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Thread: 101 Squadron DFC and DFM Crew

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    Default 101 Squadron DFC and DFM Crew

    Dear all.

    I was wondering if any members might be able to help with a little research I'm doing into a crew with 101 Squadron, Bomber Command, who had several members awarded gallantry medals.

    The crew in question was that piloted by Forsyth. He does not seem to have been awarded a gallantry medal, but three of the crew were:

    Arthur Edward Charman, 176757, DFC London Gazette 17/10/1944

    Gerald Dennis Dowdeswell, 173536, DFC London Gazette 17/10/1944

    Walter Francis Bates, 1577558, DFM London Gazette 13/10/1944

    Details of the crew can be found here:

    http://www.156squadron.com/101Sqn/di...?pCrewid=17255

    The website also provides a list of operations. Now what I'm slightly puzzled by is the last operation shown for the crew is 27/05/1944, and I'd have thought and end of your award would have been published before late October. I would also have thought that the pilot (Forsyth) would have been given something as the pilots of crews often seem to get an award.

    No citations were published in the LG for the DFCs or the DFM, but I have been provided with the DFM Citation for Bates:

    LG/13/10/1944, Soties 30, Flying Hours 182.10, Air Bomber, AIR2/9026
    Flight Sergeant Bates has recently completed a very successful tour of operations with his squadron and many of his sorties have been against the heaviest defended targets in Germany including six attacks on Berlin. Throughout the time he has been with the squadron, he has shown a fine spirit of determination coupled with a high standard of keenness and efficiency and in the face of intense enemy opposition, he has always directed his captain with unerring skill and judgement. This NCO has set a fine example both in the air and on the ground and, by his coolness and skill, has materially assisted in obtaining the splendid results achieved by his crew. The consistent good work by Flight Sergeant Bates and his unfailing devotion to duty at all times merit his recommendation for the award of the Distinguished Flying Medal.

    Remarks by Base Commander
    Flight Sergeant Bates has shown outstanding fearlessness and determination in the face of enemy opposition which merits high praise. I fully support the recommendation given above that he should receive the Distinguished Flying Medal.

    I know that Charman was the navigator, and I also now know that Dowdeswell was an air gunner as there are two combat reports for Dowdeswell on the PRO online archive. It must have been quite a tour for Dowdeswell as he was commissioned early on (listed in the LG 02/05/1944 back to 06/02/1944), and then he was awarded the DFC on completion of the tour. Quite a feat for an air gunner.

    Anyway, I was wondering if any members might be able to help with additional information. Is there a chance that DFC citations might survive at Kew? Is it odd that we see the navigator, bomb aimer and air gunner being awarded gallantry medals, but not the pilot? Is the gap between the completion of the tour in May 1944 and the publication of awards in October 1944 normal?

    Any help or information would be great,

    Johnnie

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    Hello,

    The No.101 Sqn site you quote is a "Work in Progress". Just because you don't see any information about awards doesn't mean there weren't any! ie NZ4310173 P/O (Pilot) Kenneth Evan FORSYTH DFC RNZAF (LG: 19-9-1944 - 101 Sqn.). Others in the crew also had awards.

    Col.

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    That's excellent. Many thanks for that. I wonder why he didn't pop up when I searched the LG website.

    Out of interest. You mention further members of the crew having awards. Are they in addition to the two DFCs and the DFM I mentioned in my post?

    Thanks again,

    Johnnie

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    Actually. I see Akers also received the DFC with the award gazetted in the same LG as Forsyth, while Eby received the DFC with the award listed in the October LG with Charman and Bates.
    Last edited by johnnie214; 24th July 2017 at 18:30.

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    And actually. If Holt is T G Holt 1279465, then he was awarded a DFM in the October LG.

    So, at the moment it seems the main, regular, crew were awarded (on completion of the tour) two DFMs and five DFCs.

    Is this unusual? I'm not sure I've come across a situation where pretty much all of the crew are awarded gallantry awards on completion of the tour.

    Johnnie

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    And finally. Copland, who flew the first half of the tour was awarded the DFC in the LG 27/06/1944 leaving only Lund (who flew eight operations with the crew) the only person I can find without an award.

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    Hello,

    Uncommon, not unusual. My remarks also include, AUS410288 Colin Thomas AKERS DFC RAAF. Talk about snowballing! First the London Gazette got it wrong (105 Sqn.), then Barton, Carter & Maton followed suit. Akers was awarded his DFC for completing a tour on No.101 Sqn. The then Sgt Akers RAAF, was aboard No.28 OTU Wellington IC DV613, when it ditched 35m SSE of St. Cathrine's Point, on the Isle of Wight, on 3/4 June, 1943 (BCL7/225).

    Keeping it in a 101 Sqn vein, also aboard 28 OTU Wellington DV613, were,

    1344507 J W SHEARER
    1576200 N F WORSNUP
    1392965 D NAYLOR

    All ended up PoWs when No.101 Sqn Lancaster III LM371:SR-T, failed to return from raiding Berlin, on 29/30-12-1943 (BCL4/440).

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 25th July 2017 at 03:09.

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