View Full Version : DFM book

David Thompson
14th August 2010, 23:07
I have a copy of Ian Tavender's The Distinguished Flying Medal , A Record Of Courage , 1918-1982 published by Hayward in 1990 . Am I right in thinking that this book was revised and re-published possibly by Savannah along similar lines to the DFC book by Nick and Carol Carter ? If so , does it contain more information than the first edition , at what price was it published and is it also a two volume set ? Thank you .

15th August 2010, 02:25
Tavender's first book, published in 1990, listed all DFM recipients from 1918 to 1982 and had citations when these had appeared in the London Gazette.

The reworked publication, the two-volume "The Distinguished Flying Medal Register for the Second World War" (Savannah, 1990) dealt only with Second World War awards. Moreover, it dealt with those DFMs which had originally been gazetted without citations; he went to primary documents and extracted the recommendations (which are almost always more detailed than even published citations). As such, the book is a treasure. I do not recall what I paid for it - but it was worth it.

The Carter books on the DFC list DFC recipients from 1918 onwards and reproduce citations if the London Gazette had one. In the absence of a London Gazette text, the Carter books provide only the bare-bones of name, rank, service number, unit, Gazette date and page reference. Other sources provide some of the unpublished citations or recommendations; see Air Force Association of Canada website (RCAF awards) and "By Such Deeds" by Colin Hanson (RNZAF awards). I have several hundred other unpublished DFC citations which I listed at one time on the old board. See http://www.rafcommands.com/cgi-bin/dcforum/dcboard.cgi?az=show_thread&om=459&forum=DCForumID7&archive=yes. However, the old thread also has my old (and now superceded) e-mail address; for current address consult my Forum profile.

15th August 2010, 02:45
Both the DFC and DFM sets were originally sold for £150 each by Savannah. However, both sets are out of print and so are only available from third parties or second hand. Last time i looked, the only DFC set available on the net was going for over £250.

About 18 months ago I did chat with Diane at Savannah, and she mentioned that there was a possibility that they may republish both sets in the future, but nothing definate was mentioned. I haven't heard anything more since then.

I think I got lucky in purchasing the DFM set from her just before they ran out.


15th August 2010, 20:00
I paid 200 for my copy of carter.. And thought I was lucky. The book seller at the time did not know that they were hens teeth territory. He also had a copy of Tavener as well

David Thompson
15th August 2010, 20:57
Thanks Hugh , Amrit and Paul for those details , much appreciated . I was lucky enough to buy a copy of the DFC volumes when they were published and I have been equally lucky enough to meet many of the recipients listed and have them sign their name alongside their entry . I would take them , and the original Tavender volume , to various squadron reunions in the hope of gaining a sigature wherever possible and the gentlemen I asked were always pleased to do so and in many cases surprised that anyone should take an interest in them and that indeed their gallantry had even been recorded - in many case their families too . At times words failed me , they were all wonderful unassuming people .
I thought the DFM book had been revised and will now make an effort to try and buy a copy and yes , I can imagine Paul , they fetch a hefty price now too . But if anyone knows of a set for sale.................

15th August 2010, 21:49
Two weeks ago, I had the privilege of meeting four holders of the DFC at the same time, one was a Battle of Britain pilot, one was one of the first Indian pilots to join the RAF in 1942, another one was an Army pilot who got his in the 1950s, and the last one was a helicopter pilot who won his recently in Afghanistan.


16th January 2012, 20:18
I have inherited my Grandpas DFM, wo T Purdy. I have a few paper cutouts from his home town gazette but find it hard to find out more about him. I know were he is buried but apart from that i am stuck, could anyone tell me what book or sites that may help. Thanks D Purdy

17th January 2012, 08:06
D. Purdy, I suspect this is the London Gazette entry for your Grandpa's DFM:
Air Ministry,
24th December, 1940.
The KING has been graciously pleased to approve the following appointments and awards: —
Awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal.
564392 Sergeant Thomas PURDY, No. 9 Squadron.
The above awards are for gallantry and devotion .to duty in the execution of air operations.
Hopefully other who contribute to the forum will be able to provide you with more information. Regards, Terry

Additional info: WO T. Purdy, by now a pilot on 57 Sqn, was killed on 28 Dec 41 and is buried in Eindhoven (Woensel) General Cemetery. You will probably get more responses if you post your message on the main forum as well.

