andelys, 13 June 1940; squadron returned to England, 15 June 1940. He seems not to have flown during the summer of 1940 as Hitchins cards record him returning to No.12 Squadron from hospital on 3 September 1940. On 20 November 1940 he relinquished command of "B" Flight to another officer (squadron training on Wellingtons) but remained on strength of the unit. No.12 Squadron commenced operations on Wellingtons on 9 April 1941; his first Wellington sortie was 15 April 1941. Crashed at Melton Constable, 16/17 August 1941 on returning from a raid (Wellington W5444, PH-T); three killed; three injured and he had a severely broken left leg). Hospitalized until 5 May 1942. Promoted Squadron Leader, 1 June 1942. At No.2 FTS, Montrose, 6 May to 30 June 1942 (under training; flew 75 hours on Oxford and 35 hours on Magister); with No.6 (P) AFU, Little Rissington, 1 July 1942 to 10 March 1943 as Chief Flying Instructor and Satellite Field Commander (flew 128 hours on Oxfords); with No.44 Group, Transport Command, 11 March 1943 to 18 January 1944 (training and air staff duties; flew 26 hours on Dominies, five on Mosquitoes, 23 on Oxford, 18 on other types); with No.569 Squadron, 19 January to 28 February 1944 (in charge of flying until unit disbanded; flew 30 hours on Dakotas). With No.48 Squadron, 29 February to 17 September 1944 (146 hours on Dakota); with No.437 Squadron, 18 September 1944 to 25 August 1945 (318 hours on Dakotas); with No.435 Squadron, 26 August 1945 to 30 March 1946 (143 hours on Dakotas). He had transferred to RCAF, 4 October 1944 (C89501). He reverted to Squadron Leader but regained Wing Commander rank on 1 January 1945. Principal postings were with No.426 Squadron (11 July to 25 September 1946, instrument flying training, 100 hours on Dakotas), RCAF Overseas Headquarters (26 September to 20 November 1946), Eastern Air Command Composite Flight (commanding officer, 21 November 1946 to 2 January 1947), Patricia Bay (5 January to 5 October 1947), Joint Air School, Rivers (12 July 1948 to 2 February 1951, including command of No.112 Flight, 12 July 1948 to 31 March 1949), and Transport Command Headquarters, 3 January 1957 to 18 August 1959. Retired from RCAF, 23 July 1965.

 

McVEIGH, S/L Charles Norman (40243) - Air Force Cross - No.48 Squadron - awarded as per London Gazette dated 1 September 1944. Public Record Office Air 2/9019 has citation drafted when he had flown 1,204 hours (140 in previous six months).

 

This officer joined the squadron in February 1944 and was given the arduous task of converting it to airborne work. Squadron Leader McVeigh led the squadron on D Day and, by his valour and determination, was an outstanding example to all personnel. It has been due to his unfailing devotion to duty, both in the air and on the ground, that the squadron leached such a high degree of efficiency and proved its ability on D Day.

 

McVEIGH, S/L Charles Norman (40243) - Mention in Despatches - No.437 Squadron - awarded as per London Gazette dated 1 January 1946.

 

* * * * *

 

MEGGINSON, Sergeant Robert Richard (741366) - Distinguished Flying Medal - No.15 Squadron - awarded as per London Gazette dated 22 October 1940. Born in Malton, East Yorkshire, 1915; home in Manitoba. Enlisted 1938; commissioned 4 September 1940 with effect from 26 August 1940; Flying Officer as of 26 August 1941; Flight Lieutenant as of 26 August 1942; promoted to Squadron Leader in 1943. Air Ministry Bulletin 2035 refers. No published citation other than "for gallantry and devotion to duty in the execution of air operations". Public Record Office Air 2/9489 has recommendation dated 29 August 1940 which reads as follows:

 

Sergeant Megginson has carried out 21 operational flights over enemy territory, including four at night.

 


He has proved himself to be an outstanding and most reliable operational pilot and has had a marked influence on other Non-Commissioned Officers in the squadron by his calm and courage. He joined the squadron on 13th May 1940 when the enemy attack on the Low Countries and France had been in progress three days only and the squadron had suffered losses. It was immediately evident that he was an extremely capable and reliable pilot and that he possessed an outstanding personality and character. He quickly fitted himself into the operational work of the squadron and soon rose to the standard of Section Leader, which duty he has performed on two occasions in the most capable manner. He has, in his naturally quiet way, carried out much work for the squadron both in the air and on the ground.

 

This was refined and edited into the citation submitted to Air Ministry Honours Committee:

 

Sergeant Megginson has proved himself to be an outstandingly reliable operational pilot. His calm manner and courageous devotion to duty have had a marked influence in the squadron. He joined his squadron on 13th May 1940, when the enemy attacks on the Low Countries and France had been in progress only three days. He immediately proved his capacity as a pilot, and as section leader, carried out his duties on two occasions with great efficiency.

 

MEGGINSON, S/L Robert Richard (84708) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.15 Squadron - awarded as per London Gazette dated 15 October 1943. Air Ministry Bulletin 11748 refers.

 

This officer is a highly efficient and resolute captain. He has taken part in a very large number of sorties and has always endeavoured to press home his attacks, often in the face of heavy opposition. One night in August 1943, Squadron Leader Megginson piloted an aircraft detailed for an operation against Berlin. Whilst over the city the aircraft was attacked by fighters and sustained damage. Despite this, Squadron Leader Megginson bombed his target and afterwards flew the aircraft to base. His skill and resolution set a fine example.

 

* * * * *

 


MERTON, W/C Walter Hugh (16200) - Mention in Despatches - awarded as per London Gazette dated 1 January 1941. Born at The Grove, Lakefield, Ontario, 29 August 1905; educated at Eastbourne College and Cranwell; commissioned 1925. Promoted to Wing Commander, 1 March 1940; Group Captain, 1 June 1943; Air Commodore (date uncertain); Air Vice-Marshall, 1 January 1953; Air Marshal, 1959; Air Chief Marshal, 1961. DHist file 181.005 D.270 listed him as a Canadian in the RAF (wife living at Andover, Hants); AFRO 874/44 dated 21 April 1944 (announcing Mention in Despatches) identified him as a Canadian in the RAF. Served in India, 1931-36 and in Middle East, 1940-41. With RAF War Staff College, 1943-44; Director of Organization at Air Ministry, 1944-46; commanded a bomber station, 1946-47; Air Attache in Prague, 1947-48; head of RAF Delegation and Air Officer Commanding in Greece (dates not clear); Air Officer Commanding, No.63 Group, 1951-52; Air Officer Commanding, No.22 Group, 1952-54; appointed Chief of Staff, Royal New Zealand Air Force, March 1954; Air Officer Administration, Bomber Command, 20 September 1956; Chief of Staff, Allied Air Forces Central Europe, 1959-1960; Air Member for Supply and Organization, 1960 to 1963 (retired). Much of the above from The Aeroplane Directory (1955 edition), at which time he also held CB. Inspector General of Civil Defence, 1964 to 1968 (awarded GBE).

 

MERTON, W/C Walter Hugh (16200) - Officer, Order of the British Empire - awarded as per London Gazette dated 24 September 1941.

 

MERTON, G/C Walter Hugh (16200) - Officer, Royal Order of George I with Swords (Greece) - awarded as per London Gazette dated 29 December 1942.

 

MERTON, G/C Walter Hugh, OBE (16200) - Mention in Despatches - Overseas - Award effective 14 January 1944 as per London Gazette of that date and AFRO 874/44 dated 21 April 1944.

 

* * * * *

 

MIFFLIN, F/O Frederick Manuel (155436) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.106 Squadron - awarded as per London Gazette dated 27 June 1944. From Catalina, Newfoundland. Commonwealth War Graves Commission records tie him to that town. His identity as a Newfoundlander is further confirmed by G.W.L. Nicholson, More Fighting Newfoundlanders (St.John's, published by the government of Newfoundland in 1969). Further confirmed by Directorate of History and Heritage document 79/201 which gives date of enlistment as 21 November 1940. The book states (pp.440-442) that as a Sergeant pilot he was en route to Singapore when that city was surrendered to the Japanese. He was diverted to Egypt for flying duties until sent to England early in 1943. On the night of 26/27 April 1944, piloting an aircraft raiding Schweinfurt on his 30th sortie (last of his tour), his aircraft was attacked by a FW.190 which set the starboard inner engine on fire. The flight engineer, Sergeant Norman C. Jackson, after opening his parachute inside the aircraft, crawled out on the wing and extinguished the fire. However, another fighter attack rekindled the blaze. Jackson and four others parachuted to safety; Mifflin and his rear gunner were killed. Jackson received the Victoria Cross; Mifflin had been previously recommended for a DFC and thus the award could be made, there being no such thing as truely "posthumous" DFC (i.e. an award citing an action that killed the nominee).

 

* * * * *

 

MILES, F/L Garland Ashton (144764) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.578 Squadron - awarded as per London Gazette dated 11 July 1944. A native of St.John's, Newfoundland; his status as a Newfoundlander is confirmed by Directorate of History and Heritage document 79/201 which states he enlisted 10 September 1940 and was demobilized 11 December 1947.

 


This officer has completed a notable tour of operations involving attacks on a wide range of enemy targets. He is a navigator of high merit and his ability and resolution have played a good part in the many successes obtained. Flight Lieutenant Miles has also rendered valuable service in the training of other members of the squadron. His example has been most commendable.

 

* * * * *

 

MILLAR, F/L John Alexander (41446) - Air Force Cross - No.313 Ferry Training Unit - awarded as per London Gazette dated 1 September 1944 and AFRO 2684/44 dated 15 December 1944. Born 26 December 1916 in Melville, Saskatchewan (birthplace given on Ferry Command delivery card; confirmed by letter dated 2 February 1999 from Royal Air Force Personnel Management Agency to H.A. Halliday). Appointed Acting Pilot Officer on Probation, RAF, 14 December 1938. AFRO 1129/41 dated 3 October 1941 reported his promotion from Flying Officer to Flight Lieutenant, effective 3 September 1941, while with an RAF Special School in Canada. AFRO 2684/44 dated 15 December 1944 (announcing his award) described him as a Canadian in the RAF. Served in No.107 Squadron, December 1939 to July 1940. Ferry Command delivery card notes him as active in moving Hudsons between North Bay (where he was an instructor) and Montreal, but his only confirmed trans-Atlantic delivery was of Mitchell FV908 in July 1943. NOTE: Sometimes spelled MILLER. Public Record Office Air 2/9019 has citation drafted when he had flown 2,530 hours (207 in previous six months).

 

This officer is an excellent flight commander who, by his hard work, zeal and conscientious manner, has been an inspiration to the flying instructors under his command.

 

FURTHER NOTE: The following information of his operational career is typical of the historical work performed by the late Fred Hitchins and recorded on cards at Directorate of History and Heritage:

 

1 January 1940 (1100-1530 hours), piloted one of nine aircraft in North Sea sweep in search of German naval units; none found; excellent visibility.

 

23 February 1940 (1445-1810), piloted one of two aircraft on strategical reconnaissance of Wilhelmshaven, Heligoland, Cuxhaven and Brunsbuttel, and to obtain meteorological information; bad weather prevented photography; returned after dark.

 

21 March 1940 (1130-1440), piloted one of six aircraft in reconnaissance and offensive actions against German naval vessels. They attacked with bombs and machine gunned a number of flak ships but could ascertain no results.

 

27 March 1940 (1150-?), piloted one of eight aircraft in reconnaissance to locate and attack German war and patrol vessels in Heligoland Bight. One aircraft lost. Attacks made on flak ships.

 


13 April 1940 (1054-1512), one of ten aircraft on reconnaissance, parallel sweep; weather unfavourable, returned to base early.

 

14 April 1940 - flew from Wattisham to Lossiemouth.

 

15 April 1940 (1040-1445), 12 aircraft to bomb Stavanger aerodrome and seaplane base; 4 x 250-pound bombs each, two boxes of six aircraft. Heavy rain and sleet in vicinity of target; low attack but results not observed due to weather; some anti-aircraft fire and enemy attacks; all returned safely.

 

18 April 1940 (0520-0540), three aircraft to attack Stavanger. Leader had engine trouble and Millar returned with him; third aircraft missing.

 

24 April 1940 (1120-1205), six aircraft to attack Stavanger aerodrome; he returned early with turret failure; others returned early for lack of cloud cover.

 

1 May 1940 (0802-1025), six to attack Stavanger aerodrome; he returned early with engine trouble; others made successful attack.

 

2 May 1940 (1000-14000), six to attack Stavanger aerodrome; accurate bombing, no opposition from flak or fighters; 12 x 40-pound bombs each.

 

3 May 1940 - flew with squadron from Lossiemouth to Wattisham.

 

14 May 1940 (1550-2005), six aircraft to bomb roads and bridges in Sedan area. Moderate but accurate flak; five aircraft hit but all returned; accurate bombing, 1 x 40-pound bombs each.

 

20 May 1940 (1015-1235), 12 aircraft to attack enemy columns in Arras-Cambrai area; accurate bombing; heavy anti-aircraft fire; enemy column located on road leading to Vis; successfully attacked.

 

ditto (1730-2013), same 12 to attack enemy mechanized forces in Arras-Bapaume area; attacks made on motor transport passing through Ervillers; hits scored and motor transport set on fire. Heavy flak; escort of three Hurricane squadrons.

 

21 May 1940 (times not states), 12 aircraft to attack enemy columns in Etaples-Abbeville area; direct hits on motor transport moving through Aix-le Chateau. Moderate flak; escort by two Hurricane squadrons.

 


ditto (1830-1845), same 12 according to Form 540 but Form 541 lists 11, omitting Millar) to attack tanks in Boulogne-Etaples road region. No tanks located but successful attack made on motor transport passing through village of Set. Austreberthe; direct hits and a number of fires seen to break out. Moderate flak. Leader saw motor transport on roads leading to Boulogne but did nt attack owing to presence of refugees and ambulances.

 

22 May 1940 (1610-1825), six aircraft to attack and conduct photo reconnaissance of Set.Valery-Abbeville-Amiens-Poix-Aumale-Blangy-Eum to get information regarding direction of German advance. Modest but accurate flak. Millar's aircraft severely damaged; hydraulic system and one engine damaged and put out of action; second engine damaged; Millar and observer slightly wounded by shrapnel. Decided not to land in France lest they be captured and attempted to reach England. Second engine failed seven miles from English coast; ditched and took to dinghy; picked up by patrol vessel half an hour later and landed at Dover; taken to hospital.

 

8 July 1940 (1610-2112), 12 aircraft to bomb ships at Aalborg fiord; three ships successfully attacked; bursts seen around them and one direct hit scored. Desultory flak.

 

* * * * *

 

MINNIS, F/O Richard McKnight (156062) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.625 Squadron - awarded as per London Gazette dated 19 January 1945. Born in Winnipeg, 1917; educated in Ireland and home in Northern Ireland; commissioned 1943 after service in the ranks. Instructor after his operational tour. No citation other than "completed operations with courage and devotion to duty". AFRO 508/45 dated 23 March 1945 (reporting DFC) identified him as Canadian in the RAF. Air Ministry Bulletin 17146/AL.960 refers. Public Record Office Air 2/9038 has recommendation dated 16 October 1944 when he had flown 31 sorties (156 operational hours).

 

5 July 44 Dijon 16 Aug 44 Stettin

7 July 44 Caen 18 Aug 44 Ghent

18 July 44 Gelsenkirchen 25 Aug 44 Russelheim

20 July 44 Wizernes 26 Aug 44 Kiel

23 July 44 Kiel 6 Sept 44 Le Havre II

25 July 44 Foret d'Eawy 8 Sept 44 Le Havre III

25 July 44 Stuttgart 10 Sept 44 Le Havre IV

28 July 44 Stuttgart 12 Sept 44 Frankfurt

31 July 44 Foret de Nieppe 16 Sept 44 Rheine-Salzbergen

3 Aug 44 Trossy St.Maximin 20 Sept 44 Calais

4 Aug 44 Pauillac 23 Sept 44 Neuss

5 Aug 44 Pauillac 26 Sept 44 Calais

10 Aug 44 Oeuf en Ternois 27 Sept 44 Calais

11 Aug 44 Douai 3 Oct 44 West Kapelle

14 Aug 44 Fontaine le Pin 5 Oct 44 Saarbrucken

15 Aug 44 Volkel

 


Flying Officer Minnis is the captain and pilot of a Lancaster aircraft and has now completed a very successful first tour of operations, having flown 31 sorties comprising 156 hours operational flying. At all times he has shown himself a most reliable and efficient captain of aircraft.

 

He has attacked many strongly defended targets including Kiel, Stuttgart (twice), Stettin, Gelsenkirchen and Frankfurt, and has pressed home his attacks with determination, frequently in the face of intense opposition, letting nothing deter him from completing his ordered task.

 

Throughout a most successful tour of operations Flying Officer Minnis has displayed high qualities of leadership and skill, and despite heavy opposition and bad weather conditions has achieved success in his attacks.

 

Under an easy and cheerful manner, by his high standard of captaincy and airmanship, he has obtained the confidence of his crew and all who have flown with him.

 

His operational record is of the highest order and the success he has achieved by his courage and devotion to duty fully merits an award of the Distinguished Flying Cross.

 

* * * * *

 

MITCHELL, P/O Harry Thorne (41447) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.87 Squadron - awarded as per London Gazette dated 11 February 1941. Born in Port Hope, Ontario, 1920; educated at Charterhouse and King's College, London; mother living at Milford, Surrey at time of award. Appointed Acting Pilot Officer on Probation, RAF, 14 December 1938. Victories as follows: 10 May 1040, one Do.17 destroyed southwest of Senon plus one Do.17 destroyed northwest of Thionville; 11 May 1940. one Ju.87 destroyed near Brussels plus one Do.17 destroyed (shared with another pilot); 14 August 1940, one Ju.87 destroyed and one Bf.110 destroyed plus one Bf.110 damaged, Portland; 25 August 1940, one Bf.109 destroyed, Portland. No published citation other than "for gallantly and devotion to duty in the execution of air operations" Attached to RCAF in Canada, 8 January 1941. Specifically listed in AFRO 1292/41 dated 7 November 1941 as a Canadian in the RAF who had been decorated as of that date; AFRO 464/42 dated 27 March 1942 reported his promotion to Flight Lieutenant, effective 6 January 1942, while still with a RAF school in Canada. Air Ministry Bulletin 2957 refers. Public Records Office Air 2/8888 has recommendation dated 14 September 1940:

 

This officer served with the squadron in France and during engagements against large numbers of enemy aircraft displayed great courage and devotion to duty and destroyed three enemy aircraft.

 

He was a member of a formation that attacked a large enemy formation of bombers and escort fighters over Portland on the 25th August 1940. In this action the squadron destroyed ten enemy bomber aircraft and turned the enemy away.


This officer has always given his utmost support to his section leader and his devotion to duty is of the highest order. He has destroyed three enemy aircraft during action over England making six victories in all.

 

The same file has a refined citation for presentation to Air Ministry Honours and Awards Committee:

 

This officer served with the squadron in France and destroyed three enemy aircraft. On 25th August 1940 he was member of a formation which attacked a large enemy formation of bombers and escort fighters over Portland. In this action the squadron destroyed ten enemy bombers. He has always given his utmost support to his section leaders and his devotion to duty has been of the highest order. Pilot Officer Mitchell has destroyed 16 [sic] enemy aircraft.

 

The same file includes a calculation for December 1940 Fighter Command awards as follows:

 

Flying hours - 9,868

 

Awards permissible - 9,868 = 49 less 21 immediate awards = 28

200

 

Awards recommended in submission - nine (six DFCs, two Bars to DFM and one DFM).

 

MITCHELL, F/O Harry Thorne (41447) - Mention in Despatches - awarded as per London Gazette dated 17 March 1941.

 

* * * * *

 

MITCHELL, Warrant Officer William Henry (1133493) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.192 Squadron - awarded as per London Gazette dated 17 October 1943. Home in Port au Bra, Newfoundland; his identity as a Newfoundlander is confirmed by G.W.L. Nicholson, More Fighting Newfoundlanders (St.John's, published by the government of Newfoundland in 1969). Directorate of History and Heritage document 79/201 confirms him as a Newfoundlander in the RAF (enlisted 27 December 1940; demobilized 13 July 1946.

 

* * * * *

 


MOTT, F/L Guy Elwood, DFC (59549) - Mention in Despatches - awarded as per London Gazette dated 10 March 1950. See Second World War data base for biographical details. Appointed to Extended Service Commission as Flying Officer, General Duties Branch, Royal Air Force (four years Active, four years Reserve) and granted War substantive rank of Flight Lieutenant (seniority from 9 March 1946), 29 August 1947; relinquished war substantive rank, 1 January 1948 but granted Acting Flight Lieutenant rank; reduction to Flying Officer, 11 October 1950. Taken on strength at North Weald, 31 August 1947; posted to No.1 Pilots Advanced Flying Unit, Moreton-in-March (refresher course), 28 October 1947; to Headquarters, Fighter Command (for disposal), 1 December 1947; to No.595 Squadron, 3 December 1947 (supernumerary); to Central Gunnery School, Leconfield to attend Court 87, 3 March 1948; to No.203 Advance Flying School, 1 June 1948; to No.5 Personnel Despatch Centre, 20 December 1948; to Armament Practice Camp, Butterworth, Air Command Far East, 5 January 1949; to No.27 Armament Practice Camp, Far East Air Force, 1 August 1949 (general duties); to Far East Air Force, Kai Tak (general duties), 5 December 1949. Released about 1 September 1951. Joined RCAF Reserve, 16 September 1951. Although no citation has been found, the following from a letter dated 11 January 1951 explains his duties; he was then at Kai Tak (Kowloon, Hong Kong):

 

I am at present filling the establishment on the Flying Wing of this Station as a G.D. Weapons Officer and I am in current flying practice on the following aircraft: Harvard, Spitfire Mark 18, 19 and 24, Vampire Mark 5 and Meteor Mark 7.

 

Another letter, dated 23 August 1951, declared:

 

I am in recent flying practice in Harvard, Spitfire, Vampire and Meteor aircraft. During the last 3 1/2 years I have been employed as a Pilot Attack Instructor and as a Wing Weapons Officer, the last 2 1/2 years being in Malaya and Hong Kong as a member of the Far East Air Force.

 

* * * * *

 

MOREY, F/L Alfred James (109062) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.7 Squadron - awarded as per London Gazette dated 23 March 1945. Born in Eltham, Kent, 1920; home in Stratford, Ontario; educated at Cannock House School and Polytechnic Regent Street. Enlisted March 1940; commissioned October 1941. Air Ministry Bulletin 17983/AL.995 refers. No citation other than "completed operations with courage and devotion to duty". NOTE: Although DHist cards list him as CAN/RAF, another card states merely that his wife was living in Stratford, Ontario. It is possible that he is not CAN/RAF but either trained in Canada or served an instructional tour in Canada, where he married.

 

MOREY, S/L Alfred James (109062) - Bar to Distinguished Flying Cross - No.7 Squadron - awarded as per London Gazette dated 16 November 1945. Air Ministry Bulletin 20219/AL.1104 refers.

 

Squadron Leader Morey has completed two tours of operational duty. Since the award of the Distinguished Flying Cross, he has participated in many sorties, in all of which he has served as navigator in a target marking crew. In the face of the enemy he has shown a fine fighting spirit and resourcefulness in action, which coupled with his courage and devotion to duty have made him a most valuable member of his crew.

