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Thread: Flying Officer Walter Edwards (Pathfinder)

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    Default Flying Officer Walter Edwards (Pathfinder)

    Hi,

    I am doing some research for my father. He has asked if anyone can help shed light on the career of his cousin, Walter Edwards, who was apparently a Flying Officer on Mosquitoes with a Pathfinder Squadron. My father believes he was decorated for bravery (possibly DFC) and he certainly sounds like an impressive individual. He did survive the war, but Dad lost touch long ago--Walter was much older than him, and since he was only a little boy at the time, it is possible that his memory is at fault as to the fine details of the above. Walter's parents were Walter and May Edwards (nee Prior) of Wolverhampton.

    Thanks for your help,

    Natalie

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    Hi Natalie

    There are a few Walter Edwards' in the London Gazette, including one "Walter EDWARDS (139202)" in an entry dating from 1947, but he has no DFC. In order to make a search easier, does 'your' Walter Edwards have a middle name, or do you know his number?

    Steve
    41 (F) Squadron RAF at War and Peace, April 1916-March 1946
    http://brew.clients.ch/41sqnraf.htm

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    Hi Steve,

    I suspected the DFC might be wrong, but mentioned it because I knew it would be easy for someone with the right information to check. Dad was only a young teenager, and he has got other details about the war muddled up or exaggerated over the years. I am sure his cousin got a medal for bravery of some sort, but really it could be anything.

    I don't know the cousin's middle name, but I will ask him if he remembers it, or if he can give any further information. (I'd say just as likely not.)

    Natalie

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    Natalie,

    Could he possibly be 1583113 Flight Sergeant Walter George Edwards, DFM, RAFVR.

    This man was awarded his DFM in 1945 (published in the London Gazette on page 5898 on 4 Dec 1945) while serving with No.582 Squadron, which operated Lancaster bombers.

    Errol

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    Default Possible W G Edwards RAF

    YOu mention his parents as Walter and May (Nee Prior) Edwards.

    Using http://www.freebmd.org.uk/cgi/search.pl

    A Walter T C Edwards married a May B Prior in the last quarter of 1913 in the Wolverhampton district. This woudl appear to be his parents.

    Further on then, searhcing for Edwards born with mothers name Prior gives you the following two registrations:

    Walter G Edwards 1st Quarter 1916

    May B Edwards 4th Quarter 1919

    There are some others which you can check out for yourself.

    The London Gazette newspaper then lists possible one RAF W G Edwards as follows:

    ROYAL AIR FORCE VOLUNTEER-RESERVE.
    GENERAL DUTIES BRANCH.
    Appointment to commission.
    As Plt. Offs. on prob. (emergency): —
    Sgt
    26th May 1944
    1315306 Walter George EDWARDS (176678).

    He enlisted as service number 1315306 and upon receiving his commishion received a new number 176678.

    ROYAL AIR FORCE VOLUNTEER RESERVE.
    GENERAL DUTIES BRANCH.
    Confirmation and promotion.
    Plt. Offs. (prob.) confmd. in appts. and to be Flg. Offs. (war subs.): —
    26th November 1944
    W. G. EDWARDS (176678).

    Gazette Issue 37619 published on the 18 June 1946
    ROYAL AIR FORCE VOLUNTEER RESERVE.
    GENERAL DUTIES BRANCH.
    Confirmation and promotion.
    Promotion.
    26th May 1946
    Flg. Off. to Flt. Lt. (war subs.):—
    W. G. EDWARDS (176678).

    Gazette Issue 37749 published on the 4 October 1946
    ROYAL AIR FORCE VOLUNTEER RESERVE.
    GENERAL DUTIES BRANCH.
    The undermtd., (on account of .medical unfitness
    for Air Force service):—
    Flight Lieutenant W. G. EDWARDS (176678).
    26th Sept. 1946.


    I may be completely wrong of course but it may well be the man your searching for. No mention of an award however.

    i shoudl have qualified my suggetion above with that this might be the only W G Edwards commishioned during the war, not the ONLY W G Edwards in the RAF as Errol discovered!

    regards

    Dennis
    Last edited by dennis_burke; 8th September 2008 at 08:33. Reason: Added last line
    Dennis Burke
    - Dublin

    Foreign Aircrew and Aircraft Ireland 1939-1945
    www.ww2irishaviation.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by Errol Martyn View Post
    Natalie,

    Could he possibly be 1583113 Flight Sergeant Walter George Edwards, DFM, RAFVR.

    This man was awarded his DFM in 1945 (published in the London Gazette on page 5898 on 4 Dec 1945) while serving with No.582 Squadron, which operated Lancaster bombers.

    Errol
    This Edwards seems to have had his DFM LG'ed after he was commissioned:

    As Plt. Offs. on prob. (emergency):
    1583113 Walter George EDWARDS (198335). 26th Apr. 1945

    Plt. Offs. (prob.) confmd. in appts. and to be Flg. Offs. (war subs.):
    W. G. EDWARDS (198335).26th Oct. 1945

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    Thank you to all who replied. I will have to speak with my father (he is currently on holidays) and find out if the details match, however, it is very probable that one of the Walter George Edwards is the man, as May's father was George Prior, and so was her brother (my grandfather) and her nephew (my uncle). Our Walter George Edwards also had a sister called Dorothy, who was very kind to my father after his mother died early in the war, and whom he remembers helping to look after him. However, I doubt this detail will help identify him in the war records.

    Is there anywhere I can find out what the Walter George Edwards (1583113) who received the DFM was awarded the medal for, as this might ring a bell with Dad. (He did tell me the story but I can't remember the details clearly enough to write them down without checking.) Also, am I correct in understanding that the DFC was awarded to officers, and the DFM to others?

    The only thing I am doubtful about with this chap (1583113) is that Dad was pretty definite that he flew Mosquitoes not Lancasters. (Is it possible that he switched to another squadron? Was 582 Squadron notable for anything in particular? Excuse my total ignorance.)

    Possibly the other man (176678) might be the one, as I remember Dad saying something about him being invalided out. I think he may have been burned, but again will have to check the story.

    Thanks again for all your help!

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    Natalie,

    The Walter George EDWARDS D.F.M mentioned was an Navigator who completed 32 sorties with 582 Sqn.

    Mark

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    Natalie,
    No.582 Squadron was a Pathfinder Squadron based at Little Staughton, in what was then Huntingdonshire. If these details ring any bells with your dad then you may well have found the person you're looking for. Best of luck in your search.
    Regards,
    Bill.

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    Thanks for the information, all. Now that there is a Pathfinder connection, it sounds increasingly likely to me that the man with the DFM is the relative we're looking for, as enough of the details match up. At the moment my father is travelling, but he will be in touch in a day or two, and I will run this past him.

    Can I just confirm whether or not 582 Sqadron ever at any stage flew Mosquitoes, as I find it hard to believe that this was a flight of fancy on my father's part, or could his cousin have transferred to a squadron that did fly them?

    Also, where can we find out what he actually did to get the medal, as that is what will probably clinch it?

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