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Thread: Flt Lt Joseph Polland DFC - Citation and Incorrect Info

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    Default Flt Lt Joseph Polland DFC - Citation and Incorrect Info

    Good morning all,

    I stumbled across this excellent site whilst researching DFC citations. For the last two months I’ve been trying to find out about my wife’s grandfathers service history. He served as a wireless operator/gunner on the Lancaster bomber during WW2.

    Name
    Polland
    First NamesJoseph
    Rank
    Left as a Flt Lt
    Service
    RAF
    Service Number
    56274
    Crew Position
    Wireless Operator
    Posting Details
    49 Sqn, 189 Sqn and various OTU's

    My main stumbling block at the moment is his DFC. He was awarded this on December 7th, 1945 as confirmed in the London Gazette. My wife and her father would love to find out why he was awarded this and if there was any citation. Having spent many an hour trawling the internet, I am at a loss to find it. I was recently made aware that many crews were awarded the DFC without a citation and this may or not be the case.

    I've found the London Gazette very confusing and at times very hard to use (is it just me?). I know from internet searches that he completed at least 9 missions with 49 Sqn before being posted to 189 Sqn. Unfortunately I have found that his surname has been misspelt Pollard on some websites which is making it even harder to search and verify details.Can anyone tell me where I might be able to find his citation? His name is not listed on the forum DFC page:

    http://www.rafcommands.com/archive/20459.php

    However, there is a FO Joseph Pollard listed and this may be another case of misspelling. The service number also apears to be wrong as it is the same as the officer above.

    POLLARD. Joseph, FO - DFC - 451207 - 189 Sqn – RAF

    Any help you can provide would be gratefully appreciated and would certainly make my wife and her father incredibly happy.

    Warmest regards.

    Martin
    Last edited by Martin4356111; 14th August 2014 at 08:23.

  2. #2
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    POLLARD. Joseph, F/O (56274, Royal Air Force) - No.189 Squadron - Distinguished Flying Cross - awarded as per London Gazette dated 7 December 1945. Citation from Air Ministry Bulletin 20331.

    This officer has attacked many of the most heavily defended targets including Hamburg, Munich and Politz. He also took part in sorties in support of the Army in the first months of the invasion. On one occasion he was wireless operator in an aircraft detailed for an attack against St. Leu d’ Esserent. Before reaching the target his aircraft was attacked by two enemy fighters and badly damaged; one cannon shell exploded inside the fuselage, injuring the navigator, damaging the navigational aids and severely damaging the wireless set. Flying Officer Pollard administered first aid to the navigator, afterwards working for over two hours effecting repairs, at the same time assisting the wounded navigator to navigate the aircraft. The successful completion of this operational flight was attributable in no small way to the initiative, resourcefulness and skillful airmanship of this officer.

    What you take as being the wrong service number (451207) is just computer shorthand for gazetting date (7 December 1945).

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    Hello,

    And welcome Martin.

    Here is the incident in which Joseph POLLAND was involved:

    7-8 July 1944
    49 Sqn
    Lancaster III PB207:EA-
    Op: St-Leu

    T/o 2226 Fiskerton to destroy a flying-bomb storage depot at St-Leu-d'Esserent. Badly shot about by a Me 210 and though the crew made a safe return to base, landing at 0300, their Lancaster was deemed beyond economical repair.

    128946 F/O Leslie McCracken
    2208948 Sgt E Hilton (Possibly 2211605 [Flt. Eng.] Eric HILTON - later DFM)
    AUS410617 F/O (Nav.) Robert Lindsay BIENVENU RAAF* - Injured
    152968 F/O Samuel John Wilkes
    612655 W/O J Pollard** (later 56274 DFC)
    1266759 W/O S S Inglis
    1317985 F/S S F Harding

    * https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/...upplement/4014

    ** Notice spelling.

    See: BCL5/322

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 14th August 2014 at 13:35.

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    [FONT=Arial][SIZE=2]Gents,

    Many, many thanks to both of you for this information. From the details that you chaps have provided and from what I have found today, Iím beginning to build a picture of what my wifeís grandfather did.

    I managed to find him an ORB that I downloaded from Kew, so it will be nice to show my wife and her dad his name in the original document. It was interesting to note that the crew remained almost the same throughout, with very little change. Even the Nav who was injured was still part of the crew as they went on to 189 Sqn.

    Sadly Joe died before I met my wife so I didnít get the chance to chat with him, something I would have loved to have done. However, my wife and her dad both said that he was very reticent to speak about his time in the RAF and his DFC.

    Iím in the RAF and will be working at the upcoming Prestwick Airshow where the BBMF and Canadian Lancaster will be on display, Iíve no doubt they will hold a little more meaning for my wife and her dad.

    Warmest regards

    Martin
    [/SIZE][/FONT]

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    Martin,

    You don't say if your basic information comes from his service record, his personal recall or just 'digging around'. If you've not seen his service record it can be obtained from RAF Disclosures; details as to how to proceed are at https://www.gov.uk/requests-for-pers...sonnel-records

    Brian

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