Errol Martyn
17th January 2012, 09:25
D. Purdy,

The following may be of interest, from my trilogy 'For Your Tomorrow - A record of New Zealanders who have died while serving with the RNZAF and Allied Air Services since 1915 (Volume One: Fates 1915-1942)':

Sat 27/Sun 28 Dec 1941
Bomber Command
Raid on Düsseldorf, Germany (by 132 aircraft - 8 lost)
. . .57 Squadron, RAF (Feltwell, Norfolk - 3 Group)
Wellington IC Z1097 - took off at 1700 captained by Wt Off T Purdy, DFM, RAF, on same raid as the above and shot down over the Netherlands by a night-fighter at 2030, crashing near Someren, 30km west of Venlo. An RAF Sgt survived to be captured, but his five comrades died and were buried at Venlo, later being reinterred at Eindhoven.
2nd Pilot: NZ404996 Sgt Maxwell Joseph CRONIN, RNZAF - Age 21. 243hrs. 6th op.

And from Vol Three (Biographies & Appendices):

CRONIN, Sergeant Maxwell Joseph.
NZ404996; b Napier 29 Nov 20; Auckland Grammar; clerk - Bond & Bond Ltd, Auckland. NZ Army/TF 18 mths; RNZAF Levin/GTS as Airman Pilot u/t 1 Dec 40, 4EFTS 20 Jan 41, emb for Canada 27 Mar 41, att RCAF 17 Apr 41, 6SFTS 21 Apr 41, Pilots Badge & Sgt 3 Jul 41, 1 M Depôt 9 Jul 41, att RAF & emb for UK 21 Jul 41, 3PRC 16 Aug 41, 20OTU (Wellington) 23 Aug 41, 57 Sqn (Wellington - 6 ops) 12 Nov 41, kao 27 Dec 41. Eindhoven (Woensel) General Cemetery - JJ. coll. grave 42, North Brabant, Netherlands. Son of Edward Denis Joseph & Mary Florence Cronin (née Garland), Remuera, Auckland. [phot. TWN 21.1.42].


17th January 2012, 12:00
Re Sergeant Thomas Purdy, the following from Tavender. Recommendation in Air 2/9327.

"Sergeant Purdy has taken part as Captain of aircraft in most of the important operations undertaken by the squadron since 4th September 1939 and has at all times shown conspicuous gallantry and determination in pressing home his attacks in the face of severe enemy opposition and in adverse weather conditions. On 18th December 1939, in operations near Heligoland he was responsible for the destruction of three enemy aircraft. His success as a captain of aircraft is no less marked than his skill and determination as a pilot and he has imbued his crew with a team spirit to a marked extent. By his courage, persistent determination, skill and power of leadership, this N.C.O. has at all times set an example deserving of the highest praise."

Remarks by Station Commander:

"This pilot has only three months rest from operational flying since th declaration of war. Amongst the successful results of his bombing attacks are included damage to railways at Osnabruck on 7th July 1940 and Ham on 4th August 1940. In addition to hits on barges at Calais on 21st September 1940, and the dock at Kiel on 19th August 1940, these attacks were pressed home in the face of severe anti-aircraft fire."

Remarks by Air Officer Commanding:

"Although on one occasion during his first tour of duty his aircraft was extensively damaged during an attack on Wilhelmshaven with necessitated a forced landing without his undercarriage at a strange aerodrome and with a wounded crew, his determination was in no way shaken and he completed his normal tour of duty in an operational unit. After three months employment on the O.T.U. he returned to his original unit as full of vigour and determination as ever and has at all times been an ouutstanding member of his squadron and sets the very best example to all junior Captains."

