Halton Apprentices - The Gallantry Awards and Honours (Part 1)

All Apprentices went onto greater glories once they had graduated from RAF Halton, none more so than those who saw active service in conflicts or military campaigns worldwide. It is a source of pride to all Brats that many of their compatriots or predecessors had their sacrifice and bravery recognised by the award of gallantry medals. These are listed as follows and, where known, further details of the circumstances leading to the award are provided. Further acknowledgement is made at the National Memorial Arboretum, Alrewas, in the Halton Grove where as part of an on-going project, pavers bearing the names of these heroes are being laid. The following listing carries an annotation against those so-far honoured. (It is recognised that this listing is incomplete and the expectation is advice will be received from the wider world which will result in this reference page being expanded).


The Victoria Cross



The first British medal to be created for bravery, the Victoria Cross was instituted in 1856, with the first recipients being personnel honoured for their gallantry during the Crimean War. The bronze Cross, which bears the inscription "For Valour", is cast from the metal of Russian guns captured at Sevastopol during the Crimean campaign. It is awarded "for most conspicuous bravery, or some daring or pre-eminent act of valour or self-sacrifice, or extreme devotion to duty in the presence of the enemy."

563627 Sgt Thomas Gray (20th Entry) paver at the Halton Grove

On 12 May 1940, over the Albert Canal, Belgium, one bridge in particular was being used by the invading army, with protection from fighter aircraft, anti-aircraft and machine-guns. The RAF was ordered to demolish this vital bridge, and five Fairey Battle bombers were despatched with Sergeant Gray as the navigator in the plane leading the bombing attack. They met an inferno of anti-aircraft fire, but the mission was accomplished, much of the success being due to the coolness and resource of the pilot (Donald Edward Garland) of the leading aircraft and the navigation of Sergeant Gray. Unfortunately the leading aircraft and three others did not return. Gray is buried at the Haverlee War Cemetery near Leuven in Belgium.


 

The Albert Medal


Named after the the Prince Consort (who had died in 1861) this medal was awarded for gallantry in life saving at sea and on land. In 1949 the Albert Medal in Gold was replaced by the George Cross. Holders of this medal were invited to exchange their medals for the George Cross. Some 49 of 64 did so but this did not include the Brat who was awarded this reward for gallantry.







The Empire Gallantry Medal


The Empire Gallantry Medal (EGM) introduced by King George V on 29 December 1922, was awarded for acts of gallantry that did not reach the standard required for the Albert Medal and the Edward Medal. The EGM was awarded until 1940, when it was superseded by the George Cross.









The George Cross


The George Cross ranks with the Victoria Cross as the nation's highest award for gallantry, and was instituted in 1940 to recognise actions of supreme gallantry in circumstances for which the Victoria Cross was not appropriate. Thus, it may be awarded to civilians, as well as members of the Armed Forces for acts of gallantry not in the presence of the enemy, including, for example, military explosive ordnance disposal personnel. It is awarded "for acts of the greatest heroism or of the most conspicuous courage in circumstances of extreme danger."








 

361747 Cpl Archibald Charles Wood (3rd Entry) - LG: 22 Jan 37 paver at the Halton Grove

On 08 Feb 36 when serving on 60(B) Sqn at Kohat a Westland Wapiti (J9391/Z) crashed. Cpl Wood attempted the rescue of the Pilot and for his action was awarded the Albert Medal, the only Apprentice to be so honoured with this award.

362370 LAC Robert Ewing Douglas (5th Entry) - LG: 27 Mar 31 paver at the Halton Grove

Awarded the Empire Gallantry medal whilst serving on 60(B)Sqn at Kohat. He was the first apprentice to be awarded the EGM.

362420 Wg Cdr Leonard Henry Harrison (5th Entry) - LG: 03 Jan 41 paver at the Halton Grove

In February 1940 when serving as a civilian instructor at RAF Manby he was called to use his knowledge and skill when a grain carrier limped into Immimgham Dock with an unexploded bomb wedged in the main deck. With help from colleagues Harrison defused the bomb which had a fuze of a type unknown at that time. A few weeks later there was a similar incident involving another bomb onboard a fishing vessel in the Humber which again was successfully defused.

362701 Flt Cadet William Neil McKechnie (5th Entry) - LG: 18 Oct 29 paver at the Halton Grove

On 20 June, 1929, an aeroplane piloted by Flight Cadet C J Giles crashed on landing at RAF College Cranwell and burst into flames. The pilot was stunned, but managed to release his safety belt and fall out of the machine in a dazed condition. Flight Cadet McKechnie, who had landed in another aeroplane about the same time some two hundred yards away, left his machine and ran at full speed towards the scene of the accident. The petrol had spread over an area about ten yards in diameter, in full blaze, with Giles lying in it semi-conscious. McKechnie, without hesitation, ran into the flames and pulled out Giles, who was badly burned. McKechnie, who was himself scorched and superficially burned, then proceeded to extinguish Giles's burning clothing. There is no doubt that without McKechnie's assistance Giles would have been burned to death, as he was quite incapable of moving himself. His machine was entirely destroyed, and the ground for some distance around was burned up by the spread of the ignited petrol. (For this action Arnold was awarded the Empire Gallantry Medal which later became the George Cross)

363339 LAC Walter Arnold (7th Entry) - LG: 09 Nov 28 paver at the Halton Grove

On 20 June 1928, Leading Aircraftman Arnold was a passenger in an aircraft which crashed on landing at Digby Aerodrome. Arnold was able to free himself from the burning wreckage but he re-entered the flames in order to rescue the unconscious pilot. In doing so, Arnold sustained burns to his face, neck and hands and his actions undoubtedly saved the pilot's life. (For this action Arnold was awarded the Empire Gallantry Medal which later became the George Cross)

