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    Default Don Mason DSO with bar, DFC

    Hello, this is my first post so forgive me if this is not the correct place to post this. I saw a newspaper article in my local paper, see below

    http://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/Article.aspx/922693?UserKey=

    It mentions a Don Mason DSO with bar, DFC but I have looked on wikipedia and the London Gazette websites and I can't find anything which refers to any citation for what he got his DSOs for or his DFC. I am just curious about this highly decorated airman as he lives local to me. Can anyone give a reason as to why wikipedia and the London Gazette are incomplete? Were records destroyed during the war? It would be a shame that this great man won't be recognised by future generations because there are no surviving records of his heroics. :(

    He served with 7, 57, 235 and 620 squadrons in coastal and bomber command.
    Last edited by Northwings; 1st December 2008 at 10:52.

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    Default William Millis MASON

    I can't identify him for 'Don Mason', and this officer below is clearly a navigator and not a pilot, and nor can I find a bar to the DSO award, or do any of the squadrons match up, but is this him:

    W/Cdr William Millis Mason, retired 1961 (115986)

    Flight Magazine FEBRUARY 18TH, 1943
    Award of DFC

    F/O. W. M. MASON, R.A.F.V.R., No. 44 Sqn.
    —This officer's standard of navigation is exceptionally high and during his many operational
    sorties he has obtained some excellent photo graphs. Recently he took part in the raids on.
    Milan and Genoa and his personal courage, skill and zeal in ensuring that his aircraft cached the target, greatly inspired the whole squadron.

    Flight magazine - December 6th 1945
    Award of DSO

    Act. Wing Cdr. W. M. MASON, D.F.C..
    R.A.F.V.R., No. 97 Sqn.—Since the award of the D.F.C. this officer has completed a second tonr of operational duty. He is a leader of outstanding ability whose high sense of duty and magnificent example have been potent factors in ensuring the success of the many operations completed by his flight. As a navigator Wing Cdr. Mason has consistently displayed exceptional skill and determination.
    On one occasion in March, 1945, despite very adverse weather he brought his aircraft to the target, a German oil plant at Bohlen, exactly on time. In the face of intense enemy opposition the target indicator was correctly placed and a successful attack completed.

    I'm going to feel really foolish when the correct man is found!
    Last edited by dennis_burke; 1st December 2008 at 13:47. Reason: typos
    Dennis Burke
    - Dublin

    Foreign Aircrew and Aircraft Ireland 1939-1945
    www.ww2irishaviation.com

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    Hugh Haliday kindly provideed these lists previously for DSO recipients:

    http://www.rafcommands.com/cgi-bin/dcforum/dcboard.cgi?az=show_thread&om=13&forum=DCForumID6

    W M Mason is the only man showing.

    regards

    Dennis
    Dennis Burke
    - Dublin

    Foreign Aircrew and Aircraft Ireland 1939-1945
    www.ww2irishaviation.com

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    I too could not match up the name with the awards as that combination doesn't appear in Honour the Air Forces. But I did find this article:

    http://www.blackcountrybugle.co.uk/blackcountrybugle-news/displayarticle.asp?id=73940

    He is also mentioned here as DSO and bar and DFC

    http://www.caithness.org/wings/freshman/index.htm

    A

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    Thank you for all your help.

    From the Black Country Bugle,

    "Then, on April 10th, Don and his crew had their closest encounter with death yet. Returning from a bombing raid on Berlin, an object, later identified as part of a Wellington bomber, dropped on to the rear end of the Stirling, severely damaging the starboard elevator, rudder and fin. Fighting with the controls, Don couldn't steer the aircraft in a straight line as it veered in a great circle to starboard. An S.O.S. was transmitted and eventually the Stirling was ditched in the sea approximately 140 miles west of Heligoland, where the crew remained in their lifeboat for 58 hours before air sea rescue picked them up. All the men were exhausted and suffering from hypothermia, and Bill Hadley the navigator sustained a broken femur after the plane hit the water. "

    Could there be a record of this aircraft loss on 10/04/1941?

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    Default Records

    One would expect to find mention of the operations in the Operations Records Books of 7 and 57 Squadrons which are held in the UK national Archives at Kew. Likely no one on the formum has these recorded or copied etc so you could make a visit there to view them or order copies of the relevent pages from the TNA website.

    7 Sqn references are AIR 27/98 and AIR27-99 (Correct me here anyone)

    I just don't have time right now to surf all the way up to 57 Squadron.

    I'm not certain if these losses would be recorded in Chorley's BC Losses, perhaps some one could check.

    The Air Historical Branch would also have some details and RAF Hendon might be able to assist you.

