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Thread: W/C J.M. (or J.K.M.) Cooke, DSO DFC (42808?)

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    Default W/C J.M. (or J.K.M.) Cooke, DSO DFC (42808?)

    I would be grateful for any information on W/C J.M. (or J.K.M.) Cooke, DSO DFC (42808?). He was commanding officer and Chief Instructor at Wellesbourne Mountford during my father’s OTU course (No. 22 OTU). Dad remembers him as J.L.W. Cooke, but I think he was trying to decipher Cooke’s signature in his logbook 40 years after the occasion. In his audio memoirs, Dad remembers him fondly and tells a couple of amusing stories. Dad recalled he thought he had 99 operations, some on Pathfinders. I would be interested in a photograph and operational service in Bomber Command.

    The following is recorded at aviation archaeology:
    http://www.aviationarchaeology.org.u...n_of_22otu.htm
    W/C “J M or JKM” COOKE DSO DFC; 42808; pilot; 02/12/1943 reported as assistant chief instructor; 07/12/1943 assumed command of RAF Gaydon; 08/02/1944 posted to Wellesbourne; 22/04/1944 liaison visits to Honeybourne and Long Marston.

    Jim
    Last edited by JDCAVE; 5th August 2019 at 17:47.

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    Jim

    His Service No is 42802, and his full name John Kemp Michael Cooke.

    I'm sure others will be along before too much longer to fill in some more...

    Regards

    Simon

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    Hello,

    COOKE, J.K.M. - D.S.O. LG: 14 May 1943 Acting Squadron Leader, D.F.C. (42802), No.83 Squadron "for gallantry and devotion to duty in the execution of air operations."
    John Kemp Michael COOKE. Cdt., King William Coll. Contgt., O.T.C.; 2Lt., Transportation Branch, Corps of Royal Engineers, 10 May 1939; Transf'd to the Royal Air Force as (42802) A/P/O/ (P). 23 Oct. 1939; P/O (P),18 May 1940; P/O 24 Aug. 1940; F/O. 18 May 1941; No.50 Sqn., Served on air ops over Europe (D.F.C. LG: 23 Sept. 1941); War Subs. F/Lt., 18 May 1942; A/S/Ldr.; No.83 Sqn., 1942-1943; Served on air ops over Europe (D.S.O.); His D.S.O. citation was shown in Flight Magazine, 10 Jun. 1943: Since the award of the D.F.C. this officer has completed numerous operational sorties, many of them to distant and heavily defended targets such as Benin [sic] (read Berlin), Turin and Nuremberg. He has set a high standard of efficiency, both on the ground and in the air."; War Subs. S/Ldr., 3 Nov. 1943; Transf'd. Reserve (Cl. A), 23 May 1948.

    See:
    Companions of the Distinguished Service Order 1920-2006 - Air Awards.
    Hearns, Doug V. P., C.D.
    Uckfield:Naval & Miltary Press,2011.
    p.92.

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 6th August 2019 at 04:55.

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    Thanks for that Col and Simon. The service number was in error on the Aviation Archaeology website. I did some searching and the only photo I could find was of Cooke’s flying jacket and belt which came up at auction some years ago. I also found a thread on another forum on one of his ORB entries. I’ll search a bit more.

    Dad was at #22 OTU 75 years ago, June-Aug 1944.

    Jim

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    Jim, This may help:
    Trans to RAFO as Flt Lt wef 24 Aug 43
    https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/...upplement/5648

    m.i.d. as an A/Wg Cdr
    https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/37407/page/90

    Appointed to a commn as a sqn ldr
    https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/...upplement/6321

    Grant of seniority: sqn ldr wef 1 Sep 45
    https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/...supplement/971

    Transfer to Reserve (Class A)
    https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/...8318/page/3418
    Regards, Terry

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    Hello,

    Cooke in fact, mentioned twice:

    1st./ https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/.../supplement/63 (see also:p.60).

    2nd./ https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/37407/page/90 (see also:p.88).

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 6th August 2019 at 09:03.

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    Thanks Col. Dad said he was known as a “Press-on Type”. Said he always wore a forage cap, dead centre on his head “fore and aft, mostly aft”. Apparently, he went around the station in coveralls, accompanied with an Erk, armed with a compressor with camouflage paint, spray-painting structures around the station. Dad had a weekend leave-pass and Cooke flew him in Cooke’s Airspeed Oxford to the airfield Fairoaks, which was near to dad’s girlfriend’s house (to become my mother). Dad used to be an instructor at Fairoaks.

    It would be nice to see a photo of him so I can put a face to the name.

    Jim

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    Jim,

    I'll just mention the following to show the vagaries of war.

    A/S/L Cooke was posted out of No.83 Sqn., w.e.f., 18 June, 1943. He was posted to H.Q. Unit, No.91 Group. This left Cooke's crew* headless. 45901 F/Lt Leslie Arthur RICKINSON DFC, RAF, stepped into his shoes. Rickinson had only recently been posted in to No.83 Squadron himself.

    Such is the luck of the draw, Rickinson's aircraft was shot down over the Netherlands on 12/13 May, 1943. (BCL4/141) and ... https://www.verliesregister.studiegr...rea=&airfield= There was a sole survivor, AUS404486 F/Lt Horace D'Arcy Meadows RANSOME RAAF (later DFC), who was taken POW.

    * Cooke's original No.83 Sqn crew (with some variation here and there, ie. AUS402922 Sgt W. L. GIBBS RAAF):

    A/S/L J K M COOKE DFC
    A/F/Sgt D B BOURNS
    Sgt H D'A M RANSOME RAAF
    F/Sgt T J McINTYRE
    Sgt T R CAIRNS
    Sgt S A HATHAWAY
    F/Sgt H PLANT

    Lucky for some, unlucky for others.

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 7th August 2019 at 06:39.

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