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Thread: F/L Thomas John BROOM - Nos.571, 128 and 163 Squadrons - DFC and two Bars

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    Default F/L Thomas John BROOM - Nos.571, 128 and 163 Squadrons - DFC and two Bars

    BROOM, Thomas John, F/L (51227, Royal Air Force) - No.571 Squadron - Distinguished Flying Cross - awarded as per London Gazette dated 3 October 1944. Warrant Officer 515779, commissioned 19 December 1942. Retired 22 June 1959 as Flight Lieutenant, “retaining the rank of Squadron Leader.” The following citation covered S/L Richard Yorke Ashley Acting Squadron Leader Richard Yorke Ashley (79744), F/L Leonard Thrumble (49266),, F/L Thomas John Broom, F/O Albert Frank Walters (126769), all awarded DFC, and Flight Sergeant Alexander Arbuckle (1349577), awarded DFM.

    One night in August, 1944, these officers and airman participated in a sortie, involving a mine-laying mission over the Dortmund-Ems Canal. The operation called for the highest standard of resolution as the area is most heavily defended. Nevertheless the mines were laid with great precision. The success achieved reflects the greatest credit or the outstanding skill and great daring of these members of aircraft crew, so ably led by Wing Commander Birkin who also planned the operation.

    BROOM, Thomas John, F/L (51227, Royal Air Force) - No.128 Squadron - Bar to Distinguished Flying Cross - awarded as per London Gazette dated 27 February 1945. No citation in Gazette. Website “Traces of War” has the following:


    Flight Lieutenant Broom DFC was a navigator in a Mosquito aircraft of 128 Squadron detailed to place a 4000 lb. bomb up to the mouth of a railway tunnel in the region of Kaiserslautern on the morning of the 1st of January 1945. This operation required great skill, determination and the utmost precision. By his assistance to his pilot this attack was carried out most successfully. Flight Lieutenant Broom has completed 73 operations against German targets, the Page 4 of 4 majority of which were heavily defended and including 15 against Berlin. He has, at all times, shown consistent keenness and skill.

    BROOM, Thomas John, A/S/L, DFC (51227, Royal Air Force) - No.163 Squadron - Second Bar to Distinguished Flying Cross - awarded as per London Gazette dated 26 October 1945. Following text from Air Ministry Bulletin 20047 and Flight, 27 December 1945.

    This officer has a long and distinguished record of operational flying. He first flew against the enemy in September 1939, and since then he has completed a large number of day and night sorties against heavily defended targets in Germany. On one occasion he was forced to leave his aircraft by parachute and another time his aircraft crashed in occupied territory, but he evaded capture and returned to this country, where he resumed operational flying with undiminished enthusiasm. The sterling qualities of courage, leadership and devotion to duty displayed by Squadron Leader Broom have materially contributed to the operational efficiency of each squadron with which he has served. In addition his work as squadron navigation officer has been worthy of the highest praise.

    “Traces of War” (https://www.tracesofwar.com/persons/...homas-John.htm) has the following biography
    :
    Tommy Broom was born in Portishead, Somerset, in 1914. After leaving school and working in a garage, he joined the RAF in 1932, training as a navigator. He served in the Middle East, initially in Sudan, and in 1937 was sent to Palestine to join No 6 Squadron. With the threat of war in Europe, however, there was an urgent need for more air observers; Broom volunteered and returned to Britain for training. In February 1939 he joined No 105 Squadron at Harwell, which was equipped with single-engined Fairey Battle light bomber, an aircraft already obsolete before the war began.

    After the German advance into the Low Countries on May 10 1940, the Fairey Battle squadrons were thrown against Panzers and attacked the crucial bridges across the main rivers, suffering terrible losses. After the fall of France, Broom and some of his comrades managed to reach Cherbourg to board a ship for England. No 105 Squadron was re-equipped with the Blenheim, and during the Battle of Britain Broom attacked the German barges assembling at the Channel ports in preparation for an invasion of England.

    During a raid on Cologne in November 1940 his aircraft was severely damaged by anti-aircraft fire, but the crew managed to struggle back to England where they were forced to bail out as they ran out of fuel. For the next 12 months Broom served as an instructor.

    He returned to his squadron in January 1942, just as the Mosquito entered service, and on August 25 was sent to attack a power station near Cologne. As the aircraft flew at treetop height across Belgium, they struck a electricity pylon and the aircraft ploughed into pine trees. Both men survived the crash, and were picked up by members of the Belgian Resistance.

    They were escorted to St Jean de Luz by the Belgian-run "Comet" escape line. There were a couple of close shaves. On one occasion a Gestapo officer came into the carriage to check his papers. He didn't speak a word of German or French, so when the German said something to Broom, he just handed him his ID and railway ticket.

    When the German said something else he didn't know what to do, so he just grunted. His response was sufficient and he moved on.

    At one point they were fired upon by German patrols, but they managed to get away and Broom crossed the Pyrenees with the aid of a Spanish Basque guide on September 8. In accordance with the policy at the time, he was taken off operations and became an instructor before teaming up with Ivor Broom a year later.

    After leaving the RAF, Broom worked for the Control Commission in Germany to "help rebuild the country I had spent years trying to destroy". Unable to speak the language, he was allocated an interpreter, a young German war widow. In July 1948 they married and returned to Portishead the following year.

