View Full Version : F/L John McCulloch Middlemore HUGHES - No.218 Squadron - DFC

20th May 2022, 13:25
HUGHES, John McCulloch Middlemore, Flight Lieutenant (33191)– No. 218 Squadron – Distinguished Flying Cross – awarded as per London Gazette dated 21 June 1940 with the following citation:

During a period in May, 1940, this officer led many successful raids. On one day an attack was made on an enemy column at Dippach. Four days later he successfully pressed home a bombing attack on an enemy position, although attacked by a strong force of Messerschmitt 109's, but by skilfully manoeuvring his aircraft he enabled his air gunner to shoot down one enemy aircraft. Flight Lieutenant Hughes has shown magnificent leadership as a flight commander and, by his coolness and initiative, has maintained the excellent morale of all his flight personnel.

Further information from Spink catalogue of 22 November 2007. The recommendation states:

‘On the 10th May, 1940, this officer led a very successful raid on an enemy column at Dippach and has, during the period 10th to 20th May, led many successful raids. On the 14th May, 1940, whilst leading a raid on an enemy position, he was attacked by a strong force of Me 109s. Despite the attacks of the enemy fighters, this officer successfully pressed home his bombing attack and by skillful manoeuvring enabled his air gunner to shoot down one enemy aircraft. Flight Lieutenant Hughes has shown magnificent leadership as a flight commander, and at a time when his squadron was being harassed by enemy bombing raids on the aerodrome. By his coolness and initiative he maintained the excellent spirit and moral of all his flight personnel’.

Flight Lieutenant John McCulloch Middlemore Hughes, DFC, born Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, 1917; educated at Haileybury College, 1930-34 and R.A.F. College Cranwell, 1935-37; posted as Pilot Officer 218 (Gold Coast) Squadron (Fairey Battles), Advanced Air Striking Force, Boscombe Down, July 1937; before moving with the Squadron to Auberive-sur-Suipess, France, taking part in reconnaissance flights, leaflet raids and other operational sorties (see D.F.C. citation); due to heavy casualties sustained during the Battle of Britain, Hughes volunteered for service in Fighter Command, August 1940; posted Flight Lieutenant to Radio Servicing Flight at Biggin Hill, 3.9.1940; later that month posted as a Flight Commander to 25 Squadron ( Bristol Beaufighters and Blenheims), North Weald (entitled to Battle of Britain Bar), ‘in the evening of December 7, 1940, flying from Wittering, Hughes and his crew of two, Sergeant J.R. Friend, air gunner, and Sergeant F. Blenkham, radar operator, were detailed to check the blackout over Peterborough. During the patrol, the weather deteriorated and a bad storm developed. In very bad visibility, the Blenheim collided with an aircraft which had been training pilots in night landings at Peterborough aerodrome. Hughes’ aircraft crashed in a field near Elton. He and Friend were killed and Blenkham was seriously injured and did not fly again. All six men in the other aircraft were killed. Hughes is buried in Chilworth Churchyard, Hampshire.’ (Men of the Battle of Britain, K.E. Wynn refers).