18th January 2012, 12:31
Thanks to all, for your help and information on my granddad. You made me very proud reading about him.

22nd May 2017, 09:16
This thread seems to have been inactive for a while - so just a longshot: I'm trying to find out what the citation says for my father, Ernest Desmond Martin. He was a sergeant observer in Fairey Battles for 150 Sqn in 1940 and was awarded the DFM, I believe for a mission based out of France on 10th May 1940. It was presented to him at Buckingham Palace in early 1941. Any details from anyone would be great. Thanks. Brian.

22nd May 2017, 12:49

From Ian Tavender’s The Distinguished Flying Medal Register : Second Wold War, your father’s citation is a joint citation with Clifford Cooper : -

Cooper, Clifford 610233 Leading Aircraftman, No. 150 Sqn.
Martin, Ernest Desmond 626908 Sergeant, No. 150 Sqn.
L.G. 5/11/1940

Leading Aircraftman Cooper (Wireless Operator / Air Gunner) and Sergeant Martin (Air Observer) are the regular flying crew of Flying Officer W.M. Blom DFC, recently decorated for his part in an attack on an enemy column in The Echtenarch area on 10th. May 1940. Since that date, they have completed one day and eight night sorties on missions against the enemy, carrying out their tasks with the greatest efficiency and always contributing valuable and concise information during subsequent interrogation. I consider the excellent work of both to be most deserving of recognition.
8th. June 1940

22nd May 2017, 15:26
Thank you so much for your swift and full response. That completes another gap in trying to gather information on my father! He survived the war and stayed in the RAF, retiring as a Sqn Ldr. in 1970. He never talked much about what he did in WW2, but only yesterday Martin Gleeson on this site provided me with photos of my father's bullet ridden Fairey Battle (K9369) that somehow managed to get back to base on 10 May, 1940 (and it never flew again). That mission is something he did mention, particularly as a shell took the oxygen mask off his face!

22nd May 2017, 15:59

I have had a look at Nick and Carol Carter’s “The Distinguished Flying Cross And How It Was Won 1918-1995. F/O Blom’s citation may give you some more detail : -

Blom, Walter Michael F/O 40041 RAF 150 Sqn.
London Gazette 31/5/1940:3253

During May 1940, this officer was detailed to lead a half section of aircraft in a low level bombing attack against an enemy motorised column of all arms advancing on a road in Luxemburg. Before reaching his objective, a petrol tank was pierced by machine-gun fire and, although unable to locate his allotted target through being drenched and almost blinded by the escaping petrol, he pressed home his attack on another enemy column with considerable success. During this time, the aircraft was subjected to very heavy fire from the ground and was repeatedly hit, receiving such damage as to render it beyond repair, but this did not prevent F/O Blom from flying back to the base, a distance of 90 miles. He displayed outstanding courage and tenacity.



22nd May 2017, 17:04
Thanks Douglas - very useful. It adds a little more detail to the 150 Sqn Operations Logs that Martin Gleeson emailed me. F/O Blom certainly had some guts to carry on - and the logs say that they were at 100 feet over the column at times, so no wonder they got shot to pieces! K9369 was the only aircraft return from that mission (out of 4 aircraft).
Regards, Brian

9th July 2017, 07:19
Morning all, New to your great site. Packed with great information. I am try to find any information for the DFM for 1804268 Sgt Philip Myers 578 Squadron.