    Broom worked in the accounts department of Esso Petroleum for many years. Apart from the war years, he spent all his life in Portishead.

    A biography," Squadron Leader Tommy Broom DFC: The Legendary Pathfinder Mosquito Navigator", by Tom Parry Evans, was published in 2007.

    Tommy Broom died on May 18. His wife, Annemarie, died in 1963, and he is survived by their daughter and a stepdaughter.

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    Default Re: F/L Thomas John BROOM - Nos.571, 128 and 163 Squadrons - DFC and two Bars

    Hello,

    Some additional info on 'Tommy' Broom (and others):

    http://www.cometeline.org/fiche051.html

    Col.

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    Default Re: F/L Thomas John BROOM - Nos.571, 128 and 163 Squadrons - DFC and two Bars

    London Gazette 27/2/1945, page 1134, details a joint citation for Thomas John Broom, A/FL, 51227, RAF. see attached

    BROOM. Thomas John. DFC. A/FL. (51227). RAF. 128Sqn. (Died 18/5/2010).
    First Bar to the Distinguished Flying Cross.
    London Gazette:27/2/1945:1134.
    Group Citation of Two Awards of the Distinguished Service Order.
    One Award of a 2nd Bar to the Distinguished Flying Cross.
    One Award of a 1st Bar to the Distinguished Flying Cross.
    Ten Awards of the Distinguished Flying Cross.
    One Award of the Distinguished Flying Medal.
    These members of aircraft crew have completed very many sorties against enemy targets. In January, 1945, they were detailed for an operation which necessitated releasing heavy bombs, from a low level, at the openings to various tunnels on the enemy’s railway system leading to the Western Front. The mission called for a high degree of skill. The good results obtained reflects the greatest credit on the efforts of the above personnel who, throughout a dangerous and difficult sortie, displayed exceptional ability, great determination and devotion to duty.

    This gives an overall picture of a number of aircrew, incidentally the award of a second bar to the DFC listed was to his pilot A/SL, Ivor Broom, (The Flying Brooms). I was fortunate to meet both Tommy and Ivor Broom and they remained in contact until the death of Ivor Broom in 2003, but which time he was Sir Ivor Broom, KCB, CBE, DSO, DFC**, AFC. Two wonderful and generous men.

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    Default Re: F/L Thomas John BROOM - Nos.571, 128 and 163 Squadrons - DFC and two Bars

    Quite right - my oversight. I have now amended the entry to read:

    BROOM, Thomas John, F/L (51227, Royal Air Force) - No.128 Squadron - Bar to Distinguished Flying Cross - awarded as per London Gazette dated 27 February 1945. This was related to a group award involving the following: 108139 S/L Ernest John Saunders, DFC, No.128 Squadron (awarded DSO), 66524 S/: Robert Gerald St. Clere Wadsworth, DFC, No.692 Squadron, 112392 S/L Ivor Gordo Broom, DFC, No.128 Squadron (Second Bar to Distinguished Flying Cross), 51227 F/L Thomas John Broom, DFC, No.128 Squadron (Bar to Distinguished Flying Cross), 33107 W/C Richard James Burrough, No128 Squadron (Distinguished Flying Cross), 40996 S/L Hugh Dean Dawlish, No.571 Squadron (Distinguished Flying Cross), 103001 F/L Cyril Henry Burbridge. No.692 Squadron (Distinguished Flying Cross), 142857 F/L Geoffrey Colin Crow, No.692 Squadron (Distinguished Flying Cross), 102995 F/L Thomas Hugo Galloway, No.692 Squadron (Distinguished Flying Cross), 46085 F/L Norman John Griffiths, No.571 Squadron (Distinguished Flying Cross), 128849 F/L Harold Hartley Tattersall, No.571 Squadron (Distinguished Flying Cross), 164125 F/O Charles Edward Earl, No.692 Squadron (Distinguished Flying Cross), 150114 F/O Archibald William Robinson, No.128 Squadron (Distinguished Flying Cross), 186862 P/O Douglas Raymond Tucker, No.571 Squadron (Distinguished Flying Cross), and 574129 Flight Sergeant Ian Lachlan Ramage, No.692 Squadron (Distinguished Flying Medal). General citation as follows:

    These members of aircraft crew have completed very many sorties against enemy targets. In January, 1945, they were detailed for an operation which necessitated releasing heavy bombs, from low level, at the openings to various tunnels on the enemy's railway system leading to the Western Front. The mission called for a high degree of skill. The good results obtained reflects the greatest credit on the efforts of the above personnel who, throughout a dangerous and difficult sortie, displayed exceptional ability, great determination and devotion to duty.

    Website “Traces of War” has the following, probably extracted from an Air Ministry Bulletin or recommendation:

    Flight Lieutenant Broom DFC was a navigator in a Mosquito aircraft of 128 Squadron detailed to place a 4000 lb. bomb up to the mouth of a railway tunnel in the region of Kaiserslautern on the morning of the 1st of January 1945. This operation required great skill, determination and the utmost precision. By his assistance to his pilot this attack was carried out most successfully. Flight Lieutenant Broom has completed 73 operations against German targets, the Page 4 of 4 majority of which were heavily defended and including 15 against Berlin. He has, at all times, shown consistent keenness and skill.

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