BURDITT, Harold Frederick, F/O (51874, Lieutenant, Royal Regiment of Artillery and RAF) - No.293 Squadron - Distinguished Flying Cross - awarded as per London Gazette dated 29 May 1945. Born 1919 in Biggleswade, Beds. Educated at King Edward VII School, Norfolk. Trained in Southern Rhodesia. Commissioned in RAF, April 1943. Citation in AMB 21885.
Flying Officer Burditt is a Flight Commander in command of a flight in an Air Sea Rescue Squadron. On 16th October 1944 he rescued an officer from the sea, five miles off the shore and fifteen miles north of Rimini. Five days later he flew to the rescue of an airman who was in the sea, eight miles from Venice and four miles from the shore. The smoke float marker beside this man was being shelled by the enemy’s shore batteries; nevertheless Flying Officer Burditt landed beside the marker. The enemy then fired at the aircraft, which was hit and ailerons damaged. Despite this he taxied his aircraft under continuous shell fire for five miles, to rescue another airman who was clinging to a crashed aircraft mainwheel. As he completed this second rescue, an enemy shell fell a few yards from his aircraft and rendered the wireless equipment unserviceable. Flying Officer Burditt then taxied out of shell range leaving an oil streak in the sea and later transferred the two rescued airmen to a Catalina. Throughout this trying operation, Flying Officer Burditt displayed outstanding courage, determination and devotion to duty.
STEVENS, Alexander George, P/O (184982, RAFVR) - No.293 Squadron - Distinguished Flying Cross - awarded as per London Gazette dated 29 May 1945. Born 1923 at Walthamstow. Educated at Bulstrole Senior School , Hounslow and Chiswick Polytechnic. Enlisted July 1941. Trained in Canada. Commissioned December 1944. Citation in AMB 21885.
Pilot Officer Stevens is a pilot of outstanding courage and determination who has always displayed exceptional keenness and great devotion to duty. In October 1944, he was detailed to search the sea off the southwest coast of Italy for survivors of a minesweeper. Twelve survivors were sighted in an area heavily mined. Despite adverse weather and a high sea, this officer brought his aircraft down on to the sea and managed to get nine of the men aboard. Three others were rescued by an Air Sea Resue launch which also entered the minefield. An attempt was made to transfer the survivors from the aircraft to the launch, but owing to the heavy sea this was impossible. The wireless apparatus of the aircraft had been damaged by water and was unserviceable and owing to the adverse weather and a shortage of petrol, the aircraft was towed back to Leghorn by the launch. The gallantry and resolution displayed by Pilot Officer Stevens on this occasion was worthy of the highest praise.