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Thread: S/L Ernest Ryan Benson DSO,DFC & Bar - looking for Citations and recommendatations

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    Default S/L Ernest Ryan Benson DSO,DFC & Bar - looking for Citations and recommendatations

    S/L Benson (87650) completed 145 operations with Bomber Command, at least 104 of those were with 109 Squadron in 1943 and 1944. The citation for his DSO appeared in the London Gazette Feb.13/45, with a typographic error saying he was with 107 Squadron. I am looking for anything further on his awards in terms of citations or recommendations as well as where he was posted prior to him serving with 109 Squadron. His Bar to the DFC was Gazetted Nov.14/44 and his DFC April 18/44.
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    Dave Wallace
    Last edited by David Wallace; 10th February 2012 at 14:26.

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    Not the whole story but what I have:

    BENSON, Ernest Ryan, A/S/L, DFC (87650, RAFVR*) - No.109 Squadron - Bar to Distinguished Flying Cross - awarded as per London Gazette dated 14 November 1944. No citation in that publication; following text from Flight, 14 December 1944; relevant Air Ministry Bulletin may have more.

    "Squadron Leader Benson is now on his third tour of operational duty. He has proved himself a navigator of great ability and keenness. The consistently good results he has always obtained and his high sense of devotion to duty merit high praise."



    BENSON, Ernest Ryan, A/S/L, DFC (87650, Royal Air Force) - No.107 Squadron - Distinguished Service Order awarded as per London Gazette dated 13 February 1945. Born in 1911 in Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire and lived there. Enlisted in November 1939 as No.905802 and rose to LAC before being commissioned 3 November 1940. Mentioned in Despatches January 1942. Promoted Flight Lieutenant 3 November 1942. Awarded DFC on 21 April 1944 (Acting Squadron Leader, No.109 Squadron). Awarded a Bar to the DFC on 14 November 1944 (Acting Squadron Leader, No.109 Squadron). Awarded CBE, 1 January 1946.

    "Squadron Leader Benson has completed a third tour of operational duty, during which he has participated in a large number of attacks on dangerous targets. Throughout he has displayed a high standard of navigational ability, and his excellent work has proved an important factor in the success obtained. He is an ideal crew member, whose great keenness and exemplary conduct in the face of the enemy have set an example of a high order."

    Public Record Office Air 2/9044 has recommendation drafted 18 December 1944 when he had flown 145 sorties (490 hours) of which 36 sorties had been since previous award. Second tour sortie list and submission as follows:

    12 July 1944 - Vares, marking
    14 July 1944 - Anderbelck, marking
    18 July 1944 - Aulnoye, marking
    28 July 1944 - Foret de Nieppe, bombing (day)
    29 July 1944 - Coulommiers, bombing (day)
    31 July 1944 - Le Havre, marking (day)
    1 August 1944 - Mont Condon, marking (day)
    3 August 1944 - L’Isle Adam, marking, day
    5 August 1944 - Novelle en Chaussee, bombing (day)
    8 August 1944 - St.Philibert Ferme, marking
    9 August 1944 - Fort d’Englo, marking (day)
    11 August 1944 - Ferfay, marking (day)
    12 August 1944 - La Breteque, marking (day)
    14 August 1944 - 48̊ 58 "N 00̊ 16 " W
    16 August 1944 - Dortmund, bombing
    18 August 1944 - Ghent Terneuzen, marking (day)
    27 August 1944 - Homberg, marking (day)
    28 August 1944 - Leverkusen, bombing
    8 September 1944 - Le Havre, marking (day)
    10 September 1944 - Le Havre, marking (day)
    11 September 1944 - Le Havre, marking (day)
    14 September 1944 - Wassenaar, marking (day)
    15 September 1944 - Wheine, bombing (day)
    17 September 1944 - Boulogne, marking (day)
    18 September 1944 - Westkapelle, marking, day
    20 September 1944 - Calais, marking, day
    23 September 1944 - Domberg, marking, day
    25 September 1944 - Calais, marking, day
    26 September 1944 - Calais, marking, day
    27 September 1944 - Calais, marking, day
    28 September 1944 - Gris Nez, marking, day
    30 September 1944 - Aschaffenburg, bombing
    3 October 1944 - Aschaffenburg, bombing
    7 October 1944 - Kleve, marking
    9 October 1944 - Bochum, marking
    10 October 1944 - Aschaggenburg, bombing
    27 October 1944 - Pfonhein, bombing
    28 October 1944 - Walcheren, marking
    29 October 1944 - Walcheren, marking
    30 October 1944 - Cologne, marking and bombing
    1 November 1944 - Homberg, marking
    2 November 1944 - Dusseldorf, marking and bombing
    4 November 1944 - Bochum, marking
    6 November 1944 - Hannover, bombing
    18 November 1944 - Munster, marking
    20 November 1944 - Castrop Rauxel, bombing
    21 November 1944 - Neuss, marking
    29 November 1944 - Dortmund, marking
    30 November 1944 - Duisburg, bombing

    "On the night of 29th November, Squadron Leader Benson returned from a marking trip to Dortmund. On the climb he had begun to suffer from “bends” at 28,000 feet, the cabin pressurising was unserviceable, but he made no mention of his pain which became almost unbearable at 34,000 feet. He carried on and with great devotion to duty succeeded in navigating the aircraft working the special equipment and in dropping the markers with accuracy.

    "Squadron Leader Benson has now finished his third tour of operations and stands with 145 trips to his credit in Bomber Command; of these 109 were with this squadron, 73 of which were marking trips. The fact that his aircraft has often been subject to fierce anti-aircraft fire and that he has been flown back from Essen on one engine, seems only to have served to strengthen his desire and determination to fly against the enemy. He is still as keen to fight on but has had at last to be taken off operations.

    "In his capacity as Flight Navigation Officer and as Deputy Squadron Navigation Officer he has always volunteered to ly with any spare pilot and has especially gone out o his way to fly with pilots who, for some reason, were not getting the results we expected of them. These trios have been of great value.

    "I strongly recommend Squadron Leader Benson for the award of the Distinguished Service Order for his great devotion to duty and fine record of achievement."

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    Thank you very much for this Hugh!
    Dave Wallace

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