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Thread: RAF Awards Database (04 July 2021: M-in-D Update)

  1. #41
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    Default Re: RAF Awards Database (16 Mar 2020: AFC, AFM, EGM)

    Hello

    1944-06-02 BEM(M) Flt Sgt Robert Forster BLAIR (993645) - his award was reported in the Morpeth Herald of June 30th 1944:

    Honour For Morpeth Man
    Flight Sergeant Robert Forster Blair, R.A.F.V.R., at present stationed in Canada, has been awarded the British Empire Medal (Military Division). He is the only son of Mr. and Mrs. John Blair of East Lane Ends, Morpeth, and was educated at Morpeth Council School under Mr. W. Raitt, M.B.E., B.Sc., before attending a Commercial College in Newcastle. He then entered King’s College, Newcastle, and was studying there when he volunteered for the R.A.F. at the outbreak of hostilities.

    The citation for his award is on the RCAF Association website:

    BLAIR, Flight Sergeant Robert Forster (RAF 993645) - British Empire Medal - RCAF Station Dartmouth - Awarded as per London Gazette dated 8 June 1944 and AFRO 1380 dated 30 June 1944.
    This NCO's work in Radar has been outstanding in every respect. He has done excellent work developing and perfecting in the field special aids to navigation and approach systems and has played a large part in training aircrew and developing special procedures. He has continually set a fine example to the mechanics on his station by his ability and outstanding devotion to duty.

    Regards

    Simon
    Last edited by wwrsimon; 7th December 2020 at 11:31. Reason: odd formatting due to copying and pasting from a Word doc!
    Researching R.A.F. personnel from the North East of England

  2. #42
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    Default Re: RAF Awards Database (16 Mar 2020: AFC, AFM, EGM)

    Hello

    One missing from the B.E.M. list

    Stephen Purvis CAWTHORNE D.F.M. (616551) - his B.E.M. was gazetted in March, 1950:

    The KING has been graciously pleased to approve the award of the British Empire Medal (Military Division) to:-

    616551 Navigator 1 Stephen Purvis CAWTHORNE, D.F.M., Royal Air Force, No. 201 Advanced Flying School, Swinderby.
    Navigator 1 Cawthorne, an aircrew pupil, was the navigator on a Wellington aircraft which was detailed for a training flight on the night of 8th December, 1949. Whilst over the English Channel in the vicinity of Boulogne, a fire was suspected in the port engine and course was set for Tangmere, a distance of 100 miles, with no further sign of fire. During the approach at Tangmere the pilot discovering that this speed was much too high, retracted the undercarriage on landing. As a result of the heat generated by the fuselage scraping along the runway a fire was started. The pilot, who had presumably loosened his safety straps before the aircraft had become stationary, was thrown out on to his head and dazed. Navigator 1 Cawthorne climbed from the fuselage and noticed that the signaller was trapped in the body of the fuselage in which a fire was raging, being unable to release the downward rear escape hatch. The fuselage was lying on the ground and the hatch was very inaccessible, but Navigator 1 Cawthorne succeeded in opening it and pulling the signaller out by his feet. I doing so he sustained extensive burns to one of his hands. The signaller suffered third degree burns to his face and both arms and, but for the prompt and very gallant action of the Navigator, would undoubtedly have lost his life.

    The award was reported in the Sheffield Daily Telegraph of March 29th 1950:

    Saved Man From Blazing Plane
    An R.A.F. navigator who pulled a man from a burning bomber by his feet has been awarded the British Empire Medal, the London Gazette announced last night.
    He is Navigator 1, Stephen Purvis Cawthorne, of 201 Advanced Flying School Swinderby, Lincolnshire.
    The pilot of the Wellington bomber which Cawthorne was navigating, retracted the undercarriage because his speed was too high when landing at Tangmere, Sussex. Friction of the fuselage scraping the runway started a fire. The pilot was thrown clear.