 

* * * * *


MOUTRAY, Sergeant John Howard (623938) - Distinguished Flying Medal - No.51 Squadron - awarded as per London Gazette dated 22 October 1940. Born in London, England, 23 August 1919. Educated at Red Lake, British Columbia, 1926-1931, Vernon Preparatory School, 1931-1934 and Kamloops High School, 1935-1937. Home in Kamloops, British Columbia where he was a ranch hand, 1937-1938. After trying to enlist in the RCAF (1936) he joined RAF in Belfast, 20 October 1938. Posted for training to West Drayton (London), October 1938; to Cardington, Bedfordshire for training, November 1938; to Yatesbury, Wiltshire (Radio School), January 1939; to Cranwell, Lincolnshire (Radio School), March 1939; to No.102 Squadron, Driffield, Yorkshire, July 1939; to Leconfield, Yorkshire for Air Gunner course, September 1939; returned to No.102 Squadron, later that month. Formally remustered to aircrew, 1 January 1940; confirmed as Wireless Operator/Air Gunner in rank of Aircraftman, Second Class, 1 February 1940; posted to No.51 Squadron, Dishforth, February 1940; detached for Gunnery Leader course, Warmwell, Dorsetshire, February 1940; graded Wireless Operator/Air Gunner and rank of Leading Aircraftman, 1 May 1940 on return to No.51 Squadron; promoted to Sergeant, 27 May 1940. Posted to Wellesbourne, Mountord, Warwickshire, April 1941 to be Signals Leader, No.22 OTU; commissioned 16 May 1941; to Athenstone, Warwickshire (No.22 OTU, Signals Leader), September 1941; to Gaydon, Warwickshire (No.22 OTU, Signals Officer), January 1942; promoted to Flying Officer, 16 May 1942; to Winthrope, Lincolnshire (conversion unit), September 1942 (also converting at Wigsley, Lincolnshire); posted to No.9 Squadron, Waddington, for operations and duties as Signals Leader, January 1943 (moved with squadron to Bardney, Lincolnshire, March 1943); promoted to Flight Lieutenant, 16 May 1943; posted to No.5 Aircrew School, Scampton, January 1944; to Balderton (same unit), August 1944; to Swinderby, January 1945 (Assistant Ground Control Instruments). Transferred to RCAF, 22 November 1944 (C89511); to Torquay for repatriation, August 1945; discharged in Vancouver, 29 October 1945. DHist file 181.005 D.270 confirms him as a Canadian in the RAF, January 1940 (AC2 at that date). Also listed in DHist file 181.005 D.271 when trade given as Wireless Operator. Although no citation was published, Public Record Office Air 2/9489 has the recommendation dated 19 August 1940 by W/C A.H. Owen, Commanding Officer, No.51 Squadron:

 

This Non-Commissioned Officer has always been very keen and has completed 31 operational sorties. His Wireless/Telephone work has been of the highest order and as such has been of great assistance to his crew in homing in bad weather.

 

The Station Commander added, on 20 August 1940:

 

I concur in the Squadron Commander's remarks and recommend the award of the Distinguished Flying Medal.

 

On 29 August 1940 a Group Captain (name illegible) at Headquarters, No.4 Group, minuted the form:

 


This Wireless/Telephone Air Gunner has been consistently valuable owing to his skill and determination which he had shown during more than 30 operational flights over enemy territory. Recommended for the award of the Distinguished Flying Medal.

 

These comments were then edited to the following (repetitious) text submitted to Air Ministry Awards Committee:

 

This airman has always been very keen and has completed 31 operational sorties. His wireless telegraphy work has been of the highest order and as such has great;y assisted his crew in homing in bad weather. Sergeant Moutray has made more than 30 operational flights over enemy territory.

 

MOUTRAY, F/L John Howard (45845) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.9 Squadron - awarded as per London Gazette dated 12 November 1943.

 

NOTE: On repatriation documents he claimed to have flown 61 sorties. Recapitulaing his flying hours he listed the following types: Wellington (105 hours), Hampden (ten), Whitley (420), Defiant (five), Manchester (ten), Anson (150), Lancaster (210).

 

* * * * *

 

MURRAY, P/O George Black (41450) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.107 Squadron - awarded as per London Gazette dated 13 September 1940. Born in Calgary, 23 December 1917; father there; wife in Carberry, Manitoba. Appointed Acting Pilot Officer, 15 December 1938; confirmed as Pilot Officer, 3 September 1939); promoted to Flying Officer, 3 September 1940; promoted to Flight Lieutenant, 3 September 1941; to Squadron Leader, 7 August 1945. At No.7 EFTS, Desford, 4 October to 15 December 1938; at No.11 FTS, Shawbury, 15 December 1938 to 22 June 1939; with No.107 Squadron, Wattisham, 22 June 1939 to 25 August 1940; at CFS Upavon (pupil instructor), 25 August to 22 September 1940; No.6 FTS, Little Rissington, 22 September to 27 November 1940; No.33 SFTS, Carberry, 27 November 1940 to 21 October 1942; No.31 OTU, Debert, 21 October 1942 to 24 July 1943; No.36 OTU, Greenwood, 24 July 1943 to 12 October 1943 (pupil); No.21 Squadron, 1 January 1944 to 12 February 1945. AFRO 1129/41 dated 3 October 1941 reported his promotion from Flying Officer to Flight Lieutenant, effective 3 September 1941, while with an RAF Special School in Canada. Applied initially for transfer to RCAF on 23 July 1943; transferred to RCAF, 12 February 1945 (C89572). Remained in postwar RCAF, rising to Group Captain until he retired 20 August 1969. Died 11 October 1994 in Kitchener, Ontario. No published citation other than "for gallantry and devotion to duty in the execution of air operations". Public Records Office Air 2/6102 (Non-Immediate Awards, 1940) has recommendation dated 30 June 1940. Specifically listed in AFRO 1292/41 dated 7 November 1941 as a Canadian in the RAF who had been decorated as of that date. AFRO 508/45 dated 23 March 1945 (reporting Bar to DFC) also identified him as Canadian in the RAF. Air Ministry Bulletin 1693 refers.

 


Pilot Officer Murray has completed more than twenty operational flights since the outbreak of war, during which time he has done consistently good work. During the North Sea operations in the winter he proved himself to be a good pilot who displayed initiative and determination. Later in operations over Norway and the Low Countries he has shown himself to be a capable sub-leader inspiring confidence in the junior pilots and their crews. His coolness and good judgement under fire have contributed largely to the success of the operations in which he has participated.

 

This was revised for transmission to Air Ministry Honours and Awards Committee as follows:

 

This officer has done consistently good work in more than 20 operational flights since the outbreak of war. In the North Sea operations during the winter he proved himself to be a good pilot who displayed initiative and determination. Later, in operations over Norway and the Low Countries he showed himself to be a capable sub-leader inspiring confidence in the junior pilots and their crews. Pilot Officer Murray's coolness and good judgement under fire have contributed largely to the success of the operations in which he has participated.

 

MURRAY, S/L George Black (41450) - Bar to Distinguished Flying Cross - No.21 Squadron - awarded as per London Gazette dated 26 January 1945. Air Ministry Bulletin 17218/AL.964 refers.

 

Now on his second tour of operational duties, Squadron Leader Murray has completed many more sorties since the award of the Distinguished Flying Cross. He has attacked enemy road, rail and river transport, inflicting much damage on the enemy's communications. Most recently he has been in command of his flight, inspiring all under his leadership by his own high standard of ability and courage.

 

NOTE: Public Records Office Air 2/9045 has recommendation dated 29 October 1944 when he had flown 84 sorties (252 operational hours) of which 44 sorties (120 hours 30 minutes) had been since his previous award:

 

Squadron Leader Murray has just completed his second tour of operations which lasted seven months and consisted of 44 sorties.

 

Throughout his tour he was a bulwark of strength in the squadron and on account of his previous operational experience he was usually given the more difficult jobs and deepest penetrations, particularly so if the weather was bad.

 

He carried out such missions with invariable success and his dependability in such circumstances was an example to all members of the squadron. During his tour he carried out two daylight low levels on barracks, nine daylight high levels from 20,000 feet and 33 night operations on road, rail and river transport, during which he attacked several trains and barges and also scored strikes on motor transport on many occasions.

 


For the last two months of his tour Squadron Leader Murray was a Flight Commander on the squadron and ran his flight most successfully, his own standard of ability contributing in large measure to this end.

 

The Airfield Commander added, on 5 November 1944:

 

This Canadian officer serving in the Royal Air Force has proved himself the finest type of Flight Commander. Courageous, skilful and patient, he is more concerned with the good performance of his aircrew than with his own success, which he takes for granted. His conduct and bearing have has a great effect on his flight, and I strongly recommend him for a Bar to his Distinguished Flying Cross.

 

The original text was revised to the citation as presented to Air Ministry Honours and Awards Committee:

 

Now on his second tour of operational duties, Squadron Leader Murray has completed many more sorties since the award of the Distinguished Flying Cross. He has attacked enemy road, rail and river transport, inflicting much damage on the enemy's communications. In addition, this officer has taken part in two daylight low level attacks on enemy barracks. Most recently he has been in command of his flight, inspiring all under his leadership by his own high standard of ability and courage.

 

His application for Operational Wings includes a complete list of all his sorties as follows:

 

First Tour - No.107 Squadron (Blenheims)

 

6.11.39 Recce , North Sea (3.35)

29.12.29 Sweep, North Sea (5.40)

14.2.40 do (2.30)

25.3.40 Sweep, flak ships (3.30)

27.3.40 do.(3.30)

28.3.40 do.(2.50)

4.4.40 do.(2.00)

13.4.40 Recce, Heliogoland (4.20)

15.4.40 Bombing, Stavager (4.55)

16.4.40 do. (4.35)

19.4.40 do (3.15)

27.4.40 do (2.35)

1.5.40 do. (4.10)

2.5.40 do. (4.05)

12.5.40 Bombing Maastrict (2.25)

20.5.40 Bombing Tilley-les-Mafflaines (2.30)

20.5.40 Bombing Evilliers (2.30)

21.5.40 Bombing Auxy-le-Chateau (2.45)

21.5.40 Bombing Hesdin (2.10)


22.5.40 Bombing Abeville-Amiens (2.50)

23.5.40 Bombing Arras (2.50)

24.5.40 Bombing Foret le Boulogne (1.50)

24.5.40 Bombing Marck (1.15)

25.5.40 Bombing Thourout (2.30)

26.5.40 Bombing Hesdin (2.15)

27.5.40 Bombing St.Omer (1.35)

29.5.40 Bombing Ichtigen (1.55)

15.7.40 Bombing Evereaux airfield (3.35)

20.7.40 Recce, Heligoland (3.40)

21.7.40 Bombing Morlaix airfield (4.20)

22.7.40 Bombing Chateaudun airfield (5.45)

 

Second Tour - No.21 Squadron - Mosquitos

 

15.3.44 Bombing NOBALL (2.15)

17.3.44 do. (2.30)

18.3.44 do. (2.10)

19.3.44 do. (2.10)

26.3.44 Intruder, Twente airfield (2.35)

28.4.44 Bombing NOBALL (2.00)

29.4.44 do. (2.30)

30.4.44 do. (2.10)

3.5.44 do. (2.15)

5.6.44 Road Patrol (2.45, no target)

6.6.44 do. (2.40, near Thiberville)

7.6.44 do. (2.15, near Brionne)

10.6.44 do. (2.20, near Caen)

11.6.44 do. (2.40, near Caen)

14.6.44 do. (2.40, near Falaise)

16.6.44 do. (2.30, Woods)

17.6.44 do. (3.00, Train)

20.6.44 do. (2.45, Merzidon)

24.6.44 do. (2.25, Sequingy)

27.6.44 do. (2.50, Boisney/Evrecy)

18.7.44 do. (2.10, transport)

19.7.44 do. (2.20, Thury/Harcourt)

22.7.44 do. (3.10, transport)

29.7.44 do. (4.10, Train)

31.7.44 do. (3.35, transport)

1.8.44 Bombing Army Barracks (3.10)

5.8.44 Road Patrol (3.00, Thiberville)

7.8.44 do. (2.30, St.Pierre)

8.8.44 do. (3.45, Train)

9.8.44 do. (3.10, Bois St. Andre)


17.8.44 do. (3.45, train)

20.8.44 do. (1.40, battle area)

25.8.44 do. (2.20, transport)

28.8.44 do. (3.40, transport)

30.8.44 do. (2.15, Picquincy)

31.8.44 do. (3.40, trains)

1.9.44 do. (3.15, Trains)

17.9.44 Bombing, Nijmegen (3.30)

23.9.44 Patrol (2.30, Scheldt)

25.9.44 Road Patrol (3.45, transport)

2.10.44 do. (4.10, Trains)

4.10.44 do. (3.25, Rees)

 

* * * * *

 

NELLES, S/L Edward Forbes (110111) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.627 Squadron - awarded as per London Gazette dated 23 May 1944. Born in Ontario, 2 November 1914; home in Toronto. Enlisted in a Canadian Highland Regiment, 1939 but transferred to RAFVR in 1940. Trained at No.32 SFTS in Canada; P/O, 25 September 1940; F/O, 25 September 1942; F/L, 25 September 1943. Transferred to RCAF, 10 November 1944 (C89506). Served in postwar RCAF (20463) including work with No.414 (Photo) Squadron, No.426 Squadron (Korean airlift) and No.407 Squadron; confirmed in rank of Flight Lieutenant, 1 October 1946; promoted to Squadron Leader, 15 May 1952; retired to Comox, British Columbia, 5 July 1957. Air Ministry Bulletin 14007/AL.805 refers. AFRO 1380/44 dated 30 June 1944 (announcing his DFC) identified him as "RAF Trained in Canada" but did not single him out as a Canadian. Citation in Public Records Office Air 2/9145.

 

This officer has a fine record of participation in successful sorties. He has attacked the majority of the enemy's important and strongly defended targets, including fourteen sorties to Berlin. In October 1943, during an attack on Munich, one engine of his aircraft was put out of action by fire from the enemy defences. It was largely owing to his superb airmanship that the bomber reached home safely, after a six hour flight with only one engine functioning. A first class captain of aircraft, this officer has consistently displayed a high degree of determination, skill and courage.

 

NELLES, S/L Edward Forbes (110111) - Bar to Distinguished Flying Cross - No.627 Squadron - awarded as per London Gazette dated 13 October 1944. Air Ministry Bulletin 15918/AL.902 dated 13 October 1944 refers.

 

Throughout a long and successful tour of operations Squadron Leader Nelles has consistently shown an unflinching determination to bring each sortie to a successful conclusion and his whole enthusiasm has set a splendid example to the whole squadron. He has now completed a tour of operational duty which is most commendable.


* * * * *

 

NELSON, F/O William Henry (39675) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.10 Squadron - awarded as per London Gazette dated 31 May 1940. Born in Montreal, 2 April 1917. See H.A. Halliday, "Man of Many Talents: F/L William Henry Nelson", Journal of the Canadian Aviation Historical Society, Summer 1970. Appointed Acting Pilot Officer on Probation, RAF, 9 May 1937. With No.10 Squadron from outbreak of war to 24 June 1940; at No.6 OTU, 24 June to 20 July 1940; with No.74 Squadron (Spitfires), 27 July to 1 November 1940 (killed in action). Specifically listed in AFRO 1292/41 dated 7 November 1941 as a Canadian in the RAF who had been decorated as of that date. Air Ministry Bulletin 801 refers. Cards compiled by W/C F.H. Hitchins from squadron records (cards held by Directorate of History and Heritage, CFHQ) detail many sorties. He was captain of a Whitley on No.10 Squadron's first wartime operation (8 September 1939, leaflet dropping over northwest Germany) and had numerous adventures thereafter. With No.74 Squadron credited with the following: 11 August 1940, one Bf.109 destroyed plus one Bf.110 destroyed plus one Bf.110 damaged; 13 August 1940, one Do.17 damaged; 17 October 1940, one Bf.109 destroyed; 27 October 1940, one Bf.109 destroyed; 29 October 1940, one Bf.109 destroyed. No published citation other than "for gallantry and devotion to duty in the execution of air operations". Public Records Office Air 2/9413 has recommended citation as passed by Air Ministry Honours and Awards Committee.

 

This officer has carried out many flights over enemy territory during which he has always shown the greatest determination and courage. On the 20th April 1940, after an attack on Stavager, a balloon barrage was encountered west of the target, a report of which was transmitted to the base in sufficient time to enable following aircraft to be warned.

 

NOTE: Annex 1W to this document contains the original recommendation dated 23 April 1940. This indicates that an earlier recommendation had been raised on 12 March 1940; that document might well be most interesting if found (see also P.A. Gilchrist's DFC). The Nelson document of 23 April 1940 reads:

 

In addition to the particulars submitted under the proforma dated 12th March 1940, three further missions have been performed as follows:

 

On 16 March 1940 the No.4 Group Training Flight down the Ruhr Valley was ordered. On this trip the Rhine was clearly seen, but no traffic of any consequence was noted. A railway marshalling yard was also seen, but unidentified. Other railways, roads and canals were also observed, some of which were identified. Searchlight activity was very intense, as many as 80 lights in a ring together being seen. These made observation of the area very difficult. Very severe weather conditions were met with, and the machine landed at "Sister".

 


On 19 March 1940 the task allotted was the night bombing of Hornum. All the bombs were released on the target and straddled the railway line leading up to the base. A great deal of light flak, together with a lesser amount of heavy flak, was encountered and searchlight activity was also very intense. This crew returned to base without anything untoward happening.

 

On 20 April 1940 severe weather was encountered during an operation over Norway. Oslo Fiord was completely covered, so this aircraft flew to Stavanger and attacked the aerodrome as an alternative target given by the Station Operations Officer. The attack was successful, hits being registered on the runways. A balloon barrage was encountered to the west of the target after the attack, a report of which was transmitted to the Base in sufficient time to enable following aircraft to be warned.

 

Public Record Office Air 2/9412 has the same recommendation with further minutes. On 25 April 1940 the Commanding Officer, RAF Station Dishforth, wrote:

 

This officer's determination is outstanding, and he has continued to show courage of a high order in carrying out his tasks. The award of the Distinguished Flying Cross is strongly recommended.

 

The Air Officer Commanding, No.4 Group (Air Commodore Alan Coningham) added on 30 April 1940:

 

This Canadian officer has carried out many flights over enemy territory, during which he has always shown the greatest determination. His reports and results generally have been successful above the average.

 

* * * * *

 


NICHOLSON, P/O Alexander John (86708) - George Medal - No.220 Squadron - awarded as per London Gazette dated 31 October 1941. Born 11 December 1911 in Locks, Rosshire, Cromarty; educated in Macleod's Crossing, Quebec (1917-1924), Sherbrooke, Quebec (1924-1927) and in Windsor, Ontario (1927-1929). Salesman for Harley-Davidson motorcycles in Detroit, 1929-35; proceeded to England, 1936 to obtain a Short Service Commission in the RAF but was rejected. Attended Skerries College in Glasgow, Scotland and then employed as a newspaper correspondent, 1936-39. Working for Anglo-Continental News, he was in Spain covering the Civil War from the Loyalist side until April 1937 when he was returned to Britain, having received a bullet wound at Madrid in February. In September 1937 he was asked to do a story on sailing ships, embarked on the four-masted windjammer Viking and sailed from Bristol to Australia. He spent six months on the west coast of Australia, returning to England in 1938. He then proceeded to Spanish Morocco "to find out why the German and Italian governments were buying all the iron ore". From Gibraltar he free-lanced to South America, spending five months in Rio de Janeiro, Pernambuco, and Buenos Aires. On return to England in February 1939 he applied again to join RAF but was rejected as too old, but the rules changed on outbreak of war; enlisted 27 September 1939; classified as LAC and remustered as pilot under training, 1 January 1940; appointed Acting Sergeant, 24 July 1940; commissioned 19 October 1940. At time of award home is given as Wick, Scotland. Promoted to Flying Officer, simultaneous promotion to Flight Lieutenant, 19 October 1941. To Canada, 10 August 1942 for course at No.31 ANS; returned to Britain, 13 December 1943. Again posted to Canada, 19 October 1943 for duty with No.31 OTU. Transferred as a Flight Lieutenant to RCAF, 1 February 1945 (C51266) while serving at No.31 ANS; released 21 June 1945). Air Ministry Bulletin 5447 refers. Incident occurred 7 August 1941 at Stornoway (collision of an Anson and Hudson), at which time he had flown 260 operational hours with Coastal Command (all on Hudsons). Died 17 February 1971.

 

In August 1941 this officer was a passenger in an aircraft which was involved in a collision when taking off and crashed. The aircraft immediately caught fire, but Pilot Officer Nicholson managed to get clear.

 

He remembered that when the plane crashed someone in the wireless compartment had ben thrown across him. Ammunition and pyrotechnics were exploding and the whole front of the aircraft was in flames, but Pilot Officer Nicholson, with complete disregard for his own safety, re-entered and, making his way forward, found the wireless operator, whom he managed to drag to the door. An explosion then occurred which blew Pilot Officer Nicholson a distance of 20 yards. The wireless operator was finally extricated by others, but without doubt his life was saved by Pilot Officer Nicholson's gallantry in the first instance.

 

* * * * *

 

NICHOLSON, F/L George Henry (51729) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.466 Squadron - awarded as per London Gazette dated 6 June 1944. Born in Vancouver, 27 January 1902 (date from Ferry Command crew cards, Directorate of History and Heritage Collection 84/44-3); educated there; enrolled in RAF, 1936; trained as a flight engineer; commissioned 1943. Involved in ferry flight of B-17 AN527 to Britain, May 1941. AFRO 1660/44 dated 4 August 1944 (announcing his DFC) described him as a Canadian in the RAF. Air Ministry Bulletin 14171/ALL.818 refers.

 

This officer has completed many successful operations against the enemy in which he has displayed high skill, fortitude and devotion to duty.

 

NOTE: Public Record Office Air 2/8780 has recommendation dated 22 March 1944 when he had flown 80 sorties (474 operational hours). All sorties from 10 January to 7 November 1940 were as an Air Gunner; all subsequent operations were as a Flight Engineer.

 

10 Jan 40 Patrol (5.45) 29 Apr 42 Ostend (4.40)

26 Jan 40 Patrol (5.00) 3 May 42 Hamburg (6.40)

27 Jan 40 Patrol (4.50) 30 May 42 Cologne (6.00)

30 Jan 40 Patrol (4.35) 1 June 42 Essen (3.40, abandoned)

2 Feb 40 Patrol (3.20) 5 June 42 Essen (5.40)

11 Feb 40 Patrol (6.25) 20 June 42 Emden (6.20)

15 Feb 40 Patrol (5.30) 22 June 42 Emden (5.00)


25 Feb 40 Patrol (5.20) 2 July 42 Bremen (6.20)

5 Mar 40 Patrol (5.50) 14-15 Jul 42 Ferry trip, Middleton

9 Mar 40 Patrol (5.40) to Gibraltar to

16 Mar 40 Patrol (5.40) Kabrit (21.05)

25 Mar 40 Patrol (3.25) 23 July 42 Tobruk (6.30)

29 Mar 40 Patrol (5.00) 25 July 42 Tobruk (6.35)

5 Apr 40 Patrol (6.15) 27 July 42 Tobruk (6.40)

7 Apr 40 Patrol (3.40) 2 Aug 42 Tobruk (7.25)

8 Apr 40 Patrol (5.15) 10 Aug 42 Tobruk (7.15)

10 Apr 40 Patrol (4.40) 13 Aug 42 Tobruk (6.15)

19 Apr 40 Patrol (7.00) 15 Aug 42 Tobruk (7.00)

9 May 40 Battle Flight 23 Aug 42 Tobruk (6.50)

(4.25) 25 Aug 42 Tobruk (7.35)

12 May 40 Escort duty (5.30) 1 Sept 42 Tobruk (6.45)

16 May 40 Met.recce, bombed 3 Sept 42 Tobruk (6.50)

Bergen (6.00) 8 Sept 42 Tobruk (7.10)

3 June 40 Anti-sub patrol 13 Sept 42 Tobruk (8.15)

(6.00) 7 Oct 42 Suda Bay, Crete (7.45)

6 June 40 Search for "S" 18 Oct 42 Tobruk (7.10)

(3.40) 24 Oct 42 Maleme, Crete (8.05)

18 June 40 Bombed Bergen 2 Nov 42 Maleme, Crete (8.45)

(5.55) 4 Nov 42 Maleme, Crete (8.20)

19 June 40 Patrol (3.40) 6 Nov 42 Front line, Sidi

25 June 40 Shadow Scharnhorst, Barrani (5.30)

(4.30) 7 Nov 42 Front line, Sollum

25 June 40 Security patrol area (6.30)

(3.05) 16 Nov 42 Front line, Sollum

28 June 40 Patrol (4.45) area (4.55)

6 July 40 Patrol (4.40) 28 Nov 42 Heraklion, Crete (6.50)

22 July 40 Patrol (3.50) 3 Dec 42 Heraklion, Crete (4.55)

14 Aug 40 Anti-sub patrol

(5.55) * * * * *

19 Aug 40 Anti-sub patrol

(6.10) 4 Dec 43 GARDENING, Terschelling

21 Aug 40 Convoy (6.50) (4.05)

15 Sept 40 Patrol (4.25) 30 Jan 44 Berlin (6.07)

21 Sept 40 Patrol (4.00) 15 Feb 44 Berlin (7.02)

29 Sept 40 Patrol (4.15) 19 Feb 44 Leipzig (6.59)

30 Sept 40 Patrol (4.55) 24 Feb 44 Schweinfurt (8.18)

7 Oct 40 Patrol (3.55), bombed 15 Mar 44 Stuttgart (8.41)

wireless boats.

8 Oct 40 Patrol (4.10)

10 Oct 40 Convoy (3.30)

11 Oct 40 Patrol (5.00)


7 Nov 40 Night raid on

Stavanger (4.45)

 

Flight Lieutenant Nicholson is engaged on his third operational tour, his first comprising 42 sorties as Air Gunner with Coastal Command, and his second of 32 sorties as Flight Engineer in four-engined bombers.