Many thanks


9th July 2017, 21:21

Tavender’s : The Distinguished Flying Medal Register for the Second World War records the following : -

MYERS, Philip 1804268 Sergeant No. 578 Sqn.
L.G. 17/4/1945, Sorties 31, Flying hours 148.25, Navigator : Air 2/9060

Sergeant Myers has completed 31 sorties totalling 148.25 hours in the course of which he has carried out attacks upon a wide range of tactical and strategical targets including those at Duisburg, Munster, Julich and Wilhelmshaven. He has proved himself on operations to be a persistently conscientious and indefatigable navigator who has worked with a high standard of skill and consistent care and attention on his charts throughout every sort of flight. Throughout his tour, he has shown the greatest enthusiasm for his work over the longest journeys and throughout the heart of the enemy’s defences. In all conditions of weather, this Navigator has accepted every discomfort with admirable fortitude. He has thus played a part as a vital member of his crew with fine devotion to duty. It is recommended that his good operational record should be recognised by the award of the Distinguished Flying Medal.
22nd. January 1945

Remarks by Station Commander

This Navigator has maintained a high standard of work and has shown courage and determination throughout his operational tour. He has proved himself to be a keen and efficient member of aircrew and the part he has played has contributed in no small manner to the many successful attacks carried out against the enemy. I recommend that the fine record of this NCO should be recognised by the award of the Distinguished Flying Medal.




10th July 2017, 17:22
Many thanks Douglas.

23rd August 2017, 21:18
I have inherited my Grandpas DFM, wo T Purdy. I have a few paper cutouts from his home town gazette but find it hard to find out more about him. I know were he is buried but apart from that i am stuck, could anyone tell me what book or sites that may help. Thanks D Purdy

Hi Purdy,

Would you please so kind to get in touch with me as i researching your Father's aircraft Wellington Z1097 crashed Someren 28 Dec 1941 and i looking for relatives of Thomas Purdy for a very long time.


19th December 2017, 12:01
I would be very grateful for any information regarding the DFM awarded to my Uncle Sgt George A D Richards 1383252 of No 10 Sqd in Jan 1944.

20th December 2017, 16:44
From Ian Tavender’s book : The Distinguished Flying Medal Register for the Second World War : -

RICHARDS, George Alfred David : 1383252 Sergeant No. 10 Sqn.

LG 21/1/1944, Sorties 25, Flying hours 144.00, Air Gunner, Air2/9153

Sergeant Richards was posted to No. 10 Squadron in May 1943 and after completing 25 sorties comprising of 144 operational hours, has now been recommended for screening and posting for instructional duties. This NCO has throughout his tour displayed high morale, cheerfulness and eagerness to get at grips with the enemy. He possesses unusual qualities of cheerful confidence and, during an attack by a JU88, his Captain, Flight Sergeant Thackray, stated that Sergeant Richards displayed coolness in giving evasive instructions which saved the aircraft from serious damage. During an attack on Gelsenkirchen on the night of 9th. July 1943, he was rear gunner in a Halifax, which received severe damage from a high concentration of flak in the port wing and fuselage. During a raid on Berlin on 23rd. August 1943, his aircraft was attacked by a JU88 and, although he fired a short burst, no strikes were seen on the enemy aircraft. Our aircraft received damage to the rear turret and fuselage. Despite this, Sergeant Richards has continued to operate with undiminished ardour and I strongly recommend that his outstanding devotion to duty and fighting qualities be now recognised by the award of the Distinguished Flying Medal.
1st. November 1943

Remarks by Station Commander

This NCO has consistently displayed keenness and devotion to duty and shows complete fearlessness in the face of danger. His fine example has done much to maintain the high standard of morale in his crew. I recommend that his good work be recognised by an award of the DFM.




20th December 2017, 19:10
I am very much indebted to you for sharing this information with me. Georges son Clive has been in hospital since early Sept and this will be a great tonic for him. I have been attempting to trace his career since his posting to No 21 OTU in Nov 1943. Need to visit the PRO as I see they have operational records available for this period.



20th December 2017, 20:05

I am happy to be of some assistance. It may be worth asking a few questions in the General Category of the forum. Some of the very helpful forum members may be able to help you.