364701 LAC Robert Ewing Douglas (9th Entry) - LG: 27 Mar 31 paver at the Halton Grove

An aeroplane proceeding on patrol with a crew of two and a load of live bombs stalled shortly after leaving the ground and crashed on the edge of the aerodrome, immediately bursting into flames. Leading Aircraftman Douglas, who witnessed the crash, was the first to arrive on the scene of the accident and found the air gunner lying two yards from the wreckage, his clothes burning badly. These flames Douglas quenched with a hand extinguisher, and, after disentangling part of the gun equipment from the injured man's person, dragged him clear of the machine with the assistance of another airman who had arrived on the scene, and, after subduing a renewed burst of flames in his clothing, got him on board the ambulance. He then turned his attention to the pilot in the burning machine and had approached to within twelve yards of the wreckage when the first of the bombs exploded. Realising then that there was no hope of the pilot being still alive, he started to get clear and was some thirty yards away when a second bomb exploded. In advancing so close to the flames this airman took a grave risk as he was fully aware that the aircraft contained live bombs of a powerful type. (For this actionward of the Medal of the Military Division of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire which later became the George Cross)

561238 Flt Lt Hector Bertram Gray (13th Entry) - LG: 19 Apr 46 paver at the Halton Grove

Flight Lieutenant Gray was part of a group taken prisoner in Hong Kong during December 1941. During his captivity he did all he could to sustain the morale of his fellow prisoners. He smuggled much needed drugs into the camp and distributed them to those who were seriously ill, and he also ran a news service on information he received from people outside the camp. He was tortured continually over a period of nearly 6 months to make him divulge the names of his informants, but he disclosed nothing. The King was graciously pleased to approve a posthumous award of the GEORGE CROSS in recognition of most conspicuous gallantry in carrying out hazardous work in a very brave manner.

565530 LAC Jack Facer (24th Entry) - LG: 27 Nov 36


 

George Medal


The George Medal, like the George Cross, was instituted in 1940 and can be awarded both to civilians and to military personnel for acts of bravery not in the face of the enemy. The GM is awarded "for acts of great bravery."







335383 W/O Edward George Alford (1st Entry) - LG: 21 Jan 41 paver at the Halton Grove

Citation read: This warrant officer has displayed great gallantry and skill in disposing of a large number of unexploded bombs, never hesitating to deal with them immediately if he considered their presence was affecting the operational efficiency of the station.

365204 Sqn Ldr Samuel J Davies (10th Entry) - LG: 20 Oct 44 paver at the Halton Grove

Citation reads: In May, 1944, this officer was in the vicinity when an aircraft, shortly after taking off on an operational flight, crashed and burst into flames. Sqn Ldr Davies immediately drove to the scene and observed the rear gunner collapse in an attempt to get out of the aircraft. Heedless of the danger from the ammunition which was exploding, and also being aware that the aircraft carried bombs, he climbed on to the wing to extricate the rear gunner whose head and shoulders were hanging over the side of the cockpit. He had to free the latter's harness which had become entangled in some part of the aircraft, but he finally managed to lift him out of the cockpit and drag him clear of the burning wreckage. Sqn Ldr Davies then attempted to lift the body of the pilot out of the blazing front cockpit but was unsuccessful in doing this owing to the smoke and flames. He could see that the pilot had been killed in the crash. After warning all personnel of an imminent explosion he, with assistance from another airman, carried the gunner to the sick quarters. Less than two minutes after he had left the scene; two 500 lb. bombs exploded completely destroying the aircraft. The timely and courageous action of Sqn Ldr Davies had saved the life of the rear gunner.

366233 Flt Lt Ernest L Williams (12th Entry) - LG: 21 Jan 41 paver at the Halton Grove


560595 LAC Sydney Walter Green (14th Entry) paver at the Halton Grove

Whilst serving on 18 OTU - Saving Life after aircraft crash

560893 Plt Off Gerard Ryder (14th Entry) - LG: 11 Mar 41 paver at the Halton Grove

Citation read: One night in December, 1940, Flt Lt Smythe, Plt Off Ryder and a sergeant comprised the crew of an aircraft which crashed and caught fire shortly after taking off. Flt Lt Smythe and Plt Off Ryder managed to extricate themselves from the wreckage but the sergeant was trapped in his cockpit. In spite of the fire and exploding incendiaries, and knowing that there were bombs which had not exploded, the two officers immediately re-entered the crashed aircraft and succeeded in extricating the trapped airman. Both these officers displayed great courage and a complete disregard for their personal safety.

562435 W/O David Bishop (18th Entry) - LG: 21 Jan 41 paver at the Halton Grove

Whilst serving at RAF Hal Far - Bomb Disposal. Citation reads: Warrant Officer Bishop, who is employed on armament duties in Malta, has displayed exceptional courage and devotion to duty throughout a long and trying period. He has rendered invaluable service, showing an absolute disregard for is own safety which has been of the greatest benefit to his superior officer whose services have been fully taxed during the constant air raids of the past 5 months.

562788 Plt Off Harold C Morris (18th Entry) paver at the Halton Grove

20 SFTS - Saving Life after aircraft crash

562931 Flt Lt Wilfred Turner (18th Entry) - LG: 20 Oct 44 paver at the Halton Grove

Citation reads: In July, 1944, two Typhoon aircraft and a petrol dump were set on fire during an enemy air attack against an airfield. Fire tenders were brought into action and, under the supervision of Wg Cdr Carroll, the fire in one aircraft was extinguished quickly. A second aircraft loaded with cannon shells arid also carrying rocket projectiles, was burning furiously. Ammunition, petrol tanks and rockets were exploding in all directions. Two rockets, which were pointing towards other aircraft and a dispersal area, remained in the starboard wing. Realising that it was impossible to extinguish the fire, Wg Cdr Carroll and Flt Lt Turner donned asbestos gloves and endeavoured to remove the rockets. This necessitated crawling under the wing and, had the starboard oleo leg collapsed, both officers would probably have been crushed to death. Undaunted by the intense heat and grave danger, these officers succeeded in removing the rockets. Wg Cdr Carroll also assisted to roll away two 500 lb. bombs which were near the fire. Throughout the whole operation Wg Cdr Carroll and Flt Lt Turner displayed courage and determination of a very high standard and set an excellent example. By their action they nullified a very great potential danger to personnel and aircraft in the vicinity.