 

During the period this officer has been in this unit as Flight Engineer Leader, he has, in addition to being exceptional in this capacity, shown a consistent keenness and the greatest enthusiasm for operational flying, and has by his skill and personal courage set a very high standard in the squadron, particularly for the Flight Engineer Section, all members of which are new to flying. The non-immediate award of the Distinguished Flying Cross is very strongly recommended.

 

The Officer Commanding, RAF Station Leconfield, added his remarks on 23 March 1944:

 

An exceptional fine Flight Engineer with outstanding abilities of leadership and the ability to inspire other aircrew to whom he consistently sets a magnificent example both in the air and on the ground.

 

This officer has completed a very large number of sorties, many of which have been in the capacity of Air Gunner. At all times he has shown determination, skill and courage beyond the call of the normal duty and in his keenness to bomb Germany there are few his equal. The award of the Distinguished Flying Cross is strongly recommended.

 

The Air Officer Commanding, No.4 Group, endorsed the form favourably on 29 March 1944.

 

NICHOLSON, F/L George Henry (51729) - Bar to Distinguished Flying Cross - No.466 Squadron - awarded as per London Gazette dated 21 September 1945. Air Ministry Bulletin 19736/AL.1070 refers.

 

Flight Lieutenant Nicholson has now completed his third tour of operational duty. He has flown both as air gunner and flight engineer during his flying carer and has invariably displayed outstanding skill and gallantry. On one occasion, when detailed to attack Essen, the port outer engine of his aircraft became unserviceable early on the outward flight. Acting on Flight Lieutenant Nicholson's sound technical advice, the captain decided to fly on to the target which was successfully bombed from a low level, although the aircraft was damaged by heavy anti-aircraft fire. As flight engineer leader in his squadron, this officer has accepted the most hazardous operational tasks with cheerful courage and coolness. Flight Lieutenant Nicholson's knowledge of aircraft engines and engine handling is outstanding and his method of imparting it has been admirable. His skill and ability have been largely responsible for the high standard prevailing in his squadron.


* * * * *

 

NIVEN, F/L Robert Henry (37267) - Distinguished Flying Cross - Photographic Development Unit - awarded as per London Gazette dated 8 March 1940. Born in Calgary, 1914; educated there. Appointed Acting Pilot Officer on Probation, RAF, 16 September 1935; promoted to Flying Officer, 1938; to Flight Lieutenant, 1939; Acting Squadron Leader, November 1940; confirmed in that rank, 1 December 1941. As of 3 October 1939 he formed the nucleus of a special flight at Heston consisting of six officers plus other ranks to investigate photo reconnaissance development (the other pilot was F/O M.V. Longbottom). Conducting trial sorties from 18 November 1939 onwards. Numerous sorties listed in cards compiled by Wing Commander F.H. Hitchins and held by Directorate of History. A notable one was 2 January 1940 photographing Kaiserlauten and northeast to Wiesbaden; when trying to pick up a map from floor he blacked out at 32,000 feet, regaining consciousness at 25,000 feet but unable to recover from spin until he had reached 5,000 feet. Killed 29/30 May 1942 ferrying Hudson aircraft to Britain. Remained with that unit until mid-August 1940, when he went to Ferry Command. Later in No.59 Squadron; killed in action, 29/30 May 1942. No citation other than "for gallantry and devotion to duty in the execution of air operations." Specifically listed in AFRO 1292/41 dated 7 November 1941 as a Canadian in the RAF who had been decorated as of that date. Air Ministry Bulletin 439 refers.

 

Two of the officers [in the awards list] have been pioneers in a new method of aerial photography. They have taken overlapping photographs of many enemy defences.

 

* * * * *

 

NODEN, F/L Denys (142588) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.608 Squadron - awarded as per London Gazette dated 23 March 1945. Born 1921 at Mossley Hill, Liverpool; home in Saskatoon; enlisted February 1940; trained in Canada. Commissioned June 1942. Air Ministry Bulletin 17983/AL.995 refers. No citation other than "completed operations with courage and devotion to duty". NOTE: Canadian credentials may be rather thin and should be checked further; Royal Air Force Personnel Management Agency, in a letter to H.A. Halliday dated 21 February 2000, states he was "married in Saskatoon 1944" but shows no other Canadian connection. It is possible that his training and marriage constituted his only "Canadian content."

 

* * * * *

 


O'BRIAN, S/L Peter Geoffrey St.George (33329) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.247 Squadron - awarded as per London Gazette dated 2 December 1941. Born in Toronto, 1917; home there. Educated at Trinity College School, Port Hope and at University of Toronto. Attended Cranwell and commissioned 1937. Attended School of Army Co-Operation, 1939. From early 1939 he was adjutant of No.26 Squadron; confirmed as Flight Lieutenant, 16 February 1940; confirmed as Squadron Leader, 1 December 1941; confirmed as Wing Commander, 1 July 1944 (though he had held acting ranks much earlier). Posted to No.152 Squadron (Spitfires) in late August 1940 (first mentioned in unit diary, 25 August 1940; 27 August 1940, with P/O Beaumont, shared in destruction of a He.111 near Portland; 15 September 1940, led a section of three aircraft which claimed a He.111 as probably destroyed; 17 September 1940, shared with two others in destruction of a Ju.88. Not mentioned in diary of No.152 Squadron thereafter. The book Trinity College School: Old Boys at War (Port Hope, 1948), states that he was posted to No.247 Squadron in October 1940, commanded it from January 1941 onwards, and in May 1942 was posted to the staff of No.10 Group. The book says he was posted to Portreath Fighter Wing as Wing Commander (Flying) in October 1942 (Hitchins notes say 15 September 1942) and relates the dinghy story in detail; posted to No.10 Group Headquarters, June 1943; four months at RAF Staff College. Remained in postwar RAF. NOTE: Hitchins cards say he was awarded OBE postwar; to be checked. AFRO 1534/41 dated 19 December 1941 identified him as a Canadian in the RAF, as did AFRO 1849/43 dated 10 September 1943 (reporting his Bar to the DFC). Air Ministry Bulletin 5722 refers.

 

This officer has commanded the squadron for the past thirteen months and has participated in a large number of sorties both by day and night. On one occasion he participated in one of the longest night flights ever undertaken in a single-seat fighter aircraft during which he displayed good judgement and a fine navigational skill. His outstanding qualities as a leader have set an excellent example.

 

O'BRIAN, W/C Peter Geoffrey St.George (33329) - Bar to Distinguished Flying Cross - No.257 Squadron (or Portreath Wing ?) - awarded as per London Gazette dated 6 August 1943. Air Ministry Bulletin 11066 refers.

 

This officer has displayed high qualities of leadership, great skill and courage, setting an example which has contributed in a large measure to the high efficiency of the squadron he commands. Wing Commander O'Brian has completed large numbers of sorties and has invariably displayed great keenness. On one occasion when he had to abandon his aircraft over the sea he was subsequently adrift in his dinghy for eight hours before being rescued. Despite this he led his formation on its next operation.

 

* * * * *

 

O'REILLY, F/L Peter Lawrence Francis (61033) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.159 Squadron - awarded as per London Gazette dated 3 April 1945. Born Vancouver, 16 February 1915; home in Prince Edward Island (Air Ministry Bulletin) or Britain (Ferry Command crew cards, Directorate of History and Heritage Collection 84/44-3). Enlisted March 1940; commissioned February 1941; ferried Liberator KG846 to Britain, May 1944. AFRO 802/45 dated 11 May 1945 (reporting his DFC) described him as Canadian in the Royal Air Force. Air Ministry Bulletin 18150/AL.998 refers.

 

This officer is an outstanding pilot who has taken part in many sorties. On other occasions he has remained in targets for long periods despite the danger of intereption by enemy fighters. Flight Lieutenant O'Reilly has always displayed great courage, enthusiams and devotion to duty.

 


* * * * *

 

OGILVIE, F/O Alfred Keith (42872) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.609 Squadron - awarded as per London Gazette dated 11 July 1941. Born in Ottawa, 14 September 1915; educated there; played rugby, football and golf; hobby was photography. Accepted as Pupil Pilot, RAF, 14 August 1939; appointed Acting Pilot Officer, 23 October 1939; confirmed as Pilot Officer, 25 May 1940; promoted Flying Officer, 25 May 1941; promoted to Flight Lieutenant, 25 May 1942 (while in captivity). Attended Ab Initio Flight School, Hatfield, 11 August to 26 October 1939; at No.9 FTS, Hullavington, 6 November 1939 to 13 May 1940; Central Flying School, Upavon, 6 June to 22 July 1940 (training to be an instructor; made a personal appeal to Lord Trenchard and was posted); No.5 OTU, Aston Down, 27 July to 18 August 1940. Served in No.609 Squadron, 29 August 1940 to 4 July 1941 (shot down, POW). He remained in a German hospital, 4 July 1941 to February 1942 when he was sent to Stalag Luft III. Involved in the Great Escape of March 1944 and was the last man out of the tunnel. Transferred to RCAF, 24 November 1944 (C94096) while still a captive (see also James Plant); repatriated to Canada 7 July 1945 or 2 August 1945. Remained in postwar force, reverting to Flying Officer on 1 October 1946 but promoted to Flight Lieutenant, 1 January 1948 and Squadron Leader on 1 January 1953. Extensive service at Trenton (16 September 1946 to 27 March 1948), Centralia (28 March 1948 to 11 November 1950), No.412 Squadron at Rockcliffe (12 November 1950 to 30 November 1952), Trenton again (1 December 1952 to 1 September 1954, being with No.6 Repair Depot to 3 March 1953 and No.129 Acceptance and Ferry Flight thereafter), Air Materiel Command Headquarters (2 September 1954 to 16 November 1958) and Station Downsview (17 November 1958 to retirement on 2 April 1963). Died in Ottawa, 26 May 1998; see Dave Brown, "Saying Goodbye to an Old Kriegie", Ottawa Citizen, 28 May 1998. Victories as follows: 7 September 1940, destroyed one Bf.109 near Brooklands (burned); 15 September 1940, destroyed one Do.17 near Battersea; 25 September 1940, own aircraft damaged when he engaged a Do.17 (claim either damaged or probably destroyed); 26 September 1940, one He.111 damaged; 27 September 1940, destroyed one Bf.110 (both engines on fire); 10 May 1941, destroyed one Bf.109 which crashed off Calais; 17 June 1941, destroyed one Bf.109 north of Le Touquet (blew up, crashed in flames); 21 June 1941, destroyed one Bf.109 near Le Touquet (pilot baled out). Specifically listed in AFRO 1292/41 dated 7 November 1941 as a Canadian in the RAF who had been decorated as of that date. Air Ministry Bulletin 4420 refers. Photos PL-128161 and PL-146024 show him postwar.

 

This officer has displayed great keenness and determination in his efforts to seek and destroy the enemy. He has shot down at least five hostile aircraft.

 

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OGILVIE, F/L Allan McPherson (120865) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.83 Squadron - awarded as per London Gazette dated 12 March 1943. See Field of Honour (Bank of Montreal, c.1950). Born in Grand Falls, Newfoundland, 7 March 1921; formally enlisted 20 August 1940; left that colony for BCATP training, 22 August 1940; trained at No.1 Air Observer School (Winnipeg), No.1 Bombing and Gunnery School (Fingal) and No.1 Air Navigation School (Rivers); graduated as a Sergeant Observer (service number 798537), 7 April 1941; engaged in ferrying Hudson V9165 to Britain, August 1941, at which time he reported to have flown only 100 hours on Ansons and Battles. See Kerri Button, The Forgotten Years: The Formation of the 125th (Newfoundland) Squadron, Royal Air Force, 1938-1941 (university paper, institution not mentioned; copy held by National Aviation Museum). His identity as a Newfoundlander is further confirmed by G.W.L. Nicholson, More Fighting Newfoundlanders (St.John's, published by the government of Newfoundland in 1969). Enlisted August 1940; overseas August 1941. Posted to No.83 Squadron in January 1942; commissioned April 1942 (promoted Flight Lieutenant, August 1942). Completed 52 sorties with the unit. Aircraft attacked by a fighter, 11 March 1943 and he baled out; see personal account below. After evasion, returned to duty with a Pathfinder Navigational Training Unit (August 1943 to May 1944; promoted Squadron Leader, November 1943); and later Group Navigation Officer in No.6 Group. Transferred to RCAF, 1 June 1945. Returned to Canada 24 June 1945 for "Tiger Force" work; remained in RCAF after war (20509). Awarded Officer, Order of Military Merit (OMM). Retired with the rank of Colonel. Died in Ottawa, 30 December 2000. Citation published in Flight, 15 April 1943.

 

When this officer's aircraft has been severely damaged by enemy action he has always succeeded in completing his missions, though on one occasion, over Lubeck, the rear and mid-upper gunners were both severely wounded and the aircraft was very difficult to control. During an attack on the Ruhr in April 1942, intense and accurate anti-aircraft seriously wounded the pilot, who collapsed. Flight Lieutenant Ogilvie was able by cool and efficient navigation, to direct the aircraft safely to land in this country.

 

OGILVIE, F/L Allan McPherson, DFC (120865) - Bar to Distinguished Flying Cross - No.83 Squadron - awarded as per London Gazette dated 27 July 1943. Citation published in Flight, 2 September 1943 was merely "displayed courage and fortitude worthy of the highest praise." However, Public Record Office Air 2/4986 (obtained via his son) has recommendation dated 3 July 1943, noting he had flown 48 sorties (249 hours 55 minutes) of which 13 sorties (61 hours) had been since his previous award.

 

Flight Lieutenant Ogilvie has carried out 48 operational sorties, and is an excellent navigator. On March 11th, 1943 he was the navigator of an aircraft detailed to attack Stuttgart, and whilst returning from the target, they were intercepted and shot down by an enemy night fighter. Flight Lieutenant Ogilvie succeeded in baling out and evading capture and with great perseverance was able to make his way back to British territory. The details are to be found in M.I.9/S/P.G. 1244. He is strongly recommended for the award of the Bar to the Distinguished Flying Cross.

 

OGILVIE, F/L Allan McPherson, DFC (120865) - Mention in Despatches - awarded as per London Gazette dated 1 January 1945.

 

OGILVIE, F/L Allan McPherson, DFC (RCAF 20509) - Croix de Guerre with Bronze Star - Awarded as per AFRO 485/47 dated 12 September 1947. Following citation from Field of Honour:

 


Squadron Leader Ogilvie, while serving as Navigator with 83 Squadron, completed two tours of operations and rendered outstanding service to the French cause.

 

NOTE: In a letter dated 30 April 1949 to a Mr.Wheeler (not further identified; letter in the possession of his son), he described his evasion from Europe as follows:

 

I was shot down on March 11, 1943, returning from an operational trip to Stuttgart. We were attacked by an enemy fighter who we also shot down. I bailed out and landed about ten miles from the German border in Alsace-Lorraine. The route is as follows: by foot to Vitry-le-Francois, by train from Vitry-le-Francois to Paris, and from Paris to Theillay. Here I crossed the demarcation line between Occupied and Unoccupied France by foot (Occupied France was at this time occupied by German troops, but a check was made crossing this line). Boarded a train at Charost and proceeded to Toulouse via Issouden. Spent two weeks in Toulouse and three weeks just outside Montaubain. At the end of this period I took a train from Montaubain to Toulouse, from Toulouse to Boussens, and a bus from Boussens to St.Girons. Stayed here for four days and then crossed over the Pyrenees into Spain. The crossing took three days. I was arrested by the Spanish and put in prison for seven days, in a political prison in Lerida. On release I spent some time in Lerida and Madrid before crossing over to Gibraltar, from where I returned to England. The period I was missing was about three months.

 

An obituary article (Ottawa Citizen, 7 January 2001, written by Buzz Bourdon, gave further details:

 

Hurtling to earth in a Lancaster bomber that had just been attacked by a German night fighter, Colonel Joe Ogilvie of Ottawa could have parachuted to safety the minute his pilot gave the order to abandon the aircraft.

 

Instead, Colonel Ogilvie, then a navigator serving with the Royal Air Force's 83 Squadron who was twice decorated for his wartime heroism, left his navigator's position to see if the pilot, Norm Mackie, was all right.

 

Once he reached the cockpit of the Lancaster, Colonel Ogilvie had to help Mr. Mackie put on his parachute before both men jumped to safety over occupied France on March 11, 1943. It was Colonel Ogilvie's 51st mission over German-occupied Europe and his last. He was just 22.

 

Mr. Mackie never forgot Colonel Ogilvie's heroism that panic-filled night 57 years ago, Steve Ogilvie of Orleans said Friday after burying his father. Colonel Ogilvie died December 30, aged 79 from Alzheimer's disease.

 

"I called (Mr. Mackie) the day after my dad died and he said, 'Your dad saved my life'", said Mr.Ogilvie.

 


Despite surviving the experience, Colonel Ogilvie's troubles weren't over, because now he had to evade the Germans. After making contact with the French underground, Colonel Ogilvie escaped to Spain in a dangerous journey that took 89 days.

 

After reaching Spain over the Pyrenees Mountains, Colonel Ogilvie contracted tuberculosis when he was imprisoned by the Spanish for almost a month.

 

Before going back to the war, Colonel Ogilvie married Winnifred Sharman on July 21, 1943.

 

For evading capture, Colonel Ogilvie was awarded his second Distinguished Flying Cross. His first came after he navigated his Lancaster bomber back to England after his pilot had been badly wounded by German anti-aircraft fire.

 

Bob Westell of Ottawa worked closely with Colonel Ogilvie for a year as his assistant at the RCAF's No.6 Bomber Group. It became a 57-year friendship.

 

"I never felt I was working for him, but rather with him. He was a first-class navigator and officer, and a terrific guy", said Mr. Westell.

 

When he retired from the Canadian Forces in 1975, Colonel Ogilvie was appointed an officer of the Order of Military Merit. From 1980 to 1986, he worked in Ottawa as the executive director to Major-General Gus Cloutier, the Sergeant-at-Arms of the House of Commons.

 

Colonel Ogilvie, who was buried Friday at Capital Memorial Gardens, is survived by his wife, his sister Ruby, his sons Steve, Robert and Donald, his daughters Claire and Jill and seven grandchildren.

 

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OLSSON, S/L Charles Leland (37635) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.142 Squadron - awarded as per London Gazette dated 16 March 1943 with effect from 20 July 1942. Born in Rhinelander, Wisconsin, 8 January 1914; educated at Espanola and Sault Ste.Marie, Ontario. Took flying lessons in United States; Pupil Pilot, RAF, 6 January to 8 March 1936; appointed Acting Pilot Officer on Probation in the RAF, 9 March 1936 with effect from 6 January 1936. Confirmed in appointment and graded as Pilot Officer, 6 January 1937; promoted Flying Office, 6 August 1938; promoted Acting Flight Lieutenant, 30 October 1939; confrmed as Flight Lieutennt, 6 August 1940; Acting Squadron leader, 17 May 1941; confrmed in rank, 1 September 1941. Transferred to RCAF effective 24 November 1944 (C94098). After initial training (EFTS, Hamble, January to March 1936 and No.7 FTS, Peterborough, May-November 1936) he had gone to No.99 Squadron (November 1936 to March 1937). In March 1937 he went to No.75 Squadron where he stayed until November 1938. This was followined by No. 215 Squadron (November 1938 to September 1939), No.11 OTU, Bassingbourne (Septeber 1939 to <ay 1940), No.9 Squadron (May to November 1940), Bomber Development Unit (December 1940 to June 1941, operational test flying), No.11 OTU again (June 1941 to May 1942 and No.142 Squadron. Shot down and taken prisoner, 26 July 1942. AFRO 1497/42 dated 18 September 1942 (reporting him missing), AFRO 757/43 dated 30 April 1943 (reporting his DFC) and AFRO 971/44 dated 5 May 1944 (reporting him a POW) all identified him as a Canadian in the RAF. repatriated to Canada, 23 July 1945; released 26 October 1945. Recalled to duty, 24 April 1946 as a Squadron Leader. Promoted to Wing Commander, 1 January 1949; Group Captain, 1 July 1956. Retired in 1965. Died in Ottawa, 31 December 1986. Air Ministry Bulletin 9556 refers.

 

This officer has participated in attacks on a wide range of enemy targets including highly defended places such as Bremen, Hamburg and Cologne He has also pressed home his attacks in the most determined manner whatever the opposition. His work as a flight commander has been invaluable. By his excellent leadership, courage and devotion to duty he has set an inspiring example.

 

Public Records Office Air 2/9598 has recommendation dated 20 July 1942 when he had flown 33 sorties (172 hours 55 minutes). The award was clearly held up until it was certain that he was alive. The sortie list is very detailed.

 

13 June 40 Pont l'Arche (6.55)

17 June 40 Heydt (3.40, attacked marshalling yards)

21 June 40 Bremen (6.00)

24 June 40 Dortmund (4.40)

27 June 40 Bremen (5.30)

29 June 40 Black Forest (6.30)

1 July 40 Duisburg (3.40, huge fires started; report fire at sea; enemy aircrew rescued [Compiler's Note: not sure what this refers to].

5 July 40 Hamburg (6.25)

9 July 40 Ruhr (1.35, recalled)

19 July 40 Wismer (8.10)

21 July 40 Gelsenkirchen (4.50)

25 July 40 Gotha (5.30, target not reached due to ice; aerodrome near Munster bombed)

? Aug 40 Dusseldorf (5.00) [Compiler's note: a puzzle as this city not singled out for Bomber Command raids until November 1940].

3 Aug 40 Ruhr (3.30, port engine unserviceable)

9 Aug 40 Hamm (5.50)

12 Aug 40 Diepholtz (5.35)

15 Aug 40 Baeur (4.35)

17 Aug 40 Zeitz (8.10)

24 Aug 40 Cologne (4.55)

29 Aug 44 St.Nazaire (7.45)

4 Sept 40 Halberstadt Forest (6.30)

7 Sept 40 Trier (5.00)


12 Sept 40 Emden (3.00)

15 Sept 40 Calais (2.45)

17 Sept 40 Souest (6.45)

23 Sept 40 Berlin (7.00, hit by anti-aircraft fire)

25 Sept 40 Boulogne (2.35)

1 Oct 40 Gelsenkirchen (4.10)

19 May 42 Mannheim (5.55)

29 May 42 Gnome (6.45, Rhone Works, Paris; landed at Manby)

30 May 42 Cologne (4.40)

1 June 42 Essen (4.25)

21 July 42 Duisburg (4.40)

 

This officer has always pressed home his attacks in a most determined and cool manner. His courage and devotion to duty have been of the highest order and have set an inspiring example to all with whom he has served.

 

During the 33 operational sorties he has made over Germany and the occupied countries he has never allowed the defences, however severe, to deter him from his main aim of locating and bombing his target.

 

As a flight commander he has been invaluable. His power of imparting knowledge, and splendid leadership has done much to improve the morale and bombing effort of this squadron.

 

His exceptional valour is worthy of special recognition and I strongly recommend him for the award of the Distinguished Flying Cross.

 

NOTE: As of 31 December 1955 he had the following aircraft types to his credit: Dakota (679 hours 20 minutes), Canso (8 hours 15 minutes), Lancaster (485 hours 55 minutes), Wellington (776 hours 35 minutes), Whitley (31 hours 25 minutes), Hampden (23 hours nine minutes), Mitchell (38 hours 30 minutes), Cadet (30 hours). Virginia (77 hours 20 minutes), Essex (14 hours), P-2 (80 hours), Tutor (17 hours 35 minutes), Ventura (one hour 10 minutes), Magister (49 hours 15 minutes), Stinson (30 minutes), Harrow (403 hours 50 minutes), Beaver (two hours 00), Otter (one hour 55 minutes), C-119 (three 3 hours), Lysander (four hours 10 minutes), Spitfire (one hour 15 minutes), Hurricane (one hour 30 minutes), Mosquito (30 minutes), Anson (150 hours), Norseman (119 hours 35 minutes), Beechcraft (144 hours 45 minutes), Harvard (two hours 30 minutes), Tiger Moth (22 hours), Hart (68 hours 25 minutes), Heyford (65 hours 10 minutes), Avalon (16 hours 40 minutes), Dragon Fly (6 hours 20 minutes), Aeronca (eight hours), Stirling (8 hours 40 minutes), Chipmunk (one hour), T-33 (one hour), North Star (29 hours 15 minutes).

 

On 25 February 1949 W/C R.I. Thomas, OC 22 Photo Wing, wrote of W/C Olsson as CO, 413 Squadron:

 


W/C Olsson has performed an outstanding feat in planning, organizing and controlling the 1948 Photographic Operations of 413 Squadron. As a result of this officer's thorough preparations and untiring efforts. 413 Squadron achieved the remarkable coverage of 627,000 square miles in 1948. The areas photographed included Norther Quebec, District of Keewatin, and the entre area of Baffin Island. Complete coverage of Baffin Island in 1948 was not considered possible in view of the short photographic season, the scarcity of meteorological information and the large area to be photographed. The coverage achieved was all the more remarkable in view of the fact that 413 Squadron were using a new and untried type of photographic aircraft and a large proportion of the personnel were not experienced in photographic operations. The new maps to be produced from the 1948 photographic coverage will be of great value to future aerial navigators.

