View Full Version : James Young MALLEY, DSO (139 Sqn), DFC (149 Squadron), Bar to DFC (178 Sqn)

5th April 2022, 04:27
Source: Spink catalogue of 28 April 2005.

MALLEY, James Young, Pilot Officer (88695) – No. 149 Squadron – Distinguished Flying Cross – awarded as per London Gazette dated 21 November 1941. No citation in Gazette. The recommendation states: ‘P/O Malley has been employed as an Observer in this squadron for the last six months. His ability as a navigator cannot be disputed, as he has successfully attacked the primary target on the majority of his raids, and some of the best night photographs taken by this squadron during the past six months are due to his outstanding ability and the perfection of his training of the crew.

On several occasions, this officer and his captain have spent up to two hours trying to locate the primary target and then being unable to locate the primary target had flown at a very low altitude to find a railway and then followed it until an important junction has been reached when systematic bombing has been carried out.

His determination to attack the primary target or, under conditions of adverse weather, a target of major importance, is an example to the other observers in the squadron. The standard he has set is the perfection peak to be aimed at, and by his example, he has assisted considerably our war effort’.

From Spink catalogue of 28 April 2005; transcribed by Huguette Mondor Oates:

MALLEY, James Young, Flight Lieutenant (88695) – No. 178 Squadron – Bar to Distinguished Flying Cross – awarded as per London Gazette dated 23 July 1943. No citation in Gazette. The recommendation states: ‘F/L Malley has now completed 487 hours operational flying in the European and Middle East theatre of war. His work in this squadron, both on the ground as navigation officer and in the air, has been most praiseworthy. His cool determination in attacking the target in adverse weather conditions and in the face of heavy opposition has made his work outstanding and an excellent example for his fellow squadron members.

On the 6th August 1942, he was navigator (B) in leading aircraft of a formation which attacked shipping in Tobruk harbour in daylight. Despite intense anti-aircraft, he achieved excellent results’.

MALLEY, James Young, Squadron Leader (88695) – No. 139 Squadron – Distinguished Service Order – awarded as per London Gazette dated 26 October 1945. No published citation. The recommendation states:

‘Since being awarded a first Bar to The D.F.C. after completing 74 heavy bomber sorties, this officer has completed a further 53 operational sorties on Mosquito aircraft, making a total of 127.

Many sorties carried out on this tour have been against the most heavily defended targets in Germany, including Berlin, which he has attacked on 27 occasions. All his sorties on this tour have been in the important role of primary blind marker.

Throughout this lengthy period, he has had many arduous experiences and many times has his aircraft been hit by flak.

Invariably his courage, coolness and accurate navigation under the most difficult circumstances have largely contributed to the successful completion of his task, and safe return to base.

‘In spite of his long operational career, and numerous narrowing experiences he has never tired, and his keenness to operate and his courage and tenacity at all times have been a shining example and a source of confidence and pride to the whole squadron. I strongly recommend the non-immediate award of the D.S.O.”

Squadron Leader James Young Malley, D.S.O., D.F.C. and Bar (1918-2000), educated at Dungannon Royal School, Northern Ireland; joined the Royal Air Force as navigator – Bomb-aimer 3.1.1940; posted Pilot Officer 149 Squadron (Wellingtons), 1941; on his first tour of operations, he flew in the Vickers Wellington F for Freddie, later of ‘Target for Tonight’ (1941) fame; operations included Hamburg (3 times); Brest (6 times), Dusseldorf (3 times); the 35th and last mission of his first tour was to Berlin (2.11.1941), from which 37 of 74 aircraft did not return; after five months as Instructor at Mildenhall he volunteered for the first 1,000-bomber raid over Cologne (30.5.1942), and for the second, to Essen (1.6.1942); ‘I was due for posting to Scotland as instructor, but there was a fellow due to go back on ops and he didn’t want to, so we agreed to change’; posted 178 Squadron (Liberators), 1942; for his Second Tour of Operations he flew out of Tel Aviv, 32 trips including Tobruk (4 times) and Benghazi (6 times); Flight Lieutenant 8.12.1942; on completion of his second tour Malley, returned to England and was promoted squadron leader in charge of navigation training at the Officer Training Unit (June 1943 – June 1944).

“And then I put in an application to get back in operations on Mosquitoes. They made me go back for a full medical. I was turned down! But I appealed against it. I went to number one medical training unit, then, luckily the Air Commodore was a man called O’Mally. He said, “Well, I couldn’t pass you, but I’m not going to fail you”. So, I went for training for Pathfinders’; posted to 139 Squadron (Mosquitoes), 1944; ‘I flew 53 missions on my last tour. They were all fairly well the same [29 of which being over Berlin!], though we took a hiding once or twice. One on a night when we had flown 10 nights in a row and were heading for a world record and our Commanding Officer was very keen for us to go on. We shouldn’t have taken off on the 11th night at all because the forecast was damn bad. It was low cloud all over England, and when we got back and found it like this, we had to go down to the south of England. We lost three crews, and about five aircraft out of our ten. My crew were damned lucky to survive, because we came through at about 300 feet underneath the clouds, and found ourselves clean over the runway.

I flew 127 missions in all. We didn’t know our last was going to be our last because at that time we were supposed to lead a daylight raid to Berlin with the whole of Bomber Command and the Americans but luckily peace came a few days before. Then I wasn’t allowed to go out to Japan.

I was always very lucky with the crews. We were always friends. That was the best part. I don’t remember targets and hits anymore, but I remember that the crews were always friends.’ [Jimmy Malley’s typed war memoirs refer].

After the war, Squadron Leader Malley re-joined the Civil Service and held a post (during the 1960s) in the private office of the then Prime Minister of Northern Ireland, Terrence O’Neill.