565387 Sqn Ldr Peter Guy Ottewill (23rd Entry) - LG: 12 Nov 43 paver at the Halton Grove

Citation reads: One day in June, 1943, a Beaufighter aircraft crashed into an ammunition store when taking off and immediately caught fire. Both occupants of the aircraft were stunned and unable to get out unaided. Despite the bursting of the aircraft's war load of ammunition (which included cannon shells), the 30,000 rounds of ammunition which were exploding in the store and the grave danger of the petrol tanks exploding, Sqn Ldr Ottewill, accompanied by 2 others, went to the scene of the accident in an endeavour to rescue the crew. Sqn Ldr Ottewill, ignoring a burning petrol tank, jumped on to the wing and after opening the front hatch, he succeeded in releasing the pilot and dragged him clear. Sqn Ldr Ottewill then returned and rescued the observer who was in happened. Shortly afterwards a petrol tank exploded. Sqn Ldr Ottewill, who had been severely burned on a previous occasion when his own aircraft was shot down by the enemy, accepted the risk of further severe burns, and injury in going to the assistance of his comrades and effecting their rescue. Fortunately he sustained only slight burns during this rescue.

568020 Cpl John William Deacon (32nd Entry) - LG: 08 Jul 41 paver at the Halton Grove

Whilst serving on 235 Sqn. Citation reads: On the evening of the 24th February 1941 at approximately 2000 hours, an aircraft crashed into the side of a hill near the aerodrome and caught fire. Corporal Deacon immediately proceeded to the scene of the crash and found one member of the crew on the mainplane. He dragged him to safety, assisted by Gunner Gage. Whilst removing this member of the crew to safety they were informed of another three members in the aircraft. They returned to the crash and succeeded in dragging clear the other members of the crew. This rescue was carried out under conditions of great difficulty for, in addition to the fire, cannon shells and small arms ammunition were exploding, making rescue very dangerous.

574485 Flt Sgt Ernest Thomas Edward Evans (39th Entry) paver at the Halton Grove

Whilst serving at RAF Pembroke Dock

8018509 E Skelly (114th Entry) paver at the Halton Grove

Post RAF - Services to Police/Prison Service - Further information tbd

F8018509 Sgt Dennis Anthony Rogers (409th Entry) - LG: 08 Sep 92 paver at the Halton Grove

UK EOD, Kuwait - rescuing 2 boys from area of anti-personnel mines


 

Distinguished Service Order


The Distinguished Service Order was instituted in 1886, and recognises outstanding leadership during active operations. It is awarded "for distinguished services during active operations against the enemy."











363771 Air Vice Marshal Walter C Sheen (7th Entry)

LG: tbn - While serving as OC 61 Sqn in 1940

Grp Cpt Maurice Larry Gaine (13th Entry)

LG: tbn - While serving as OC 39 Sqn in 1942

Group Captain M L Gaine (14th Entry [10th Entry Flowerdown])

LG: tbn

561078 Wg Cdr Leslie Crooks (15th Entry) - LG: 28 May 43

Citation reads: As a Squadron Leader took part in No.426 Squadron's third operation, 21 January 1943; date of award incident was 26 April 1943; Commanding Officer of unit, 15 February to 17 August 1943 (missing, Peenemunde raid). This officer's courage and skill were admirably demonstrated during a recent attack on Duisburg. When approaching the target his aircraft was raked by cannon fire from an enemy fighter. Wing Commander Crooks skilfully evaded the attacker but his aircraft had sustained much damage. Although one aileron and half the port tail plane had been shot away, while the hydraulic and electrical systems were rendered inoperative, Wing Commander Crooks flew the bomber back to this country. Unfortunately, it was impossible to effect a safe landing, but when the crew were forced to abandon aircraft, all descended safely. In the face of heavy odds, Wing Commander Crooks set an example worthy of high praise.

562059 Wg Cdr Herbert Ashton Clark (17th Entry)


562085 Wg Cdr Charles McKenzie Dunnicliffe (17th Entry)


44456 Grp Cpt Thomas Gilbert Mahaddie (17th Entry)

LG: 1942 - Whilst serving on 7 Sqn, RAF Kinloss (Mahaddie sarcastically referred to the award as his 'Avoiding Flak Cross.') Bar - LG: 07 Jun 51 - for his work bringing the Canberra into service.