 

W/C Olsson id recommended for the McKee Trophy.

 

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OSTLER, F/O Robert Victor (148524) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.15 Squadron - awarded as per London Gazette dated 20 April 1945. Born in Victoria, British Columbia, 12 September 1920; home there; educated at Cedar Hill School (1926-34) and Mount Douglas High School (1934-38). One of Biggs Boys sponsored for RAF service. Enlisted in RAF, 26 August 1939 as Aircraftman 2nd Class, Aircraft Hand Under training (Flight Rigger or Flight Mechanic); remustered as Flight Rigger, 13 November 1939; remustered as Leading Aircraftman, 1 August 1940; Fitter with Nos.151 and 409 Squadrons. Remustered as Pilot Under Training, 26 January 1942; remustered as Pilot, 30 July 1943; commissioned 31 July 1943; promoted Flying Officer, 31 January 1944; promoted Acting Flight Lieutenant, 5 November 1944; relinquished Acting Flight Lieutenant, 4 January 1945. Trained for aircrew in South Africa ((No.27 Air School ?). Posted to Britain, 8 September 1943; to No.24 EFTS, 3 December 1943; to No.28 EFTS, 18 February 1944; to No.3 (P) Advanced Flying Unit, 22 February 1944; to No.1540 Beam Approach Training Flight, 4 April 1944; to No.26 OTU, 16 May 1944; to No.31 Base, 10 August 1944; to No.15 Squadron, 21 October 1944. Transferred to RCAF, 3 May 1945 (C94032); repatriated on 9 July 1945; released 29 September 1945. Air Ministry Bulletin 18476 refers. With RCAF Auxiliary, 1 March 1951 to 8 April 1957, serving with No.2455 Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron. Served again as an Air Cadet officer, 1964-65.

 

This officer was the pilot and captain of an aircraft detailed to attack Wiesbaden. Almost as the target was reached the aircraft sustained damage. The petrol tanks were holed and much petrol was lost. Nevertheless, Flight Lieutenant Ostler executed his attack. Just afterwards the aircraft sustained further damage, the starboard outer engine being put out of action. Flight Lieutenant Ostler realize he would not be able to complete the return flight to base and set course for an airfield in Allied territory. Soon after, the aircraft was attacked by two fighters. Cooly and skilfully the pilot evaded the enemy fighters and eventually brought his badly damaged aircraft down safely at a landing ground. This officer displayed skill, courage and determination throughout.

 


NOTE: On a form dated 4 June 1945 he claimed to have flown 200 operational hours and 450 non-operation hours. He reported having flown 34 sorties, the last being on 15 April 1945. He enumerated his types flown thus: Tiger Moth (70 hours 20 minutes), Harvard (150 hours), Oxford (65 hours), Wellington (85 hours), Stirling (60 hours), Lancaster (220 hours).

 

FURTHER NOTE: The British Columbia Times Colonist of 23 November 2001 reported he had died on 17 November 2001 at Campbell River, British Columbia, where he had moved in 1965. The obituary makes some dubious statements, viz, He was shot down three times and managed to work his way through the under ground and back to base at Milden Hall, U.K. Postwar he found employment digging telephone post holes for B.C. Tel and 34 years later retired from the company in the position of General Manager of Computers and Communications He also served two terms as a councillor with the municipality of Saanich, was active with United Way (chaired campaigns in Victoria and Campbell River). In Campbell River he served as mayor for four terms from 1983 to1990. He wass a Freeman of the city, an Honorary Fire Chief as well as Honorary Citizen of Campbell River's sister city, Ishikan, Japan. He served as chair of The Association of Vancouver Island Municipalities (1986) life member, as well as executive member of the Union of B.C. Municipalities. After retiring as mayor he served for four years as vice-chair of the B.C. Assessment Authority. He was named Campbell River's Citizen of the Year in 1993.

 

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PARKER, G/C Hugh Marcus Geoffrey (18224) - Mention in Despatches - Overseas - Award effective 14 January 1944 as per London Gazette of that date and AFRO 874/44 dated 21 April 1944. Promoted to Squadron Leader, 1 April 1937. Transferred as a Wing Commander to Technical Branch, effective 24 April 1940. AFRO 874/44 dated 21 April 1944 (announcing Mention in Despatches) identified him as a Canadian in the RAF. However, Royal Air Force Personnel Management Agency, in a letter to H.A. Halliday dated 21 February 2000, states, "No apparent connection with Canada".

 

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PARNELL, F/O Thomas Hugh (RAF 129401) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.415 Squadron - awarded as per London Gazette dated 16 June 1944. Born in Gloucester, 1916; home in Charlottetwon, Prince Edward Island. Enlisted in Royal Artillery, 1940; transferred to RAF for aircrew, 1941; trained in Canada. Commissioned 1942. Air Ministry Bulletin 14835/AL.835 refers. Cited with F/O W.G. Brasnett (RCAF). Although the DHist card says "CAN/RAF", there is a strong possibility that his Canadian connection (possibly by marriage) dates only from his training in Canada.

 


As pilot and navigator of aircraft respectively, Flying Officer Brasnett and Flying Officer Parnell have taken part in several attacks on shipping. On a recent occasion they attacked a number of enemy vessels off the French coast. In spite of intense anti-aircraft fire the attack was pressed home with skill and daring and a hit was obtained on one of the ships. Some hours later they successfully attacked another enemy vessel. These officers displayed a high degree of courage and determination throughout.

 

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PATRICK, F/L Richard Cecil (41457) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.206 Squadron - awarded as per London Gazette dated 26 September 1941. Born in Thornhill, Ontario, 8 October 1917; home in Richmond Hill, Ontario. Appointed Acting Pilot Officer on Probation, RAF, 14 December 1938; F/O 3 September 1940; F/L, 3 September 1941. Joined No.206 Squadron, 5 August 1939; Commanding Officer of No.206 Squadron, April 1942. Hitchins cards detail many sorties in 1939-1940 including attack on a submarine, 20 September 1939 (Anson) and many shipping strikes after conversion to Hudsons. Specifically listed in AFRO 1292/41 dated 7 November 1941 as a Canadian in the RAF who had been decorated as of that date. Further confirmed by Ferry Command crew cards, Directorate of History and Heritage Collection 84/44-3 which gives details; engaged in ferry work from May 1944 to at least the end of November 1944 with Fortress, Liberator and Hudson aircraft; this included a log flight in Liberator EW619, departing Montreal on 8 November 1944 and proceeding via Abilene, San Francisco, Hawaii, Auckland, Canton and back to Canada, arriving back very late in November. Air Ministry Bulletin 5141 refers. No published citation other than "for gallantry and devotion to duty in the execution of air operations". Public Record Office Air 2/9251 has recommendation drafted 13 July 1941.

 

Flying Officer R.C. Patrick has been a member of No.206 Squadron since August 1939, and has at all times set a high example of flying and devotion to duty. His qualities of endurance are exceptional, having completed 900 hours operational flying without showing any signs of strain. His willingness to seek and engaged the enemy has always been an inspiration to the less experienced pilots of the unit.

 

The outstanding attacks which have been carried out by him against ground targets are:

 

(a) Two attacks on enemy dockyards in July 1940, when direct hits were registered in spite of accurate and intense anti-aircraft fire.

 

(b) A daring attack on De Kooy aerodrome, when he released his bombs at 400 feet scoring direct hits on aerodrome buildings.

 

Flying Officer Patrick has recently been employed on special long range operations in Hudson aircraft. These he has carried out most zealously and with the greatest accuracy.

 

To the above, the Air Officer Commanding, No.19 Group, adds:

 

This officer was detailed for operation "Hooligan", and on one occasion having reached his destination and preparing to land, he was signalled not to pursue the operation further and so returned to base.


 

PATRICK, S/L Richard Cecil (41457) - Bar to Distinguished Flying Cross - No.206 Squadron - awarded as per London Gazette dated 5 May 1944. Air Ministry Bulletin 13822/AL.802 refers. No published citation; Directorate of History and Heritage, CFHQ card says:

 

Squadron Leader Patrick, who has completed a second tour of operational duty, has been in command of his squadron since April 1942. During that period he has taken part in four attacks on U-Boats and has displayed flying ability of a high order. By his keenness and skill, he has set an inspiring example to the other members of his squadron.

 

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PATTERSON, AC1 Gordon Nelson (612426) - Distinguished Flying Medal - No.12 Squadron - awarded as per London Gazette dated 31 May 1940. Born in Woodrow, Saskatchewan, 26 March 1919; family there. Worked as an electrician at Brixton, London, before enlisting in 1938. Transferred to RCAF, 12 July 1945, at which time he was a Warrant Officer (1st Class); assogned RCAF Number (indistinct on microfilm); commissioned 7 August 1945 (C53451); repatriated to Canada on 7 August 1945; discharged 20 October 1945. Rejoined RCAF, 20 September 1948 as a Telecommunications Officer (Flying Officer, service number 30240); promoted to Flight Lieutenant, 1 January 1952. Postings included No.406 Squadron (29 June 1949) and No.412 Squadron (9 January 1951). A member of No.12 Squadron from outbreak of war until 12 May 1940 (wounded and taken prisoner). Specifically listed in AFRO 1292/41 dated 7 November 1941 as a Canadian in the RAF who had been decorated as of that date. Air Ministry Bulletin 790 refers. In crew of P/O Davy - only Battle pilot of five to return from attack on Maastricht Bridges (Garland/Gray VC action). Davy dive-bombed a bridge one mile west of Wilre with four 250-pound bombs; attacked twice by Messerschmitt 109; enemy aircraft disappeared pouring smoke, but Battle had petrol tanks on fire. Davy ordered his crew to bale out northeast of Maastricht; he carried on and force-landed at St.Germainmont.

 

This airman volunteered for duty as a wireless operator/air gunner in the aircraft piloted by Pilot Officer Davy in a low level bombing attack on bridges over the Albert Canal in May 1940. Intense opposition from the ground was met and two attacks by enemy fighters were countered by this airman but, as the port petrol tank appeared to be on fire, the pilot ordered the crew to abandon the aircraft and Pilot Officer Davy sustained injuries.

 

NOTE: Public Records Office Air 2/4097 has the original recommendation dated 15 May 1940 which is much more detailed:

 


On 12 May 1940 AC.1 Patterson volunteered to proceed as Wireless Operator/Air Gunner to Pilot Officer T.D.H. Davy on a mission to bomb bridges over the Albert Canal, and was a member of the section which bombed the bridge one mile west of Wilre. The light anti-aircraft and machine-gun fire which was put up in opposition was intense, but the bridge was bombed in spite of this. After the bombs had been released, a Me.109 attacked the aircraft from above. Aircraftman Patterson opened fire with his rear gun. A second attack was put up by the Me.109, which was countered by Aircraftman Patterson with his rear gun, and Sergeant Mansel, the Air Observer, with the third gun. Pilot Officer Davy, the pilot of the aircraft, got the impression that he saw smoke emerging from the Messerschmitt as seen through a gap in the clouds, and the attack was broken off. At this point both members of Pilot Officer Davy's crew reported to him that the port petrol tank was on fire, whereupon they were ordered by the pilot to abandon the aircraft at a position estimated to be about three miles northeast of Maastricht. Aircraftman Patterson and the air observer, Sergeant Mansel, immediately abandoned the aircraft, and were considered to be missing until a report was received from an officer of No.1 Squadron that he had seen Aircraftman Patterson and Liege, and that he had sustained a broken ankle and a broken forearm, but that he was being looked after by the Belgians, and that they would inform the proper authorities in due course.

 

Pilot Officer Davy made a forced landing near St.Germainmont, and examination of the aircraft showed that it had been badly shot about, and the port petrol tank had ben perforated. The aircraft was the only one of five to return from this mission.

 

AC.1 Patterson is a Canadian, and recently applied for transfer to the Royal Canadian Air Force (12S/1101/P3 dated 6 April 1940). His application was then considered for consideration at a further date.

 

The same file (Air 2/4097) has recommendation for a DFC for P/O Thomas Daniel Humphrey Davy dated 13 May 1940 and this is quoted for the sake of a more complete story:

 

On 12 May 1940 volunteers were called for to form two sections of Battles to bomb bridges over the Albert Canal. Pilot Officer Davy was one of the volunteers in the section to bomb the bridge over the Albert Canal one mile west of Wilre.

 

In the face of intense machine-gun and light anti-aircraft fire, the bridge was bombed from southwest to northeast, but the result could not be observed. It was noticed, however, that the north end of the bridge was already extensively damaged. After delivering a dive-bombing attack on the bridge, Pilot Officer Davy's aircraft was attacked by a Me.109 from above. Pilot Officer Davy made a steep climbing turn into the clouds. The Me.109 attacked again, and after this attack Pilot Officer gained the impression that smoke was emerging from the Messerschmitt as seen through a gap in the cloud, and the attack was broken off. At this juncture, the Air Observer and Wireless Operator reported that white smoke was coming from the wing. Pilot Officer Davy then gave an executive order to the crew to jump clear at a position three miles northeast of Maastricht, and set a southwesterly course until he thought he had run out of petrol, when he made a forced landing near St.Germainmont, and about eight kilometres from his home aerodrome.

 


The aircraft was badly shot about, but there had been no fire, and the "white smoke" must have been petrol vapour. The aircraft still had about 20 gallons of petrol in the starboard tank, and was flown back to the squadron's aerodrome. This aircraft was the only one of five to return from this mission.

 

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PATTERSON, P/O Thomas Lawrence (41316) - Mention in Despatches - No.274 Squadron - awarded as per London Gazette dated 24 September 1941. From Toronto. Pupil Pilot, RAF, 29 October 1938; appointed Acting Pilot Officer on Probation, RAF, 14 December 1938; killed in action near Benghazi, 25 April 1941.

 

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PAWELKO, LAC Frank Thomas (581533) - Mention in Despatches - awarded as per London Gazette dated 17 September 1943. Born 1 April 1919. Transferred to RCAF at Naples, Italy, 1 March 1945, at which time he was identified as an Aero Engine Mechanic (R64043). Repatriated to Canada, 8 July 1945; released 22 August 1945. No details of award. AFRO 2198/43 dated 29 October 1943 (reporting Mention in Despatches) identified him as a Canadian in the RAF and stated that the award was "for distinguished service in the Mediterranean Air Command". NOTE: There appears to be an error somewhere; R64043 is the number assigned to John Joseph Pawelko who was a member of the RCAF throughout the war as an Airframe Mechanic and who proceeded no further overseas than Newfoundland. John Joseph Pawelko has no awards.

 

* * * * *

 

PEARSON, F/L William Burton (124680) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.512 Squadron - awarded as per London Gazette dated 2 February 1945. Born in New Brunswick. Served in the ranks of the RAF; trained in Canada. Air Ministry Bulletin 17307/AL.959 refers.

 

This officer has completed a number of successful sorties in connection with airborne operations and has invariably displayed a high degree of gallantry and resolution. On one occasion, in September 1944, he piloted an aircraft detailed to drop supplies to our troops in the vicinity of Arnhem. Whilst over the dropping zone considerable anti-aircraft fire was encountered. Flight Lieutenant Pearson's aircraft was hit and badly damaged. Nevertheless, this gallant pilot made two runs over the target to ensure that all his panniers were released. he afterwards flew the damaged aircraft to base and brought it down safely.

 

* * * * *

 

PENNINGTON, H., Corporal (number ?) - Mention in Despatches - awarded as per London Gazette dated 1 January 1941.

 


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PEPPER, P/O George (104585) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.29 Squadron - awarded as per London Gazette dated 18 September 1942. Born in Belleville, Ontario, November 1915; educated there. Enlisted in RAF, 1940. First mentioned in No.29 Squadron Operational Record Book, 15 December 1941 (searchlight patrol); served with that unit until 17 November 1942 (killed in flying accident). AFRO 1962/42 dated 4 December 1942 (reporting his death) described him as a Canadian in the RAF. Air Ministry Bulletin 8087 refers. Cards compiled by W/C F.H. Hitchins list many sorties; 26 June 1942, destroyed one He.111 over North Sea with Sergeant J.H. Toone (radar observer); 15 July 1942, damaged one Ju.88 (with Toone); 8 August 1942, one Ju.88 destroyed (with Toone); 20 August 1942, one He.177 destroyed (with Toone) 35 miles southeast of Beachy Head; 31 October 1942 (with Toone), three Do.217s destroyed.

 

Pilot Officer Pepper, as pilot, and Sergeant Toone, as radio observer, have been together in many night fighting operations. In August 1942 they destroyed a Junkers 88. Throughout their operations, Pilot Officer Pepper and Sergeant Toone have invariably displayed perfect teamwork and initiative.

 

PEPPER, F/O George (104585) - Bar to Distinguished Flying Cross - No.29 Squadron - awarded as per London Gazette dated 11 December 1942; cited with P/O Toone (DFC). Air Ministry Bulletin 8683 refers.

 

Flying Officer Pepper and Pilot Officer Toone flying together as pilot and observer have formed a perfect and successful night fighting team. They have destroyed at least six enemy aircraft. Their exceptional skill and determination have set a most inspiring example.

 

* * * * *

 

PERCIVAL, S/L John Fred (42378) - Mention in Despatches - awarded as per London Gazette dated 11 June 1942. Born 12 July 1915 in Winnipeg; home in Vancouver. Appointed Acting Pilot Officer on Probation, RAF, 22 July 1939. Involved with Ferry Command at No.111 OTU, Nassau in the summer of 1943; ferried Liberator BZ952 to Far East (at least as far as Karachi) in November 1943. Killed 19 April 1944 while serving with No.160 Squadron; buried in Columbo, Sri Lanka.

 

* * * * *

 


PHILPOT, F/L Oliver Lawrence Spurling (77137) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.42 Squadron - awarded as per London Gazette dated 1 July 1941. Born in Vancouver, 1913; in Oxford University Air Squadron, 1931-1934; commissioned in RAF, 1940. With No.269 Squadron in October-November 1940, apparently on attachment as he was on strength of No.42 Squadron as of 7 October 1940. Shot down, taken prisoner, but escaped; author of Stolen Journey. Air Ministry Bulletin 4270 refers. AFRO 1380/44 dated 30 June 1944 (announcing his MC) identified him as a Canadian in the RAF. No citation to DFC other than "for gallantry and devotion to duty in the execution of air operations". Public Record Office Air 2/8870 has recommendation dated 12 May 1941.

 

This officer was the pilot of a Beaufort aircraft taking part in a bombing attack on an enemy aerodrome and shipping in Norway on the night of 9/10th May 1941. In spite of considerable anti-aircraft fire and an enemy night fighter on his tail, he dived to about 200 feet and released his bombs, scoring hits in the target area. As he recovered from his dive, the aircraft was hit by anti-aircraft fire which killed the navigator and seriously wounded the wireless operator.

 

In spite of his compass having been hit also and rendered unserviceable, Pilot Officer Philpott brought his aircraft back and landed it safely on an aerodrome, even though the hydraulic controls had been shot away and he had the use of neither flaps nor undercarriage.

 

At the foot of this document is another note dated 12 May 1941, probably from the base commander:

 

I consider this crew deserving of special recognition. Each member displayed courage and determination of a high class. Their example must have effect on all here.

 

PHILPOT, F/L Oliver Lawrence Spurling (77137) - Military Cross - awarded as per London Gazette dated 16 May 1944, "in recognition of gallant and distinguished service." Air Ministry Bulletin 13978/AL.791 refers.

 

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PIDDINGTON, W/C James Arthur (39562) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.429 Squadron - awarded as per London Gazette dated 28 July 1944 with effect from 26 July 1943. Born in Montreal, 1914; home in Sydney, British Columbia. Served two years in Canadian Militia. Appointed Acting Pilot Officer on Probation, RAF, 8 July 1937. Flew Whitleys with No.77 Squadron, 18 January to 24 August 1940. AFRO 952/40 dated 6 December 1940 reported him being attached to the RCAF, effective 11 November 1940. AFRO 1431/441 dated 28 November 1941 reported that F/L J.A. Piddington ceased to be attached to RCAF as of 23 October 1941. AFRO 142/42 dated 30 January 1942 reported his promotion to Squadron Leader, effective 1 December 1941, while with an RAF school in Canada. Later flew with Nos.427 and 434 Squadron; appointed to command No.429 Squadron, 28 June 1943; killed in action, 28 July 1943. AFRO 1889/43 dated 17 September 1943 (reporting him missing) and AFRO 2052/44 dated 22 September 1944 (reporting his DFC) described him as a Canadian in the RAF. Air Ministry Bulletin 14869/AL.855 refers.

 


Wing Commander Piddington has flown on a large number of anti-submarine patrols, many of which have been long and hazardous. He has also participated in attacks on some of the enemy's most heavily defended targets. As captain of aircraft he has invariably displayed cool judgement and determination. He has set an inspiring example to his crew by his cheerfulness and devotion to duty.

 

* * * * *

 

PIKE, Sergeant Joseph Powell (798652) - Distinguished Flying Medal - No.115 Squadron - awarded as per London Gazette dated 15 June 1943. From Carbonear, Newfoundland. His identity as a Newfoundlander is confirmed by G.W.L. Nicholson, More Fighting Newfoundlanders (St.John's, published by the government of Newfoundland in 1969). Directorate of History and Heritage document 79/201 listing Newfoundlanders in the RAF gives date of enlistment 25 January 1941; demobilized as a Flight Lieutenant (146091), 11 May 1946. No published citation, but Ian Tavender records his recommendation dated 17 March 1944, found in Public Record Office Air 2/9259 in his book The Distinguished Flying Medal Register for the Second World War (London, Savannah Publications, 2000); Pike had flown seven sorties (48 hours 30 minutes):

 

This Non-Commissioned Officer has completed 26 operational sorties, several of them against the more heavily defended targets like Bremen, Duisburg, Kiel, Frankfurt and Dusseldorf. Sergeant Pike has always shown the greatest keenness to fly on operational missions and has always set an example of high courage and determination in the face of the enemy. He is an excellent Wireless Operator/Air Gunner.

 

* * * * *

 

PINHORN, S/L Anthony James (42468) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.206 Squadron - awarded as per London Gazette dated 27 February 1945. Born in Manitoba; educated there (according to awards card; see below). Appointed Acting Pilot Officer on Probation, RAF, 5 August 1939; served in No.269 Squadron, 9 July 1940 to 11 February 1942; missing, presumed dead, 6 January 1944, aged 28; commemorated on Runnymede Memorial. AFRO 410/44 dated 25 February 1944 (reporting him missing) and AFRO 625/45 dated 13 April 1945 (reporting DFC) both identified him as a Canadian in the RAF. Commonwealth War Graves Commission states he was "Son of Harold J. and G. Maud Pinhorn of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada". Air Ministry Bulletin 17616/AL.980/6 refers.

 

During his second tour of operational duty, Squadron Leader Pinhorn has taken part in a large number of operational sorties, including anti-submarine patrols and bombing attacks on targets in Norway. Since May 1943 this officer has served as Flight Commander and in that capacity has displayed fine administrative and flying ability, setting a splendid example to all under his command.

 

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PLANT, P/O James (40258) - Mention in Despatches - No.58 Squadron - awarded as per London Gazette dated 24 December 1946, at which time he was a member of the RCAF (C94065). Born 24 February 1914 in Winnipeg; home there. Educated in Winnipeg, 1920 to 1930, Hoover High School (Glendale, California), 1930-1933. Worked at an Indian Residential School at Gleichen, Alberta. Joned RAF, 24 August 1937 as Acting Pilot Officer on Probation. Attended Sywell Civil Flying School, 24 August to 23 October 1937 as pupil pilot; at Station Uxbridge, 24 October to 7 November 1937; at Flying Training School, Sealand, 8 November 1937 to 7 June 1938; at Station Manston on navigation course, 21 June to 22 August 1938; confirme as Pilot Officer, 23 August 1938; at Manston for parachute course, September 1938; with No.58 Squadron from September 1938 until shot down and taken prisoner, 20 June 1940 on his 19th sortie. Had been promoted to Flying Officer, 23 April 1940 and was promoted to Flight Lieutenant, 23 August 1941. Transferred to RCAF with effect from 24 November 1944. As he was still in captivity on that time, he must have done the paper work immediately upon liberation, although precisely why that date was chosen is unclear. Repatriated to Canada, 7 July 1945; released from RCAF, 13 June 1946. Served in postwar Militia (Royal Canadian Army Service Corps), 30 January 1948 to January 1969 1964, rising to rank of Major. On 10 April 1948 his wife wrote to the Minister of National Defence (without her husband's knowledge), asking for a citation. In this rare instance, Air Ministry provided one, requesting however that its contents should not be published. This was communicated to Mrs. Plant on 10 May 1948:

 

Flight Lieutenant Plant was forced to jump from his aircraft during a raid on Essen in June 1940. He was captured immeiately. he worked on unsuccessful tunnels at Stalag Luft I (Barth) from November 1940 until April 1942, when he escaped with two other officers. One was dressed as a German guard and he marched the other two through the camp gate. Flight Lieutenant Plant was recaptured a few hours later. Shortly after this his camp moved to Sagan and he worked on tunnels there until January 1945. He was liberated at Lubeck in May 1945. Flight Lieutenant Plant aided another officer in a successful escape from Stalag Luft I and has been commended by a Senior Officer for his work onthe escape organzation.

