EDWARDS, Hughie Idwal, W/C, VC, DFC (39005) – No.105 Squadron - Distinguished Service Order – awarded as per London Gazette dated 8 January 1943.
On the 6th December, 1942, a force of bombers was detailed to make an attack in daylight on the Philips Factory at. Eindhoven. The operation, which was executed faultlessly, demanded a high degree of skilL and accurate timing. Bombs were released at varying heights, down to roof top level. Many hits were obtained, some in the centre of the target area. Two gun posts were silenced. Intense and heavy opposition was encountered and both oh the outward and return flights attacks were made by enemy fighters. The great success achieved reflects the greatest credit on the following personnel who participated in various capacities as leaders and members of aircraft crews.
This was followed by a long list without citations. See also recommendations for W/C James Ernest Pelly-Fry and W/C Ronald Hillyard Young (DSOs for same acton).
Recommendation for Edwards dated 10 December 1942 found in Air 2/4922, when he had flown 46 sorties (147 hours).
Wing Commander Edwards was the pilot of the leading aircraft of a formation of Mosquitos taking part in a major operation on the Phillip’s Radio and Valve Factory at Eindhoven. The success of this operation depended to a large extent on accurate timing and a good tactical approach. Being the middle formation, the leader had the double task of not becoming involved with the first formation, at the same time ensuring that his own formation did not prejudice in any way the chances of the last formation which was to carry out a low-level attack, and therefore could not be embarrassed by bombs exploding in the target area when they arrived.
Shortly after crossing the enemy coast, it became apparent to the leader that if he continued his pre-arranged plan, he would overtake the leading formation and possibly disorganize the general plan. He therefore had to throttle back and extend his track, enough to allow the leading formation time to attack and at the same time to keep within the time limit allowed, before the last formation arrived. An added difficulty was the presence of enemy fighters which carried out several attacks on other aircraft in the formation.
This officer took over his squadron when it was somewhat demoralized by a long period of inactivity and disappointment. By setting a very high standard himself, he quickly raised the morale and his fine leadership was directly instrumental in the squadron quickly becoming a determined fighting unit. A series of successful and important operations involving deep penetration in daylight have resulted.
An example of the inspiration this officer has given to his squadron was an occasion when, immediately after attacking a target in occupied territory in daylight, he was intercepted by 12 enemy fighters. By determined and skillful flying, he out-manoeuvred the attacking aircraft and reached a friendly base safely, thereby proving the value of a high standard of training and determination in the face of heavy odds.
(Signed by Station Commanding Officer, 10.12.42)
“Wing Commander Edwards has set the highest personal example to the aircrews of No. 105 which has resulted in an excellent spirit in the squadron. His part in the Eindhoven raid was a most important one, requiring as it did great accuracy in timing and course keeping. The qualities of determination and courage displayed by this officer on this occasion are typical of the excellent service he has given in the past. I consider the award of the Distinguished Service Order to be completely justified.”
(Signed by Group Captain, Commanding, No. 2 Group, 23.12.42)