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Thread: F/O Francis Stanislaus COCKER - No.3 OR No.161 Squadron - DFC

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    Default F/O Francis Stanislaus COCKER - No.3 OR No.161 Squadron - DFC

    COCKER, Francis Stanislaus, F/O (124633, RAFVR) - No.3 Squadron - Distinguished Flying Cross - awarded as per London Gazette dated 15 June 1943. Born January 1920 at Bolton (Manchester). Airman 382909, commissioned 1 May 1942. To Technical Branch, 16 February 1950. Squadron Leader, 1 July 1954. Wing Commander, 1 July 1968. As Wing Commander, DFC, C.Eng, M.I.E.R.E., retired at his own request, 30 November 1977. No citation in that publication; following text from Public Record Office Air 2/8955 drafted when he had flown 28 sorties (205 operational hours).

    An enthusiastic operational wireless operator, Flying Officer Cocker has completed 28 operational sorties against some of the most heavily defended targets in Germany. His cheerfulness and personality has been an inspiration to all with whom he has come in contact, and have greatly contributed to the high standard of morale attained by his squadron.

    However, No.3 Squadron was a single-engine fighter unit, so the document (and the London Gazette, which reported the award without citation) must be wrong - a typo somewhere in the system. Possibly No.161 Squadron. This was raised as a Forum question in February 2003.

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    Default Re: F/O Francis Stanislaus COCKER - No.3 OR No.161 Squadron - DFC

    Hello,

    Possibly:

    13 Apr 1943
    161 Sqn.
    Halifax V DG409 MA-W
    Op: Air Test.

    T/o Tempsford and crashed almost immediately due to failure of port inner engine. No injuries reported. F/O Cussens had re-commenced flying duties three days previously after internment in Portugal and a spell in hospital. For details of this, see Volume 3 (1942), page 263.

    F/O O A Cussen (later DFC*)
    Sgt E Jenner
    P/O Richards
    Sgt George
    F/O Cocker (Wireless Op.)
    Sgt Whyte
    Sgt Betts

    See: BCL4/104.

    See also:

    COCKER, Francis Stanislaus, DFC. A/F/L. (124633). RAFVR. 161 Sqn.
    Bar to Distinguished Flying Cross.
    London Gazette:12/11/1943:p.4972.

    See: The DFC and How it was Won 1918-1985 Vol.I A-L./N. & C. Carter/Savannah,1998/p.327.

    February 2003 ref on RAFComms:

    https://www.rafcommands.com/archive/02458.php - No service of Cocker mentioned on 35 Sqn RAF.

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 4th November 2023 at 02:37.

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    Default Re: F/O Francis Stanislaus COCKER - No.3 OR No.161 Squadron - DFC

    Thanks for correcting my oversight re his Bar to DFC. In some cases I can suggest files at Kew which might yield a recommendation, but the awards of November 1943 constitute something of a "Black Hole" which even Ian Tavender was unable to resolve in his DFM studies.

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