 

NOTE: In applying for campaign medals he applied for Atlantic Star on the basis of work assisting Coastal Command, 16 January to 18 March 1940 (convoy escort patrols, commencing 20 January 1940 hile based at Boscombe Down) and the Aircrew Europe Star on the basis of bomber sorties flown 19 March to June 1940 from Linton-on-Ouse (first sortie being against Oslo, 9 April 1940). On a form dated 2 July 1945 he claimed to have flown 150 operational hours and 400 non-operational hours.

 

* * * * *

 

PLAXTON, Sergeant Mairne Edwin (650538) - Distinguished Flying Medal - No.178 Squadron - awarded as per London Gazette dated 17 August 1943. Born in Victoria, 1914; home in British Columbia; former market gardener. Enlisted 1937; killed in action 11 February 1944 over Yugoslavia. DHist file 181.005 D.270 does not list him, but DHist file 181.005 D.271 does; as of late 1940 he was an Aircraft Hand (Flight Mechanic) with No.1 Wing, Hednesford. Air Ministry Bulletin 11132 refers.


...night in June 1943, Flight Engineer of aircraft attacking airfield at Comiso. Aircraft hit by flak, two of crew injured, fire near entrance hatch. Plaxton quelled flames, rendered efficient first aid to wounded comrades; also freed rear gunner who was trapped in turret. By his initiative and promptitude contributed materially to safe return.

 

NOTE: Ian Tavender records his recommendation, found in Public Record Office Air 2/4995, in his book The Distinguished Flying Medal Register for the Second World War (London, Savannah Publications, 2000). Name give as Nairne Edward Plaxton.

 

Sergeant Plaxton, on the night of 22nd/23rd June 1943, was detailed to fly as Flight Engineer to Sergeant Tattersall in Halifax BB357 "J", scheduled to attack Comiso aerodrome. The aircraft was hit and severely damaged by anti-aircraft fire over the target, a fire breaking out near the oxygen storage forward of the entrance hatch and two crew members were injured. Sergeant Plaxton, having first turned off the oxygen supply, went back and extinguished the fire. He then went forward again and attended to the wounded men, applying a tourniquet to 1116779 Sergeant J. Houston and making the other man as comfortable as possible. As contact had been lost with the rear gunner, Sergeant Plaxton went aft to investigate and found the doors of the turret had been damaged and were jammed. He successfully forced open the doors and helped the rear gunner out. The presence of mind and coolness, together with courage under exceptionally trying circumstances, which Sergeant Plaxton displayed was undoubtedly largely responsible for enabling his captain to pilot the aircraft to a safe landing.

 

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POLLARD, W/C Michael Evelyn (41615) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.114 Squadron - awarded as per London Gazette dated 22 September 1942. Born in Croydon, Surrey, 13 April 1920. Educated in Montreal and served as Trooper in 17th (Duke of York's) Royal Canadian Hussars. Appointed Acting Pilot Officer on Probation, RAF, 14 January 1939; graded as Flying Officer, 3 September 1940; promoted Flight Lieutenant, 28 August 1941; promoted Squadron Leader, 11 October 1941; promoted Wing Commander, 20 April 1942. Undertook aircrew training at No.1 EFTS and No.5 FTS, October 1938 to August 1939; with No.225 Squadron (Army-Co-Operation) Squadron, September 1939 to February 1941; No.117 OTU, February to August 1941 (staff pilot); No.114 Squadron, August 1941 to August 1942; No.130 Operational Training Unit, August 1942 to October 1943 (Chief Flying Instructor; see RCAF photographs PL-15784, PL-15785); No.107 Squadron as Commanding Officer, October 1943 to July 1944; No.2 Group Headquarters (Wing Commander Operations), August 1944 to May 1945. Transferred to RCAF (C89509), 17 November 1944. Repatriated to Canada, August 1945; Staff Officer at AFHQ/AMP/DPC, March 1946 to September 1949 (reverted to Squadron Leader on 31 March 1946 but promoted Wing Commander 1 June 1947); attended RCAF Staff College, September 1949 to June 1950; No.435 Squadron as Commanding Officer, July 1950 to October 1952; No.2 Fighter Wing. November 1952 to May 1953 (promoted Group Captain on 1 January 1953 and given command); Senior Air Staff Officer, No.1 Air Division, May 1953 to May 1955; Commanding Officer, Station Chatham, May 1955 to August 1957; Sector Commander, No.1 ADCC, August 1957 to October 1960; Director of Ground Control Environment Operations, Northern NORAD Region Headquarters, August 1960 to August 1962; Ottawa Air Defence Sector, Headquarters North Bay as Commander, August 1962 to 1965 (promoted Air Commodore, 15 August 1962); Director General Air Force Operations at National Defence Headquarters, 1965-66 (promoted Major-General); Commander, Air Defence Command and Northern NORAD Region (combined), 1966-1968; promoted to Lieutenant-General and appointed Comptroller General, 1 January 1969; subsequently retired. Died in Victoria, age 68, on 10 January 1986. Air Ministry Bulletin 8119/AL.416 refers. Public Records Office had recommendation dated 24 July 1942 when he had flown 53 sorties (156 hours ten minutes). The recommendation clearly comes from No.114 Squadron, but at Air Ministry level a typing error makes it "No.14 Squadron" and this is carried on to the London Gazette.

 

19 June to 4 January 1941 26 coastal anti-invasion reconnaissances carried out from first light at a distance 10-30 miles off shore along two beats stretching from Bognor Regis to Lands End (63 hours 40 minutes)

 

31 August 1941 Circus to Power Station at Lille,leading section (2 hours 45 minutes)

 

4 September 1941 Circus to docks at Cherbourg (3 hours 50 minutes)

 

8 September 1941 Shipping strike off Channel Islands. Fighter escort. Leading 9 Blenheims; two tugs towing barges escorted by two flakships attacked; two barges sunk (3 hours ten minutes)

 

11 September 1941 Shipping beat off Dutch coast. No shipping seen. (3 hours 15 minutes)

 

15 September 1941 Shipping beat off Borkum; unescorted; leading nine aircraft. Convoy of seven motor vessels escorted by two Me.109s and four flakships and one destroyer attacked. Formation credited with one motor vessel certain and one probable. Attacked by 109s. (3 hours 40 minutes)

 

17 September 1941 Circus to industrial plant, Mazingarbe, leading section (three hours)

 

20 September 1941 Circus to Cherbourg (3 hours 30 minutes)

 


13 October 1941 Circus to Mazingarbe leading box of six (two hours 45 minutes)

 

23 October 1941 Circus to Lannion, leading section (5 hours 10 minutes)

 

1 November 1941 Circus to Lannion, leading box of six (4 hours five minutes)

 

7 December 1941 Ostend docks from 12,000 feet, night (two hours 10 minutes)

 

27 December 1941 Low level raid on Herdla aerodrome, Norway in support of Vaargso operation, leading section (five hours)

 

11 January 1942 Sea search (two hours)

 

14 January 1942 Intruder on Schipol aerodrome, night (3 hours 15 minutes)

 

28 January 1942 Intruder on Schipol aerodrome, night (3 hours 10 minutes)

 

12 February 1942 Scharnhorst-Gneisenau, leading section, ships not located (2 hours 10 minutes)

 

8 March 1942 Intruder on Soesterburg aerodrome, night (3 hours 30 minutes)

 

13 March 1942 Intruder on Soesterburg aerodrome, night (2 hours 50 minutes)

 

28 March 1942 Meteorological reconnaissance off Norwegian coast for 4 Group operation on Trondheim (5 hours 35 minutes)

 

5 April 1942 Intruder on Soesterburg and De Kooya aerodromes, night (3 hours 45 minutes)

 

10 April 1942 Intruder on Soesterburg aerodrome, night (3 hours 15 minutes)

 


25 April 1942 Intruder on Leeuwarden aerodrome, night (3 hours 30 minutes)

 

30 May 1942 Intruder on Bonn aerodrome (near Cologne) in support of main attack on Cologne - 1,000 raid, night (5 hours 50 minutes)

 

1 June 1942 Intruder on Vechta aerodrome in support of main attack on Essen - 1,000 raid, night (5 hours 25 minutes)

 

5 June 1942 Bombing attack on Schipol aerodrome, night (two hours 50 minutes)

 

25 June 1942 Bremen bombed in company with heavy force (1,000 raid), night (5 hours 10 minutes)

 

26 June 1942 Low level, Herdla, abandoned, engine cut (one hour 20 minutes)

 

This officer has carried out many different types of operations against the enemy both by day and night.

 

In September 1941 he led a formation of nine Blenheims on a low level attack against tugs and barges. Despite an escort of flakships which put up a heavy barrage he led his formation into the attack and two barges were sunk.

 

Again in the same month he led a formation of nine Blenheims on a low level attack against seven motor vessels. On this occasion the convoy was not only escorted by four flakships and one destroyer but was also protected by a patrol of two Messerschitt 109s which attacked the formation. Undeterred by this opposition, a most determined attack was carried out, resulting in the certain destruction of one motor vessel and the probable destruction of another.

 

Between September and December 1941 he led many formations on Circus operations during which time he displayed a very high sense of leadership. At the beginning of 1942 the squadron started intruder operations and during these operations I cannot speak too highly of the courage displayed by Wing Commander Pollard and of his determination to find and attack the target. He often spent long periods over enemy territory at very low altitudes in his effort to locate the target. Never, after finding it, and often despite very heavy anti-aircraft fire and searchlght activity, did he fail to pierce the defences and complete his attack.

 


He took over command of the squadron on 18th April 1942, immediately after two squadron commanders had been lost. By his personal example, fine leadership and cheerfulness he not only maintained but raised the morale of his squadron and imbued them with a real fighting spirit.

 

This was refined, for Air Ministry Honours and Awards Committee, to the following (also published the AMB 8119):

 

This officer has carried out many different types of operations against the enemy both by day and night. In September 1941 he led a formation of nine Blenheims on a low level attack against tugs and barges escorted by armed ships. In the face of a heavy barrage two barges were sunk. In the same month he led a similar formation in a low flying attack against seven merchant vessels escorted by four armed ships and one destroyer and protected by a patrol of two Messerschmitt 109s. Undeterred by the opposition, a most determined attack was made and one merchant vesel was certainly sunk and another probably destroyed. On other occasions he has participated in low level attacks on enemy aerodromes as well as in intruder sorties. Acting Wing Commander Pollard has displayed great leadership, a fine fighting spirit and high devotion to duty.

 

POLLARD, W/C Michael Evelyn (41615) - Air Force Cross - awarded as per London Gazette dated 1 January 1944.

 

POLLARD, W/C Michael Evelyn (41615) - Distinguished Service Order - No.107 Squadron - awarded as per London Gazette dated 29 August 1944. DHist card says the citation was not published in the London Gazette; not clear where it was obtained. Air Ministry Bulletin 15401/AL.863 refers.

 

This officer has led numerous successful attacks against enemy airfields, military installations, convoys and lines of communications. More recently, since the invasion of France, he has completed six particularly harassing patrols at night over Normandy and in addition has led six aircraft in attacks on enemy fuel trains at Chatellerault. In spite of the darkness the trains were located and a telling low level attack delivered. Throughout, Wing Commander Pollard has set a splendid example of courage and leadership.

 

NOTE: The following is the text of an RCAF Press Release issued by RCAF Overseas Quarters on 24 March 1943 (numbered 1698):

 

"Flying frightened me. I thought I would be chucked out for nearly ruining the Chief Flying Instructor before I was hardly in", grinned the good-looking, boyish figure with a sleeve-load of broad stripes and a DFC ribbon under his wings, as he watched twin-engine trainers take off outside his aerodrome office.

 


Subsequent events have since proven that Wing Commander Michael E. Pollards's misgivings were only a temporary condition. The Montreal youth has totally qualified himself in action through flying ability and courage to not only gain the Distinguished Flying Cross, but also to become the "CFI" - Chief Flying Instructor, himself. He also has the distinction of having been the youngest officer of Wing Commander rank in the Royal Air Force. Pollard was only a matter of two days beyond his 22nd birthday when he put up his third stripe to become a Wing Commander. With it went command of a Blenheim bomber squadron. His record has since been eclipsed with the promotion of the fighter ace, the late Wing Commander "Paddy" Finucane, DSO, DFC and Bar who was six months past 21 when he became Wing Commander (Flying) of a fighter wing.

 

Life has shed its hectic moments for Pollard of late, and proceeds at a more even tempo than he is ordinarily accustomed to. His present capacity is that of Chief Flying Instructor at an Operational Training Unit, a highly important job, but his wish is that it will soon he "ops" again.

 

"Intruding, that's my idea of something" said Pollard. "It's the most fascinating work, in my book, of any air force job, even if it does get more than a little terrifying at times. Mossies are really my idea of something."

 

There are plenty of intruder sorties penned in Mike Pollard's log book. He made many flight into enemy territory in that role, and never lacked for excitement.

 

Preceding the big bombers on their way to Germany became a frequent task. Their job was to stir up trouble at the enemy night fighter dromes, bombing them to distract the enemy night fighters when the bombers passed en route to their targets.

 

"On the 1,000-bomber raid on Cologne we went out 20 or 30 minutes ahead of the bombers and bombed the enemy aerodromes in relays," said Pollard. "It worked. "We also went ahead on the Essen raid and the other big sorties, to pave the way for the heavies. We had to pick our way gingerly through heavily defended areas, but it was mighty good sport while it lasted."

 

Pollard doesn't talk much about personal achievement, but an Air Ministry citation gives brief details of incidents leading up to the awarding of his "gong".

 

"This officer has carried out many different types of operations against the enemy both night and day", the citation reads. "In September 1941 he led a formation of nine Blenheims on a low level attack against tugs and barges escorted by armed ships. In the face of a heavy barrage two barges were sunk. In the same month he led a similar formation in a low flying attack against seven merchant vessels escorted by four armed ships and one destroyer and protected by a patrol of two Messerschmitt 109s. Undeterred by the opposition, a most determined attack was made and one merchant vessel was certainly sunk and another probably destroyed. On other occasions he has participated in low level attacks on enemy aerodromes as well as in intruder sorties."

 


"No", smiled Pollard, in retelling the incident, "We did not attack the destroyer. We had enough work on our hands when we went in, right on the deck. When our other section went in four minutes later they found absolute chaos in the immediate vicinity. We didn't have much change to take stock ourselves. Things were a bit too hot".

 

The Herdla raid [27 December 1941 - see Martin Middlebrook, The Bomber Command Diaries], in the Bergen area, was productive of plenty of action for Pollard's Blenheim squadron. He was a flight commander at the time and led one section. His Commanding Officer, Wing Commander Frank Jenkins, was awarded the DSO through his actions on that occasion.

 

"We swept in from the North Sea and attacked the aerodrome at mid-day", said Pollard. "The German fighters saw us coming and prepared to take off. We went in low to drop our bombs. One German fighter was just getting airborne when an eleven-second delayed action bomb went off right underneath the aircraft. It not only finished him, but changed their minds about taking off. They didn't bother after that."

 

The urge to fly possessed Pollard, like so many other schoolboys, at an early age. He became RAF-minded when he was twelve, and that was an objective as he progressed through school. Perhaps becoming a model aeroplane builder while attending Montreal High School kindled that ambition.

 

Just turned 18 when he matriculated from Montreal High, he lost no time in paving the way for an air force career. By October 1938 he was in England and enrolled in the RAF under the Canadian entrance scheme.

 

"There were about 15 of us from Canada who arrived at the same time", said Pollard. "I had never flown before. My own service training had been with the 17th Duke of York Hussars the year before in Montreal. I was a Trooper then. When war broke out, less than a year later, I was a Pilot Officer flying Lysanders with an Army Cooperation squadron. Those early days, as far as I am concerned, were mostly taken up with manoeuvres."

 

In January 1941, Pollard was posted to Bomber Command and was sent to a heavy Operational Training Unit to convert. Then volunteers were asked for to participate in coastal attacks. Pollard cast his lot in that direction.

 


"We were operational in August 1941, and ran into heavy casualties. First thing I knew I was a Flight Lieutenant by September." By that time he was midway past 21. The squadron was involved in constant heavy action in those days, and it was sustained during the winter. Pollard had just passed his 22nd birthday in April 1942 when he became Commanding Officer. Another Canadian, Squadron Leader "Chuck" Gauthier, was a Flight Commander; an Australian led the other.

 

With change of command came change of times. The squadron switched to night intruder operations. It was still on that type of work when Pollard was given his operational rest and sent to an Operational Training Unit as Chief Flying Instructor. A little of that goes a long way, and Pollard holds hopes of getting back to "ops" again.

 

The place of Pollard's birth is given as Croydon, England, but Mike doesn't recall much of that. The fact is that his parents were living in Shanghai at the time, his father, Robert Pollard, being in the tea business. He was born while his mother was on a short visit to England. Spending the first five years of his life in Shanghai doesn't bring very clear recollections for young Mike. After that his family were in England for eighteen months before moving to Montreal, their present home.

 

After the war, what ? That can be quite a problem for a youth who went straight out of school and into the turmoil of war. Pollard had been good in the executive sense as well as at the controls. His thoughts are in the direction of a job with one of the big oil companies, but he does not forget the job at hand.

 

Win the war first. That's the main idea. All through school, which started at Barclay School in Park Avenue Extension, Montreal, and carried on into Montreal High School, he made a go of it. Scholarships came his way. He's made a success of the air force, too, so let the future take care of itself. That's the Pollard psychology.

 

* * * * *

 

POOLE, AC1 J.O. (?) - Mention in Despatches - awarded as per London Gazette dated 1 January 1943.

 

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POWELL, W/C John Alexander (36122) - Officer, Order of the British Empire - awarded as per London Gazette dated 1 January 1941. Born in Maidstone, Kent, 1909; educated at St.George's School (Quebec), Lachine High School, Montreal and Mauro College, Jamaica. Commissioned in RAF on graduation from Cranwell, 27 July 1929; Flight Lieutenant in 1935, Squadron Leader in 1938, Wing Commander 1 December 1940, Group Captain 1 September 1942. Commended by Air Council, August 1932 for initiative and courage in swimming to the aid of an airman and supporting him until help arrived. Engaged in flying and instructional duties until 1937 when attached to Rhodesian Air Force for special duty. Appointed Commanding Officer of No.149 Squadron in November 1940. Killed in action 18 August 1944 flying a Mustang in Yugoslavia. No published citation to OBE; for services in Rhodesia.

 


POWELL, W/C John Alexander (36122) - Distinguished Service Order - No.149 Squadron - awarded as per London Gazette dated 4 February 1941. Air Ministry Bulletin 2901 refers.

 

One night in January 1941, this officer was detailed to carry out an attack on the oil storage plant and refinery at Porto Marghera [Italy]. Flying over his target, at a height of 700 feet, he scored a direct hit on the refinery. He then made a second run over the target in the face of considerable anti-aircraft opposition and dropped two more bombs on the now fiercely burning building. Wing Commander Powell then flew on to Padua, where the aerodrome was machine gunned from an exceedingly low altitude. He has displayed outstanding leadership, skill and courage in all his operational missions, and by his untiring efforts has raised the morale of his squadron to a high standard.

 

NOTE: Public Record Office Air 2/10175 has the original recommendation for this award, raised by Group Captain F.J. Fogarty (Officer Commanding, RAF Station Mildenhall) on 14 January 1941. This began as a suggested Distinguished Flying Cross:

 

On the night of 12/13th January 1941, Wing Commander J.A. Powell, No.149 Squadron, Navigator Sergeant Osborne, was detailed to attack the oil storage plant and refinery at Porto Marghera.

 

He located his target, and particularly the oil refinery, which was at the south-western end of the eastern half of the target.

 

He then dropped a 1,000-pound bomb from 700 feet which hit a large building with many pipes all round in the middle of the refinery. Greyish white smoke and flames rose 400 feet in the air. He then did another run at 4,000 feet and dropped two 500 pound bombs which burst on the fire already burning and greatly increased the area of the fire.

 

During this time there was a considerable amount of light and heavy flak.

 

Wing Commander Powell then went along the railway line to Padua at 50 feet, noting traffic on the way, and dropped his Nickels [pamphlets] over Padua at this height. He then went on to the aerodrome at Padua where at 20 feet the front and rear gunners shot up the hangars and buildings in spite of four light flak guns with exceptionally low elevation and two machine guns firing at the. Each gun fired 2-300 rounds S.A.A. during this attack.

 

Wing Commander Powell's careful planning and fine leadership in this operation enabled other aircraft of his squadron to press home their attacks at low level, thus carrying out a highly successful operation in which very heavy damage was done to the oil storage plant at Porto Marghera. Including this operation this officer has taken part in seven operational flights involving 54 hours.

 


POWELL, G/C John Alexander (36122) - Mention in Despatches - awarded as per London Gazette dated 17 March 1943.

 

POWELL, G/C John Alexander (36122) - Distinguished Flying Cross (United States) - awarded as per London Gazette dated 28 July 1944.

 

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POWELL, Flight Sergeant Leonard Arthur (940174) - Distinguished Flying Medal - No.48 Squadron - awarded as per London Gazette dated 11 February 1944. Born in Montreal, 15 August 1915; apprenticed builder in London (which he gave as his home); enlisted 1939; trained as Wireless Operator/Air Gunner. Subsequently commissioned (161628), serving in Ferry Command, June to October 1944 (Dakota movements overseas). Air Ministry Bulletin 12872/AL.748 refers.

 

Throughout two tours of operations has set a high standard of discipline and devotion to duty. In May 1942 when his aircraft was attacked by a Ju.88 off Norway he shot the enemy aircraft down into the sea. A few days later by his accurate fire he frustrated n attack on his aircraft by three enemy fighters. An excellent air gunner, has invariably displayed courage and determination and, although he has taken part in several hazardous flights, his keenness for operational flying remains undiminished.

 

NOTE: Ian Tavender records his recommendation, dated 10 November 1943, found in Public Record Office Air 2/8828, in his book The Distinguished Flying Medal Register for the Second World War (London, Savannah Publications, 2000). Powell was credited with 230 sorties (1,075 operational hours).

 

Flight Sergeant Powell was posted to this squadron on 12th May 1943, for his second tour of operations. Throughout both tours of operations, he has set a high standard of discipline and devotion to duty. During the period of his 1,075 operational hours [he] has been involved in several hazardous flights. On 1st May 1942 his aircraft was attacked by a Junkers 88 off Norway which he shot down into the sea from his rear turret. A few days later, his aircraft was again attacked by three Junkers 88s which were unable to close with the aircraft, partly on account of his accurate fire. In March 1942, he took part in a shipping strike with Pilot Officer [J.C.W.] Bruce (pilot) and saw three bombs hit the ship in Subo Harbour (Norway). Flight Sergeant Powell has again shown his determination and keenness for operations at all times, thereby setting a high standard of self-example to the rest of the squadron.

 

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POWLEY, S/L Francis Sidney (39601) - Air Force Cross - India - awarded as per London Gazette dated 1 January 1942. Born in British Columbia, 1915; educated in Kelowna. Pupil pilot in RAF, 1937; appointed Acting Pilot Officer on Probation, RAF, 15 March 1937. Killed in action while commanding No.153 Squadron, 4 April 1945. AFRO 824/45 dated 18 May 1945 (reporting his death) described him as a Canadian in the RAF. Public Record Office Air 2/6269 has citation, drafted when he was a Flight Lieutenant.

 

This officer has shown commendable keenness and energy during the past year whilt employed at the F.T.S. [Flying Training School ?]. As an instructor there he has flown 625 hours. He has also been responsible for armament training and has set an excellent example to the numerous pupils that have passed through his hands.

