View Full Version : W/C Ronald Bain THOMSON - No.206 Squadron - DFC recommendation vs published text

8th February 2022, 13:46
THOMSON, Ronald Bain, W/C, DSO (90370) – No. 206 Squadron – Distinguished Flying Cross - awarded as per London Gazette dated 14 September 1943. This was a joint award to him and to 106550 A/F/L John Forbes Clark and 133343 F/O John Linsley Humphries.

These officers were captain, navigator and wireless operator respectively of an aircraft engaged on an anti-submarine patrol in June, 1943- During the flight a large submarine was sighted ' and promptly attacked. In the face of withering ,fire from the vessel, which took violent evading action, Wing Commander Thomson executed a devastating attack. The U-boat was extensively damaged and, as it sank, many of its crew were left in the water. Wing Commander Thomson's aircraft had been repeatedly hit and, soon after the engagement had terminated, he was forced to bring it down on to the sea. Flight Lieutenant Clark and Flying Officer Humphries, who throughout the fight displayed great devotion to duty, coolly remained at their posts almost to the last moment. On impact with the water, Flight Lieutenant Clark sustained injuries to his back, but succeeded in scrambling aboard the dinghy with his-comrades. For three days, in bad weather, they drifted before being rescued. During this trying period they displayed great fortitude. These officers have participated in a large number of sorties and have displayed outstanding efficiency and unswerving devotion to duty.

Public Record Office, Air 2/4995 has recommendation drafted 13 August 1943 when he had flown 200 sorties (1,400 operational hours).

Wing Commander R.B. Thomson, DSO, took over command of 206 Squadron on 14th May 1943. On 11th June 1943, this officer was captain of Flying Fortress R/206 carrying out A/S patrol in the North Atlantic Ocean. During this patrol, and when approximately midway between Iceland and the Faroes, a large U-Boat was sighted seven miles ahead of the aircraft. A very determined attack was pressed home. The aircraft had been obviously spotted by the U-boat which took violent evasive action and opened up deadly accurate A.A. fire on the aircraft during the approach to attack. The U-boat was extensively damaged and sank, and many survivors were seen to be swimming in the water.

As a result of the “flak”, the Fortress was so badly damaged that it had to land in the sea a few minutes later. The crew then spent three and a half days in one rubber dinghy before they were picked up by a flying boat. During this time, W/C Thomson was an inspiration and splendid example to the rest of his crew. This outstanding attack and subsequent rescue of the crew has been given much prominence in the press, and was the subject of a broadcast talk by W/C Thomson on the B.B.C. network.

This officer has displayed great courage and determination, and he is the idol of his Squadron. The remarks of the Royal Naval Staff Officer in the official U-boat attack assessment are as follows:

“A perfect example of instant and determined attack in face of accurate ‘flak’. The captain and crew are to be highly praised for the gallant and successful example.”

The incident outlined overleaf in the citation merit an Immediate award.

(Signed by J. McFarlaine, Group Captain, R.A.F. Station, Benbecula, on the 13 August 1943)

This officer has always set a fine example to the remainder of the Squadron by his fine fighting spirit.

(Signed by Air Officer Commanding, No. 15 Group, R.A.F., on August 16, 1943. Also recommended by A.O.C. in C., Air Marshal, on the 28 August 1943),