LEWIS, John, P/O (40721, Royal Air Force) - No.49 Squadron - Distinguished Flying Cross - awarded as per London Gazette dated 22 November 1940. Provisional Pilot Officer, May 1937/ Flying Officer, 3 September 1940. Flight Lieutenant, 21 October 1941. Killed 8 July 1943 at Empire Central Flying School, Miles Master W8453, with Major Gerald John Le Musurier, DFC, SAAF, in collision with Oxford V3830, USAAF (two killed as well). Public Record Office Air 2/8856 has recommendation drafted 27 September 1940.
This officer has carried out a total of 43 operational flights against the enemy during the course of which he has completed 245 hours flying as first pilot or 2nd pilot and navigator.
Throughout these operations Pilot Officer Lewis has always shown outstanding courage, determination and devotion to duty completely regardless of enemy opposition.
He was the navigator of the aircraft in which Flight Lieutenant Learoyd carried out a low level attack on the Dortmund Ems Canal. Although his pilot was blinded by searchlights, the coolness of Pilot Officer Lewis when giving directions contributed largely to the success of this operation. On another occasion Pilot Officer Lewis was the navigator of an aircraft in which the pilot was endeavouring to lob a bomb into a tunnel. Once more the calm direction of this officer in the ace of severe antiaircraft fire permitted the task to be completed successfully. On another occasion when carrying out a low flying attack, as navigator, on enemy communications in Flanders a well directed bomb hit an ammunition dump which exploded and blew in the front of the navigatorís cockpit. In spite of his instruments and maps being destroyed, and suffering from shock from the explosion, Pilot Officer Lewis successfully navigated his aircraft back to its base.
This officer has always been an enthusiastic volunteer with as first pilot or 2d pilot and navigator for any task that has been offered to him. He is completely fearless and his work on operations has been of the highest order.