 

POWLEY, S/L Francis Sidney (39601) - Distinguished Force Cross - No.166 Squadron - awarded as per London Gazette dated 18 January 1944. Air Ministry Bulletin 12623/AL.70 refers. No citation other than "completed many successful operations against the enemy in which he has displayed high skill, fortitude and devotion to duty." Public Records Office Air 2/9153 has recommendation (undated but circa 16 November 1943 when he had flown 21 sorties (109 operational hours):

 

13 July 43 Aachen 23 Sept 43 Mannheim

24 July 43 Hamburg 29 Sept 43 Bochum

25 July 43 Essen 1 Oct 43 Hagen

27 July 43 Hamburg 3 Oct 43 Kassel

29 July 43 Hamburg 7 Oct 43 Stuttgart

12 Aug 43 GARDENING 8 Oct 43 Hanover

15 Aug 43 GARDENING 22 Oct 43 Kassel

2 Sept 43 GARDENING 3 Nov 43 Dusseldorf

5 Sept 43 GARDENING 12 Nov 43 Modane

8 Sept 43 Boulogne 18 Nov 43 Berlin

18 Sept 43 GARDENING

 

Since the award of the Air Force Cross for the work he has carried out in training pilots, Squadron Leader Powley has taken part in 21 sorties against all kinds of targets in enemy territory. The great determination he has displayed has invariably enabled his crew to overcome all the difficulties of enemy opposition and adverse weather, enabling them always to reach and attack their target. His courage and skill as captain of aircraft have proved a source of inspiration to the Flight he commands, and contributed greatly to the success achieved by other crews in the squadron. His conduct under all circumstances well merits the award of the Distinguished Flying Cross.

 

To this, the Officer Commanding RAF Station Kirmington adds (17 November 1943):

 


Throughout his operational tour Squadron Leader Powley has displayed outstanding qualities of courage in the face of the enemy, zeal in the performance of his duties and leadership. Included in this officer's operational tour are three faultless attacks on the nights of the 24th, 27th and 29th July 1943, over Hamburg. Not content with this, however, Squadron Leader Powley by way of diversion elected to attack that most heavily defended of all targets in Germany -Essen on the night of the 25th July 1943. This effort typified the tremendous energy and courageous determination of this officer whom I strongly recommend for the award of the Distinguished Flying Cross.

 

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PRIOR, F/L Garfield Wallace (37611) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.10 Squadron - awarded as per London Gazette dated 22 October 1940. Born in Indian Head, Saskatchewan, 1914; educated there and father living there. Appointed Acting Pilot Officer on Probation, RAF, 2 March 1936; with No.97 Squadron on outbreak of war; with No.10 Squadron, 15 September 1939 to 2 November 1940. Attained rank of Squadron Leader effective 1 September 1941 (reported in AFRO 1105/41 dated 26 September 1941 when with an RAF school in Canada; killed in action 22 November 1943 with No.218 Squadron. AFRO 55/44 dated 14 January 1944 (reporting him missing) described him as a Canadian in the RAF. Air Ministry Bulletin 2035 refers. Cards compiled by W/C F.H. Hitchins (held at Directorate of History and Heritage) detail his sorties with No.10 Squadron. No published citation other than "for gallantry and devotion to duty displayed in the execution of air operations." Public Record Office Air 2/9489 has a remarkably detailed recommendation which was drafted on 20 August 1940.

 

This officer has completed 24 missions over enemy territory. Seven completely successful ones were as second pilot to Group Captain W.E. Staton, DSO, MC, DFC. Since then he has completed the following nine successful missions as Captain of aircraft.

 

30th June The marshalling yard at Hamm was successfully attacked from a height of 6,000 feet. Bursts were observed within the target area. Heavy flak was encountered and searchlight activity was intense.

 

13th July The aluminum works at Monheim were successfully attacked and bombs were observed to burst on a corner of the target; they could not be accurately pinpointed on account of the weather conditions. Anti-aircraft fire was moderate, but active searchlight opposition was encountered.

 

20th July The target on this occasion was an aircraft factory at Wenzendorf. Four attacks were made, all of which were successful. Many fires were seen to be burning when this aircraft left the target area. Heavy flak was experienced and the aircraft was slightly damaged, without, however, any casualties being caused. On the homeward journey a severe electrical storm was encountered, and the wireless aerial was fused when running through this.

 


22nd July The aircraft factory at Bremen was successfully attacked. Three runs were made, and a large number of fires were seen to break out after this attack. Heavy anti-aircraft fire was encountered, but without any casualties being sustained.

 

2nd August The objective on this occasion was the oil plant at Salzbergen. This was successfully attacked from a height of 9,000 feet, and fires were seen to immediately break out. Anti-aircraft fire and searchlight activity were experienced, but the aircraft returned safely to base.

 

5th August The task on this occasion was the bombing of the aircraft factory at Weismar. Three attacks were made and these were immediately followed by large explosions and many fires. Very heavy anti-aircraft fire was experienced, and the aircraft was damaged by shrapnel in the front turret, but no member of the crew was injured.

 

13th August The Fiat Works at Turin were successfully attacked. On this occasion the captain was flying with a strange crew, but despite this handicap he attacked his objective and large explosions and many fires were the result. Anti-aircraft fire was experienced, but this did not prove accurate enough to be disturbing.

 

16th August The objective was the Zeiss Works at Zena. These were successfully attacked in three runs, and fires were observed to break out in the works immediately after these attacks. Anti-aircraft fire and searchlights were encountered.

 

18th August An aerodrome at Hasheim was chosen as an alternative target, and this was successfully attacked. Several buildings were struck by the bombs, and three fires were started.

 

This officer is a reliable and experienced member of the squadron. He has done consistently good work and displayed considerable keenness, determination and operational ability.

 

On 22 August 1940 the Commanding Officer, RAF Station Leeming, added his remarks:

 

This officer is doing consistently good and successful work. He displays great skill in the handling of his aircraft, particularly as to its actual flying and its navigation. His integrity and devotion to duty is an example to the younger members of the squadron. I strongly recommend this award.

 

On 29 August 1940 a Group Captain (name illegible) at Headquarters, No.4 Group, Bomber Command, added the following minute:

 


This pilot has on a great number of occasions, both as second pilot and Captain of aircraft, carried out most valuable work during operations over enemy country. His determination to do his best has been most praiseworthy and a fine example to other members of his squadron. Strongly recommended for the award of the Distinguished Flying Cross.

 

The above were all boiled down into a citation submitted to Air Ministry Awards Section which read as follows:

 

This officer has completed 24 flights over enemy territory both as second pilot and as captain of aircraft. These include raids on the marshalling yards at Hamm, the aluminum works at Monheim, aircraft factories at Wenzendorf, Bremen and Weismar, the oil plant at Salzbergen, the Fiat works at Turin, the Zeiss works at Zena, and an aerodrome at Hasheim. All of these raids were successful, causing fires and explosions. Flying Officer Prior has maintained a high standard of work and by his conscientiousness, keenness and ability has set a fine example to his squadron.

 

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PROCTOR, S/L James Richard Eastam (42435) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.120 Squadron - awarded as per London Gazette dated 20 August 1943. Born in Victoria, 1912; educated at Royal Masonic School, Bushey. Appointed Acting Pilot Officer on Probation, RAF, 5 August 1939. Air Ministry Bulletin 11189 refers.

 

...has been on operations since October 1940, including four months in Middle East flying on reconnaissance and shipping strikes in Mediterranean. Has also done reconnaissances over Norwegian coast and many Atlantic convoy patrols, operating from Iceland during winter in very adverse weather. Has made four attacks on U-Boats. Attacking a surfaced U-Boat with cannon fire, against heavy opposition, forced it to submerge. An exceptional pilot; has displayed great skill and enthusiasm throughout a long period.

 

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PRYDE, F/O David Douglas (39564) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.77 Squadron - awarded as per London Gazette dated 11 June 1940. Home in Winnipeg. Appointed Acting Pilot Officer on Probation, RAF, 8 March 1937. Killed in action, 9 June 1942 (Bay of Biscay patrol). Public Records Office Air 2/4094 has original recommendation dated 1 June 1940. NOTE: Check newspapers for confirmation of Canadian connection; Commonwealth War Graves Commission records state he was the son of the Reverend John Marshall Pryde, BD and Jean Marshall Pryde of Kilreny, Manse, Anstruther. Pryde is not in original cards compiled by W/C Hitching and may be an Allison "find". Royal Air Force Personnel Management Agency, in a letter to H.A. Halliday dated 16 July 1999, stated that he was born in Crieff, Fifeshrire, Scotland in 1918.

 


On the 20th May 1940, Flying Officer Pryde was detailed for a collaboration operation involving an attack on the communication centre at Hannapes. Conditions were difficult but he eventually identified his target from a very low altitude. The aircraft was then heavily hit at 800 feet but the captain continued his climb to 3,000 feet and there executed a successful bombing attack. His aircraft by then had caught fire but he continued flying it until height could no longer be maintained. All the crew had then to abandon aircraft by parachute.

 

This example of courage and determination has come at the end of six months of war flying during which Flying Officer Pryde has completed 16 operational flights. Both as a second pilot and as captain he has shown courage and dash and the spirit in which he tackles his flights is an infectious stimulant to all who work with him.

 

This was further refined for the Air Ministry Honours and Awards Committee to read as follows:

 

On 20th May 1940, this officer was detailed for a collaboration operation involving an attack on the communication centre at Hannapes. Despite difficult conditions, he succeeded in identifying the target from a very low altitude. Although his aircraft was hit heavily, Flying Officer Pryde climbed to 3,000 feet and executed a successful bombing attack. His aircraft subsequently caught fire, but he continued flying and when height could no longer be maintained, the entire crew landed by parachute. Flying Officer Pryde has completed sixteen operational flights during six months of war flying and has displayed considerable courage and determination.

 

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PUBLICOVER, S/L Ernest Frank (42881) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.547 Squadron - awarded as per London Gazette dated 29 May 1945. Born 31 October 1920 in Hubbards, Nova Scotia; trained at Halifax Aero Club; Pupil Pilot with the RAF, 14 August to 22 October 1939 (Hatfield); granted Short Service Commission as Acting Pilot Officer on Probation, 23 October 1939 with effect from 14 August 1939; graded as Pilot Officer on probation, 18 May 1940; confirmed as Pilot Officer, 14 August 1940; promoted Flying Officer, 18 May 1941; promoted Flight Lieutenant, 18 May 1942; transferred to RCAF, 10 October 1944 (C89502). Postings after Hatfield as follows: No.3 Initial Training School, Hastings, 23 October to 6 November 1939; No.9 Service Flying Training School, 6 November 1939 to 13 May 1940; School of General Reconnaissance, 20 May to 17 August 1940; No.220 Squadron, 17 August 1940 to 15 September 1941 (first sortie on 6 September 1940), RAF Station Silloth, 15 September 1941 to uncertain date (test pilot); RAF Station Winslow, dates uncertain; No.31 Operational Training Unit (Canada), 29 October 1941 (instructor, staff pilot, flight commander; participated in Naval Cooperation Course, Halifax); to No.31 Personnel Depot, Moncton, 2 December 1943 for return to Britain at his request; arrived in Britain on 31 January 1943; No.1674 Heavy Conversion Unit, 22 January 1944 for Fortress conversion until 18 February 1944; attached to No.111 OTU, Nassau, 25 March to 14 June 1944 for Liberator conversion; No.31 OTU, Canada, 14-26 June 1944 (this may have been for leave purposes only); to No.1674 Heavy Conversion Unit (again), 21 July 1944; to No.206 Squadron, 24 July 1944 (Deputy Flight Commander; conducted BABS Course); with No.547 Squadron, 6 January to 19 June 1945 (Flight Commander, Squadron Training Officer; radar and Leigh Light courses). Repatriated to Canada on 9 July 1945. Although he initially intended to be released, he changed his mind and stayed with the RCAF, being posted to Eastern Air Command (26 April 1946), Air Navigation School (10 May 1946), No.426 Squadron (30 September 1946 to 9 June 1947), Camp Borden (10 June to 20 December 1947), No.103 Search and Rescue Unit, Greenwood (21 December 1947 to 10 May 1948), No.123 Search and Rescue Unit, Vancouver (11 May to 27 July 1948), No.103 Search and Rescue Unit, Greenwood, 28 July 1948 to 25 July 1949), Station Summerside (26 July 1949 to 28 August 1950), Air Force Headquaretrs, Ottawa, (29 August 1950 to 31 August 1952), RCAF Staff College (1 Sepember 1952 to 4 May 1953), Maritime Group Headquartrs, Halifax (5 May 1953 to 3 August 1957) (Air Force Headquarters, 4 August 1947 to 4 April 1961), Officer Commanding, Regular Support for No.418 (Auxiliary) Squadron (5 April 1961 to 15 April 1963); Cntral Experiemtal and Proving Establishemnt, 16 April 1963 to retirement, 24 October 1965. He had reverted to Flight Lieutenant on 1 October 1946 and regained his Squadron Leader rank on 1 June 1949.

 

This officer who has completed a very large number of sorties has displayed skill and determination of a high standard. His keenness to engage the enemy has always been apparent and he has taken part in numerous successful attacks on enemy shipping. One night in March 1943, Squadron Leader Publicover executed a most determined attack on an enemy U-Boat. This officer is an extremely efficient Flight Commander whose work both in the air and on the ground has won much praise.

 

NOTE: On a form dated 15 October 1945 he 954 hours 40 minutes of non-operational flying ( 77 hours 35 minutes single engine time, 877 hours five minutes multi-engine) and about 800 hours on operations (all on multi-engine work). He gave the following times for types: Liberator (400 hours), Hudson (800), Wellington (20), Lysander (20), Anson (300), Oxford (50), Moth (77), others (100).

 

* * * * *

 

PURDY, P/O Phillip Hannah (41738) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.263 Squadron - awarded as per London Gazette dated 10 May 1940. Born in St.Stephen, New Brunswick, 25 October 1918. Appointed Acting Pilot Officer on Probation, RAF, 4 March 1939; confirmed as Pilot Officer, September 1939. Reported to No.263 Squadron, 2 October 1939; accompanied the squadron to Norway during the campaign in that country. Lost in sinking of HMS Glorious, 8 June 1940. Air Ministry Bulletin 642 refers. Public Records Office Air 2/9413 has material on awards arising from this campaign.

 

This officer led a successful attack against enemy Heinkel 111 aircraft. He also showed bravery in remaining in his cockpit whilst subjected to a bombing attack by three enemy aircraft, and only abandoned his aircraft when it was set on fire by a bomb bursting nearby. He received serious burns but insisted on helping to start two other aircraft in the face of enemy machine gun fire.

 

* * * * *

 


PUSHMAN, S/L George Rupert (42260) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.88 Squadron - awarded as per London Gazette dated 17 October 1944, with effect from 10 October 1944. Born in Ottawa, 12 May 1918; educated there. Pupil Pilot, RAF, 1 May to 23 June 1939. Granted Short Service Commission as Acting Pilot Officer on probation, 24 June 1939 with effect from 1 May 1939; confirmed as Pilot Officer, 16 June 1940; promoted Flying Officer, 16 June 1941; Acting Flight Lieutenant, 28 April 1942; confirmed as Flight Lieutenant, 16 June 1942; Acting Squadron Leader, 12 March 1944; transferred to RCAF, 29 March 1945 (C94019). Postings as follows: No.1 RAF Depot, 24 June 1939; No.8 FTS, 8 July 1939; No.1 Receiving Centre, 16 September 1939 (supernumerary); RAF College, 7 March 1940 (supernumerary); No.2 School of Army Cooperation, 16 June 1940; No.5 OTU, 22 June 1940; No.23 Squadron, 6 July 1940; Cranage (?), 7 April 1941; No.23 Squadron, 17 May 1941; No.31 Air Navigation School, Canada, 21 August 1941; to Ferry Command, 21 January 1942; back in Britain as of 1 April 1942; Headquarters, Fighter Command, 13 April 19942; Headquarters, No.14 Group, 28 April 1942; Headquarters, No.10 Group, 14 August 1942; No.88 Squadron, 28 June 1943; Headquarters, No.2 Group, 1 August 1944; RCAF Overseas Headquarters, 28 March 1945; transcerred to RCAF, 29 March 1945 (C94019); repatriated 7 August 1945; released 5 March 1946. Home in Guilford, Surrey at time of award. Ferried Hudson FH248 to Britain, March 1942. AFRO 25343/44 dated 24 November 1944 (announcing his DFC) described him as Canadian in the RAF and says he trained at No.31 ANS (he had been on staff there). Released on 5 March 1946.

 

Squadron Leader Pushman has completed many successful sorties in fighter and bomber aircraft, consisting of low level and smoke laying daylight operations as well as night attacks on communications in support of the land armies. His most notable low level achievement was at Rennes when he obtained excellent results. He led his wing in a highly successful attack on a target near Caen and on D Day he laid a smoke screen to cover the eastern flank of the disembarkation. His work has always been notable for its high standard. He has displayed coolness, courage and efficiency irrespective of enemy opposition. His leadership and skill have been an inspiration to other crews.

 

NOTE: On a form dated 18 July 1945 he stated he had flown two operational and two non-operational tours (195 operational and 855 non-operational hours). He had flown 75 sorties (the last in July 1944). He gave the flowing types as flown: Blenheim I (325), Havoc and Boston (400), Others(325).

 

In applying for operational wing, he listed his sorties with No.235 Squadron. All were uneventful Blenheim sorties, 41 in all, 23 July to 14 October 1940.

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RADCLIFFE, P/O William Gordon (53561) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.617 Squadron - Awarded as per London Gazette dated 23 May 1944. Born in New Westminster, 4 September 1919; home and education there to 1938 (auto mechanic). Joined RAF as ground crew (mechanic), 14 April 1939. Trained at No.4 School of Technical Training; with No.56 Squadron, December 1939 to April 1941; Cosford Training Wing, April to June 1941 (Fitter Course); unidentified Servicing Echelon, June 1941 to June 1942 (fitter). Remustered to aircrew (Flight Engineer; trained at No.4 School of Technical Training, June to September 1942); with No.97 Squadron, September 1942 to March 1943; with No.617 Squadron, March 1943 to 4 August 1944; instructor, No.1654 Conversion Unit, 5 August to 7 October 1944; instructor, No.4 School of Technical Training, 8 October to 8 December 1944. In Transport Command, 15 January 1945 to June 1945; No.5 OTU, June 1945 to September 1945. Transferred to RCAF, 23 February 1945 (C89583); repatriated 27 February 1945; released 12 September 1945. Reengaged in Auxiliary, 25 October 1951; drowned accidentally, 5 July 1952, while a member of RCAF Auxiliary (58369) while Recruiting Officer with No.19 Wing, Vancouver. Air Ministry Bulletin 14007/AL.805 refers. No citation other than "..has completed many successful operations against the enemy in which he has displayed high skill,fortitude and devotion to duty."

 

NOTE: On 16 February 1946 he filed a form giving his flying time as 449 hours non-operational and 371 hours on operations. He had been on Manchesters (nine hours), Lancasters (780 hours), Stirling (ten hours) and Liberator (ten hours). There is also a list of his sorties; DNCO = Duty Not Carried Out:

 

No.97 Squadron No.617 Squadron

 

10 Sept 42 Dusseldorf (4.30) 16 May 43 Sorpe Dam (5.25)

5 Oct 42 Aachen (5.10) 15 July 43 San Paulo (9.15)

22 Oct 42 Genoa (8.40) 24 July 43 Leghorn (7.50)

6 Nov 42 Genoa (9.20) 16 Sept 43 Antheor Viaduct (10.10)

13 Nov 42 Genoa (7.00, DNCO) 20 Dec 43 Special (5.25)

17 Nov 42 GARDENING (6.00, DNCO) 22 Dec 43 Special (3.15)

22 Nov 42 Stuttgart (7.35) 30 Dec 43 Special (3.15)

28 Nov 42 Turin (5.05, DNCO) 21 Jan 44 Special (3.35)

4 Dec 42 GARDENING (9.30) 25 Jan 44 Special (3.50)

6 Dec 42 Mannheim (5.50) 2 Mar 44 Special (4.45)

8 Dec 42 Turin (8.00) 4 Mar 44 Special (6.30)

9 Dec 42 Turin (3.35, DNCO) 10 Mar 44 Special (8.15)

21 Dec 42 Munich (7.25) 15 Mar 44 Special (5.30)

8 Jan 43 Duisburg (3.55) 16 Mar 44 Special (7.00)

16 Jan 43 Berlin (8.20) 18 Mar 44 Special (6.40)

17 Jan 43 Berlin (8.25) 20 Mar 44 Special (6.10)

30 Jan 43 Hamburg (3.20, DNCO) 23 Mar 44 Special (7.10)

2 Feb 43 Cologne (4.45) 25 Mar 44 Special (7.45)

4 Feb 43 Turin (7.10) 4 Apr 44 Special (7.25)

11 Feb 43 Wilhelmshaven (4.40) 10 Apr 44 Special (4.35)

25 Feb 43 Nuremburg (8.00) 18 Apr 44 Jenvey ? (4.40)

26 Feb 43 Cologne (4.45) 20 Apr 44 La Chapelle (4.25)

28 Feb 43 St.Nazaire (5.40) 22 Apr 44 Brunswick (5.45)

1 Mar 43 Berlin (6.35) 24 Apr 44 Munich (9.30)

3 Mar 43 Hamburg (4.30) 5 June 44 Special (4.34)

8 Mar 43 Nuremburg (7.40) 8 June 44 Saumar (6.23)


11 Mar 43 Stuttgart (6.10) 14 June 44 Le Havre (3.48)

12 Mar 43 Essen (4.50) 15 June 44 Boulogne (2.40)

22 Mar 43 St.Nazaire (4.45) 19 June 44 Watten (3.10)

22 June 44 Wizernes (2.15, DNCO)

24 June 44 Wizernes (2.35)

25 June 44 Siracourt (3.20)

4 July 44 Creil (4.00)

 

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RAND, Sergeant George Basil, Sergeant (629739) - Distinguished Flying Medal - No.110 Squadron - Awarded as per London Gazette dated 17 January 1941. Born in Wellington, Surrey, 20 April 1914; farm hand at Pakenham, Ontario, 1928 although on enlistment he gave home as Westmount. Returned to Britain, 3 December 1938, arriving on the 12th and enlisting in the RAF on 30 December 1938 as an Aircraft Hand (Wireless Operator under Training); confirmed as Wireless Operator, 31 August 1939; remustered to Wireless Operator (Aircrew), 5 September 1939 (under training as of that date); confirmed as being Wireless Operator (Aircrew), 7 October 1939 but not promoted to Aircraftman First Class until 1 March 1940 and promoted Sergeant only on 27 May 1940. He described his training at this time as follows: Radio Operator's course, No.2 E and WS, March to September 1939; Air Gunner's course, No.1 AAS, September 1939. First tour of operations was with No.222 Squadron (8 October 1939 to 31 March 1940, Blenheim Is, 12 trips, 28 hours and five minutes) and No.110 Squadron (Blenheim IVs, 29 May to 29 November 1940, 40 sorties, 117 hours 40 minutes). His second tour began almost immediately - No.55 Squadron (Blenheim IVs, 38 sorties, 132 operational hours, 22 December 1940 to 31 May 1941 (this latter date is uncertain) and being promoted to Flight Sergeant on 1 April 1941. The next portion of his career is unclear; it appears that from December 1941 to December 1942 he was instructing at No.70 OTU, Kenya - yet he also states that he went to PAP, Station Gilgil on 2 May 1942 (Astro Navigation course until June) and was a gunnery instructor at Gilgil as of 15 December 1942. In the meantime he was commissioned as a Pilot Officer, 1 May 1942 (new service number 48941) and promoted Flying Officer, 1 November 1942. Posted to No.51 Squadron, 26 December 1942 and to No.69 Squadron, 6 December 1943. He described his third tour as one with No.52 Squadron (Baltimore IIIs, sorties from 18 January to 1 December 1943, 29 trips, 117 hours 30 minutes) and No.69 Squadron (Baltimore IVs, sorties from 6 December 1943 to 7 January 1944, nine trips, 42 hours 40 minutes). Documents not completely consistent - the sorties ascribed here total 118 - but on a form dated 21 February he claimed to have flown 128 operational sorties (440 hours). To No.1 PPC, 14 January 1944; to No.6 (Coastal) OTU, Silloth, 22 February 1944 to instruct; promoted Flight Lieutenant, 2 May 1944. Attended No.14 Radio School Signal Leaders Course, 14 June to 18 July 1944. Transferred to RCAF, 15 February 1945 (C89576). Repatriated to Canada, 8 March 1945; released from RCAF, 31 May 1945. DHist file 181.005 D.270 lists him as a Canadian in the RAF about January 1940 (AC2 at the time) but gives next-if-kin as father living in Gosforth, Newcastle; file 181.005 D.271 listing CAN/RAF personnel in 1941 records him as a Sergeant (Wireless Operator) in No.55 Squadron and same information about next-of-kin. Listed in CAN/RAF cards but not in awards cards. In the form dated 21 February 1945 (noted above) he stated he had flown 440 operational and 317 non-operational hours. He gave his flying times as follows: Imperial Flying Boats, Ansons, Albermarles and DC-3s, 77 hours 50 minutes; Hawker Hind, four hours; Fairey Battle, seven hours 35 minutes; Baltimores, 228 hours 45 minutes; Blenheims, 404 hours ten minutes; Wellingtons, 18 hours 15 minutes; Oxfords, 16 hours 25 minutes. No published citation. Ian Tavender records his recommendation, dated 29 November 1940, found in Public Record Office Air 2/9250, in his book The Distinguished Flying Medal Register for the Second World War (London, Savannah Publications, 2000).

