PATTEN, Charles Alfred, P/O (82205, RAFVR) - Member, Order of the British Empire - awarded as per London Gazette dated 9 September 1941. Commissioned 20 July 1940 as Acting Pilot Officer on Probation. Flight Lieutenant, 29 November 1942. Retired 22 September 1955 as Flight Lieutenant, “retaining the rank of Squadron Leader.” Citations transcribed from Flight, 25 September 1941.
One night in April 1941, Pilot Officer Patten was the rear gunner of an aircraft which crashed and burst into flames during an operational mission. On extricating himself from his turret, he went to the front of the aircraft where the front gunner was alive but trapped. Although this part of the aircraft was ablaze, and ammunition and flares were exploding, Pilot Officer Patten immediately endeavoured to rescue his trapped comrade. By almost superhuman efforts, and with the assistance of two members of the crew, he was able to wrench the turret from the aircraft and drag the front gunner to safety. By his promptness and courage, Pilot Officer Patten undoubtedly saved the life of this member of the crew.
PATTEN, Charles Alfred, F/L, MBE (82205, RAFVR) - No.9 Squadron - Distinguished Flying Cross - awarded as per London Gazette dated 10 September 1943. Following text from Air Ministry Bulletin 11391.
This officer has flown on numerous operational sorties. As an air gunner he has inspired the most complete confidence in his crew. His vigilance and coolness have, many times, enabled his captain to take evasive action to avoid attack by enemy fighters, while his courage and determination in times of stress have been most praiseworthy. As squadron gunnery leader he has set a very high standard and the efficiency of his section reflects the thoroughness he has put into his work.
Patten had earlier served on No.70 Squadron RAF, in the Middle East.
28-29 Apr 1941
Wellington IC T2727
Took off 1945, from Fuka, and on return, after experiencing difficulties in obtaining a bearing, flew into escarpment in low cloud, Sidi Omar, DBF. F/O Jones is commemorated on the Alamein Memorial and P/O Mitchell on the Runnymede Memorial. Sgts Ellis and Linton were seriously injured. P/O Patten walked for a day and a half to get help.
F/O B S M Jones +
P/O D R Mitchell +
Sgt J E McKinley inj
Sgt S Linton inj
Sgt C D Ellis inj
P/O C A Patten inj
S/Ldr C R Taylor inj
See: BLME1/Gunby & Temple/Midland Counties,2006/p.57.
See also: https://rafcommands.com/database/war...php?qnum=94505