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Thread: Cockburn, William Hugh, 54764 - DFM award?

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    Default Cockburn, William Hugh, 54764 - DFM award?

    Hello everyone

    Can anyone tell me the reason for the award of this DFM? I see from elsewhere on the Forum that Cockburn was awarded his DFM on 26th September 1941 while with No.233 Sqn, but can anyone add any further information?

    Regards

    Simon

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    I've got his number as 546306.

    London Gazette 26 Sep 41

    This NCO has a long record of devotion to duty whilst flying on operations against the enemy. He has done 730 hours operational flying in 141 sorties and fought 15 actions against the enemy.

    The LG goes on to list the actions between 10 Nov 39 and 1 Dec 40.

    This info is from Tavender but he records the date of the DFM as 1943.

    141 sorties in less than 13 months is not bad going by any account!

    Colin Cummings

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    Thanks for the reply Colin. That's quite a record there - a sortie once every two or three days is very impressive!

    I got the service number from the entry of the CWGC site, but I'm not sure why there'd be a discrepancy.

    Regards

    Simon

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    His DFM was awarded while he was a Sgt, hence at the time of award, his NCO service number was 546306

    Upon the award of his commision as an officer he got the number 54764

    http://www.london-gazette.co.uk/issues/36581/supplements/3029

    Air Ministry, - 27th June, 1944.
    ROYAL AIR FORCE.
    GENERAL DUTIES-BRANCH. ' -
    Appointment' to commission.
    As Plt. Offs. on prob. (emergency): ó
    Wt. Offs.
    546306 William Hugh COCKBURN (54764). 31st Mar. 1944.
    Dennis Burke
    - Dublin

    Foreign Aircrew and Aircraft Ireland 1939-1945
    www.ww2irishaviation.com

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    Thanks for clarifying that Dennis.

    Simon

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    Default Re: Cockburn, William Hugh, 54764 - DFM award?

    Hi,

    Iím not sure if you will see this as itís an old thread but Iím messaging on behalf of my father, John H OíNeill. His great-uncle was William Hugh Cockburn and he has a wealth of information about him including photos. Would be great if we could add to the history. Thank you.

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    Default Re: Cockburn, William Hugh, 54764 - DFM award?

    Hello

    I'm the one who posted the original query back in 2011.

    Cockburn is one of the local casualties I've been researching, and I have managed to collect quite a bit of info over the years, but new information and any photos would be more than welcome.

    So far, this is pretty much what I've got:

    He was born January 31st 1920 and lived at 5, Station Cottages, Akeld, Northumberland. He was a pupil at the Duke's School in Alnwick, then worked as a clerk at Blackshaw's Garage in Alnwick before joing the R.A.F. aged 17. He was with 233 Squadron, then went to Canada as an instructor, where he married a Canadian girl (Audrey) in 1942. He returned to the UK, and was lost in Halifax II JP296 BY-O of 58 Squadron on August 20th 1944.
    I understand he had been shot down previously, and spent 17 hours adrift in a dinghy before being rescued, but don't have details of that incident.

    His D.F.M. was awarded in September 1941, and the citation is as follows:

    COCKBURN William Hugh
    546306
    Sergeant
    233 Sqn
    Sorties 141
    Flying hours 730
    WOp/AG
    Air 2/9257

    This N.C.O. has a long record of devotion to duty whilst flying on operations against the enemy. He has done 730 hours flying operational flying in 141 sorties and fought 15 actions against the enemy which are detailed below [additional details from 233 Sqn ORB]:
    10/11/1939 Attacked enemy submarine, North Sea [Hudson N7223 ZS-V]
    18/2/1940 Attacked enemy destroyer, North Sea
    14/4/1940 Bombed enemy submarine, North Sea
    22/4/1940 Bombed petrol tanks at Bergen
    10/5/1940 Escorted H.M.S. Kelly, Engaged Do-18 [Hudson N7251]
    1/6/1940 Bombed shipping at Bergen [Hudson N7244]
    21/6/1940 Attacked four merchant vessels, Norway
    22/6/1940 Attacked Do-18
    30/6/1940 Attacked merchant vessels on S.A.2
    8/8/1940 Attacked enemy submarine
    21/8/1940 Engaged enemy aircraft, North Sea
    5/10/1940 Attacked merchant vessels off Stavanger
    7/10/1940 Attacked merchant vessels of Raege Fjord and engaged Do-18
    14/11/1940 Bombed Stavanger aerodrome
    1/12/1940 Bombed quays at Kristiansand

    Regards

    Simon
    Researching R.A.F. personnel from the North East of England

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    Default Re: Cockburn, William Hugh, 54764 - DFM award?

    Simon,

    The No.58 Sqn crew loss matrix, as presented, omits mention of the following casualty:

    AUS421786 F/Sgt (Nav./B) Roy Vincent BOYD RAAF - 2nd Navigator. - KIA 21 August, 1944.

    The unfortunate F/Sgt R. V. Boyd RAAF, was on his first op with 58 Sqn., having been posted in on 15 August, 1944.

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 19th September 2021 at 22:29.

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    Default Re: Cockburn, William Hugh, 54764 - DFM award?

    Col

    Interesting, thank you. Oddly, he's not mentioned in the ORB, but is included in Alan Storr's record of the loss.

    Regards

    Simon
    Researching R.A.F. personnel from the North East of England

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    Default Re: Cockburn, William Hugh, 54764 - DFM award?

    Hello again

    Boyd's A705 file on the naa.gov.au website has a detailed report of the crash (pages 57, 58 and 59 of 78). It can be found by searching for boyd 421786 in the Record Search link.

    Regards

    Simon
    Researching R.A.F. personnel from the North East of England

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