 

Sergeant Rand has completed 39 sorties totalling 112 operational hours flying since he joined the squadron in May 1940. He is a good Wireless Operator and a skilful Air Gunner whose exceptional enthusiasm for operations has set an excellent example to the other members of his squadron. I recommend the award of the Distinguished Flying Medal.

 

* * * * *

 

RANKIN, F/L Archibald James (09080) - Air Force Cross - Awarded as per London Gazette dated 3 July 1926 - Born in Edmonton, October 1896; served with Canadian Expeditionary Force until gassed, August 1917; transferred to the Royal Naval Air Service and trained as a pilot; early in 1919 sent to Archangel, North Russia, assigned to HMS Pegasus (converted merchant ship, 3,000 tons, accommodating nine seaplanes). Injured 20 July 1919 when his aircraft crashed into a barge on takeoff. Made RAF his career. June 1923 posted back to HMS Pegasus (Mediterranean). 4 September 1923 to Calshot seaplane base; after service with a maintenance party at Cattewater, posted again to HMS Pegasus (21 March 1924). Transferred to School of Naval Co-Operation at Lee-on-Solent (1 May 1925). Presumably involved in training and some experimental flying; records are difficult to trace. Received AFC at Buckingham Palace investiture, 12 July 1926. At outbreak of Second World War with Directorate of Intelligence, Air Ministry. For much of his career remained close to intelligence duties in various commands. Rose to Air Commodore rank. Postwar he served with British Commonwealth Occupation Forces in Japan before returning to Britain in January 1949 as Director of Intelligence (Operations). Retired 1951. AFRO 1000-1001/42 dated 3 July 1942 (award of Mention in Despatches) identified him as a Canadian in the RAF. Citation found in Public Records Office Air 30/66.

 

For consistent good work and devotion to duty as pilot and photographer in connection with the air photographic survey carried out during the cruise of HMS Pegasus in the Far East, 1924-25. The standard of this officer's piloting and photography was of the highest order, and he obtained a vast number of photographs for the air survey which often necessitated flying in a float plane over the jungle out of touch with the sea, and under trying conditons of heat.

 

RANKIN, Squadron Leader Archibald James (09080) - Officer, Order of the British Empire - Awarded as per London Gazette dated 11 May 1937.

 

RANKIN, Group Captain Archibald James (09080) - Mention in Despatches - Awarded as per London Gazette dated 11 June 1942.


* * * * *

 

RAPHAEL, F/O Gordon Learmouth (37508) - Mention in Despatches - No.77 Squadron - Awarded as per London Gazette dated 20 February 1940. Born in Brantford, Ontario, 25 August 1915; educated in Quebec City; went to England, 1934, to attend College of Aeronautical Engineers, Chelsea, England. Enlisted in RAF Reserve, September 1935; appointed Acting Pilot Officer on Probation, 20 January 1936; with No.77 Squadron at outbreak of war until 19 May 1940 (wounded, hospitalized); with No.10 Squadron, 16 July 1940 to approximately 23 September 1940; with No.85 Squadron, 7 May 1941 to January 1943; ferried Boston BZ338 to Britain, April 1943; commanded Castle Camps and then Manston. See Epics of the Fighting RAF, pp.130-132. Killed 10 April 1945 flying a Spitfire in collision with a Dakota. Specifically listed in AFRO 1292/41 dated 7 November 1941 as a Canadian in the RAF who had been decorated as of that date; AFRO 373/43 dated 5 March 1943 (reporting his DSO) and AFRO 765/45 dated 4 May 1945 (reporting his death) also described him as a Canadian in the RAF. According to Chris Shores, Aces High (second edition), Raphael was a "severe leader" who neither smoked nor drank and disapproved of these actions in others. He nevertheless was admired for other qualities. Aerial victories as follows: 10/11 May 1941, one He.111 destroyed north of London (Havoc I); 13/14 May 1941, one He.111 destroyed off Thames plus one He.111 probably destroyed near Gravesend (Havoc I); 23/24 June 1941, one Ju.88 destroyed off Harwich (Havoc I); 13/14 July 1941, one He.111 destroyed 25 miles east of Ray Sand (Havoc I); 16/17 September 1941, one Ju.88 destroyed near Calcton (Havoc II); 30/31 July 1942, one Ju.88 damaged near Cambridge (Havoc II); 2/3 August 1942, one Ju.88 destroyed off Dengle Flats (Havoc II); 17/18 January 1943, one Ju.88 destroyed over southeastern England (Mosquito); 29/30 June 1944, one V-1 destroyed in sea off Manston (Mosquito); 6/7 July 1944, one V-1 destroyed in sea off Manston. No citation to MiD.

 

RAPHAEL, F/L Gordon Learmouth (37508) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.77 Squadron - Awarded as per London Gazette dated 17 May 1940. No citation other than "for gallantry and devotion to duty in the execution of air operations". Public Record Office Air 2/9317 has recommendation dated 22 March 1940 which specifically identifies him as a Canadian:

 

As captain of a Whitley aircraft engaged on a Nickel flight to Warsaw on the night of 15/16 March 1940, this officer carried out his task with a precision and exactness that has marked all his operational flights.

 

His teamwork in the air, his meticulous planning before a flight, his ability as a pilot and navigator and his complete knowledge of his equipment makes all his flights appear simple and uneventful. The flight to Warsaw, in spite of an increase in wind speed when going to the target and dense clouds on the return journey, was completed with a deviation from schedule which can be accounted for almost to a minute by the increased wind speed. Throughout the period of the present hostilities this officer has shown skill, daring and initiative on all his flights.

 


Previous flights include a Nickel raid on Posen, as well as several security patrols, reconnaissance and Nickel raids on other German towns.

 

This is minuted by a staff officer in No.4 Group on 1 April 1940:

 

This Canadian officer has carried out many flights over enemy territory since the outbreak of war with a maximum of success. His Nickel flights to Warsaw and Posen were excellent both in prior planning and execution. Very strongly recommended for the award of the Distinguished Flying Cross.

 

Although the award was gazetted without a citation, the recommendation was edited for security purposes in case it had been published:

 

As captain of an aircraft engaged on a pamphlet flight to Warsaw on the night of 15/16 March 1940, this officer carried out his task with the distinction that has marked all his previous operational flights. His teamwork, careful planning and ability as a pilot are of the highest standard and throughout the period of hostilities he has shown skill, daring and initiative. Previous flights include a pamphlet raid on Posen, several security patrols and also reconnaissance and pamphlet raids on other German towns.

 

RAPHAEL, F/L Gordon Learmouth (37508) - Bar to Distinguished Flying Cross - No.85 Squadron - Awarded as per London Gazette dated 15 July 1941. Air Ministry Bulletin 682 refers.

 

This officer has proved himself to be a relentless and skilful night fighter pilot. Since May 1941 he has destroyed three and probably another of the enemy's aircraft.

 

RAPHAEL, W/C Gordon Learmouth (37508) - Distinguished Service Order - No.85 Squadron - Awarded as per London Gazette dated 2 February 1943. Air Ministry Bulletin 9121 refers.

 

Since being awarded the Bar to the Distinguished Flying Cross, Wing Commander Raphael has destroyed three enemy aircraft at night. By his inspiring leadership, great skill and untiring efforts he has contributed in a large measure to the high morale and operational efficiency of the squadron he commands.

 

NOTE: RCAF Press Release 407, cleared by Security on 9 June 1942 and by Headquarters, Fighter Command, on 12 June 1942, is transcribed here for the historical record; the text in bold was removed by the censors:

 

"The thing I like about this place", said Raffy as he strolled around the garden of the old, creeper-covered English rectory where he lives with his wife and Gaby, his 17-month old son, "is that you can be up in the night tangling with the Huns and then sit here in peace 15 minutes later."

 


Raffy is short for Squadron Leader Gordon Learmouth Raphael, DFC and Bar, of Quebec City, commander of one of Britain's crack night fighter squadrons. During the last war it was known as the "Dawn Patrol" squadron and was commanded by a certain Major W.A. Bishop of the Royal Flying Corps. That Major Bishop is now, of course, Air Marshal W.A. Bishop, VC, DSO, MC, DFC, Croix de Guerre with Palm.

 

Raffy Raphael stood in the lovely rectory garden, which looks out over a broad, lush valley in one of England's most beautiful counties. "We have tried to keep up the Bishop tradition," he said. "Our squadron emblem is still the white hexagon which was painted on the old SE.5s which the squadron had when Bishop commanded it in the last war.

 

"It flew in France during this war, too - with Hurricanes. That was before I came to the squadron. They destroyed 90 Jerries during the Battle of France and 54 more during the Battle of Britain. I came here after it had become a night fighter outfit."

 

Raffy lives in the old rectory with his wife and their young son because it is handy to the aerodrome. "I don't want to let the war interfere with my family life any more than I can help," he says. "Particularly I don't want to miss the biggest thrill of being a father - watching my son grow up."

 

Lean, moustached, 26 years old, Raffy Raphael is exactly the kind of man you would expect one of the RAF's best night fighter pilots to be. Since he joined the squadron about a year ago, he has accounted for five German aircraft certainly destroyed during nights over Britain - and it is well to remember that he got these in times when the number of Jerries that venture over England to be shot at, even at night, has not been considerable.

 

"It wasn't really my doing, you know", he says. "That young radio operator of mine has been responsible for our getting each one of them." His radio operator is a diminutive English Warrant Officer who is a wizard with the secret detectors used by British night fighters.

 

Raffy became a night fighter squadron commander by a devious route which is long in the telling. Born in Quebec in August 1915, he attended the High School of Quebec and came to England in 1934 to study at the College of Aeronautical Engineering in Chelsea, London.

 

"I wanted to design aeroplanes", he says with a short laugh, "but after a year I discovered that what I really wanted to do was to fly. So I took a short service commission in the RAF in 1935.

 


"They trained me as a bomber pilot and after I got my wings I went to a Heyford squadron which was at that time regarded as the crack squadron in Bomber Command. You may remember the Heyford. It had a long, gaunt fuselage suspended from the underside of the upper wing (it was a biplane). Consequently, it always looked as if it was upside down. But believe it or not, it was lovely to fly.

 

"My term of service was due to end in December 1939. In the meanwhile, we had converted to Whitleys shortly before the war, and so when war broke out, I started on a long series of ops with the Whitleys.

 

"Those were curious days. We didn't know what to expect, because nobody had ever done night raids on germany, and I remember that the first time we went over we were quite certain that we would be shot down. But we soon found out that it wasn't really so bad."

 

There was no bombing in those days. The Whitleys used to go out loaded with leaflets. Raffy Raphael made the first leaflet raid of the war - over the Ruhr - and he and his crew used to liven up the evenings by permitting the rear gunner to fire at searchlights. "We accounted for between 50 and 60 searchlights altogether", he says.

 

With another RAF pilot, he took one of the only two aircraft of the RAF ever to fly to Warsaw and back. "We dropped leaflets there, too," he says. "We took off from France and the trip took me 11 hours and ten minutes. It took the other lad a bit longer, though. He landed after getting lost and found he was in Germany, so he promptly took off again. He got home quite safely. The astonishing part about that trip was the fact that most of the towns in eastern Germany were lit up quite brightly. I guess they never figured there would be an enemy aircraft around."

 

One day, however, Raffy and his crew managed to drop a few bombs. These fell on Sylt - they were the first bombs to hit the German base during the present war. "We went after a bridge and the flare path of one of the aerodromes," Raffy says.

 

With the invasion of Norway, the show started up in real earnest. The Whitley's of Raffy's squadron went out to bomb objectives in Oslo - particularly the airport where the Germans had been landing troops.

 

"The first time was a piece of cake," he says. There was scarcely any flak. Se we went back three days later. By this time the Jerries has moved up in force. We went in fairly low - just as we had the first time. I was promptly picked up by 23 searchlights and about 60 multiple pom-poms opened up on us. We got away, but I don't know how."

 

A little later, the Whitleys carried out the first raid on Trondheim. Squadron Leader Raphael was on that show, too. He was also on the night raid on the Maastrict bridge during the invasion of the Lowlands, and after all these varied ops, he was awarded the DFC.

 


"Then I stuck my neck out," he says. "I was feeling so good about getting a gong that I asked to be allowed to fly again the next night, although it wasn't my turn. We were going after an oil refinery, and out machine was first over the target to drop incendiaries and light it up for the later arrivals.

 

"On the way back we were attacked by a Jerry over the North Sea. He shot out both my engines and busted the hydraulic system. But my rear gunner got him and he went down in flames.

 

"We had to land in the sea; that made a couple of 'first times' on this trip. It was the first time a Whitley had shot down an enemy night fighter, and the first time a Whitley had been put down in the sea with all the crew intact. My crew really got out in a hurry when we hit the water; I was a bit slower because I discovered that a bullet from the enemy's guns had gone through both my feet. However, we got the dinghy out and didn't discover until later that we had it upside down. We were picked up by a British destroyer and I spent a couple of comfortable days in the sick bay. When I got ashore, I had to spend three months recuperating. This was a bit annoying, because it meant that I missed a lot of good shows."

 

When he got back on operations, however, he saw plenty more good shows. Included among them were trips to Berlin and three flights to Italy. The Italian tours were all done in the same week. What he remembered most about them is the flight over the Alps. "It was a wonderful sight." he says. "I'll never forget it. I used to go skiing in the Alps before the war, but they never looked as lovely then as they do so from the air in the moonlight. Incidentally, on one of these trips we started a beautiful fire in the Fiat works."

 

Another trip he made was to the Zeiss optical and instrument works at Jena. "Believe t or not," he says with some pleasure, "that was the first time in 150 years that they had seen war at first hand in that part of Germany. A Me.110 tried to intercept us, but my tail gunner was on the job all right. The Jerry went down in flames."

 

In September 1940 he made his last bombing trip; then he went to a Coastal Command general reconnaissance school as an instructor for a change from operational flying. When he had finished his rest, he went, at his own request, to night fighters - which is probably the most highly specialized job in the service.

 

His first victory in this game was during the big blitz on London on May 10 [1941], the last time the Luftwaffe attacked Britain in force. It was the night when Britain's new system of defence against night bombing brought down 33 German raiders. Raffy's victim was Heinkel 111.

 


After that night, the opportunities to get confirmed victories have been few and far between, but Raffy managed to get three, in a short while, of the very few raiders seen over England. For these victories, he was awarded the Bar to the DFC.

 

One of his victories was over a Ju.88 which crashed into the North Sea a short distance out from the English coast. He still wears the orange-coloured Mae West jacket which belonged to the pilot of that aircraft. "t's a kind of souvenir", he explains.

 

In the Adjutant's office at squadron headquarters hangs a big oil painting of Billy Bishop. All around the room are pinned photographs of aircraft with which it has been quipped during both Great Wars - the SE.5s of the last war, the Hurricanes which it flew during the Battle of France and the Battle of Britain, and the Douglas Havocs which it flies now.

 

On the side of each of these black machines is painted the famous white hexagon which shows on the pictures of the old SE.5s. The spirit of Bishop runs strongly through everything that the squadron is doing today.

 

Flying with Raffy are four other Canadians and one American who joined the RCAF. Of these, one is a radio operator; the rest are pilots.

 

They are: Pilot Officer H.H. Norsworthy of Westmount, Quebec, Pilot Officer R.B. Harris of Rosetown, Saskatchewan, Flying Officer J.J. McCloskey of Richmond, Virginia, Pilot Officer C.F. Medhurst of Foremost, Alberta, and Flying Officer I. MacInnes of Vancouver, the radio operator.

 

Raffy has just recently been made commander of the squadron and the boys - Englishmen and Canadians alike - think he is terrific.

 

When he has finished his night's flying, Raffy goes down the road to the Old Rectory, where his wife and son are always waiting. It is very quiet there, under the shadow of the massive oak trees and the spire of the 14th Century village church. Sometimes Raffy wanders around the churchyard and examines the inscriptions on the ancient tomb-stones. "Some of them," he says, "are unbelievably old."

 

Usually, after he has finished the day's work in the officer - all the administration which the squadron commander must look after in addition to leading his pilots and air crews into battle in the air - he goes home for tea and plays for awhile with young Raffy, who is just learning to walk. Together they look out over the wide valley behind the old rectory - the pilot, the wife and the son. "This," says Raffy, "is what is worth fighting for. You will not find it anywhere else in the world."

 


After tea, when it is time to go back and get ready for the night's flying, he strides out through the front gate. From the nursery window, the youngster watches and waves. Soon he will be in bed,a sleep. Somewhere, two or three miles over his head, his father will be searching steadily in the moonlight night, aided by the miraculous eye of science, looking for sights of those who come in the night to bring death to children. The child will sleep peacefully; as yet, he does not know the meaning of the purple and white ribbon with the silver star on his father's chest; he has nt seen the neat little row of swastikas on the side of his father's aircraft. He will know one day, and he, like all who know Raffy Raphael, the man who wanted to design aeroplanes, will be proud.

 

* * * * *

 

REAHIL, F/L Frederick John (103568) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.2 Squadron - Awarded as per London Gazette dated 18 September 1945 with effect from 17 June 1944. Born in Winnipeg, 1918; home there; proceeded overseas with Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps, transferring to RAF in October 1940. Commissioned August 1941. Served with Nos.2, 268 and 269 Squadrons. On 30 August 1943, with No.609 Squadron, shared in the destruction of one Bf.110 and one Ju.52. Killed in action 18 June 1944. AFRO 1605/44 dated 28 July 1944 (reporting him missing), AFRO 1036/45 dated 22 June 1945 (confirming his death) and AFRO 1672/45 dated 2 November 1945 (reporting DFC) all identify him as a Canadian in the RAF. Air Ministry Bulletin 19709/AL.1071 refers. Medals with Canadian War Museum (AN 19920070-001).

 

This officer has completed many varied operations including day and night fighter sorties, anti-shipping and photographic reconnaissances. He has destroyed at least two enemy aircraft and damaged others. Flight Lieutenant Reahil has also participated in shipping escorts during which four enemy merchant ships were sunk and, while serving with a Merchant Shipping Fighter Unit has been catapulted three times from merchant ships. His outstanding keenness and courage coupled with fine airmanship have largely contributed to the successful completion of many operations.

 

* * * * *

 

REARDON, S/L Joseph Damien (43042) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.51 Squadron - Awarded as per London Gazette dated 23 September 1941. Born in Charlottetown, 1915; joined RAF in August 1939; commissioned 13 July 1940. Served with No.51 Squadron (Whitleys), 2 December 1940 to 5 July 1941; with No.102 Squadron (Whitleys), 6 July to 11 September 1941 (killed in action, aged 26; buried in Topcliffe Church Cemetery, Yorkshire). Specifically listed in AFRO 1292/41 dated 7 November 1941 as a Canadian in the RAF who had been decorated as of that date. Commonwealth War Graves Commission record states he was "Son of John Francis and Mary Teresa Reardon. Of Canada." Air Ministry Bulletin 5103 refers. No citation other than "for gallantry and devotion to duty in the execution of air operations." Public Records Office Air 2/8900 has recommendation dated 14 July 1941 when he had flown 27 sorties (although sheet lists only 26) in 200 operational hours. Trips flown 14 September to 13 November 1940 were as second pilot; captain thereafter. Flight Lieutenant when recommended.

 


14 Sept 40 Antwerp 9 Jan 41 Duisburg

17 Sept 40 Zeebruge 6 Feb 41 Dunkirk

21 Sept 40 Boulogne 11 Feb 41 Bremen

23 Sept 40 Cuxhaven 23 Feb 41 Calais

25 Sept 40 Kiel and Berlin [? !] 10 Mar 41 Lorient; landed at

28 Sept 40 Magdeburg Bircham Newton, engine u/s

1 Oct 40 Sterkrade 18 Mar 41 Target not stated; bombs

7 Oct 40 Bremen jettisoned.

15 Oct 40 Leipzig 3 Apr 41 Brest

26 Oct 40 Hanover 7 Apr 41 Kiel

8 Nov 40 Turin 30 Apr 41 Kiel

13 Nov 40 Leuna 5 May 41 Mannheim

28 Dec 40 Boulogne 8 May 41 Bremen

3 Jan 41 Bremen 27 May 41 Cologne

 

Flight Lieutenant Reardon joined this squadron on 9 September 1940 and had successfully completed 7 operational sorties when recently posted to another squadron. Most of these sorties were carried out in the bad weather conditions of the winter months and on thirteen of them he was Captain of aircraft.

 

He is a steady, dependable operational captain of aircraft who has always shown great keenness, courage and devotion to duty, and was an excellent example in his flight.

 

To the above, the Officer Commanding Station Dishforth added (22 July 1941):

 

This officer has always displayed courage and resourcefulness in all his sorties and has pressed home his attack under adverse weather conditions. His courage and devotion to duty have been excellent examples to others. Strongly recommended for the award of the Distinguished Flying Cross.

 

This was further edited for the Air Ministry Honours and Awards Committee:

 

This officer is a steady and dependable captain of aircraft who has shown great courage and devotion to duty. Most of his sorties have been completed in winter months under adverse weather conditions.

 

* * * * *

 


REDFEARN, Sergeant George Barrington (755043) - Distinguished Flying Medal - No.61 Squadron - Awarded as per London Gazette dated 23 September 1941. Born at Hudson Bay Junction, Saskatchewan; clerk before enlisting. Trained as WOPAG. With No.61 Squadron, 20 December 1940 to 9 July 1941, after which he was posted to No.16 OTU. Air Ministry Bulletin 5103 refers. No citation other than "for gallantry and devotion to duty in the execution of air operations". Public Records Office Air 2/8900 has recommendation dated 25 July 1941 when he had completed 33 sorties (199 hours 55 minutes). The sortie sheet lists only 23 sorties ending 15 June 1941; is it possible that PRO failed to send one sheet ?

 

12 Dec 40 unstated target Pilot turned back after one hour 14 minutes; severe icing.

22 Dec 40 Osnabruck Bombed from 10,000 feet; 10/10 cloud.

28 Dec 40 Bordeaux Weather poor.

10 Jan 41 Gelsenkirchen Bombed from 10,000 feet.

3 Feb 41 Brest Bombed from 6,000 feet; severe icing and static storms.

10 Feb 41 Wilhelmshaven Bombed from 8,000 feet; 10/10 cloud, severe icing and snow storms.

15 Feb 41 Dusseldorf Bombed from 8,000 feet.

27 Feb 41 Cologne Bombed from 10,000 feet.

1 Mar 41 GARDENING Brest; dropped vegetables (mines) from 500 feet.

2 Mar 41 Cologne Bombed from 9,000 feet; weather poor on return journey.

13 Mar 41 Hamburg Bombed from 10,000 feet.

15 Mar 41 Gelsenkirchen Bombed from 12,000 feet.

18 Mar 41 Kiel Bombed from 11,000 feet.

11 Apr 41 Dusseldorf Bombed at 9,000 feet.

6 May 41 Mannheim Bombed at 10,000 feet.

9 May 41 Hamburg Bombed at 10,000 feet.

10 May 41 Mannheim Bombed at 9,000 feet.

12 May 41 Bremen Bombed at 10,000 feet.

16 May 41 GARDENING St.Nazaire; 10/10 cloud down to 500 feet.

3 June 41 Dusseldorf Severe icing.

12 June 41 GARDENING Kiel; machine hit by anti-aircraft fire. Sergeant Redfearn reported enemy aircraft closing in at approximately 100 yards. He opened fire, letting go about 60 rounds after which he observed the aircraft dived [sic, "diving ?"] away.

13 June 41 Dusseldorf Bombed at 10,000 feet.

15 June 41 Cologne Bombed at 9,000 feet.

 

This Non-Commissioned Officer has been on operations since the beginning of December 1940. He has flown through all the worst weather of last winter with two notably determine pilots and had materially contributed to the success of their operations by never having had a wireless failure. On one occasion when returning from a minelaying expedition to Kiel his aircraft was hit by anti-aircraft fire and was attacked by an enemy fighter at 100 yards. Sergeant Redfearn opened fire and the aircraft was seen to dive away. He has always exhibited the greatest keenness, courage and devotion to duty.

