SIMONDS, William Stephen Pomercy, W/C (32131) – No. 82 Squadron – Distinguished Flying Cross - awarded as per London Gazette dated 2 September 1941, under the following general citation:

In July-, 1941, large-scale attacks were made on Gferman warships at Brest and La Pallice (including the " Gneisenau," " Scharnhorst " and " Prinz Eugen "). A smaller attack was made on Cherbourg. The operations were carried out in daylight and extremely heavy and accurate anti-aircraft fire and fighter opposition were encountered by all aircraft when approaching the targets, which at Brest was protected by a balloon barrage. The air crews engaged succeeded, nevertheless, in securing direct hits on their objectives and' in inflicting very severe damage in the target area. During the combats with enemy fighters 21 hostile aircraft were destroyed and others were severely damaged. The precise timing of attack by the various formations of aircraft and their correct approach to and accurate bombing of the objectives in the face of such powerful opposition; demanded great skill and high courage. The great success of these operations was largely due to the bravery, determination and resource displayed by the following officers and airmen, who. participated in various capacities as leaders and members of the aircraft crews: —

AIR 2/8858 has recommendation, originally for a DSO, drafted 27 July 1941.

Wing Commander Simonds was in command of No. 104 Squadron on 24.7.41 when that squadron took part in the attack on enemy battleships in Brest harbour by daylight. The operation, as far as No. 104 Squadron is concerned, was particularly successful, greatly owing to the careful planning and organization of this officer who not only had the responsibility of organizing the squadron’s attack, but himself took part and led a section of three aircraft with great courage and determination, pressing home the attack and scoring direct hits.

Hitherto, No. 104 Squadron, which has only recently re-formed, has been engaged entirely on night operations, and it speaks highly for the training and discipline of the squadron that their first day operation should have been so successful, only one aircraft being lost over enemy territory.

W/C Simonds has shown ability, determination, and great personal courage through this operation, and is strongly recommended for the Distinguished Service Order.

(Signed by Commanding Officer, (R. Wilson), Group Captain, on 27/7/41)

“Recommended for award of D.S.O.”

(Signed by Air Vice Marshal (Carr), Commanding, H.Q., No.4 Group, on 31/7/41)


Wing Commander Simonds was in France with 98 Squadron, B.A.A.F. In leaving France his Log Book was lost. The squadron then went to Iceland, where it filled the operational roll of internal security of that island, which entailed searching for submarines and enemy seaborne vessels. On return from Iceland, W/C Simonds was posted to command No. 311 Czech Squadron which was operational. W/C Simonds was then posted to command No. 104 Squadron in which he has made 6 sorties, totalling 31.10 hours. His total number of hours operational flying is well over 300.

“Awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (Immediate award)”

(Signed by Air Marshal, Commanding-in-Chief, Bomber Command, dated 8/8/41)