44270 Flt Lt Frank Squire (17th Entry)

Whilst serving on 210 Sqn

44565 Sqn Ldr Geoffrey Walter Harding (19th Entry)

Whilst serving on 105 Sqn

44877 Flt Lt Ernest Ronald Abbott (19th Entry)

LG: 24 Oct 41 - Whilst serving on 50 Sqn

43123 Wg Cdr Nelson Bruce Harvey (19th Entry)

Whilst serving on 39 Sqn

43138 Wg Cdr Joe Northrop (19th Entry)

Whilst serving on 692 Sqn

43416 Sqn Ldr Fraser Burstock Slade (19th Entry)

Whilst serving on 12 Sqn

43128 Grp Cpt John Henry Searby (19th Entry)

Whilst serving on 83 Sqn

43145 Wg Cdr Reginald William Cox (20th Entry)

Whilst serving on 7 Sqn

44128 Sqn Ldr Arthur Reece (20th Entry)

Whilst serving on 149 Sqn

33130 Wg Cdr Robert Gordon Yaxley (20th Entry) paver at the Halton Grove

Whilst serving on 272 Sqn

44547 Wg Cdr Edward William Deacon (20th Entry) paver at the Halton Grove

Whilst serving on 35 Sqn

45713 Sqn Ldr William Cowan Ollason(20th Entry)

Whilst serving on 101 Sqn

43144 Sqn Ldr Charles Darwen Stenner (21st Entry)

Whilst serving on 106 Sqn

44076 Wg Cdr Alan George Seymour Cousens (22nd Entry)

Whilst serving on 115 Sqn

47663 Sqn Ldr Edward John Greenleaf (22nd Entry)

Whilst serving on 571 Sqn

44709 Sqn Ldr Wilfred Stanley Herring (22nd Entry)

LG: 07 Oct 41 - Whilst serving on 207 Sqn

44547 Flt Lt Joseph Roy George Ralston (22nd Entry)

LG: 20 Oct 42 - Whilst serving on 105 Sqn

44835 Wg Cdr Ian Clifford Kirby Swales (23rd Entry)

LG: 07 Nov 44 - Whilst serving on 622 Sqn

565402 Wg Cdr Dennis Theodore Witt (23rd Entry)

LG: 16 Feb 45 - Whilst serving on 635 Sqn

46302 Sqn Ldr Dilwyn Henry Thomas (23rd Entry)

LG: 30 Nov 43Whilst serving on 156 Sqn

565510 Flt Lt Ernest Edward Collins (24th Entry)

LG: 21 Nov 41 - Whilst serving on 50 Sqn

44357 Sqn Ldr Georger Godfrey Petty (24th Entry)

Whilst serving on 207 Sqn

43075 Sqn Ldr Arthur William Southall (24th Entry)

Whilst serving on 174 Sqn

44735 Flt Lt Thomas John Watkins (24th Entry)

Whilst serving on 82 Sqn

45353 Flt Lt Arthur John Hodgkinson (25th Entry)

Whilst serving on 23 Sqn - KIA 10 July 1943 (Italy)

33201 Flt Lt James Anderson Pitcairn-Hill (26th Entry)

Whilst serving on 83 Sqn

47403 Flt Lt Eric Baldwin (26th Entry)

Citation provided by his Son, Jerry Baldwin, reads: LG: 22 Sep 44. On the night of 25th/26th July 1944 this officer was the captain and pilot of one of three aircraft detailed to attack Berlin in the role of marker with special equipment. On the run up to the target in clear weather the aircraft was coned, was the centre of an intense barrage of heavy flak, and was hit by shrapnel in several places; one piece of shrapnel pierced the suction pipe line to the blind flying instruments and put them unserviceable. Undeterred, Flt Lt Baldwin continued his bombing run realising that very probably on him rested the responsibility for successfully marking the target. After completing his target marking duties successfully, this officer was faced with the task of flying his aircraft home on a pitch black night and through an occlusion lying across his route to a low cloud base over this country with the only blind flying instruments serviceable being the airspeed indicator and the American pattern bank indicator, with which he was unfamiliar. Shortly after leaving the target he received an indication on special equipment that he was being chased by an enemy night fighter. He took avoiding action but the chase continued for ten minutes until Flt Lt Baldwin decided to take refuge in cloud where he lost control of the aircraft through having no blind flying instruments, but managed successfully to lose the enemy night fighter. He regained control of the aircraft after losing some thousands of feet and continued his journey home, finally making a successful landing at base despite the fact that his port tyre had been punctured by flak. The outstanding courage and devotion to duty displayed by this officer in the above circumstances is worthy of the highest praise. Flt Lt Baldwin has now completed 121 bombing sorties against the enemy. He carried out a prolonged first tour of 68 sorties in the Middle East Command in 1941 and has now completed a further 53 sorties with this squadron. His list of successful sorties include 22 attacks on Benghazi and 20 on Berlin. Of his list of successful sorties carried out with this squadron, 40 have been made in the role of marker with special equipment. Flight Lieutenant Baldwin is an outstanding officer who has always shown the utmost keenness to operate against the enemy, his every sortie is brought to a successful conclusion by a display of courage and determination unsurpassed and his fine work both in the air and on the ground have been a tremendous asset to this squadron. This recommendation was endorsed by the Officer Commanding, Station Upwood (2 August 1944) and the Air Officer Commanding, No.8 Group (4 August 1944) before final approval by Air Chief Marshal Sir Arthur Harris (9 August 1944).

566493 (33345) Air Commodore Vic Willis (28th Entry)

LG: 31 Mar 44 - Acting Wg Cdr whilst serving on 192 (Special Signals) Sqn. Citation reads: Since being awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, this officer has completed a large number of sorties, many of them demanding skill of a high degree. His appreciation of the responsibilities entrusted to him, his ingenuity and his determination to complete his allotted task have contributed in a large measure to the success of the operations in which he has taken part. He is a fine leader, whose example of courage and devotion to duty has been worthy qf the greatest praise.”

45543 Sqn Ldr George Binmore Johns (29th Entry)

Whilst serving on 260 Sqn

47821 Sqn Ldr Harry Alexander (29th Entry)

Whilst serving on 109 Sqn

47364 Sqn Ldr Richard David Campling (31st Entry)

Whilst serving on 7 Sqn

50954 Flt Lt Edward Ernest Stocker (37th Entry) paver at the Halton Grove

Whilst serving on 582 Sqn


 

Military Cross


The Military Cross (MC) is the third-level military decoration awarded to officers and (since 1993) other ranks of the British Armed Forces; and formerly also to officers of other Commonwealth countries. The MC is granted in recognition of "an act or acts of exemplary gallantry during active operations against the enemy on land to all members, of any rank in Our Armed Forces". In 1979, the Queen approved a proposal that a number of awards, including the Military Cross, could be awarded posthumously.








43119 Pilot Officer Arthur George Cork (11th Entry) - LG: 01 Jul 41 paver at the Halton Grove

On 15th April 1941 this officer was second in command of the 37 Squadron's outparty which embarked at Alexandria on the SS Dumania for Greece. During the voyage he was in charge of 4 Lewis Gun positions manned by personnel of the squadron. On the outward journey, the ships in the convoy, and the SS Duminia in particular, were attacked 3 times from the air before reaching Suda Bay and once again while in the bay. When returning to Alexandria, in convoy, a further 4 attacks were made. Throughout all these attacks, which were made either by dive bombing or torpedoes, Pilot Officer Cork controlled and used his guns continuously, manning individual gun positions in turn himself, although in an exposed position on the upper deck. His splendid leadership inspired the gun crew to resist the enemy with vigour and accuracy. Some 6000 rounds of ammunition were fired and it is probable that at least 2 enemy aircraft were damaged.

33130 Wg Cdr Robert Gordon Yaxley (20th Entry) - LG: 06 Nov 36 paver at the Halton Grove for services in Palestine whilst with 2 Armed Car Co.


 

Distinguished Flying Cross


The Distinguished Flying Cross recognises acts of bravery during combat operations in the air. It was instituted in 1918 and is awarded "for gallantry during active operations against the enemy."













