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Thread: John Liddle RAFVR 182251 - 109 Squadron- DFC?

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    Default John Liddle RAFVR 182251 - 109 Squadron- DFC?

    I am trying to determine if P/O John Liddle was awarded a British DFC. He did get an American one which was Gazetted in June 1946. Liddle's operational service was with 109 Squadron from June/44 to Jan./45. I could not find it in the London Gazette or in the Flight Global archives. Any information would be appreciated.
    Thanks
    Dave Wallace

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    Mr Liddle lived close to me and I was lucky enough to meet him on one occassion . I believe he was a Mosquito pilot and was involved in a mid-air collision with another Mossie . He and his naviagator both bailed out and came down in American occupied territory - possibly his American DFC is connected to this incident ?
    Post war he was both a garage owner and publican and passed away last year .

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    Default John Liddle

    There is no DFC listed for this officer in 'Honour The Air Forces' by Maton and no other state award either against his name.

    During the war, there were very many 'exchanges' of awards between the allied nations and on the British side, this was often used to give recognition to somebody who had been cited for a British decoration, as well as the usual great and good. In general, it was the recipient's nation who decided who should get the quota, unless a specific individual was nominated eg a Polish officer flying in an RAF squadron might be awarded a DFC, with the award being originated by the Brits and then 'cleared' with the Polish Government in Exile.

    Old Rotor

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    Thanks for the information Old Router & David. I did know about the collision and coming down near the Americans but Liddle apparently was awarded the US DFC for operations he flew in support of the Allies in the Battle of the Bulge. Who knows, we still may turn up something.
    Regards
    Dave Wallace

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    Quote Originally Posted by David Thompson View Post
    Mr Liddle lived close to me and I was lucky enough to meet him on one occassion . I believe he was a Mosquito pilot and was involved in a mid-air collision with another Mossie . He and his naviagator both bailed out and came down in American occupied territory - possibly his American DFC is connected to this incident ?
    Post war he was both a garage owner and publican and passed away last year .
    Hi David

    At the moment I own all of Johns items. He won the American DFC for operations in connection with American army. The problem David and I are having is that on John's P/O uniform is the ribbon for the British DFC and there was also a mini Brit DFC among his other medals. The first mention of him being given the American DFC is April 6th 1946, but on his GQ club parachute document is written " John Liddle DFC" 25th January 1945. Its a strange thing. I honestly don't think John would have added the British DFC to his uniform if it wasn't warranted, he seemed such a proud man from all the post war letters and squadron reunion items. I only wish I had met him so I could have asked, sadly Albert Smith his navigator has died as well.

    Of course someone post war could have added the ribbon, but the uniform wasn't keep in the best of conditions, so why go to the trouble of jazzing it up and trying to add value to let it start to spoil? I did talk to a guy at Bosleys today, he said it was sometimes the case that air men and soldiers honestly thought they were entitled to an award and added the ribbon to there uniform. An 80+ man had gone in with his military medal and everything else to sell. He was very shocked and upset to learn he was never put forward for it.

    I even went to his old pub today but no pictures of him apart from in F/S uniform and flying suit. He did end the war as a F/O I think he made that rank in March or April 1945. Under any condition does the awarding of the American DFC automatically entitle the winner to the British DFC. Also Albert Smith was on the op that won John the American DFC, but he didn’t get it. Probably because he wasn’t the pilot hahaha. Anyway.

    If anyone else could help it would be great, £25 for anyone who can find a mention!

    Cheers Adam
    Last edited by Adam J; 10th September 2010 at 20:41.

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    Quote Originally Posted by David Wallace View Post
    Thanks for the information Old Router & David. I did know about the collision and coming down near the Americans but Liddle apparently was awarded the US DFC for operations he flew in support of the Allies in the Battle of the Bulge. Who knows, we still may turn up something.
    Regards
    Dave Wallace
    Hi David

    Sorry I was wrong about it being for the battle of the Bulge it was actually for "air operations during the invasion of the continent ".

    Cheers Adam

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    The London Gazette reporting the award of the American DFC did not indicate (via postnominal letters) that he already had a British DFC or anything (such as an AFC or DFM) what miight have been confused with a DFC, nor is there any subsequent indication of a British DFC.

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    Thanks Hugh
    Cheers
    Dave

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    For what it's worth, Liddle's navigator Albert Smith wrote (along with his son) his war memoirs under the title "Mosquito Pathfinder." Towards the end of the book, he mentions that he (Smith) received the DFC, and that this was announced a few days after 1 March, 1945, in the Liverpool Echo. Awarded for "courage and resourcefulness under exceptional and trying circumstances."

    Edit - Smith's is here:

    http://www.london-gazette.co.uk/issues/37001/supplements/1656/page.pdf
    Last edited by mhuxt; 11th September 2010 at 11:22.

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    Thanks for that Mark, I have read Smith's book and it is excellent. I did have a pretty good look in that March to July timeframe, a three to five month span from when they left the squadron to when their award was published seems to be typical for many of the 109 crews.
    Regards
    Dave
    Last edited by David Wallace; 11th September 2010 at 20:31.

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