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Thread: W. H. Goldstraw D.F.C. and Albert Goldstraw D.F.C.

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    Default W. H. Goldstraw D.F.C. and Albert Goldstraw D.F.C.

    Can anyone point me in the right direction to finding more information on the following officers please? I am especially keen to learn details of the citations.

    The LG Issue 36766 published on the 24 October 1944. Page 1 of 10 refers to W. H. Goldstraw D.F.C. (51328) (Flight Officers granted the rank of Fl. Lt. (war Subs).

    Gazette Issue 38131 published on the 21 November 1947. Page 2 of 14 refers to Albert Goldstraw D.F.C. (160515) 5th December 1946 (seniority 29th August 1944. (Flying Officers extended service.)

    Pilot Officer Herbert Eric Goldstraw, M.B.E. (I have the citation for this officer but no details for the first two)
    [quote] GOLDSTRAW, P/O Herbert Eric (J88659) (Royal Canadian Air Force)

    Member, Order of the British Empire - No.425 Squadron
    Award effective 1 June 1945 as per London Gazette of that date and AFRO 1219/45 dated 27 July 1945. Born in Edmonton, 1914; home in Winnipeg (salesman). Enlisted 3 June 1942. Trained at No.3 WS (graduated 22 December 1942) and No.3 BGS (graduated 10 October 1943). Commissioned 1944.

    In July 1944, a Halifax aircraft crashed at White Waltham on returning from operations and caught fire. Pilot Officer Goldstraw's aircraft had landed previously at the airfield and this officer, together with other members of his crew, as well as personnel of the ATA, immediately ran to the crashed aircraft. The unconscious rear gunner was lying partly in the turret and partly in the rear of the fuselage. The turret was jammed. Together with an ATA instructor, Pilot Officer Goldstraw, finding that the turret could not be swung back to release the rear gunner, owing to the position in which he was lying, entered the fuselage after forcing the normal entrance. At this time heat the starboard wing was blazing furiously and the heat was so intense that the starboard elevator burst into flames. It was necessary to remove the rear gunner's flying equipment before putting him back into the turret which could then be swung, thereby enabling helpers outside to extricate him. This gallant rescue was successfully accomplished in circumstances of great danger. Despite the flames and smoke, there was risk of the petrol tanks, bombs and ammunition exploding and, when the rear turret had been swung and the gunner passed to safety, exit was only possible through smoke and fumes. Pilot Officer Goldstraw showed courage and self-sacrifice in an action which undoubtedly was responsible for saving the life of a comrade. [End Quote]

    I would also appreciate some assistance in understanding why an officer might be considered for an MBE for a gallant act whilst another might receive a different award. As you can gather, I am entirely unfamiliar with these matters though I ask out of the greatest respect for all who served regardless as to whether they were decorated or not.
    Thanking you in anticipation.
    Martin Goldstraw

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    W.H. Goldstraw (Nav.) DFC with 207 Sq 11/8/1942 DFC* 467 Sq 27/6/1944. Later W/C.
    Albert Goldstraw DFC 51 Sq. 15/2/1944. No citations in LG/Carter.

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    Hi Martin,

    from Flight magazine you will find citations for W H Goldstraw:
    http://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1944/1944%20-%201870.html?search=goldstraw

    W/O. W. H. GOLDSTRAW, NO. 207 Sqn.—Although the majority of his targets have been in the most heavily defended areas, W/O. Goldstraw has maintained a very high percentage of successful sorties. His cheerfulness and resource under the most trying conditions have proved of the greatest value. He has attacked such targets as Berlin, Kiel, Rostock, Stettin, Brest and Essen.

    Act. Fit. Lt. W. H. GOLDSTRAW, D.F.C., R.A.F.,
    No. 467 (R.A.A.F.) Sqn.—Flt. Lt. Goldstraw has completed two tours of operational duty. In the air his outstanding skill, thoroughness and resourcefulness have proved him a most accomplished navigator. As squadron navigation leader he has contributed largely to the successful completion of many of the squadron's missions.

    As far as Albert goes it just lists his name:

    http://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1944/1944%20-%200520.html?search=goldstraw

    Hugh Halliday may be able to help if he reads this (he is responsible for the website which you have copied the MBE details for H E Goldstraw from).

    Hope that's a start,

    Tom

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    Re W.H. Goldstraw, I have the following (which does not add materially to what has already been posted):

    GOLDSTRAW, William Harold, Warrant Officer (524428, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve) - No.207 Squadron - Distinguished Flying Cross - awarded as per London Gazette dated 11 August 1942. Born 1916 at Urmston, Manchester. Enlisted for aircrew in 1935. Text from Royal Air Force Quarterly, December 1942.

    "Although the majority of his targets have been in the most heavily defended areas, Warrant Officer Goldstraw has maintained a very high percentage of successful sorties. His cheerfulness and resource under the most trying conditions have proved of the greatest value. He has attacked such targets as Berlin, Kiel, Rostock, Stettin, Brest and Essen."

    GOLDSTRAW, William Harold, A/F/L, DFC (51328, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve) - No.467 Squadron, Royal Australian Air Force - Bar to Distinguished Flying Cross - awarded as per London Gazette dated 27 June 1944. Citation in Air Ministry Bulletin 14428.

    "Flight Lieutenant Goldstraw has completed two tours of operational duty. In the air his outstanding skill, thoroughness and resourcefulness have proved him a most accomplished navigator. As squadron navigation leader he has contributed largely to the successful completion of many of the squadron's missions."

