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Thread: Richard Phillip IRWIN : C.B.E. ?

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    Default Richard Phillip IRWIN : C.B.E. ?

    hello,

    With the great help of Dave C. (Alieneyes), I was able to find some details about the crew of Halifax III MZ601, 432 Squadron, lost on 12/13 June 1944.

    Sgt (later W/O) Richard Phillip IRWIN, 1797758, one of the two survivors of the crew, seems to have received the C.B.E.. But I failed to find it in the London Gazette online.

    Can someone help me about it ? Is there a book (like Carter or Tavender) about C.B.E.s, or a website listing them ?

    Thanks in advance

    Joss

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    Default Richard Phillip Irwin

    The CBE was a senior award in the Order of the British Empire and would have normally been bestowed on officers of Group Captain and Air Commodore rank. As a Sergeant, Irwin would have been awarded a British Empire Medal BEM); as a Warrant Officer he would have been awarded a Member, Order of the British Empire (MBE) - but a CBE ? no.

    That said, Michael Maton's "Honour the Air Forces" is as close to a Bible as you will find and if he does not list a BEM or MBE for Irwin then you can be reasonably sure that none was awarded.

    Maton does NOT list a variety of awards, notably foreign decorations (such as Croix de Guerre) and Mentions in Despatches (which would have swamped his work). As a check, I looked at my data base re non-RCAF personnel honoured for services in RCAF units, hoping I might find a Mention in Despatches to Irwin. Result - nil return.

    The needle in the haystack that is hardest to find is the one that is not there.

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    Default

    hello Hugh,

    Thanks for confirming what I thought about the C.B.E.. I also found it strange

    In a letter he wrote in December 1946 to give information about the crash of his Halifax, the header is :
    1797758 W/O Irwin R.P.
    RAF., CBE,
    Marham
    Nr King's Lynn,
    Norfolk.

    Perhaps CBE is the name of his unit then, not an award. I'll search in this direction.

    Thanks for your help.

    Joss

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    Default

    Hello Joss,

    CBE = Central Bomber Establishment (Marham).

    See:
    RAF Marham
    Delve,Ken
    Sparkford:P.S.L.,1995
    Chapter 3 (pp.86-118).

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 27th April 2009 at 11:22.

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    Default

    hello Col,

    It was my intention to pull up "R.A.F. Flying Training and Support Unit" from its shelf when back home, but you beat me to it.

    This makes perfect sense for a previous Bomber Command Air gunner.

    Thanks

    Joss

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