GRANT, James Bernard, Flight Lieutenant (33313) – No. 269 Squadron (Hudson aircraft)– Distinguished Flying Cross – awarded as per London Gazette dated 27 May 1941. No published citation. Information from Spink catalogue of 5 November 2003, transcribed by Huguette Mondor Oates. The recommendation states:

‘This officer has carried out over 800 hours of operational flying in this Squadron since the outbreak of the war. He has taken part in ten bombing raids over enemy territory at night, and has twice attacked enemy shipping by day close to the Norwegian Coast, and on one occasion sank a large enemy merchant ship by a determined low-flying attack with bombs. As a Flight Commander, he has shown very fine spirit, and has led his Flight on five occasions in night bombing raids over Norway. He took part in the three raids on Bergen – Stavanger Railway at Finse, led the successful attack on the aluminium factory at Hoyanger on 9.4.41, and the leaflet raid over the strongly defended areas of Stavanger and Bergen on the night of 14.4.41’.

GRANT, James Bernard, Wing Commander, DFC (33313) – No. 58 Squadron – Distinguished Service Order – awarded as per London Gazette dated 8 May 1945. No published citation. Information from Spink catalogue of 5 November 2003. The recommendation states:

‘Wing Commander J.B. Grant has commanded No. 58 Squadron for the past eleven months with successes in operations against the enemy. Before arrival at Stornoway, 58 Squadron was engaged on anti-‘U’-boat operations, but since it arrived here, it has been employed almost exclusively on anti-shipping duties. Under Wing Commander Grant’s leadership, the Squadron has carried out many attacks in the Skagerrak and Kattegat and off the Norwegian Coast, culminating in no less than fifty-one attacks during March, 1945 – the last month of his command. He has been entirely responsible for the tactics and strategy, and by precept and example has always maintained the Squadron at a very high standard. Moreover, his personal courage, modest outlook and sincere interest in personnel have held the Squadron happily together, and welded them into an efficient unit which has done much towards increasing the high reputation of the Royal Air Force in this war.

His individual record of operations is impressive, as he has completed some 1,100 hours on operational sorties. Before joining No. 58 Squadron as a Flight Commander some twenty-two months ago, he had already completed a long and successful tour with No. 269 Squadron, where he had been awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. After a period as Chief Flying Instructor at a Coastal Command O.T.U. in Canada, he started his second operational tour with 58 Squadron, and has done more than 500 hours on night work against ‘U’-boats and enemy shipping, most of which has been carried out in the vicinity of the enemy coast.

On 14th January 1944, in Halifax HR 741, he attacked a U-boat in the position 45.20 degrees No. 8.00 degrees W. The attack was pressed home at low-level in the face of considerable flak. The depth charges fell very close to the starboard side of the U-boat which was seen to be stopped on the surface when the aircraft had to leave. On the 21st June, 1944, he led a strike upon a suspected U-boat in St. Annes Harbour in the heavily defended Channel Islands.

On anti-shipping sorties in the Skagerrak, he has carried out a number of attacks, but, as is usual with this kind of work, definite evidence has been lacking to confirm results obtained. On several occasions, when low cloud and bad visibility rendered repeated attempts to bomb visually abortive, in spite of strong enemy opposition, he has pressed home his attacks and bombed by radar. Such was the case on 26th July, 1944, near the Gironde River, and on the 13th January, 1945, in the Skagerrak, flak being plentiful on both occasions.

An example of his leadership and quiet self-possession is well illustrated by the following: in August, 1944, he was endeavouring to attack three U-boats very close to the heavily defended Gironde mouth, when, in the confusion of radar contacts, he inadvertently passed over a vessel at 800 feet, receiving a direct hit which exploded in the aircraft, causing it to crash into the sea. It was a dark night, and there were five survivors and no dinghy. Two of the survivors died, but Grant and the remaining two were picked up after swimming for about ten and a half hours. Such an experience must have caused him considerable shock, but such is his keenness and devotion to duty, that in less than a fortnight he was back with his Squadron, supervising their move from Wales to Stornoway, and in less than a month, he was again flying on operations in the new area.

Wing Commander Grant’s courage, quiet unassuming manner and very considerable operational experience have endeared him to all ranks, and he is held in affectionate regard by all who have been associated with him.

For the excellence of his work, for his organization, for his personal courage and devotion to duty, and for the results achieved by the Squadron due to his guidance, he is strongly recommended for the Distinguished Service Order.’