    Re Albert Goldstaw: There was no DFC citation in the London Gazette and apparently none in Air Ministry Bulletins. However, I note that the London Gazette of 15 February 1944 (reporting his DFC) also reported three DFMs to members of the same unit (No.51 Squadron), and Ian Tavender found recommended citations for all three which were in AIR 2/8983 at Kew. I think it highly probable that the same file will yield the DFC recommendation (with sortie list) for Pilot Officer Albert Goldstaw.

    As to the MBE awarded to H.E. Goldstraw, you will note that the deed performed was what would be described as "ground gallantry" rather than for gallantry in the air (which would be covered by such awards as DFC, AFC, DFM or DFM). Ground gallantry would normally draw a recommendation for a George Cross (in circumstances where there was roughly a 90 percent chance of being killed), George Medal (better survival chances) or Mention in Despatches. However, the Order of the British Empire has often been used to honour "ground gallantry" as well, although it is normally identified as a "service award" - i.e. for services as an outstanding administrator, technical expert, designer, doctor, etc.

    I have noted several cases where a recommendation for a GC was downgraded to a GM and where a submission for a GM was turned into an MBE or BEM. I do not know whether H.E. Goldstraw's award was for an MBE from the start or whether it began as a GM and was down-graded to an MBE.

    To add confusion, it should be noted that, in the RAF and associationed Commonwealth air forces, the Order of the British Empire was rank-related. Thus, a Briitish Empire Medal (BEM) was awarded to those up to Flight Sergeant rank; Member, Order of the British Empire (MBE) went to Warrant Officers up to Squadron Leaders, and Officer, Order of the Briitish Empire (OBE) went to Wing Commanders, Group Captains and Air Commodores. There was actually some overlap at the Wing Commander level.

    I have read cases where several persons converged on wrecked or burning aircraft, rescued personnel, and emerged with several OBE, MBE and BEM awards - each getting the "gong" appropriate to his rank.

    The ribbon (as distinct from the medal itself) of the OBE was identical to that of the MBE and BEM. Also, there was nothing to show whether the award was for "service" or "gallantry" - so a person meeting anyone wearing such a ribbon would have no inkling as to whether it represented distinguished service or physical courage and endurance.
    Last edited by HughAHalliday; 15th May 2011 at 13:53.

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    Re W.H. Goldstraw, I have the following (which does not add materially to what has already been posted):

    GOLDSTRAW, William Harold, Warrant Officer (524428, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve) - No.207 Squadron - Distinguished Flying Cross - awarded as per London Gazette dated 11 August 1942. Born 1916 at Urmston, Manchester. Enlisted for aircrew in 1935. Text from Royal Air Force Quarterly, December 1942.

    "Although the majority of his targets have been in the most heavily defended areas, Warrant Officer Goldstraw has maintained a very high percentage of successful sorties. His cheerfulness and resource under the most trying conditions have proved of the greatest value. He has attacked such targets as Berlin, Kiel, Rostock, Stettin, Brest and Essen."

    GOLDSTRAW, William Harold, A/F/L, DFC (51328, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve) - No.467 Squadron, Royal Australian Air Force - Bar to Distinguished Flying Cross - awarded as per London Gazette dated 27 June 1944. Citation in Air Ministry Bulletin 14428.

    "Flight Lieutenant Goldstraw has completed two tours of operational duty. In the air his outstanding skill, thoroughness and resourcefulness have proved him a most accomplished navigator. As squadron navigation leader he has contributed largely to the successful completion of many of the squadron's missions."

    Re Albert Goldstaw: There was no DFC citation in the London Gazette and apparently none in Air Ministry Bulletins. However, I note that the London Gazette of 15 February 1944 (reporting his DFC) also reported three DFMs to members of the same unit (No.51 Squadron), and Ian Tavender found recommended citations for all three which were in AIR 2/8983 at Kew. I think it highly probable that the same file will yield the DFC recommendation (with sortie list) for Pilot Officer Albert Goldstaw.

    As to the MBE awarded to H.E. Goldstraw, you will note that the deed performed was what would be described as "ground gallantry" rather than for gallantry in the air (which would be covered by such awards as DFC, AFC, DFM or DFM). Ground gallantry would normally draw a recommendation for a George Cross (in circumstances where there was roughly a 90 percent chance of being killed), George Medal (better survival chances) or Mention in Despatches. However, the Order of the British Empire has often been used to honour "ground gallantry" as well, although it is normally identified as a "service award" - i.e. for services as an outstanding administrator, technical expert, designer, doctor, etc.

    I have noted several cases where a recommendation for a GC was downgraded to a GM and where a submission for a GM was turned into an MBE or BEM. I do not know whether H.E. Goldstraw's award was for an MBE from the start or whether it began as a GM and was down-graded to an MBE.

    To add confusion, it should be noted that, in the RAF and associationed Commonwealth air forces, the Order of the British Empire was rank-related. Thus, a Briitish Empire Medal (BEM) was awarded to those up to Flight Sergeant rank; Member, Order of the British Empire (MBE) went to Warrant Officers up to Squadron Leaders, and Officer, Order of the Briitish Empire (OBE) went to Wing Commanders, Group Captains and Air Commodores. There was actually some overlap at the Wing Commander level.

    I have read cases where several persons converged on wrecked or burning aircraft, rescued personnel, and emerged with several OBE, MBE and BEM awards - each getting the "gong" appropriate to his rank.

    The ribbon (as distinct from the medal itself) of the OBE was identical to that of the MBE and BEM. Also, there was nothing to show whether the award was for "service" or "gallantry" - so a person meeting a person wearing such a ribbon would have no inkling as to whether it represented distinguished service or physical courage and endurance.

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    Thank you all very much for your help and for explaining to me the relevance of various awards. I am most grateful.

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