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Thread: Bomber Command Clasp

  1. #1
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    Default Bomber Command Clasp

    A relative of a No. 35 Squadron airman who was KIA, has applied for his bomber command clasp and been advised that he does not qualify "as he was still training".

    The airman qualified as a pilot, was posted to the squadron and was then killed on his third "2nd Dickie" flight.

    In my view, 2nd Dickie was not "part of his training" and as such this meant that he had completed "at least one operational sortie".

    I was wondering if anyone else has a view, or had an entitlement application turned down for the same reason.

    Regards

    Pete
    Last edited by PeteT; 3rd October 2016 at 22:17.
    Main areas of research:

    - CA Butler and the loss of Lancaster ME334 (http://rafww2butler.wordpress.com/ )
    - Aircrew Training (Basic / Trade / Operational / Continuation / Conversion)
    - The History of No. 35 Squadron (1916 - 1982) (https://35squadron.wordpress.com/)

    [Always looking for copies of original documents / photographs etc relating to these subjects]

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    Dear Pete
    There were criteria for eligibility of medals that often required (for Bomber Command personnel) a certain number of missions, I think it was five for the Air Crew Europe Star, though if someone was killed in action this was overlooked and they were automatically allocated the 39-45 Star, Air Crew Europe Star and the 39-45 War Medal even if they were killed on their first operation.
    You may find this useful
    https://www.gov.uk/guidance/medals-c...y#to-1945-star
    Hopefully, your man, or his family, were issued with the three medals listed above. Also if he is listed by the CWGC, that would assist in proving that he was on operations. A Squadron ORB would also prove his eligibility.
    If you are able to provide them with this information and they still turn you down, may I suggest that they contact their local MP to petion on your behalf. After all isn't that what they get paid to do!
    Good luck
    James

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    If 2nd Dickie flights counted as an ‘Op’ towards their tour then it seems reasonable to expect it to count as an operational sortie for all other intents and purposes.
    The wording in some of the HCU Orbs for example, when referring to pilots who had failed to return from a 2nd Dickie flight with an operational squadron was “Whilst attached to that unit for operational duties”.
    IMO whether 2nd Dickie flights were classed as training or not doesn’t matter, the criteria for the BC clasp doesn’t mention training, just that he had to have flown at least one operational sortie on a Bomber Command operational unit, the other criteria does not apply in this case as his service was brought to an end by his his death.

    Pete

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    Thanks James (and Pete)

    Sadly, despite my best efforts, I have not been able to find anyone to actually discuss the matter with at the medal office .... like all of today's faceless organisations you have to e-mail or write and then, after a lengthy wait, they just respond by quoting the rules rather than answering the actual question that they have been sent.

    The family are going to reapply, having been turned down once already, so we will see how this next application goes.

    Regards

    Pete
    Main areas of research:

    - CA Butler and the loss of Lancaster ME334 (http://rafww2butler.wordpress.com/ )
    - Aircrew Training (Basic / Trade / Operational / Continuation / Conversion)
    - The History of No. 35 Squadron (1916 - 1982) (https://35squadron.wordpress.com/)

    [Always looking for copies of original documents / photographs etc relating to these subjects]

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    Default

    Pete,
    MoDMO, like most public bodies, simply does not have the horse power to deal with what must amount to thousands of queries per year, on a one to one basis. Perhaps you have been a trifle harsh about MOD colleagues in the Medal Office, especially when it is the family applying for the clasp, not you. Having said that, in my experience, the junior grade civil servants at Innsworth can only interpret the rules as they see them, using the facts that they have to hand (i.e. truncated service records, heavily weeded post-war). On occasion they get that interpretation wrong. It is always worthy of a challenge and I wish the family the best of luck in their quest.
    Award criteria is often complex and not well understood by a lot of people - witness James's post above. The only number of sorties flown that has a direct bearing on the award of the ACE star was 1 (i.e. one qualifying sortie), the rest was based on time or death in service. It was only awarded pre D-Day, after which the F&G star superceded the ACE (or the clasp to a previous award). Therefore if someone was killed on ops post 6 Jun 44, he would not get the ACE star. In the niceset possible way, therefore, it is difficult to state what medals someone is entitled to without more facts.
    Rgds
    Jonny
    In fond memory of Corporal James Oakland AGC (RMP), killed in action in Afghanistan on 22 October 2009. Exemplo Ducemus.

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    Jonny

    Apologies, it was not meant as a dig at the staff at the MOD, it was a dig at the way face to face discussion in the UK has been taken away by large organisations. This situation is then compounded by the fact that the poor staff have to work to a set script, rather than being able to read an e-mail, interpret the content and then respond to the specific question in the e-mail (as has happened in this particular case as I asked if 2nd Dickie flights were treated as an operational sortie and I received a response quoting the rules for entitlement).

    In fact I have high regard for the staff at the records office who supplied me with my Dad's service record within two days so that I could get the information on his service in time for inclusion at his funeral last month.

    Regards

    Pete
    Last edited by PeteT; 4th October 2016 at 12:21.
    Main areas of research:

    - CA Butler and the loss of Lancaster ME334 (http://rafww2butler.wordpress.com/ )
    - Aircrew Training (Basic / Trade / Operational / Continuation / Conversion)
    - The History of No. 35 Squadron (1916 - 1982) (https://35squadron.wordpress.com/)

    [Always looking for copies of original documents / photographs etc relating to these subjects]

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    UPDATE

    A member of staff at the medal office has responded to my second e-mail by stating that:

    "As long as a crew member is recorded as being with an operational Bomber Command Squadron for at least sixty days, he had completed a mission over enemy territory in NW Europe and his details are recorded on the crew list in the Operational Record Book for that squadron he would qualify, as would every member of aircrew on the aircraft during the mission. The sixty day rule would be waived should he have been killed, captured , wounded etc., before that sixty day point was up"

    Based on this, it is hoped that the medal office will not reject the families application for the clasp when they re-apply ... fingers crossed for them.

    Regards

    Pete
    Main areas of research:

    - CA Butler and the loss of Lancaster ME334 (http://rafww2butler.wordpress.com/ )
    - Aircrew Training (Basic / Trade / Operational / Continuation / Conversion)
    - The History of No. 35 Squadron (1916 - 1982) (https://35squadron.wordpress.com/)

    [Always looking for copies of original documents / photographs etc relating to these subjects]

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    Dear Pete
    Good news. Thanks for the update. Let us know if the family get success.
    Best wishes
    James

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    Thanks James

    The news got even better today, as, at my request, the medal office actually rang me to discuss the matter and the person that spoke to me (having checked the records) seemed quite confident that the airman does qualify for the clasp ..... so well done the staff at the medal office .... it is looking hopeful for the family.

    I will keep you posted

    Regards

    Pete
    Main areas of research:

    - CA Butler and the loss of Lancaster ME334 (http://rafww2butler.wordpress.com/ )
    - Aircrew Training (Basic / Trade / Operational / Continuation / Conversion)
    - The History of No. 35 Squadron (1916 - 1982) (https://35squadron.wordpress.com/)

    [Always looking for copies of original documents / photographs etc relating to these subjects]

  10. #10
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    Great news Pete.
    I really hope it does all work out well for you. As you say, once you get past the machines and are able to speak to the humans things can often look much rosier. I am sure that your man's family are really greatful for all your effort.
    Keep up the good work.
    James

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