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Thread: Don Mason DSO with bar, DFC

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    Default Don Mason DSO with bar, DFC

    Hello, this is my first post so forgive me if this is not the correct place to post this. I saw a newspaper article in my local paper, see below

    http://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/Article.aspx/922693?UserKey=

    It mentions a Don Mason DSO with bar, DFC but I have looked on wikipedia and the London Gazette websites and I can't find anything which refers to any citation for what he got his DSOs for or his DFC. I am just curious about this highly decorated airman as he lives local to me. Can anyone give a reason as to why wikipedia and the London Gazette are incomplete? Were records destroyed during the war? It would be a shame that this great man won't be recognised by future generations because there are no surviving records of his heroics. :(

    He served with 7, 57, 235 and 620 squadrons in coastal and bomber command.
    Last edited by Northwings; 1st December 2008 at 10:52.

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    Default William Millis MASON

    I can't identify him for 'Don Mason', and this officer below is clearly a navigator and not a pilot, and nor can I find a bar to the DSO award, or do any of the squadrons match up, but is this him:

    W/Cdr William Millis Mason, retired 1961 (115986)

    Flight Magazine FEBRUARY 18TH, 1943
    Award of DFC

    F/O. W. M. MASON, R.A.F.V.R., No. 44 Sqn.
    —This officer's standard of navigation is exceptionally high and during his many operational
    sorties he has obtained some excellent photo graphs. Recently he took part in the raids on.
    Milan and Genoa and his personal courage, skill and zeal in ensuring that his aircraft cached the target, greatly inspired the whole squadron.

    Flight magazine - December 6th 1945
    Award of DSO

    Act. Wing Cdr. W. M. MASON, D.F.C..
    R.A.F.V.R., No. 97 Sqn.—Since the award of the D.F.C. this officer has completed a second tonr of operational duty. He is a leader of outstanding ability whose high sense of duty and magnificent example have been potent factors in ensuring the success of the many operations completed by his flight. As a navigator Wing Cdr. Mason has consistently displayed exceptional skill and determination.
    On one occasion in March, 1945, despite very adverse weather he brought his aircraft to the target, a German oil plant at Bohlen, exactly on time. In the face of intense enemy opposition the target indicator was correctly placed and a successful attack completed.

    I'm going to feel really foolish when the correct man is found!
    Last edited by dennis_burke; 1st December 2008 at 13:47. Reason: typos
    Dennis Burke
    - Dublin

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

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    Default

    Hugh Haliday kindly provideed these lists previously for DSO recipients:

    http://www.rafcommands.com/cgi-bin/dcforum/dcboard.cgi?az=show_thread&om=13&forum=DCForumID6

    W M Mason is the only man showing.

    regards

    Dennis
    Dennis Burke
    - Dublin

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

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    I too could not match up the name with the awards as that combination doesn't appear in Honour the Air Forces. But I did find this article:

    http://www.blackcountrybugle.co.uk/blackcountrybugle-news/displayarticle.asp?id=73940

    He is also mentioned here as DSO and bar and DFC

    http://www.caithness.org/wings/freshman/index.htm

    A

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    Thank you for all your help.

    From the Black Country Bugle,

    "Then, on April 10th, Don and his crew had their closest encounter with death yet. Returning from a bombing raid on Berlin, an object, later identified as part of a Wellington bomber, dropped on to the rear end of the Stirling, severely damaging the starboard elevator, rudder and fin. Fighting with the controls, Don couldn't steer the aircraft in a straight line as it veered in a great circle to starboard. An S.O.S. was transmitted and eventually the Stirling was ditched in the sea approximately 140 miles west of Heligoland, where the crew remained in their lifeboat for 58 hours before air sea rescue picked them up. All the men were exhausted and suffering from hypothermia, and Bill Hadley the navigator sustained a broken femur after the plane hit the water. "

    Could there be a record of this aircraft loss on 10/04/1941?

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    Default Records

    One would expect to find mention of the operations in the Operations Records Books of 7 and 57 Squadrons which are held in the UK national Archives at Kew. Likely no one on the formum has these recorded or copied etc so you could make a visit there to view them or order copies of the relevent pages from the TNA website.

    7 Sqn references are AIR 27/98 and AIR27-99 (Correct me here anyone)

    I just don't have time right now to surf all the way up to 57 Squadron.

    I'm not certain if these losses would be recorded in Chorley's BC Losses, perhaps some one could check.

    The Air Historical Branch would also have some details and RAF Hendon might be able to assist you.

    I just cannot find anyone to fit the bill for the promotions suggested and the for the awards, there must be a name spelling discrepancy we are missing. Strange one.


    Dennis
    Dennis Burke
    - Dublin

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

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    These are the series of articles that were published about him (including the one I posted earlier):

    Brierley Hill lad whose flying dream was fulfilled by the cold reality of war
    http://www.blackcountrybugle.co.uk/blackcountrybugle-news/displayarticle.asp?id=73940

    "I alone was lord of my purring Pegasus"
    http://www.blackcountrybugle.co.uk/blackcountrybugle-news/displayarticle.asp?id=73343

    "Exhausted by the effort but exhilarated by the action" - an airman's memories of D-Day
    http://www.blackcountrybugle.co.uk/blackcountrybugle-news/displayarticle.asp?id=71987

    The D-Day story of Lancaster bomber LS-U, of Bomber Command
    http://www.blackcountrybugle.co.uk/blackcountrybugle-news/displayarticle.asp?id=72707

    Though all very detailed I cannot find any mention of any of the medals that have been mentioned

    And 7 Squadron was part of Bomber Command on the date in post #5 so should be in Chorley

    A
    Last edited by Amrit; 2nd December 2008 at 13:39.

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    hello,

    About the inclusion of a loss in BCL volume 2, there's no mention of a ditched Stirling of No. 7 Squadron. On the night 9/10th April 1941, No. 7 Squadron despatched 3 Stirlings to Berlin, and lost N6011 shot down by a night fighter near Lingen, Germany.

    The Stirling Story by Michael J.F. Bowyer mentions another Stirling being N6009 captained by Flying Officer J.F. SACHS, "which encountered propeller trouble which forced him to turn back at the dutch coast then jettison his load. No mention of a ditching."

    I keep on quoting the book about the third Stirling : George BLACKLOCKwas making his last flight in N6005, one of whose engines persisted in overheating on the climb forcing spells of level flying to allow it to cool off." Then over Lingen the aircraft was coned by searchlights and attacked by a nightfighter. He evaded the attack and diverted to Emden. He landed back OK.

    No mention at all of a ditched Stirling.

    The ORB for No. 7 Squadron for 1941 is indeed in AIR 27/98 (99 for 1942 and 1943).

    The ORB for No. 57 Squadron for 1941 is in AIR 27/537, appendices in AIR 27/541.

    Tom Docherty also published a book, "No. 7 Bomber Squadron in World War Two" but I don't have it.

    Joss

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    Only 3 Stirlings set out for Berlin on 9/10 April 1941. One (N6009, pilot F/O J. Sach) turned back early with propeller trouble at the Dutch coast. A second aircraft, (N6005, pilot F/O G. Blacklock) was damaged by a night-fighter on its way to the target and bombed Emden instead and the third, (N6011, pilot F/Lt V. Pike) was shot down over Lingen before reaching the target. All three aircraft were from 7 Squadron who were the only ones flying Stirlings operationally at that time.
    The mystery deepens!
    Cheers all,
    Bill.

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