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Thread: F/L John Kenneth Holmes MEAD - No.158 Squadron - DFC recommendation

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    Default F/L John Kenneth Holmes MEAD - No.158 Squadron - DFC recommendation

    MEAD, John Kenneth Holmes, F/L (151437) – No.158 Squadron – Distinguished Flying Cross – awarded as per London Gazette dated 20 February 1945 with only a general citation. Information from Spink auction catalogue. Trained in Canada. The recommendation states:

    “On the night of 25/26th July, 1944, Flying Officer Mead was air bomber in a Halifax III aircraft detailed from this Squadron to attack the vital oil refinery at Wanne-Eickel in the heart of the Ruhr. Ten minutes from the target, the aircraft ran into a belt of intense and accurate predicted flak. The aircraft was shaken by several near misses and then, just after Flying Officer Mead had commenced directions for the bombing run, a shell burst near the front of the aircraft, sending splinters through the nose and mid-upper turret and cutting the hydraulics. The explosion caused a momentary loss of control and the whole crew was severely shaken by the incident. As soon as the pilot had recovered, however, Flying Officer Mead coolly resumed directions for attacking the target and with determination flew through the heaviest area of flak to place his bombs accurately.

    “Throughout the whole of the incident, this air bomber’s air of confidence and cool courage was an inspiration to everyone in the aircraft. Over Gelsenkirchen on the two daylight raids of 12th and 13th September, 1944, his supreme confidence and complete disregard of his own safety in the face of intense enemy fire was notable. This was shown again on 9th June, when he asked his captain to dive to less than 3000 feet so that he could get below cloud to ensure perfect accuracy in his bombing of the railway yards of Laval. It is recommended that this officer’s courage, determination and consistently excellent work throughout his tour of operations fully merit the award of the Distinguished Flying Cross.”

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    Default Re: F/L John Kenneth Holmes MEAD - No.158 Squadron - DFC recommendation

    Additional biographical information:

    Born in Valetta, Malta, July 1914. Enlisted in RAF Reserve (Special Reserve), March 1936. RAVFR, December 1939. Commenced Air Bomber training, December 1942. As Flying Officer posted to No.158 Squadron, April 1944. First sortie to Acheres, 30 April 1944. Tour lasted to September 1944, the majority of sorties to France (38 sorties, over 150 hours). These included attack on coastal batteries at Maisy (5 June 1944) and on Chateaudun (6 June 1944). Also several V-1 sites. Released as a Flight Lieutenant, December 1945.

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