CARR, Terence Howard, S/L (16167, Royal Air Force) - No.220 Squadron - Distinguished Flying Cross - awarded as per London Gazette dated 9 July 1940. Son of Major-General Howard Carr, C.B., late RAMC; a regular officer in the Royal Air Force prior to the outbreak of the war piloting Singapore flying boats with No. 230 Squadron. Posted to No.206 Squadron in January 1940 (Ansons and then Hudsons), primarily on reconnaissance duties but also carried out several offensive operations such as attacks on enemy ports, vessels and flak ships. In May 1940 he was given command of No.220 Squadron, leading his Hudsons on patrols over the Dunkirk beaches during the epic retreat of the BEF. from France during June. For this and other offensive operations he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. For his part in the rescue of an aircrewman, adrift in a dinghy for 84 hours in appalling conditions, Wing Commander Carr was awarded the Air Force Cross. He went on to become Station Commander at Detling and Bircham Newton, and was promoted to the rank of Wing Commander, ending the war with over 2,500 flying hours logged. See also DFM awarded to Sergeant B.L. Savill who sadly died at sea during the search operation for which Carr was awarded the AFC. Public Record Office Air 2/6080 has citation.
"This officer has commanded No.220 Squadron during a week of intensive operations, personally leading his squadron on all bombing attacks on enemy targets, and in other operational flights against the enemy. He has led his squadron in four long flights by day and night and the successful results achieved are largely due to his high courage and example."
Medals sold at auction 22 October 1997 for £ 1,500; website of Dix-Noonan-Webb has a slightly different recommendation:
"Squadron Leader Terrence Howard Carr. This officer has commanded No. 220 Squadron during a week of intensive operations, personally leading on all bombing attacks on enemy targets, on Rotterdam and elsewhere, and in other operational flights against the enemy. He has led his squadron in four long flights by day and night and it is largely due to his high courage and example that his squadron has achieved successful results."
CARR, Terence Howard, W/C, DFC (16167, Royal Air Force) - No.220 Squadron - Air Force Cross - awarded as per London Gazette dated 17 March 1941. Text from Dix-Noonan-Webb website.
"This officer was pilot of an aircraft which took part in a search for the crew of a bomber, reported down in the sea on 24th September, 1940. A rubber dinghy was located, but bad weather conditions made it very difficult to keep this in sight, and a high speed launch, proceeding to the rescue, was forced to turn back by heavy seas. Wing Commander Carr maintained contact with the dinghy for five and a half hours, only giving up when darkness set in. The search was continued in vain on the next two days, but on the 27th September, during his second search that day, Wing Commander Carr found the dinghy and remained over it for four hours, until surface craft reached and rescued the sole survivor. This officer displayed skill and cool judgement in his search, and great determination in maintaining contact for nine and a half hours, under conditions of great strain"
SAVILL, Bernard Leonard, Sergeant (581475, Royal Air Force) - No.77 Squadron - Distinguished Flying Medal - awarded as per London Gazette dated 12 July 1940. Medals sold at auction, 22 October 1997 for £ 780. Citation published in Gazette but additional information from Dix-Noonan-Webb website. See also entries for T.. Carr, DFC, AFC.
"These officers and airmen were the crew of an aircraft, piloted by Pilot Officer Dunn, and detailed to carry out a bombing attack on the Ruhr one night in June, 1940. After being subjected to heavy anti-aircraft fire for some fifteen minutes, during which their aircraft was repeatedly hit, they were attacked by a Messerschmitt 109. The first attack disabled the inter-communication gear and also wounded the air observer, Sergeant Savill, and the wireless operator, Sergeant Dawson. The rear gunner, Pilot Officer Watt, was unable to warn the captain of the enemy fighter's second attack but, by quick reaction and skill in aiming, he delivered a good burst of fire at short range which destroyed the enemy. During this second attack, however, one engine was disabled. Despite these difficulties the target was successfully bombed before a course was set for home. For three and a half hours the aircraft, flying on one engine, steadily lost height until the North Sea was crossed at only 400 feet. During this time the navigation was ably carried out by Sergeant Savill, despite the pain from his wound, while Sergeant Dawson, operating the wireless apparatus, secured a number of essential homing bearings, thus materially assisting in assuring the safety of the crew. Pilot Officer Montagu, who was the second pilot, made necessary preparations for abandoning the aircraft and his personal example of coolness and efficiency was of the greatest assistance to his captain. Pilot Officer Dunn displayed resolution, courage and determination in piloting his badly damaged aircraft, but was forced to land in the sea close to the south coast. This crew showed the greatest determination, courage and gallantry throughout the operation."
