View Full Version : W/C Reginald Wilfred REYNOLDS - Bar to DSO for Jena daylight raid.

28th February 2022, 23:13
REYNOLDS, Reginald Wilfred, W/C, DSO, DFC (40259, Royal Air Force) - No.139 Squadron - Bar to Distinguished Service Order - awarded as per London Gazette dated 18 June 1943. The following citation covered awards of one Bar to DSO (Reynolds), two DSOs (S/L W.W. Blessing and F/L E.B. Sismore), one DFC (F/O F.M. Fisher) and one DFM (Flight Sergeant L. Hogan).

On the 27th May 1943, a force of bombers were detailed to attack targets at Jena, Germany, in daylight. The operation called for a high degree of skill and necessitated a flight over strongly defended areas and difficult terrain. Whilst still a considerable distance from the target, the weather deteriorated and visibility became very poor. Nevertheless, the objective, far away in enemy territory, was reached according to plan. In spite of balloon defences, and in the face of fierce anti-aircraft fire, a low level attack was pressed home with great vigour. The success achieved reflects the greatest credit on the efforts of the above mentioned personnel who took part in the operation in various capacities, as members of aircraft crews. Their skill, courage and determination were of a high order.

Reynolds recommended 29 May 1943 when he had flown 66 sorties (344 hours 11 minutes); 11 sorties (38 hours) since previous award. Full text found in Air 2/4974. Transcribed by Huguette Mondor Oates.

On 27th May, 1943, Wing Commander Reynolds was captain of the leading aircraft of the formation of 14 detailed to attack targets at Jena, Germany, in daylight. Weather conditions were clear over most of the route, but deteriorated very badly near the target. In the target area itself, visibility was approximately half a mile. The country was mountainous, and very skillful leadership was required to enable the formation to keep together at low level. Visibility was such for the last 50 miles that navigation lights had to be used in order to keep other aircraft in view. An accurate run up was made but, at the same time as the target was sited, intense and accurate light flak was experienced, and balloons which had not been expected were seen.

In spite of this, Wing Commander Reynolds pressed home his attack from low level, and obtained hits on the target. As he was about to release his bombs, a light anti-aircraft shell burst in the cockpit, and wounded him; at the same time, a piece of his airscrew 6 inches x 3 inches flew into the cockpit. Un perturbed, the pilot kept control of his aircraft and finally returned safely to base.

This officer was awarded the Distinguished Service Order after a successful raid on Berlin in daylight. Since then, he has made 11 successful sorties, the majority as leader of formations of aircraft. Among them was a most successful attack in daylight on the railway workshops as Thionville; subsequent photographic cover of this target revealed considerable damage.

I consider Wing Commander Reynolds to be an outstanding operational commander and strongly recommend that he receive the immediate award of a Bar to his Distinguished Service Order.
(Signed by Commanding Officer, Group Captain, 29.5.43)