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Thread: AFC to a non flyer?

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    Default AFC to a non flyer?

    Can anyone confirm if an AFC would or could ever be awarded to non aircrew? I have a man, 73586 Squadron Leader Donald Stanley Richardson, who was an armament technical expert who did a lot of work with SABS, but was never trained aircrew as far as I know. He was awarded an AFC on 1st September 1944.

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    Yes I believe that is true. The MOD say that the AFC is awarded for exemplary bravery in the air on non active operations. As such your man could easily have been on an aircraft so involved although not directly aircrew.
    Wikipedia has a listing of recipients of the AFC which hopefully will solve your question.
    cheers Peter

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    I can confirm that Richardson was awarded an AFC but in the rank of Acting Wing Commander.

    I expect that a search will reveal others who were not aircrew or even 'supplementaries', such as parachute jumping instructors.

    There are certainly AFCs awarded to medical officers, some of whom, however, were actually trained to fly though not formally aircrew. There are also DFMs awarded to non-aircrew, army air despatchers (two for Arnhem at least) and probably more.

    This looks like being an interesting Thread! However, on the subject of awards of gallantry medals, I have recently encountered a couple of cases where - how can I put this delicately - the recollections of the individual or his family are slightly at variance with the facts; 'nuff said!!!

    Colin Cummings

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    Greetings,
    When I was working at Parnall Aircraft Ltd at Tolworth in Surrey, 1944,we were testing H2S scanners and there was a Flt. Lt.from Malvern Radar Establishment, in charge of the section, none aircrew, but I remember one day he arrived wearing an AFC ribbon, I was in the ATC at the time and knew it was the AFC.ribbon.

    Would he tell me how he got it, no way, and with a grin, , so I still assume that he must have been doing some flying, or even an op, who knows.Very helpful chap to me as a young lad of some 17 northern summers.
    Cheers,
    Digger.

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    The officer who took over from me in the MOD in the mid-1970s was Sqn Ldr A.D.G. JONES, a Physical Education Officer had the AFC for his services with the Falcons Parachute Team. In the mid 1960 on my first posting on commissioning to RAF Stanbridge, I was surprised to see that the S.W.O. was also an AFC winner, and he also had gained his awarded for parachuting - W.O. E. HARRIS. His trade was RAF Admin, but in his early days he had been a PJI. Mr Harris was always very kind to me, but never to the extent of parting with his medals for my collection! I met a good number of others when at IAM, Farnborough.

    Regards

    Jim

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    RICHARDSON, Donald Stanley, A/W/C (73586, RAFVR*) - No.5 Group - Air Force Cross - awarded as per London Gazette dated 1 September 1944. Public Record Officer Air 2/9019 (material provided courtesy of Steve Brew) has citation which was raised when he had flown 532 instructional hours (72 in previous six months).

    "Prior to being posted to the group this officer had served as instructor and bomb aimer at No.1 Air Armament School. During this period he was recognized as one of the leading air bombing instructors in the Royal Air Force. Owing to his specialized knowledge he was posted to No.617 Squadron on 17th August 1943 in order that the bombing of the squadron might be brought up to the high standard required for important precision targets. The outstanding results achieved have in a great measure been due to the untiring zeal and determination of Wing Commander Richardson who has himself flown 249 hours on bombing instruction with 617 Squadron and has taken part in eight operational sorties."

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