335417 tbn A Adams (1st Entry)


335822 Flt Lt A Grant (2nd Entry)

LG: tbn

363236 Flt Lt William Folgar Readhead (6th Entry)

LG 13 Aug 43: Citation reads - This Officer has completed 25 sorties and flown a total of 170 operational hours as a Flight Engineer. He has made several sorties against the heaviest defended of Axis targets, including Berlin, four to the Ruhr and six to Italy. He has at all times shown a high degree of courage and initiative, whilst his tenacity, endurance and fine offensive spirit have inspired all those with whom he has come into contact. He is recommended for the award of the Distinguished Flying Cross.

363797 AVM H V Satterly (7th Entry)


365403 (43355) PO Henry Cattell (10th Entry)

LG: 01 Apr 40: Whilst serving with 10 Sqn.

Group Captain F F Wicks (10th Entry [6th Entry Flowerdown])

LG: tbn

365655 Wg Cdr James Seward Withers Bignal (11th Entry)


36031 Wg Cdr Donald Osborne Finlay (12th Entry)


26218 Wg Cdr Stanley Charles Widdows (13th Entry)

As CO of 29 Sqn flying night patrols he soon established a reputation in the Night Fighting role. When No 29 moved to West Malling in Kent in April, Widdows was appointed station commander. A few days later he was on patrol over the English Channel when he attacked a Junkers 88. As he opened fire, his Beaufighter was badly damaged by return fire, which also put the radio out of action. Widdows took violent evasive action, and managed to limp back to his airfield – where he discovered that his radar operator had bailed out; the man's body was later recovered on a French beach. Shortly afterwards, Widdows was rested from operations and awarded a DFC for his fine leadership.

44971 Flt Lt William Abercromby (15th Entry)

Whilst serving on 50 Sqn

44054 Flt Lt Leslie Crooks (15th Entry)

Pilot of Avro Lancaster Mk II, Serial No DS681, Code Letters OW- . T/o 2132 on 17th from Linton-on-Ouse to attack the V1 & V2 research facility at Peenemunde. A famous raid. (Crooks was the Commanding Officer of 426 Sqdn and was killed on the eighth operation of his second tour). Crooks was awarded the DFC as an acting Flt Lt on 58 Sqdn in 1941.

43132 P/O Frank Reginald Carey (16th Entry)

Whilst serving on 3 Sqn

561905 Sqn Ldr Harold Shields (16th Entry)

LG: 14 Aug 42

562059 Wg Cdr Herbert Ashton Clark (17th Entry)


562085 Wg Cdr Charles McKenzie Dunnicliffe (17th Entry)


81048 P/O Charles Ernest Hill (17th Entry)

Whilst serving on 101 Sqn

44456 Grp Cpt Thomas Gilbert Mahaddie (17th Entry)


562350 Flt Lt George Albert Watson (17th Entry)

LG: 13 Oct 44 -

562404 A Flt Lt James Clapham Anderson (18th Entry) LG; 10 Sep 43

Citation reads: Awarded whilst serving on 57 Sqn Flt Lt Anderson has completed a large number of operational flights, in the course of which he attacked all the main targets in enemy territory. This officer also participated in the daylight raids on Le Creuset and Milan. He has always been a strong support to his captain and in no small measure has contributed to the success of all crews with whom he has flown. His work has been of great value. He possesses expert technical knowledge which has been an immense advantage in the training of new air crews."

562677 Sqn Ldr John Vincent Clarence Badger (18th Entry)

LG: 06 Sep 40 - Pilot, whilst serving on 43 Sqn.

562559 FO John Edward Gibbs (18th Entry)

LG: 05 Dec 44 - Pilot.

562554 Sqn Ldr Geoffrey Walter Harding (18th Entry)

LG: tbd

562801 Francis Joseph Soper (18th Entry)

LG: 07 Oct 41

562898 Sqn Ldr Denis Henry Allan Moore (18th Entry)

LG: 09 Jul 43

562610 Sqn Ldr Edward Rowland Thorn (18th Entry)

LG: 22 Sep 42

36225 Sqn Ldr Glynn Ashfield (19th Entry)

Whilst serving on 157 Sqn

563032 FO Thomas Herbert Baker (19th Entry)

LG: 09 Dec 41

46455 Flt Lt Philip Edmund Barns (19th Entry) LG: 14 Sep 45

21 Squadron on his 3rd tour with the squadron. (Previously had been lead navigator on the Amiens Jail Raid).

43354 P/O George Hermans Bennions (19th Entry) LG: 01 Oct 40

Awarded the DFC whilst serving on 41 Sqn at the start of the Battle of Britain. George Hermans Bennions on July 28 and 29 1940 claimed Bf109s destroyed, but was shot down on the 29th. On August 15 he claimed a Bf 110 and another damaged; on September 5 a Ju 88 destroyed; a Bf 109 probably destroyed and a Ju 88 damaged. On the 6th he claimed two Bf 109s shot down and on the 7th his undercarriage collapsed on landing. Another Bf 109 was claimed on the 9th and a Bf 110 damaged on the 11th. A Bf 109 was claimed as destroyed and a Do 17 damaged on the 15th; a Bf 109 shot down on the 17th and a Bf 109 destroyed; two more probably destroyed and one damaged on the 18th. He destroyed another Bf 109 on the 23rd, probably two more on the 28th and his final victory, another Bf 109, came on October 1 1940. On this day, in combat with Bf 109s, he had a cannon shell explode in his cockpit, blinding him in one eye and wounding his right arm and leg. He baled out and after emergency treatment he was transferred to Queen Victoria Hospital, East Grinstead. After undergoing plastic surgery by Archie McIndoe, he became one of the famous Guinea Pigs.

563041 Flt Lt William George Brinn (19th Entry)

LG: 26 Oct 43

44780 Act Flt Lt Arthur Victor Clowes (19th Entry)

LG: 13 May 40 - Pilot on 1 Sqn.

