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Thread: 1567406 Thomas Dobson Finlay (Flight Sergeant)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts

    Default 1567406 Thomas Dobson Finlay (Flight Sergeant)

    I have been in correspondence with the daughter of Thomas Dobson Finlay who served on 249 Squadron

    She would be interested in learning more of his DFM award which was granted on the 21st August 1945

    She has his DFM and his logbook so I am trying to see what I can find for her

    He was commissioned on the 14/11/45

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Northumberland, UK
    Thanked 292 Times in 283 Posts

    Default Re: 1567406 Thomas Dobson Finlay (Flight Sergeant)

    Hello David

    Here's the details from

    FINLAY Thomas Dobson
    Flight Sergeant
    249 Sqn
    LG 21/8/1945
    Sorties 83
    Flying hours 200
    Air 2/9119
    In the course of his operational tour with 249 Squadron, this N.C.O. has displayed a very high standard of flying skill and marksmanship. His determination in pressing home attacks has resulted in the destruction or damaging of 27 locomotives, 52 M/T, 3 aircraft (on the ground) and many other enemy held buildings, positions and installations. During his tour, he carried out at least 60 successful bombing attacks and over the last few months, as a Section Leader, his skill and courage were such as to act as an inspiration to other pilots who, as a result, were able to score heavily against the enemy.
    On 19th September, 1944, in company with two other pilots, Finlay shared in the destruction or damaging of six locomotives, one F.W. 190, one Ju-52 and two trains carrying 20 plus M/T all destroyed and a crane mounted on a river barge. These targets in the Larissa-Salonika area in Greece were heavily defended.
    On September 23rd 1944, between Edessa and Skoplje, Finlay and one other pilot attacked a special target, i.e. railway crane, and although encountering much flak opposition, made five attacks on the target with very good results. On the same occasion, five locomotive were also accounted for.
    On 15th November 1944, Flight Sergeant Finlay carried out a particularly determined attack on a large M/T convoy in Tirana area. A later report stated “German convoy attacked by Balkan Air Force and partisans between El Basan and Tirana was almost completely wiped out. 1,000 Germans were reported killed and a P.O.W. admitted 100 deaths from air attacks on that day. The convoy did not move after the attack and was abandoned.”
    On 26th January 1945, Flight Sergeant Finlay again rendered sterling work when his section were responsible for the destruction or disablement of eight locomotives, 176 wagons, one train (many casualties), one gun post and a factory. This outstanding operation was carried out in the heavily defended area between Novska and Brod. This N.C.O. also contributed largely to the damage and destruction of a large enemy force which was trapped in the Podgorica Pocket during the month of December when many hundreds of enemy vehicles were finally abandoned.
    19th May 1945

    Remarks by O.C., No. 254 Wing
    This Flight Sergeant has shown a consistent bravery in the face of stiff opposition, particularly when ground strafing. His record and consistent gallantry are well worthy of the D.F.M.

    His D.F.M. was reported very birefly in the Newcastle Evening Chronicle of August 21st 1945 with several other local airmen's awards

    The Distinguished Flying Medal is awarded to:
    Flight Sergt. Thomas Dobson Finlay, of Gosforth, born in 1922 at Gateshead, and enlisted in 1942.

    And his wedding as reported in the Chronicle of August 16th 1952:

    D.F.M. holder weds at Gosforth
    Ex-Flying Officer and holder of the D.F.M. Mr. Thomas Dobson Finlay, son of Mr. and Mrs. T. H. Finlay of 73, Church Road, Gosforth, was married today at All Saints Church, Gosforth, to Miss Myra Lesley Madderson, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. L. E. Madderson, of 17, Harley terrace, Gosforth.
    Mr. Madderson is manager of the Co-Operative Society in Newgate Street, Newcastle. The bridegroom’s father is a builder and constructor at Gosforth.

    I'd be interested to see the relevant entries from his log book if you have a chance to see them.


    Last edited by wwrsimon; 10th October 2021 at 11:14. Reason: added wedding details
    Researching R.A.F. personnel from the North East of England

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts

    Default Re: 1567406 Thomas Dobson Finlay (Flight Sergeant)


    Thanks very much

    I will drop you an email


  4. The Following User Says Thank You to Thunderbird167 For This Useful Post:

    wwrsimon (10th October 2021)

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