    Regards

    Simon
    Last edited by wwrsimon; 7th December 2020 at 11:38. Reason: odd formatting
    Researching R.A.F. personnel from the North East of England

  3. #43
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    Default Re: RAF Awards Database (16 Mar 2020: AFC, AFM, EGM)

    Hello

    1943-07-23 BEM(M) LAC George Henry CHASTNEY (1110323) - the citation for his B.E.M. award is as follows:

    B.E.M. gazetted LG July 27th 1943, page 3382: 1110323 Leading Aircraftman George Henry Chastney, Royal Air Force. A Bisley aircraft, carrying mails, crashed when taking off and immediately burst into flames. Leading Aircraftman Chastney rushed to the scene of the accident and found the wireless operator trapped in the burning wreckage. Displaying complete disregard for his own safety whilst working for several minutes directly beneath a burning petrol tank, which was liable to explode, he succeeded in releasing the wireless operator. Leading Aircraftman Chastney's courage and devotion to duty undoubtedly saved the airman's life.

    His award was reported in the Newcastle Journal & North Mail of July 28th 1943:

    NORTH MEN AMONGST HONOURS L.A.C. Chastney (27), peace-time motor-driver, of Sunderland, extricated a trapped man, the wireless-operator, from a burning plane. The plane, a Bisley carrying mails, crashed when taking off. Chastney rushed to the scene and with complete disregard of his own safety worked for several minutes directly beneath a burning petrol tank liable to explode at any minute before he was able to release the wireless operator.

    Regards

    Simon
    Researching R.A.F. personnel from the North East of England

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  5. #44
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    Default Re: RAF Awards Database (16 Mar 2020: AFC, AFM, EGM)

    Hello again

    Another one missing from the B.E.M. list:

    CLARK Edward 532166 Flight Sergeant - gazetted 26th April 1949:

    The KING has been graciously pleased to approve the award of the British Empire Medal (Military Division) to the undermentioned, for distinguished service in Malaya:
    532166 Flight Sergeant Edward CLARK, Royal Air Force.


    The award was reported in the Sunderland Echo of April 27th 1949:

    Parents were unaware son had won B.E.M.
    Until a Sunderland Echo reporter called at their home to-day, Mr. and Mrs. Edward Clark, of Priestman Court, Ford Estate, Sunderland, were unaware that their son, Edward, a 31-year-old R.A.F. Flight Sergeant, had been awarded the B.E.M. (Military Division) for services in Malaya.
    “We knew that his commanding officer had congratulated him on his work, but that was all we had heard,” his other said when told the news. “Naturally we are delighted, because he had been having a difficult time out there,” she added.
    Flight-Sergt. Clark, a fitter-armourer, was born at Horden. He joined the R.A.F. in May, 1936, on his 18th birthday. On arrival at the R.A.F. station at Kuala Lumpur in August last year he took charge of armourers servicing Nos. 28 and 60 Squadrons.


    and again on april 29th:

    B.E.M. winner is all-round athlete
    Flt.-Sgt. Edward Clark, who has just been awarded the British Empire Medal, wanted to join the R.A.F. when he was just 15. “Wait three years, and then ask me again,” was his father’s reply, and on his eighteenth birthday got the paternal blessing. That was in 1936. Since then Edward has seen quite a bit of the world and plenty of action.
    The early days of the Libyan campaign found him helping to service the strange collection of fighting aircraft at the newly-opened aerodrome on the outskirts of Ismailia, Egypt.
    From the Canal Zone, as a member of the Western Desert Air Force, he took part in various stages of the fighting in the Eighth Army drive through Libya and up the Italian peninsula. In August last year he went out to Malaya, where his work as armourer-fitter under extremely difficult conditions earned him the B.E.M.
    Edward, who comes of a family with a splendid record of military service, used to play football at Horden and is an all-round sportsman. He has played for the RAF against combined Army-Navy elevens at football in Malaya. He plays rugby and cricket too, and last year, in a series of eliminating events, he narrowly failed to become one of the representatives from Malaya in the Olympic races that were held in England. He came first in the 220 yards sprint and second in the 440 yards and 800 yards events. His home is at Priestman Court, Ford Estate. Quietly proud of his son’s prowess is Mr. Clark, sen., a veteran member of the Durham Light Infantry, who is 100 per cent disabled as the result of wounds received in the First World War.


