View Full Version : W/C James Ernest PELLY-FRY, DSO - No.88 Sqn - Eindhoven Raid - recommendation

7th February 2022, 20:59
PELLY-FRY, James Ernest, W/C (37718) – No. 88 Squadron – Distinguished Service Order – awarded as per London Gazette dated 8 January 1943. Published under the following general citation:

On the 6th December, 1942, a force of bombers was detailed to make an attack in daylight on the Philips Factory at. Eindhoven. The operation, which was executed faultlessly, 'demanded a high degree of skilL and accurate timing. Bombs were released at varying heights, down to roof top level. Many hits were obtained, some in the centre of the target area. Two gun posts were silenced. Intense and heavy opposition was encountered and both oh the outward and return flights attacks were made by enemy fighters. The great success achieved reflects the greatest credit on the following personnel who participated in various capacities as leaders and members of aircraft crews:

Public Record Office Air 2/4922 has recommendation drafted 23 December 1942 when he had flown 22 sorties (83 operational hours).

On the 6th December 1942, Wing Commander Pelly-Fry was detailed to lead the attack against the Phillips Valve Factory at Eindhoven. This operation, in which some 94 aircraft of 2 Group took part, was one which called for the exercise of high qualities of leadership and skill by the crew of the leading aircraft. Wing Commander Pelly-Fry and his crew displayed these qualities in full measure.

There were two vital phases in this operation. First, the rendezvous whereby the three leading Squadrons were to be brigaded into the initial attacking force. Secondly, the final turn in the target area which was to form the bombing run for the initial 36 aircraft. The smallest error in either of these essential phases might well have spoilt the entire operation.

In the event, both these vital phases were accomplished faultlessly. Precisely at the instant detailed for rendezvous, Wing Commander Pelly-Fry and his Squadron passed over the selected point on track for the sea crossing, and the remaining Squadrons were thus able to join on with no shadow of doubt or uncertainty as to the Leader’s intentions. On reaching the target area, Wing Commander Pelly-Fry led his followers in a wide easy turn onto their bombing run and all were able to run up and bomb their objective without last minute corrections and with devastating accuracy.

The Leader’s aircraft was severely damaged at the moment of attack. With his starboard aileron and starboard flaps critically damaged, with one engine practically unserviceable and with his hydraulics and brakes totally unserviceable, Wing Commander Pelly-Fry brought his aircraft safely home to base where he executed a belly landing. This commendable feat of airmanship is outside the scope of this recommendation, but it contributes, none the less, to the record of this pilot’s achievements during this important day.

The success of this brilliant operation is already well known. The results achieved are attributable in great measure to the qualities of leadership displayed by Wing Commander Pelly-Fry and his outstanding crew. Wing Commander Pelly-Fry has completed 22 operations involving 83 hours flying, of which 13 operations (60 hours) were undertaken in the Middle East.

(Signed by Group Captain, Commanding, R.A.F. Station, Swanton Morley on 23 December 1942)

Remarks by Group Captain, Officer Commanding, No. 2 Group, 23 December 1942: “I am in complete agreement with Group Captain Barnett’s recommendation, he has given a complete and accurate portrayal of Wing Commander Pelly-Fry’s part in the Eindhoven operation. I consider the award of the Distinguished Service Order a fitting recognition”.
(Also signed by Air Marshal, Commanding-in-Chief, Bomber Command, on 23 December, 1942)