The above citation details the events of Sergeant Savill's second operational sortie on the night of 19 June, on which occasion he and his crew were successfully rescued. He returned to operational flying one month later and completed a further twelve sorties, including two to Italy. On the night of the 23rd/24th September, the target was the aircraft factory at Spandau, on the outskirts of Berlin. During a successful bombing run over the target, their Whitley bomber had encountered heavy flak and a piece of shrapnel punctured one of the fuel tanks. On the return flight, despite the pilot's best efforts to conserve fuel, the aircraft steadily lost height and, as he headed out across the North Sea, it soon became clear that it would not be possible to reach the home coast. Accordingly, an S.O.S. message was sent out and preparations were once again made for a ditching, this time in heavy seas. The pilot made a good landing under the circumstances and all the crew made it safely into the dinghy. One of the crew, Sergeant Riley, noted that his watch had stopped on impact at 5.50 on the morning of the 24th. Their flight time had been almost eight hours and they were still about 100 miles from the English coast. The rescue services had responded to their distress signal and a Hudson was sent out to locate their dinghy, but without success. However, another was sent mid-morning and managed to locate the tiny craft in rough seas, signalling the position of around 100 miles east of Hartlepool. The aircraft stayed over their dinghy for another two and a half hours, until relieved by another which maintained position for a similar period. A rescue launch which had set out was forced to return after taking on a lot of water in the heavy seas.
Conditions were even worse for the poor airmen in the waterlogged dinghy who were soaked through and very cold. That afternoon a Hudson dropped a container of rations within 10 yards of the men, but despite their efforts in the very rough seas, they were unable to reach it before it disappeared from sight. Early the next day a flight of Hudsons set off to resume the rescue operation, with the assistance of two destroyers, but it took until mid-morning to locate the dinghy. The position was fixed but owing to fuel shortage the aircraft had to return home before they could guide the destroyers to the location. Meanwhile, one of the airmen had been lost. Cold and tired, he had fallen into the sea, and whilst his comrades were able to pull him back into the dinghy the first time, he fell overboard a second time and was lost forever.
Eventually another Hudson located their position and circled over them for several hours until the early afternoon. Attempts to get supplies to the men had again failed and, with fuel low, the aircraft was forced to return home. At dawn the following day five aircraft took up the search, combing a huge area of almost 5,000 square miles. The destroyers were located but enemy aircraft in their vicinity had to be repeatedly driven off, and the rescue launch was again forced to return home. The aircraft reached their endurance limits and once again were forced to return to base. Night fell and the weather deteriorated. One of the men, imagining that he was back on the airfield, walked off the dinghy and was swept out of sight.
The search was resumed the following day in the still bad weather but it took until the early afternoon to locate the airmen. At that time only one of the three airmen in the dinghy was moving but at last he was able to reach the supply drop. The Hudson maintained station for several hours and witnessed another of the men falling overboard into the sea. At last, a launch from one of the destroyers reached the dinghy to find Sergeant Riley alive and Sergeant Allen dead. The dinghy had been drifting for eighty-four hours in appalling conditions and had been swept a distance of almost 90 miles. Sergeant Bernard Savill had tragically been one of the three crewmen lost overboard and swept away. An entire chapter is devoted to this remarkable rescue by David Masters in his popular wartime book So Few.