    Regards

    Simon
    Researching R.A.F. personnel from the North East of England

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    Default Re: RAF Awards Database (16 Mar 2020: AFC, AFM, EGM)

    I am searching for the London Gazette of 1st January 1942, in which A/Flight Lieutenant John Edwin Laurence Lewington (87925) of the Royal Airforce Volunteer Reserve is mentioned in despatches. Have looked through the supplements but can't locate any variation of his name, or any Gazette published on the 1st Jan 1942. The closest date is 2nd January - were they always published in a Friday? How might I discover what it what he did to merit the mention? I have the paper award, but it just says "for distinguished service". (His name appears in several Gazettes in 1940, 41, 42 but for promotions only)

  8. #46
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    Default Re: RAF Awards Database (16 Mar 2020: AFC, AFM, EGM)

    One of those issues that did not OCR so not searchable via web bots.

    Page 46
    https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/35399

    As it was New Year Honour List most probably meritorious service over a period rather than a specific deed/action.

    Ross
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  9. #47
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    Default Re: RAF Awards Database (16 Mar 2020: AFC, AFM, EGM)

    I finally got around to the Mentioned-in-Dispatches after hours of fixing OCR issues. Previously I had about 33000 entries here - now the new number is pretty much complete and has about 41943 entries. I would expect this to be 99% accurate. There are the odd OCR errors.. but all will be fixed in due course of time.

    One flaw with the LG listing of MiDs is that they only published with intials. with some work at my end, roughly 25% have full names, but the rest still have initials.


    ------------------------------------------
    There are a total of 81173 Award records in this database
    VC : 30 GC : 27 GBE(M) : 4 KBE(M) : 44 DBE(M) : 3 CBE(M) : 548 DSO : 1222 OBE(M) : 1422 MBE(M) : 2338
    DFC : 20927 MC : 85 AFC : 2481 CGM(F) : 107 BEM(M) : 2320 DFM : 6484 MM : 131 AFM : 292 MiD : 42710

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  11. #48
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    Default Re: RAF Awards Database (16 Mar 2020: AFC, AFM, EGM)

    While the Mentions in despatches db is a commendable achievement, another unavoidable flaw arises from Gazettal practice (& thus reflected here, as also in Maton's Honour Those Mentioned): while this MiD db offers the Unit field to search on, that invariably returns "No records found" - Unit detail being absent, as not published as far as I can see.
    Toujours propos

  12. #49
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    Default Re: RAF Awards Database (16 Mar 2020: AFC, AFM, EGM)

    Other flaws in the MiD DB include lack of full names (carry over from the gazette) and the missing connections between NCOs/WOs service numbers who were later commissioned and got an MiD as an Officer .. This also applies to the airmen who got the DFM and later the DFC/DSO. treating the same individual with two different service numbers makes it a bit complicated to query

  13. #50
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    Default Re: RAF Awards Database (16 Mar 2020: AFC, AFM, EGM)

    I've got another one for the M.B.E. (and M.i.D.) database:

    BUTCHER Joseph Edward 356545
    M.i.D. January 1st 1943
    M.B.E. June 1st 1956

    His M.B.E. was reported in the Northern Daily Mail (Hartlepool Mail) of May 31st 1956:

    Air Force service
    Born and educated in West Hartlepool, 55-year-old Warrant Officer Joseph Edward Butcher has been awarded the Order of the British Empire (Military Division).
    Warrant Officer Butcher joined the Air Force in August, 1923, after trying to join the Navy, and since then he has been posted to depots in several parts of Great Britain as well as abroad.
    In 1926 he went to India, and there gained the South-West Frontier Medal in the Khyber Pass. Later he was attached to the Fleet Air Arm and served on the Repulse shortly before she was sunk.
    Back in this country he was promoted to the ranks of sergeant in the 1930’s, becoming a Warrant Officer in 1941. During the war he was engaged in war work and then went to Trieste and Malta. At present he is working at York.
    On special service with the Ministry of Supply during the past few years, Warrant Officer Butcher holds a Coronation Medal.
    He was educated at Brougham School, West Hartlepool, worked with the South Durham Steel & Iron Co. Ltd. for a short period, then served his apprenticeship as an engineer with Richardsons Westgarth Ltd., whom he left in 1923.
    A son of Mr. and the late Mrs. Joseph Butcher, he stays with his father at 16 Gloucester Street, West Hartlepool, when visiting the town.


    Regards

    Simon
    Researching R.A.F. personnel from the North East of England

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