49575 F/O John Fort (19th Entry)

Whilst serving on 617 Sqn

562690 W/O Reginald John Fulbrook (19th Entry)

Training accident in Handley Page Halifax W1243 whilst serving on 103 Sqn

563179 Sqn Ldr James Herbert Hallowes (19th Entry)

LG: 19 Jan 43

44630 Flt Lt Frederick William Higginson (19th Entry)

Whilst serving on 56 Sqn

45010 Sqn Ldr Herbert James Lempiere (Darkie) Hallowes (19th Entry)

Whilst serving on 165 Sqn

W/O Walter Nicholls (19th Entry)

Whilst serving on 7 Sqn

43419 Flt Lt Walter John Lawson (19th Entry)

Whilst serving on 19 Sqn

563257 Wg Cdr Joseph Northrop (19th Entry)


45464 Flt Lt Eric Richardson (19th Entry)

Whilst serving on 258 Sqn

43128 Grp Cpt John Henry Searby (19th Entry)

Whilst serving on 83 Sqn

49034 Sqn Ldr George Milner Smith (19th Entry)

Whilst serving on 256 Sqn

44678 Sqn Ldr Francis Joseph Soper(19th Entry)

Whilst serving on 257 Sqn

46957 Sqn Ldr Edward Roland Thorn (19th Entry)

Whilst serving on 32 Sqn

42945 P/O Francis Joseph Watson (19th Entry)

Whilst serving on 83 Sqn

563245 Sqn Ldr George Alexander Watt (19th Entry)

LG: 27 Oct 42

563859 PO Geoffrey Allard (20th Entry)

LG: 08 Oct 40 - Between 30th August and 1st September 1940, this officer destroyed seven enemy aircraft; previously he had destroyed ten and shared in the destruction of others. He has displayed outstanding skill and courage in combat against the enemy.

563947 FO Francis James Thomas Brooks (20th Entry)

LG: 24 Jul 45

43145 Wg Cdr Reginald William Cox (20th Entry)


44547 Wg Cdr Edward William Deacon (20th Entry)


43362 P/O Ian James Muirhead (20th Entry)

Whilst serving on 605 Sqn

44733 P/O Ronald William Pearson (20th Entry)

Whilst serving on 211 Sqn

563480 Gp Capt Arthur Reece (20th Entry )

LG: tbn

33130 Wg Cdr Robert Gordon Yaxley (20th Entry)

Whilst serving on 252 Sqn

158284 P/O Joseph Clifford Harris-Ward (Entry tbn) - LG: 15 Feb 44

Recommendation states: "Pilot Officer Joseph Clifford Harris-Ward has carried out 24 Operational Sorties as a Flight Engineer since his posting to 51 Sqn in May 1943. Throughout these sorties, he has carried out his duties in a most efficient manner. Under a calm and quiet manner he has a fine offensive spirit in action which inspires confidence and as a member of an Operational Crew, his keenness and ability is outstanding".

46823 P/O William George Jack Woodmason (20th Entry)

Whilst serving on 218 Sqn

46253 Flt Lt Stanley John Arnfield (21st Entry)

Whilst serving on 166 Sqn

564117 Flt Lt Philip Edmund Barns (21st Entry)

LG: 14 Sep 45

43481 P/O William Cyril Hutchings (21st Entry)

Whilst serving on 57 Sqn

42966 A Wg Cdr Arthur Ernest Lowe MBE (21st Entry)

A/G and C.O. of 77 Sqn. Awarded 09 Jul 43

45651 P/O Eric Tom Sellick (21st Entry)

Whilst serving on 42 Sqn

44775 Sqn Ldr Robert Beck Bagguley (22nd Entry)

Whilst serving on 139 Sqn

564646 Sqn Ldr Edward John Greenleaf (22nd Entry)


44600 P/O Kenneth James Holmes (22nd Entry)

Whilst serving on 217 Sqn

44779 Sqn Ldr Wilfred Morgan Protheroe (22nd Entry)

Whilst serving on 158 Sqn

46016 Flt Lt Harry Steere (22nd Entry)

LG: 23 Jun 44 - Whilst serving on 627 Sqn

565246 Flt Lt Herbert Stanley Blakeman (23rd Entry)

LG: 04 Aug 43

565226 FO Graham Baptie Blacklock (23rd Entry)

LG: 15 Jul 41

45546 P/O Earnest Alfred Deverill (23rd Entry)

LG 28 Apr 42 - Pilot, Whilst serving on 97 Sqn (Augsburg Raid) Citation reads: "On 17th April 1942 a force of twelve Lancaster heavy bombers was detailed to deliver an attack in daylight on the diesel engine factory at Augsburg in Southern Germany. To reach this highly important military target and return, a most daring flight of some 1000 miles over hostile country was necessary. Soon after entering enemy territory and whilst flying at a very low level the force was engaged by 25 to 30 enemy fighters. Later, the most intense and accurate anti-aircraft fire was encountered. Despite this formidable opposition eight of the bombers succeeded in reaching the target and in delivering a successful attack on the factory. The following officers and airmen who participated, in various capacities, as members of the aircraft crews, displayed courage, fortitude and skill of the highest order." DFC Bar added LG: 20 Nov 42 when acting Flt Lt on 97 Sqn. Citation reads: "Since being awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, this officer has taken part in 30 sorties, including many attacks on targets in the Ruhr area. In the daylight attack on the transformer station near Le Creusot, Flight Lieutenant Deverill bombed his objective from a height of 500 feet. He also participated in the recent raids on Milan and Genoa. This officer has invariably endeavoured to press home his attacks with great vigour."

51737 Flt Lt Robert Edward Manvell (23rd Entry)

Whilst serving on 156 Sqn. The recommendation for this award reads: "Flight Lieutenant Manvell is the Squadron Flight Engineer Leader and has a fine operational record. He has completed 51 operational sorties, 21 of which have been with the Pathfinder Force, against the most heavily defended targets in Germany. Apart from his duties as Engineer Leader, which he has carried out with zeal and efficiency, he has shown outstanding keenness to fly on operations on every possible occasion. His enthusiasm to undertake operational work has been an inspiration and, in particular, an example to the Flight Engineers entrusted to his care. His ability for training and instructing Flight Engineers, and his high sense of devotion to duty and his work on this squadron make him very worthy of the award of the Distinguished Flying Cross."

