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Thread: information on DFM

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    Default information on DFM

    Hello all,
    I am new to this group.I have been trying to find any information on a RAF crewman.He was supposedly awarded the DFM but I can not find any references regarding this award.The crewman I'm looking for is Leonard Stevens,service number 2208974 and was a tail gunner with 619,617 and 207 sqdns.If anyone has access to Tavenders book I would appreciate any info.

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    Wonder if confused with Sgt Leonard George James STEVENS (1862542) of 578 sqdn awarded DFM December 12, 1944 ?

    Regards,

    Ian

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    Thanks Ian,but no.I am sure of the chap I'm looking for.You see he was my father and although he passed away in 1996 I'm still finding out things that differ somewhat from what he told me.It seems that dad was quite well versed in the art of resume embellishment or BS,and I'm wondering if the DFM story was another example.I really hope not.I have his old flight log book showing his 34 operations during 1943/44 and he took part in some pretty serious raids.

    Derek

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    Derek,

    I'd recommend you obtain your father's service record; there is a fee of 30 but, other than a 20-odd week wait, there will be no problem in getting a copy. Amongst the information contained therein will be a list of the medels to which he was entitled.

    For details as to how to proceed go to https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/request-forms-for-service-personnel-details-royal-air-force.

    Should you have difficulty in deciphering any of the acronyms used, forumites would be only to happy to advise.

    His service number would suggest he enlisted late in 1942 or early 1943..

    Brian
    Last edited by Lyffe; 4th April 2013 at 21:56. Reason: punctuation

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    Hello Derek,

    Brian's suggestion is probably the most positive result you will find, in the meantime if no one comes up with an answer via Tavenders you could check out the DFM award notifications via the Flightglobal website, bit longwinded but another avenue to explore.

    Regards,

    Ian

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    Derek,

    I have looked at both Tavenders' DFM books and Maton's Honour the Air Forces and could not find your father amongst the recipients of the DFM in either.

    One of the great injustices of the war IMHO is that a crew could fly together throughout a tour of bomber operations and at the end, perhaps three or four of the seven would receive a gallantry award: DFC/DFM whilst the others were awarded nothing. It is for this reason that the Aircrew Europe Star is often judged the most difficult to obtain and why the struggle for a Bomber Command Medal and a formal memorial to their sacrifices went on for so many years.

    In addition to the very sound advice about the Record of Service, I also suggest that - armed with your father's logbook - you go to the National Archives at Kew and study the RAF Forms 540 and/or 541 for the squadrons on which your father served. In the case of 617, there are plenty of books which would allow you to cross refer his logbook entries with raids carried out by the unit. In fact, depending on which version of the logbook you have, there ought to be some summaries and details of some postings/courses recorded within it.

    I do not know what sort of photographic legacy your father left but photos often tell a great deal about the circumstances at the time. Additionally, a clear understanding of when your father served on each squadron will point towards where he was based, what he flew and which operations he participated in. In the latter case, comparing his logbook with the Bomber Command War Diaries by Middlebrook, will give much context information for you.

    I very much sense that your comment about embellishment and BS, has some substance and that you are aware of that possibility. With respect, it does not matter now if he did embellish things, when the need arose, your father 'stepped up to the plate' and did what few of us can now imagine having to do.

    Colin Cummings

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    Derek

    Yes, 34 ops is no mean feat, by anyone's standards. I'd be proud if my dad (wasn't RAF) had achieved that.

    Good luck in your search.

    Ian

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    Thanks much to all for such a grand response so far.And I thoroughly agree with Mr Cummings that it matters not a bit if any enhancement was made.For someone 20 years of age to volunteer to sit in the back turret of a lancaster,and be responsible for defending the aircraft and crew from attacking fighters takes a special kind of determination and dedication,and that alone deserves the highest recognition and respect.

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    Can anyone here tell me if the recipient's name was engraved along the edge of a DFM medal like they were for WW1

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    Hello,

    The Distinguished Flying Medals issued 1938 - 1947, were named, this being found on the edge. The edge was slightly rounded and the name, rank and serial number, as well as the branch, was engraved in small capitals.

    See:
    Allied Combat Medals of World War 2. Vol.1: Britain, The Commonwealth and Western European Nations.
    Ailsby,Christopher.
    n.p.:Patrick Stephens Ltd.,1989.
    p.61.

    Col.

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