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Thread: Help with award citation source or report

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    Default Help with award citation source or report

    Guidance or assistance needed.

    My father (RAAF) was awarded the DFC while flying with 142 Squadron (RAF) in North Africa. I am trying to find the report or narrative recommending him (and another crew member) for this award. The citation is very generic and even dated incorrectly having the action taking place before he arrived at the squadron! From his flying logbook, his diary and the squadron ORB, I have found the correct date and understand that it involved an operation that went badly awry but no details of what went wrong.

    Can any of the more knowledgeable forumites advise me on what I should be looking for or where I might find this report?. I will be flying to London soon and can spend some time at TNA if this is where I should look. Thanks

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    Hello

    It would help if you'd give the name of your father and that of the other crew member !

    I have some bits of No. 142 Squadron ORB when it was based in UK and for one of the crew I was interested in, the ORB mentions that the pilot was recommended for the immediate award of the DFC, on the form 541 for that specific mission (a raid against Brest on 24 July 1941).

    The recommendation should be in a AIR 2 file, and it would help to narrow down the possible reference(s) using his name and others whose awards have been gazetted in the same issue.

    Joss

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    Hello,

    No.142 Sqn RAF, RAAF members (known to me), awarded the DFC:

    406731 Horace William RADFORD RAAF LG 1/10/43 p.4357 *
    406592 Alan George FLETCHER RAAF LG 30/11/43 p.5243
    409308 Bruce Kinsella HOWARTH RAAF LG 30/11/43 p.5242
    414577 Robert John LEFTWICH RAAF LG 10/10/44 p.4642
    414499 Walter Cameron MORTON RAAF LG 14/11/44 p.5209
    405990 John William ANDERSON RAAF LG 29/12/44 p.5955
    412948 Lindsay James CLARKE RAAF LG 29/12/44 p.5955
    425742 James Lionel PENNEFATHER RAAF LG 29/12/44 p.5955
    412459 Ian Antony LITCHFIELD RAAF LG 17/7/45 p.3686
    436621 Robert Douglas JOHNSTON RAAF LG 25/9/45 p.4752
    437055 Denis NORTHRIDGE RAAF LG 25/9/45 p.4752
    423342 Daryle Telford SIMPSON RAAF LG 25/9/45 p.4752

    * Bar No.463 Sqn RAAF LG 17/7/45 p.3685.

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 17th May 2014 at 10:55.

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    Thanks Col and Joss, yes my father is in the list - 409308 - with his best mate "Fletch". On reading his diary for that period (July 1943) I interpreted "Fletch" as being in the same aircraft, this was not correct. They were in different crews according to the ORB but were awarded the DFC on the same day. My error.

    I had found the Gazette listing but was simply a notification of the award. I'll keep trying!

    Greg

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    HOWARTH, Bruce Kinsella, A/F/L (Aus 409308, Royal Australian Air Force) - No.142 Squadron - Distinguished Flying Cross - awarded as per London Gazette dated 30 November 1943. Following text from Air Ministry Bulletin 12171.

    Since March 1943, this officer has taken part in a large number of operational sorties. In July 193 he was detailed for an attack on Naples, and by his able directions, enabling his pilot to fly through very heavy defences, contributed in no small measure to the success attained. An excellent gunnery leader who has a fine fighting spirit, Flight Lieutenant Howarth has performed his duties wirth ability and great devotion.

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    Thanks Hugh

    This wording is virtually the same as on the citation that came with his medal except that it has March 1943 for the attack on Naples which is the incorrect date.

    From his diary and Flying logbook, and later confirmed in the ORB, they abandoned their attack on Naples that night due to smoke obscuring the target and instead attacked Salerno docks. They were coned and targeted by the anti-aircraft fire during this attack. There did not appear to be any injuries or significant damage to the aircraft as they flew again the following night.

    I am still trying to understand the TNA and MOD classification system to narrow down my search for the original recommendation or report that resulted in his award and to understand his role in the attack.

    Greg

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    The same London Gazette that reported his DFC listed several awards of the DFM without citations. One of these was to Sergeant Charles Henry Lock, also of No.142 Squadron. Ian Tavender, "The Distinguished Flying Medal Register for the Second World War" records the text of the original recommendation. Tavender normally cites the National Archives file in which he finds these texts, but unhappily there is no source given in this case. Quite a number of awards announced about that time appear to have fallen into a "black hole", presumably through loss or destruction of the files. Tavender's source may have been a press release, but I cannot advise you as to how or where to find that document. Your best bet appears to be the Operational Record Book of No.142 Squadron.

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    Many thanks for everyone's guidance. I found the documents I wanted at TNA.

    I wrote to Defence medals section prior to my departure with all the details I knew and they very quickly replied with an Air Ministry file number and a "Pro piece" number. They were very helpful with other hints about searching as well.

    First stop after arriving in England was a trip to The National Archives. It was an eye opener for this neophyte but got nothing but helpful assistance and guidance from the staff. Using the details provided by DBS-Medals, I managed to track down the relevant documents. Had to be registered as a Reader because the file had not been digitized so I had to view the originals in the "Invigilators" room. It was both thrilling yet very emotional to find and read these documents. They provided a lot of the missing details I was seeking.
    Greg

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