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Thread: Sgt Roland Thomas Padden 746931 - D.F.M. citation?

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    Default Sgt Roland Thomas Padden 746931 - D.F.M. citation?

    Hello everyone

    Can anyone give me any details about the award of Sgt Roland Thomas Padden's D.F.M., gazetted November 21st 1941, while with 61 Sqn? The only details I have come from the Morpeth Herald of November 28th 1941:

    D.F.M. for Alnwick Man
    An Alnwick man – Sergeant Roland Thomas Padden, of the R.A.F, has been the recipient of the D.F.M. He was born in 1920 in Alnwick, and was a grocery assistant before joining the R.A.F.V.R. in 1937. He is now a wireless operator/air gunner.


    He later won the D.F.C. with 635 Sqn in June 1944 for his actions on Lancaster III ND965 F2-K. I believe after the war he enlisted in the R.N.Z.A.F. in 1952, although I have absolutely no idea where I found that snippet of information!

    Many thanks,

    Regards

    Simon

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    Simon,

    There is a lengthy entry for Padden in G/C C M Hanson's, "By Such Deeds - Honours and Awards in the Royal New Zealand Air Force 1923-1999". Bit long for transcription - Errol should be along shortly to help.

    Distinguished Flying Medal (Recommendation).

    PADDEN, Roland Thomas. 746931 Sergeant, No.61 Sqn.
    L.G. 21/11/1941. Sorties 33, Flying hours 198.40. W.Op/Air Gnr.. Air2/9334

    This Wireless Operator/Air Gunner has completed 33 trips totalling 198 hours 40 minutes. Three of the trips were in daylight. On two occasions, once by day and the other by night, he raked ships with machine gun fire which his pilot was attacking. On another occasion, his crew opened fire on searchlights and extinguished several.He has flown with two most determined pilots and is a most reliable Wireless Operator and has contributed much towards the success of their operations. He has consistently exhibited great keeness, courage and devotion to duty.

    26th September, 1941.

    DFM Register/Tavender/II/K-Z/395


    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 4th October 2016 at 12:21.

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    Thanks Col, much appreciated (I assume you mean Padden, not Patten!). I saw a reference to his name in that book on the Auckland Council Libraries website, but there are no further details.

    I've also remembered where I found the reference to him joining the R.N.Z.A.F. - the LG of February 24th 1953 announced his commission relinquished on enlistment to the Royal New Zealand Air Force, 12th Nov. 1952.

    Regards

    Simon

    EDIT - thanks for the entry from Tavender Col, that's most helpful indeed.
    Last edited by wwrsimon; 4th October 2016 at 18:48.

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    Simon,

    From Colin Hanson’s By Such Deeds – Honours and awards in the Royal New Zealand Air Force, 1923 – 1999 :

    PADDEN, Flying Officer Roland Thomas, DFC, DFM, AE, (pff). 76447; Born Alnwick, Northumberland, England, 6 Jul 1920; RAF Mar 1939 to Aug 1946, 176113; RNZAF 19 Nov 1954 to 12 Dec 1958; Wireless Operator, then Secretarial
    Citation Distinguished Flying Medal (21 Nov 1941): Not available. For service with 61 Sqn RAF (Hampden).
    Citation Distinguished Flying Cross (14 Jul 1944): [635(PFF)Sqn RAF (Lancaster)]
    also DSO - Flt Lt H McP Johnston, RAFVR (Captain),
    and DFM - F/S J H Ledgerwood, RAFVR (Rear Gunner).
    One night in June 1944, the above personnel were captain, wireless operator and rear gunner respectively of an aircraft detailed to attack an important railway siding at Nantes. Owing to adverse weather and the presence of heavy cloud over the target, it was found on breaking cloud that the aircraft was in an unfavourable position for attack. Despite danger from the powerful defences, Flight Lieutenant Johnston manoeuvred for a position from which a bombing run could be started. While orbiting the target with this end in view the aircraft was illuminated by searchlights and engaged by anti-aircraft fire. Severe damage was sustained and fire broke out in the rear of the bomber, which fell into a steep dive and became extremely difficult to control. Flight Sergeant Ledgerwood reported that his parachute had been damaged by fire. The captain was still exerting all his strength in his efforts to control the aircraft, when his rear turret fell off. The fire, still raging in the rear, was brought under control by the courage and tenacity of Flight Sergeant Ledgerwood who, though suffering from severe burns, extinguished it unaided. Flight Lieutenant Johnston then decided, in spite of the precarious condition of the bomber, to try to reach this country. With the assistance of the wireless operator Pilot Officer Padden, he managed to bring the aircraft more or less under control and, after two hours of endeavour, reached an airfield in England. Throughout the return flight Pilot Officer Padden rendered most valuable aid in the navigation of the aircraft and greatly assisted his captain in making a safe landing.
    Air Efficiency Award - awarded by the RAF.
    During his RAF service Fg Off Padden served with 9, 61 and 635 Sqns. Died NSW, Australia, 2 Oct 1993.

    Cheers,
    Errol

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    Col,

    Many thanks for the DFM recommendation from Tavender. I was previously unaware of same.

    Cheers,
    Errol

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    Many thanks indeed Errol, for the PM and for the valuable information.

    Do you happen to know anything about his carrer in the R.N.Z.A.F.? As your post mentions, he died in NSW in 1993 - a long way from Alnwick!

    Regards

    Simon

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    Sorry Simon, that's all that I have. Colin died a few years ago so I can no longer ask him.

    Errol

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    No problem Errol. Thanks indeed for your help with the info about Padden from Colin's book.

    Regards

    Simon

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