471224 Flt Lt Alfred Ernest Marshall (23rd Entry)

LG: 06 Oct 42 - Whilst serving on 250 Sqn

43946 Sqn Ldr Arthur Terence Maundsley (23rd Entry)

Arthur Terence Maudsley was a sergeant in the early days of the war, and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal before being commissioned as a pilot officer on 22 June 1940. He was then, whilst flying with 233 Squadron, awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross on 24 December 1940.

565107 FO Ian Clifford Kirby Swales (23rd Entry)

LG: 13 Mar 43

565380 W/O Harold Vertican (23rd Entry) paver at the Halton Grove

Awarded Whilst serving on 462 Sqn WO Vertican was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for his role in an incident which happened during an air attack on Leros. The citation stated: "The objective was successfully bombed, but while still over the target area one engine of his aircraft became unserviceable. Despite this he flew the bomber back to base. There were, however, problems on the horizon for fog was blanketing the area and they could not land. Undeterred he flew on, searching for another landing ground. The situation became serious and all moveable equipment was jettisoned to assist in maintaining height. WO Vertican made a landing after a flight of 700 miles with one of the aircraft's engines out of action."

565402 FO Denis Theodore Witt (23rd Entry)

LG: 05 Aug 41

565503 FO Ernest Albert Deverill (24th Entry)

LG: 28 Apr 42 and Bar 20 Nov 42 (Act Flt Lt)

46211 Act Flt Lt Gilbert Haworth (24th Entry)

LG: 13 Aug 43 - Whilst serving on 207 Sqn

45276 Sqn Ldr Charles Frank Rose (24th Entry)

Whilst serving on 521 Sqn

45353 P/O Arthur John Hodgkinson (25th Entry)

Bar Whilst serving on 219 Sqn

45717 F/O Arthur John Alan Roberts (25th Entry)

Whilst serving on 600 Sqn

565973 Sqn Ldr R E Sharp (25th Entry)

Whilst serving on 7 Sqn

566091 Flt Lt Eric Baldwin (26th Entry)

LG: 15 Sep 44 - Whilst serving on 139 Sqn

566065 Gp Capt Robert Thomas Frogley (26th Entry)

LG: 16 Feb 44 - Whilst serving on 50 Sqn for completing numerous operations against the enemy in which he displayed the utmost fortitude, courage and devotion to duty.

33201 Flt Lt James Anderson Pitcairn-Hill (26th Entry)

Whilst serving on 83 Sqn

566278 FO Ray George Musgrave (27th Entry)

LG: 15 Jul 41

566662 P/O Henry Erskine 'Joe' Bodien (28th Entry)

LG: 01 Apr 42 - Whilst serving on 151 Sqn (Defiants). Citation reads: This officer has carried out many night patrols. As a night fighter pilot he has shown great devotion to duty and a complete disregard of danger. On one occasion, despite having trouble with his own aircraft, Pilot Officer Bodien kept up a series of attacks on an enemy aircraft for some 45 minutes and finally destroying it.

566485 Sqn Ldr Earnest Frank Sly (28th Entry)

Awarded (15 May 43) whilst serving on 218 Sqn. In November 1942 whilst on operations against Stuttgart, one engine of the officer's aircraft became unserviceable whilst over the target. Despite this he pressed home his attack in a daring manner and returned safely to base. On another occasion whilst minelaying in the Baltic, Sqn Ldr Sly was forced to bring his aircraft down to 300 ft. owing to damage sustained in combat with an enemy fighter. By superb airmanship and determination, a safe return was made. Sqn Ldr Sly has at all times displayed high courage and devotion to duty.

566493 Air Commodore Vic Willis (28th Entry)

LG: 20 Jan 42 - Flt Lt whilst serving on 109 Squadron. Citation reads: "In November, 1941, this officer was the captain of a Wellington aircraft. During the flight his aircraft was attacked by 3 enemy fighters and, although the aircraft sustained damage, including the rear turret which was rendered unserviceable, one of the attackers was shot down and a second one damaged. Some days later, in the course of another flight, Flight Lieutenant Willis's aircraft was engaged by a Messerschmitt but, by skilful tactics, the attacker was driven off with its rear gun out of action. This officer has carried out a large number of operational missions, many of which have been of great importance. Throughout he has displayed keenness, courage and efficiency”

158284 P/O Joseph Clifford Harris-Ward (29th Entry)

LG: 15 Feb 44 - Recommendation reads: "Pilot Officer Joseph Clifford Harris-Ward has carried out 24 Operational Sorties as a Flight Engineer since his posting to 51 Sqn in May 1943. Throughout these sorties, he has carried out his duties in a most efficient manner. Under a calm and quiet manner he has a fine offensive spirit in action which inspires confidence and as a member of an Operational Crew, his keenness and ability is outstanding". Remarks by station commander “This officer has always shown particular desire to learn everything possible about his aircraft so that whatever the emergency of difficulty that might be encountered he would be ready to overcome it. His highly commendable ideals and energetic enthusiasm contribute much to the success of the his crew”. Original service number before commission was 566800 and as Cpl was Mentioned in Dispatches 11 June 1942.

566719 WO William McRobbie (29th Entry)

LG: 17 Aug 43

33414 Sqn Ldr Peter William Olber Mould (29th Entry)

Bar whilst serving on 185 Sqn

45901 P/O Leslie Arthur Rickinson (29th Entry)

Whilst serving on 101 Sqn

45202 Flt Lt William Roy Greenslade (29th Entry)

Whilst serving on 149 Sqn

45543 Flt Lt George Binmore Johns (29th Entry)

Whilst serving on 239 Sqn

33414 Sqn Ldr Peter William Olber Mould (29th Entry)

Squadron Leader Peter William Olber Mould flew a Hurricane off HMS Ark Royal 3rd April 1941 to increase the number of aircraft on Malta. On 12th May 1941 185 Squadron was established at Hal Far and he was made the Commanding Officer. He was piloting a Hurricane on 1st October 1941 when he was shot down by Italian fighters and was killed. He was 24 years old and the C.O. of 185 Squadron.