    I just cannot find anyone to fit the bill for the promotions suggested and the for the awards, there must be a name spelling discrepancy we are missing. Strange one.


    Dennis
    Dennis Burke
    - Dublin

    Foreign Aircrew and Aircraft Ireland 1939-1945
    www.ww2irishaviation.com

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    Only 3 Stirlings set out for Berlin on 9/10 April 1941. One (N6009, pilot F/O J. Sach) turned back early with propeller trouble at the Dutch coast. A second aircraft, (N6005, pilot F/O G. Blacklock) was damaged by a night-fighter on its way to the target and bombed Emden instead and the third, (N6011, pilot F/Lt V. Pike) was shot down over Lingen before reaching the target. All three aircraft were from 7 Squadron who were the only ones flying Stirlings operationally at that time.
    The mystery deepens!
    Cheers all,
    Bill.

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    Default Re: Don Mason DSO with bar, DFC

    Here's a tribute page to the late Don Mason:

    https://donaldmason.muchloved.com/

    ...and a photo of him wearing his medals and a pilot's brevet:

    https://donaldmason.muchloved.com/#h...age-gallery-11

    DSO w/bar
    DFC
    1939–1945_Star w/Bomber Command Clasp
    Air Crew Europe Star w/France and Germany Clasp
    Defence Medal
    War Medal 1939-45
    Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur


    The French government awarded Mason the Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur in 2019 - one of many awarded to surviving D-Day veterans post-2000.

    The book, Stirlings in Action With the Airborne Forces: Air Support to Special Forces, by Dennis Williams allows some of Mason's service career to be traced in archival records at TNA

    W/O Donald Mason (no middle name) was the wireless operator in the 620 Squadron crew of P/O Francis Alexander Cox RNZAF in June 1944. They flew Stirling LJ865 on 5 June 1944, dropping parachutists on D-Day.

    F/O Donald Mason was still wireless operator in F/O Cox's crew while with 46 Squadron in August 1945.

    The London Gazette shows:

    The London Gazette
    Publication date: 4 August 1944
    Supplement: 36643
    Page: 3666

    ROYAL AIR FORCE VOLUNTEER RESERVE GENERAL DUTIES BRANCH. Appointment to commission. ' As Pit. Offs. on 'prob. .(emergency):' — Wt. Offs.

    27th May 1944-.
    1214031 Donald MASON (178089)

    The London Gazette
    Publication date: 19 December 1944
    Supplement: 36852
    Page: 5873

    ROYAL AIR FORCE VOLUNTEER RESERVE. GENERAL DUTIES BRANCH. Confirmation and promotion. Pit. Offs. (prob.) confmd. in appts. and to be Fig. Offs. (war subs.): —

    27th Nov. 1944
    D. MASON (178089)

    These are the only entries I could find under service numbers 1214031 and 178089.
    Last edited by RodM; 17th February 2024 at 15:51.

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    Default Re: Don Mason DSO with bar, DFC

    Quote Originally Posted by Northwings View Post
    Hello, this is my first post so forgive me if this is not the correct place to post this. I saw a newspaper article in my local paper, see below

    http://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/Art...22693?UserKey=

    It mentions a Don Mason DSO with bar, DFC but I have looked on wikipedia and the London Gazette websites and I can't find anything which refers to any citation for what he got his DSOs for or his DFC. I am just curious about this highly decorated airman as he lives local to me. Can anyone give a reason as to why wikipedia and the London Gazette are incomplete? Were records destroyed during the war? It would be a shame that this great man won't be recognised by future generations because there are no surviving records of his heroics. :(

    He served with 7, 57, 235 and 620 squadrons in coastal and bomber command.

    A little late in the day, but I just came across this post. Over many years working on the Distinguished Flying Cross, I met a number of men who falsely claimed the award, although the following must take the biscuit, Eric Thompson, who had a book published by William Kimber 1988, he claimed both a DFC and DFM. He received neither award and I understand was never even aircrew. I have also seen quite a few men mentioned with the post nominals of an award which were never made. In the past 35 years of research I have only come across one omission by the London Gazette of an award of the DFC. Makes you think. Recently I saw an obituary of a man listed as OBE, DFC and Bar, OBE(C), yes, DFC and Bar, resounding NO. Draw your own conclusions on the report of Don Mason.

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    Default Re: Don Mason DSO with bar, DFC

    Isn’t it a criminal offence to misrepresent your military history pertaining to awards and medals? I haven’t looked through this in detail, but perhaps this is pertinent:

    https://publications.parliament.uk/p.../658/65805.htm

    Hugh: would you please comment?

    Jim
    Last edited by JDCAVE; 26th August 2023 at 18:26.

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