YATES, Harold Birchall, Flight Sergeant (1089142) – No.603 Squadron – Distinguished Flying Medal – awarded as per London Gazette dated 22 August 1944. Although the Gazette carried a citation, Spink auction catalogue of 24 July 1990 had a more detailed recommendation:

“Flight Sergeant Yates is strongly recommended for the immediate award of Distinguished Flying Medal. This N.C.O. pilot has completed an extremely aggressive tour of operations in the Aegean. During the Cos-Leros campaign, F/S Yates, who had just previously joined the Squadron, flew almost forty hours flying which included three strikes. F/S Yates took part in a wing strike when this squadron acted as Anti-Flak on a large M.V. escorted by several destroyers and E.V.’s off Melos.

“He made a determined attack in the face of intense heavy and light flak on one E.V. over 500 tons scoring hits with rockets. His aircraft was extensively damaged by flak, but he then attacked and damaged an enemy fighter escorting the convoy. Both Yates and his navigator were wounded but F/S Yates ordered his navigator to bind up the leaking hydraulic pipe, and thus was able to affect a most successful night landing at a strange airfield thereby saving his aircraft from further damage. Previous to this, F/S Yates shared the destruction of an escort vessel, escorting two invasion M.V.’s approaching Leros. The E.V. was left burning…. F/S Yates has shared in the destruction of five enemy supply vessels totalling about 800 tons and has possibly destroyed a floating crane. On a recent strike on enemy R.D.F. stations on Crete, F/S Yates pressed home his attack in the face of intense and accurate flak. F/S Yates has taken part in eight strikes on enemy shipping, and twenty-nine offensive sweeps, night intruders and reconnaissances, making a total of over 200 hours operational flying.”