53492 (567153) Flt Lt Denzil Phillips (30th Entry)

Whilst serving on 218 Sqn

47364 Sqn Ldr Richard David Campling (31st Entry)

Whilst serving on 7 Sqn

567467 Sqn Ldr Reginald Manning (31st Entry)

LG: tbd - DFM awarded in 1945 after he had logged 45 'ops'. Among his other 'ops' he and his crew made two nights' consecutive raids on the Tirpitz (27th and 28th of April 1942) where they received severe damage to the Halifax.

567853 Wg Cdr Charles Warren (31st Entry)

LG: Sep 43 Whilst serving on 466 Sqn (Wellingtons)

47423 Flt Lt Alan Edgar Jones (31st Entry)

Whilst serving on 153 Sqn

53904 P/O Robert Catterall (32nd Entry)

Whilst serving on 199 Sqn

569585 Sqn Ldr Graham "Blondie" Hulse (33rd Entry)

Awarded the DFC following successful bale out from his damaged Spitfire whilst on operations in Italy. In 1950 Graham again baled out successfully, this time from a Meteor 7, which broke up at around 400 feet on a vertical climb, following a low level high speed pass across the airfield at the Central Flying School at Little Rissington. Graham was practising for his aerobatics display at the forthcoming Royal Air Force Pageant at Farnborough. He landed, within a very few minutes, just off the eastern edge of the airfield, and walked back to the crew room with his parachute over his shoulder, having refused to return in the airfield ambulance. Sadly 'Blondie' Hulse was to lose his life when flying F86 Sabres on operations in Korea with the United States Air Force.

Frederick William Pawsey (33rd Entry)

Whilst serving on 253 Squadron Tunisia. For Operations with Tito’s Partisans in Yugoslavia 1944

54128 Flt Lt Edward Noel Thompson (33rd Entry)

Whilst serving on 77 Sqn

50607 F/O Peter Francis Carlisle (34th Entry)

Whilst serving on 206 Sqn

570186 Sqn Ldr Cecil Owen Ellison (34th Entry)

LG: 14 Nov 44 - Citation reads: While serving with 70 Squadron flew 34 sorties against a wide variety of targets in Italy and the Balkans. (Specific mention was made of his of his determination and courage during Danube mining operations).

569680 Flt Lt Ronald Ferguson (34th Entry)

LG: 02 Jun 44

569858 Flt Lt James Inward (34th Entry)

Whilst serving on 578 Sqn

569921 Flt Lt Robert Manvell (34th Entry)

LG: 02 Jun 44 - KIA 24 Jun 44 - Avro Lancaster III, JB230/GT-S

571837 Sqn Ldr William Holden Robinson (36th Entry)




F/O Whittaker (37th Entry)

LG: 1943 - Recommendation reads: During a long and strenuous tour F O Whittaker has taken part in many missions of a daring and hazardous character including the attack on the German Dams. In September 1943, he flew as a flight engineer in an aircraft detailed for a low level night operation. his sortie was completed in the face of adverse weather and heavy opposition from enemy defences. This officer's skilful manipulation of the throttles while the aircraft was flying in low level formation contributed largely to the outstanding performance of the crew. He has always displayed high devotion to duty and courage. It was overdue recognition for his courage and devotion to duty in the raid on the Dams and other dangerous operations on which he has flown with 617 Squadron that year. LG 1944 - As Flight Lieutenant DFC Bar awarded; Citation reads: Whilst over the target his aircraft was repeatedly hit and sustained much damage. Flight Lieutenant Whittaker was wounded in both legs but, in spite of this he cooly made a detailed examination of the aircraft and gave his captain a full report of the damage sustained. He displayed great fortitude and devotion to duty and his efforts were of much assistance to his captain who flew the damaged bomber to an airfield where a safe landing was effected. (He later joined 511 Squadron; a VIP unit flying royalty and other dignitaries.)

575903 Sqn Ldr Derek Charles John Buckley (39th Entry)


50002 F/O Gerald Stansfield Johnson (39th Entry)

Whilst serving on 57 Sqn; Bar whilst serving on 97 Sqn (Flt Lt)

53824 F/O William Frank Possee (40th Entry)

Whilst serving on 9 Sqn

578017 Flt Lt Robert Henry Stow (42nd Entry)

Also awarded the DFM

44971 Wg Cdr William Abercromby (15th Entry)

Bar whilst serving on 619 Sqn

43132 Wg Cdr Frank Reginald Carey (16th Entry)

Bar whilst serving on 267 Sqn


 

Distinguished Flying Medal


The Distinguished Flying Medal (DFM) was (until 1993) a military decoration awarded to personnel of the Royal Air Force (United Kingdom) and the other services, and formerly also to personnel of other Commonwealth countries, below commissioned rank, for "an act or acts of valour, courage or devotion to duty whilst flying in active operations against the enemy". The medal was established on 3 June 1918. It was the other ranks' equivalent to the Distinguished Flying Cross, which was awarded to commissioned officers and Warrant Officers (although WOs could also be awarded the DFM)

335297 Sgt Edward Coleman (1st Entry)

LG: 15 Mar 29 - in recognition of gallant and distinguished service rendered in connection with the operations against the Akhwan in in the Southern Desert, Iraq, during the period November 1927 to May 1928. First Apprentice to be awarded the DFM

335963 Fg Off W H Kendall (3rd Entry)

LG: tbn

Wg Cdr E G Monk (5th Entry [1st Entry Flowerdown])

LG: tbn

362659 LAC Colin Graham Reeve (5th Entry [1st Entry Flowerdown])

LG: 15 Mar 29 -in recognition of gallant and distinguished service rendered in connection with the operations against the Akhwan in in the Southern Desert, Iraq, during the period November 1927 to May 1928

362861 P/Sgt Frederick Joseph Chudley (6th Entry [2nd Entry Flowerdown])

LG: 06 May 32 - in recognition of gallant and distinguished services rendered in connection with the operations in Southern Kurdistan, duruing the period October 1930 – May 1931

362477 Cpl John George Lewis (6th Entry [2nd Entry Flowerdown])

LG: 26 Jun 31 - in recognition of gallant and distinguished service rendered in connection with the operations on the North West Frontier of India between 23rd April and 12th September 1930.