 

The above was further edited for the Air Ministry Honours and Awards Committee:

 


This airman has been employed on operations as a Wireless Operator/Air Gunner since December 1940. He has never had a wireless failure and has largely contributed to the success of the operations in which he has taken part. Despite bad weather conditions and enemy opposition Sergeant Redfearn has always displayed the greatest keenness, courage and devotion to duty. He has taken part in attacks on Bordeaux, Brest, Kiel, Hamburg, Cologne and Bremen.

 

* * * * *

 

REECE, Sergeant Robert Asher (580371) - Distinguished Flying Medal - No.82 Squadron - Awarded as per London Gazette dated 30 July 1940. Identified by Les Allison as being from Winnipeg and Transcona; however, Royal Air Force Personnel Management Agency, in a letter to H.A. Halliday dated 16 July 1999, stated that he was born in Christchurch, New Zealand in 1914. Commissioned in navigation trade, 3 August 1940. No career details and no published citation. Ian Tavender records his recommendation, dated 28 June 1940, found in unstated source, in his book The Distinguished Flying Medal Register for the Second World War (London, Savannah Publications, 2000).

 

On 13th June 1940, Sergeant Reece was Air Observer of the leading aircraft of a formation which was attacked by fighters just before bombing its objective. Sergeant Reece dropped his bombs with accuracy and then manned his gun. He was wounded by a bullet which exploded in the aircraft. Despite his wounds, re remained perfectly calm and navigated his aircraft safely back to its base through cloud. He has carried out 20 operational flights since the outbreak of war and has at all times shown great courage and resolution in the face of the enemy. His cheerfulness at all times has had a very beneficial effect on the other members of his squadron.

 

REECE, S/L Robert Asher, DFM (44414) - Distinguished Flying Cross - Wing Navigation Officer (unit not known) - Awarded as per London Gazette dated 20 October 1944. No details.

 

As navigation officer Squadron Leader Reece has taken every opportunity to participate in sorties against the enemy and has taken part in many successful attacks. He has been untiring in his efforts to raise the standard of navigation and bomb aiming in the squadrons to the highest level and the results achieved are a marked testimony to his great skill.

 

* * * * *

 


RICHARDSON, P/O Carleton De Wayne (41066) - Mention in Despatches - No.2 Central Flying School - Awarded as per London Gazette dated 1 January 1942. Royal Air Force Personnel Management Agency, in a letter to H.A. Halliday dated 21 February 2000, states he was born 24 June 1917 at London, Ontario. Appointed Acting Pilot Officer on Probation, 20 August 1938; confrmed as Pilot Officer, 27 June 1939; promoted to Flying Officer, 3 September 1940; to Flight Lieutenant, 3 September 1941. Believed to be "Bud" Richardson (later F/L) of Toronto, who went with No.30 Squadron to Greece, 6 November 1940.

 

* * * * *

 

RING, F/L Spencer Leonard (39031) - Distinguished Flying Cross - Photographic Development Unit, Heston - Awarded as per London Gazette dated 30 July 1940. Born in Regina, 20 September 1910; home there; married in UK. Appointed Acting Pilot Officer on Probation, RAF, 24 August 1938. Served with No.12 Squadron, 2 September 1939 to 21 February 1940; with PDU, 21 February to 27 December 1940. Subsequent career uncertain, although he appears to have been with Ferry Command, March to July 1941, delivering B-17 AN522 (April-May 1941), Liberator AM260 (June 1941), Liberator AM262 (June 1941) and Hudson AM762 (June 1941). Specifically listed in AFRO 1292/41 dated 7 November 1941 as a Canadian in the RAF who had been decorated as of that date. Air Ministry Bulletin 1251 refers. No citation other than "for gallantry and devotion to duty in the execution of air operations". Originally recommended 14 July 1940. Public Records Office Air 2/6085 (Non-Immediate Awards, 1940-1941) has recommended citation:

 

This officer has carried out over twenty operational flights from Heston and several from bases in France. All were undertaken in unarmed, single-engined aircraft without W/T at very great altitudes often in bad weather. His success is due to his skill and determination as a pilot.

 

RING, W/C Spencer Leonard (39031) - Air Medal (United States) - awarded as per London Gazette dated 18 January 1944.

 

* * * * *

 

RITCHIE, S/L Kenneth Cornell (41739) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.21 Squadron - Awarded as per London Gazette dated 14 April 1944. Born in Port Arthur, Ontario, 3 March 1918; educated there; four years in Canadian Militia; RAF Pupil Pilot, 1938. Appointed Acting Pilot Officer on Probation, RAF, 4 March 1939; Flying Officer 23 January 1941; Flight Lieutenant, 23 January 1942; Squadron Leader, 1943. Present in Canada, October 1941, serving at No.31 SFTS; to No.31 Personnel Depot, 18 February 1943; to Britain, 9 March 1943. Transferred to RCAF, 29 January 1945 (C89551). Repatriated to Canada, 7 August 1945; retired 11 August 1945. Rejoined RCAF as a doctor, 25 March 1949 (service number 150038) and was still in the RCAF as of 1951. Air Ministry Bulletin 13548/AL.789 refers.

 

This officer has completed a large number of operations by day, many of them against heavily defended targets, including shipping in the Channel. On one recent operation his aircraft sustained very sever damage and had to be abandoned by the crew on reaching this country. Squadron Leader Ritchie has led his flight on all sorties and has always pressed home his attacks with the greatest determination.

 

* * * * *

 


ROBERTSON, F/L David Stewart (40141) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.78 Squadron - Awarded as per London Gazette dated 22 November 1940. Born in Ogema, Saskatchewan, 1916; educated in Calgary. Appointed Acting Pilot Officer on Probation, RAF, 5 September 1937; confirmed as a Pilot Officer, 12 July 1938; promoted to Squadron Leader, 1 March 1942. Transferred to RCAF, 8 January 1945 (C89535); repatriated 23 March 1945; retired 28 May 1945. Specifically listed in AFRO 1292/41 dated 7 November 1941 as a Canadian in the RAF who had been decorated as of that date. Air Ministry Bulletin 2329 refers. No citation other than "for gallantry and devotion to duty in the execution of air operations." Public Records Office Air 2/8856 has original recommendation dated 23 September 1940 which differs in no significant detail from below; Public Records Office Air 2/8351 has recommended citation as sent to Air Ministry Honours and Awards Committee. Both documents give his name as Donald Stewart Robertson:

 

This officer has completed 29 operational flights over enemy territory at night. In all circumstances he has exhibited a high degree of resolution and skill. His determined and cheerful demeanour have set a valuable example to other members of the squadron.

 

* * * * *

 

ROBERTSON, Flight Sergeant Henry Edward (629053) - Mention in Despatches - awarded as per London Gazette dated 11 June 1942. No details. Not listed in either DHist file 181.005 D.270 or 181.005 D.271, but AFRO 1000-1001/42 dated 3 July 1942 (award of Mention in Despatches) identified him as a Canadian in the RAF. Royal Air Force Personnel Management Agency, in a letter to H.A. Halliday dated 21 February 2000, stated he was born 24 November 1915 in Toronto.

 

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ROBERTSON, F/O Herbert Montague (39568) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.149 Squadron - Awarded as per London Gazette dated 7 June 1940. Born 31 January 1918 in Aberfoyle, Ontario. Appointed Acting Pilot Officer on Probation, RAF, 8 March 1937; later instructed at Carberry, Manitoba. Made radio broadcast concerning Stavanger Raid, 15 April 1940. Specifically listed in AFRO 1292/41 dated 7 November 1941 as a Canadian in the RAF who had been decorated as of that date. Air Ministry Bulletin 835 refers. Additional details of DFC action in Hamilton Spectator, 20 July 1940. "...since beginning of the war has taken part in many hazardous operations; tactical skill and complete disregard of danger outstanding. Night May 1940, captain of an aircraft in attack on very important and heavily defended traffic junction. Saw long column of enemy transport approaching point and successfully attacked from very low altitude regardless of enemy fire and bomb fragments."

 

NOTE: Public Records Office Air 2/4094 has recommendation dated 24 May 1940:

 


On the night of 19/20th May, Flying Officer Robertson was captain of an aircraft ordered to attack a very important and heavily defended traffic junction. Seeing a long column of enemy transport approaching the point, he attacked it from a very low height, regardless of enemy fire and of the risk from fragments of his own bombs. The attack was successful, and immediately after his last bomb had exploded a tremendous detonation occurred which severely shook the aircraft.

 

This attack was typical of Flying Officer Robertson's work. Since the beginning of the war he has taken part in many hazardous operations and his tactical skill and complete disregard of danger have been outstanding.

 

This was further refined for Air Ministry Honours and Awards Committee as follows:

 

Since the beginning of the war Flying Officer Robertson has taken part in many hazardous operations and his tactical skill and complete disregard of danger have been outstanding. On the night of 19th May 1940, he was captain of an aircraft ordered to attack a very important and heavily defended traffic junction. Sighting a long column of enemy transport approaching the point, he successfully attacked it from a very low altitude regardless of enemy fire and the risk of fragments from his own bombs.

 

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ROBERTSON, Flight Sergeant John Scott (182281) - Distinguished Flying Medal - unit ? - awarded as per London Gazette dated 20 February 1945. Born 1924 in St.Catharines, Ontario; home in Bisley, Renfrew (apprenticed turner). Former ATC cadet; enlisted 1943. AFRO 563/45 dated 29 March 1945 (reporting his DFM) described him as a Canadian in the RAF. Air Ministry Bulletin 17468/AL.967 refers. Air Gunner. No published citation other than "completed operations with courage and devotion to duty". Ian Tavender records his recommendation, dated 21 November 1944, found in unstated source, in his book The Distinguished Flying Medal Register for the Second World War (London, Savannah Publications, 2000). He had flown 54 sorties (225 hours 35 minutes).

 

As rear gunner of a blind marking crew, Flight Sergeant Robertson has made 54 sorties including many to heavily defended areas. His ceaseless vigilance has given a sense of security to other crew members and thus improved the quality of their work. He is an excellent gunner who is at pains to keep himself and his armament at the peak of efficiency and is always prepared to give a good account of himself in a tight corner. He is strongly recommended for the non-immediate award of the Distinguished Flying Medal.

 

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RODNEY, F/O George Forbes (37943) - Air Force Cross - No.148 Squadron - awarded as per London Gazette dated 2 January 1939. Born 14 June 1912 in Calgary. Appointed Acting Pilot Officer on Probation, RAF, 13 July 1936; F/L, 9 July 1940; S/L, 1 December 1941; W/C, 1 July 1944; G/C 1 July 1954. Briefly with Ferry Command in July 1942 before posting on 6 August 1942 to No.36 OTU. Shot down and interned in Spain for one year during war. AFRO 874/44 dated 21 April 1944 (announcing Mention in Despatches) identified him as a Canadian in the RAF, as did AFRO 508/45 dated 23 March 1945 (reporting DFC). Postwar career in RAF, retired 1961, died in Victoria 16 January 1971.

 

Acting Flying Officer Rodney has commanded "A" Flight of No.148 (B) Squadron since 6th July 1937 when the squadron reformed. His ability and enthusiasm in the air and on the ground has formed the standard for some twenty young pilots who have been training in the squadron since that date.

 

In the absence of a trained C.F.S. [Central Flying School] instructor he has given without mishap the majority of the dual (day and night) to all of these pilots.

 

He is the pilot of the best crew for Bombing and Rear Gun. His work as a Flight Commander over a long period with the substantive rank and pay of a Pilot Officer is worthy of recognition. The only recognition so far has been the Acting Rank of Flying Officer with an increase of pay of 1/ [one shilling] since 20th May 1938.

 

RODNEY, W/C George Forbes, AFC (37943) - Mention in Despatches - Overseas - Award effective 14 January 1944 as per London Gazette of that date and AFRO 874/44 dated 21 April 1944.

 

RODNEY, W/C George Forbes, AFC (37943) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.626 Squadron - awarded as per London Gazette dated 16 January 1945.

 

Wing Commander Rodney has shown outstanding leadership, tact and organizing ability during the period of his command. His personal example of zeal and cheerful confidence both in the air and on the ground have been invaluable in dealing with new and inexperienced crews. Wing Commander Rodney's skill and initiative have been largely responsible for the successes his squadron has achieved during a period of most intense operational activity.

 

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ROFFE, F/L Alfred Roy (184164) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.150 Squadron - awarded as per London Gazette dated 7 December 1945. Born in Toronto, 1921; educated in Britain; enlisted 1940; commissioned 1944. Air Ministry Bulletin 10357 refers. No citation other than "completed operations with courage and devotion to duty".

 

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ROGERS, S/L Stewart, MD, LMS (75390) - Mention in Despatches - Overseas - Award effective 14 January 1944 as per London Gazette of that date and AFRO 874/44 dated 21 April 1944. Commissioned in the Medical Branch, 27 September 1940 as a Flight Lieutenant; promoted Squadron Leader, 1 July 1943. AFRO 874/44 dated 21 April 1944 (announcing Mention in Despatches) identified him as a Canadian in the RAF. Royal Air Force Personnel Management Agency, in a letter to H.A. Halliday dated 21 February 2000, stated he was born 1 December 1917 at Tottenham, Ontario.

 

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ROMANS, P/O David Albert Alton (42265) - Distinguished Flying Cross - awarded as per London Gazette dated 30 July 1940. Born in Glace Bay, Nova Scotia, 27 November 1919; educated in Halifax. Appointed Acting Pilot Officer on Probation, RAF, 10 June 1939; with No.106 Squadron, 22-28 April 1940; with No.44 Squadron, 25 May 1940 to 20 February 1941 (but no operations after 17 October 1940); posted to No.207 Squadron, 20 February 1941; with No.90 Squadron, 19 July to 8 September 1941 (killed in action). Specifically listed in AFRO 1292/41 dated 7 November 1941 as a Canadian in the RAF who had been decorated as of that date. Air Ministry Bulletin 1228 refers. A draft of the citation in Public Record Office Air 2/4095 differs in that the first sentence reads, "Pilot Officer Romans was navigator and bomb aimer in an aircraft engaged in a bombing attack on Eschwege aerodrome on the night of 18th July 1940."

 

Pilot Officer Romans was navigator and bomb aimer in an aircraft engaged in a recent bombing attack on Eschwege aerodrome. During the attack the aircraft was hit by a shell from the ground defences, and the pilot was rendered unconscious. Pilot Officer Romans, realizing that the aircraft was flying in an erratic manner, and receiving no communications from the pilot, proceeded to the pilot's cockpit and sitting on the unconscious pilot's knees gained control of the aircraft. He continued to fly it under these conditions until the injured pilot was removed some twenty minutes later by the remainder of the crew. This officer performed a fine feat of airmanship, and showed great presence of mind in gaining control of the aircraft under such difficult conditions, especially as it was flying at a dangerously low altitude and subjected to intense and accurate anti-aircraft fire. He further succeeded in flying the aircraft safely back to its base , which necessitated accurate navigation, without assistance.

 

NOTE: Public Record Office Air 2/9447 has the original recommendation dated 19 July 1940 by the Commanding Officer, RAF Station Waddington:

 

On the night of 18/19 July 1940, whilst carrying out a bombing attack at approximately 5,000 feet in Hampden aircraft P1324 on Eschwege aerodrome, the aircraft was hit by an anti-aircraft shell which burst on the starboard side of the pilot's cockpit, rendering the pilot, Pilot Officer W. Walker (since deceased) unconscious, destroying intercommunication between the pilot and crew and extinguishing the cockpit lighting.

 


The navigator and bomb aimer, Pilot Officer D.A. Romans, observing that the aircraft as flying in an erratic manner and receiving no communication from the pilot, immediately proceeded to gain control of the aircraft which was stalling. To do this, he had to climb into the pilot's cockpit and sit on the unconscious pilot's knees. He flew the aircraft in this position under the most difficult conditions for more than 20 minutes. Eventfully, with the assistance of the remainder of the crew, the unconscious pilot was removed from the pilot's seat.

 

Pilot Officer Romans performed a fine feat of airmanship and showed great presence of mind in regaining control of the aircraft which was undergoing intense and accurate anti-aircraft fire and flying at a dangerously low altitude. He was, eventually, able to pilot the aircraft safely to base which necessitated accurate navigation, without assistance.

 

On 20 July 1940 this was minuted by Air Vice-Marshal A.T. Harris, Air Officer Commanding No.5 Group:

 

Forwarded and strongly recommended.

 

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ROSE, F/O Douglas Milton (182748) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.207 Squadron - awarded as per London Gazette dated 7 December 1945. Born 2 October 1919 in Gladstone, Manitoba; home there; educated at Stoney Mountain, Manitoba, 1924 to June 1935; employed as Assistant Chemist at International Laboratories, St.Boniface, October 1937 to April 1939; Harrington Ice Hockey Club, London, England, July 1939 to April 1940, and London Aeroplanes, Middlesex, 1 May 1940 to 28 March 1941 (fitter). Enlisted in RAF, 1 April 1941. Posted to Canada for training, 2 December 1941 (No.10 EFTS from 8 December 1941 to 3 February 1942 and No.1 SFTS, 1 March to 19 June 1942. Later with No.130 Squadron, Bagotville; returned to Britain, 27 May 1943; at No.17 () AFU, 4 August 1943; to No.6 (P) AFU, 14 December 1943; to No.29 OTU, 4 April 1944; to No.51 Base, 5 July 1944. On a form dated 8 May 1945 he stated he had flown 28 successful and one unsuccessful sorties with No.207 Squadron (208 hours 45 minutes), 14 October 1944 to 23 April 1945. Transferred to RCAF, 24 May 1945 (C94052); repatriated 23 July 1945; released 11 September 1945. Air Ministry Bulletin 20331/AL.1105 refers.

 


...has completed a number of successful sorties as captain of aircraft. These have included long flights against vital and highly defended targets such as Munich, Politz, Brux, Bohlen, Sasnitz, Lutzendorf and Pilsen. On every occasion his attacks have been pressed home with courage and determination. In December 1944 when returning from Heidbrown, his aircraft encountered heavy icing. All four engines became unserviceable and only the prompt action and skill of this officer saved the crew and aircraft from disaster. In January 1945, shortly after taking off on a long sortie to Politz, the navigational aids of his aircraft failed. Despite this, Flying Officer Rose continued his flight and completed a successful bombing attack. In March 1945, when returning from Lutzendorf, his aircraft was pursued by a Junkers 88 for about 20 minutes, despite all his efforts to give his gunners an opportunity of opening fire. Due to this officer's skill in handling his aircraft the enemy was unable to open fire effectively and was eventually driven off. This officer has always shown great resolution and perseverance.

 

NOTE: On a form dated 29 June 1945 he gave his flying time as 208 hours 20 minutes (operational), 455 hours 20 minutes (non-operational). He listed his types and approximate hours as follows: Master (107.40), Oxford (116.40), Wellington (78.05), Stirling (43.50) and Lancaster (317.25).

 

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ROSS, Sergeant Murray Hugh (1375548 and 77109) - Distinguished Flying Medal - No.29 Squadron - awarded as per London Gazette dated 29 July 1941. Born in Sydney, Nova Scotia, 12 March 1908; home in Montebello, Quebec but working in England from September 1937 onwards as a mink breeder in Scotland (business closed during war scare), then as a salesman in London. Upon the outbreak of war he went to Canada House to join the RCAF but was advised he would not be accepted owing to age and marital status (he had married in 1937). Granted emergency commission as Acting Pilot Officer on Probation (General Duties), 30 December 1939; graded as Pilot Officer on Probation, 4 February 1940; relinquished commission "on termination of duty", 13 July 1940; enlisted as Aircraftman 2nd Class (Aircraft Hand/Air Gunner), 13 August 1940; remustered as Air Gunner and promoted to Sergeant, 23 October 1940; remustered to Radio Operator, 12 January 1941; remustered Observer Radio, 10 July 1941; promoted Flight Sergeant, 1 October 1941; commissioned 9 February 1942 (RAF 77109); promoted to Flying Officer, 1 October 1942; promoted to Flight Lieutenant, 19 February 1944. First mentioned in No.29 Squadron ORB, 1 November 1940; last mentioned 12 August 1941. Served with Braham. On Repatriation Depot form dated 15 May 1945 he claimed to have flown 800 hours (500 non-operational, 300 operational) and 112 sorties, the last of which was in January 1944 with No.600 Squadron. On the same form he claimed to have flown about 300 hours in Beaufighters, 100 hours in Mosquitos and 400 hours in Blenheims. The exact sequence of his postings is unclear, but as of December 1941 and June 1942 he was a Radar Observer instructor at No.54 OTU; as of October 1942 and April 1943 he was with No.153 Squadron; as of October 1943 he was with No.63 OTU, Honily. Transferred to RCAF, 6 February 1945 (C89566). Repatriated to Canada, 12 February 1945; released 1 September 1945. Specifically listed in AFRO 1292/41 dated 7 November 1941 as a Canadian in the RAF who had been decorated as of that date. Air Ministry Bulletin 4602 refers.

 

This airman has proved himself to be a courageous and efficient wireless operator/air gunner and has displayed great keenness. One night in March 1941, after successfully intercepting an enemy aircraft, the cannons jammed, but Sergeant Ross managed to change the heavy pans and clear stoppages four times under cramped and difficult conditions at 12,000 feet, which enabled his pilot to destroy the enemy aircraft. He has assisted his pilot in the destruction of at least two enemy aircraft at night.

 


NOTE: Ian Tavender records his recommendation, dated 28 June 1941, found in Public Record Office Air 2/9541, in his book The Distinguished Flying Medal Register for the Second World War (London, Savannah Publications, 2000). He had flown 50 sorties (91 hours 20 minutes).

 

Sergeant Ross has been employed as a Wireless Operator/Air Gunner in this squadron for the last six months during which time he has completed 50 night sorties against the enemy totalling 91.20 hours flying. During this period, Sergeant Ross has proved himself to be courageous and efficient and by his own keenness has greatly assisted the morale and spirit of the other operators at a very high level. Sergeant Ross has had three very successful interceptions, thus enabling his pilot to destroy two enemy aircraft and probably destroy another. This Non-Commissioned Officer's high qualities are illustrated particularly in the following incidents. On the night of 13th March 1941, having made a successful interception, the cannons jammed. Sergeant Ross, however, managed to change the heavy pan and clear stoppages four times under cramped and difficult conditions at 12,000 feet. After 25 minutes, he got three cannons working which enabled his pilot to destroy the enemy aircraft. On 23rd June 1941, this Non-Commissioned Officer obtained a head-on interception and by skilful interpretation of the special equipment, brought his pilot astern of the enemy aircraft, resulting in its probable destruction.

 

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ROWLEY, F/O Walter (128492) - Distinguished Flying Cross - awarded as per London Gazette dated 18 January 1944 for services in No.214 Squadron. Canadian connection not certain from cards; AFRO 462/44 dated 3 March 1944 (announcing DFC) describes him as Canadian in the RAF. Royal Air Force Personnel Management Agency, in a letter to H.A. Halliday dated 21 February 2000, states he was born 29 March 1918 at Pontefract, Yorkshire.

 

...a keen and determined navigator this officer has successfully completed numerous operational sorties, covering targets at Rostock, Hamburg, southern Germany and Italy. Throughout he has displayed a consistently high standard of navigation combined with determination to complete his mission regardless of enemy opposition or adverse weather. In August 1943, his aircraft was seriously damaged by a hostile fighter when over Nuremburg. By skilful navigation Flying Officer Rowley enabled his captain to fly the badly damaged bomber safely back to England.

 

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ROWSELL, F/O Cyril Rowland (146604) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.415 Squadron - awarded as per London Gazette dated 7 November 1944. From Port Blandford, Newfoundland. His identity as a Newfoundlander is confirmed by G.W.L. Nicholson, More Fighting Newfoundlanders (St.John's, published by the government of Newfoundland in 1969). Directorate of History and Heritage document 79/201 listing Newfoundlanders in the RAF gives date of enlistment as 26 February 1941; his airman's number was 788667; commissioned 14 March 1943. Date of demobilizion (as a Flight Lieutenant) was 15 May 1946.


As wireless operator (air) this officer has completed two tours of operational duty, during which he has participated in attacks on many heavily defended targets in germany including Frankfurt, Stuttgart, Stettin and Berlin. He has rendered service which has contributed materially to the successes obtained.

 

NOTE: DHist file 181.009 D.1633 (RG.24 Vol. 20603) has recommendation dated 30 August 1944 when he had flown six sorties in Coastal Command (17-29 August 1942, 45 hours 50 minutes) and 48 in Bomber Command (3 December 1942 to 19 June 1943 and 29 January to 7 August 1944, 259 hours 50 minutes in all).

 

This officer has completed two tours as a wireless operator, during which time he has participated in many attacks on such well defended targets as Berlin, Frankfurt, Stuttgart, Stettin and Dusseldorf, and by his skill and determination has contributed much to the successes obtained.

 

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