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Thread: Details of three D.F.C.s for service in the Malayan Emergency?

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    Default Details of three D.F.C.s for service in the Malayan Emergency?

    Hello everyone

    Way out of my 'comfort zone' but I've come across three D.F.C.s from 1956 and 1957 awarded 'in recognition of gallant and distinguished service in Malaya.'

    LG May 8th 1956: 59077 Flight Lt. George FRANCIS, A.F.C.*

    LG June 7th 1957: 137445 Flight Lt. William Francis BURKE.

    According to newspaper reports at the time of his award, Burke was a helicopter pilot in Malaya, and was involved in rescuing a starving baby elephant. It was widely reported at the time, and he spoke about it on Malayan radio. It was rported that he joined the R.A.F. in 1940, and had spent four years in the Far East as a fighter pilot during WW2.

    and finally:

    LG December 10th 1957: 1049971 Master Pilot Anthony Francis Brockwell WEBB.

    As with Burke, newspapers at the time reported that he was 'mainly on helicopter operations.'

    Can anyone tell me if there are any details for these three in the Carters' D.F.C. book? I'm trying to track down their respective units, and any further details if possible.

    Many thanks,

    Regards

    Simon

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    Hi Simon,

    W.F.Burke flew Hurricanes with No.42 Sqn in Burma c.1944.

    http://www.rafcommands.com/database/...s.php?crno=547

    One would hope the baby elephant rescue was carried out by No.194 Squadron "The Friendly Firm". If not, No.155 Sqn.

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 18th February 2018 at 14:42.

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    Col,

    Many thanks for the info on Burke, much appreciated.

    Regards

    Simon

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    Simon

    Carter does not have any more information for the three men other than 'in recognition of gallant and distinguished service in Malaya.'

    Regards

    Douglas

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    Many thanks for looking Douglas. Shame the units aren't included. I have, however, got somewhere:

    Thanks to Col for the extra info - I took pot luck, and found Burke in the distorted 'preview images' of the 155 Sqn ORB Form 541 for Feb. 1957 on the NA website, and co-incidentally Webb too. A further Google search found the Aberdeen Evening Express of June 21st 1956, which reported the following:

    Orphan Dumbo Rescued
    A Royal Air Force Whirlwind helicopter completed "Operation Dumbo" today when it flew a 10 day old, 200lb. elephant from a jungle fort, the Royal Air Force annoucned.
    Lost and starving, the baby elephant wandered into Fort Pelanok on June 13. Since then it had been supplied with dried milk by air.
    Flight Lieutenant William Burke, 155 Squadron, R.A.F., landed the elephant in a crate at Kuala Lipis.
    It will join another elephant orphan in the home of Pahang's chief game warden, Mr. A. K. Robinson.

    The 155 Sqn ORB Form 540 for June 1956:

    Some publicity was obtained due to a casualty evacuation flight of an unusual nature, the invalid in this case was an elephant lifted out from Fort PELANCOK to KUALA LIPIS. Admittedly it was a baby elephant weighing a mere 200 lbs., nevertheless an elephant just the same.

    I also found Burke in the 42 Sqn ORB appendices (which thankfully include detailed Sortie Reports), where the flew some 70-odd Ops in Hurricanes between December 1943 and June 1944. His usual mount was Hurricane IId 'D', which I think may have been LD101.

    Regards

    Simon
    Last edited by wwrsimon; 19th February 2018 at 17:52. Reason: added extra info.

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    Excellent info, Simon.

    One minor correction, however. LD101 was a Mk IV Hurricane, definitely not a IId. Burke and Hurricane "D" are listed in the ORB appendices, and "D" is listed as "IV". In fact, a 42 Sqn ORB Form 540 entry states that on 17 September 1944 – after F/Lt Burke's departure – the squadron started adding Mk IIc Hurricanes on ops, though they continued flying the Mk IVs, too.

    Cheers,

    Matt

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    Matt

    You are, of course, correct - I don't know why I wrote Hurricane IId, when I indeed knew it was a IV! Suffering a case of brain fade, I think...

    Regards

    Simon

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    Brain fade...I was going to write the book on brain fade...but I forgot to.

    By the way, if you google on "42 Squadron", you'll get misinformation on the models of Hurricanes flown. Somewhere there is botched info on the use of the Mk IV vs the Mk IIc on the squadron, and -- you know the way of so-called research -- one error gets copied and passed along as the truth. It is then picked up by other readers and the basic errors are spread further, sometimes by noted authors and eminent researchers. The errors become "factual". Unfortunately, few of us are immewn frum typograffick errrors, or from making factual errors which we would have caught if allowed that precious 10 additional minutes of sleep the night before!

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