Flight Lieutenant William Henry Hill. D.F.C. R.A.F No 640 Squadron, whose home is at Seaton, Workington, has also won a second bar to the D.F.C. Over a long period of operational flying, Flight Lieutenant Hill has shown outstanding enthusiasm and devotion to duty of the highest order. An air bomber of great skill and determination, he has given valuable help and guidance to less experienced crews. He won the D.F.C. in 1941.
Pilot Officer Hubert Patrick Egan (195109) R.A.F.V.R. No 640 Squadron whose home is at Paddington, has just been awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.
Born in 1923, he served in the ranks and was commissioned in 1945.
This officer, states the citation, completed his first tour of operations, which has included a series of attacks on Essen, Bettrop, Duisberg, Magdeburg and many railway siding in enemy territory.
In October 1944, during an attack on Sterkrade, his aircraft was hit by anti-aircraft fire, which wounded the rear gunner and badly damaged the nose of the aircraft. Pilot Officer Egan successfully bombed the centre of the target despite the fact that he was suffering from intense cold. He has at all times shown courage and determination and has always completed his missions often in the face of heavy opposition.
Pilot Officer Roy Edgar Crockett, R.A.F.V.R., 640 Squadron, whose home is at Bayswater, has just been awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.
This officer, the citation states, has participated in very many sorties against targets important to the enemy's war effort. He has invariably pressed home his attacks with great determination, setting a fine example.
On one occasion, when attacking Frankfurt, his aircraft was hit by anti-aircraft fire and temporarily went out of control. A fire broke out near the main spar and the cockpit filled with smoke.
With the greatest difficulty, Pilot Officer Crockett succeeded in regaining control and turned for home, whilst other members of the crew fought the fire which they soon succeeded in extinguishing.
Although suffering acutely from the pain of his wounds, Pilot Officer Crocket displayed great fortitude and flew the damaged aircraft to base. His example of courage and tenacity was worthy of great praise.
The King has been pleased to approve the award of the D.F.C. in recognition of gallantry and devotion to duty to Pilot Officer Alexander Herbert Unsworth, Royal Air Force Voluntary Reserve, No. 640 Squadron.
As air bomber his operational duties included attacks on Keil, Duisburg, Essen and Dusseldorf.
During an attack on Duisburg in October, 1944, the aircraft in which he was flying was severely damaged by anti-aircraft fire. The navigator was wounded. Pilot Officer Unsworth rendered first aid, and on the return journey gave all assistance possible to the navigator, with the result that the aircraft was flows safely back to base.
"This officer has shown consistent courage and determination on all his missions," says the citation.
Pilot Officer Unsworth was born in 1923 at St. Helens. His home is at Southport, and he was educated at King George V school.
He enlisted in March, 1941, trained in U.S.A. and Canada, and was commissioned in November, 1944. He is entitled to the 1939-43 Star.
Squadron Leader William Herbert Rigby Whitty, A.A.F., No. 640 Squadron. During the Battle of Britain he helped to shoot down the first enemy aircraft off the English coast in October, 1939. He was born in 14 at Litherland, where his home still is, and was educated at Liverpool College.
Another old boy of the West Hartlepool Secondary School has been awarded the D.F.C. in recognition of gallantry and devotion to duty in the execution of air operations.
He is Flying Officer Eric Harry Nicholson (23), R.A.F.V.R. No. 640 Squadron, only son of Mr and Mrs Harry Nicholson of Trentham Burn Valley Grove, West Hartlepool.
A civil servant working at the Air Ministry F.O. Nicholson enlisted in July 1941, was trained in Canada, and was commissioned in October, 1944.
The official citation says:-
"This officer has participated in attacks against such targets as Cologne, Essen, Stuttgart and Chemnitz. In December, 1944, he was pilot of an aircraft detailed to attack Essen. When approaching the target area the aircraft was severely damaged by anti-aircraft fire, with the result that one engine was rendered unserviceable and damage caused to the wing and petrol tanks.
"Despite this, Flying Officer Nicholson pressed home the attack and completed the mission successfully. His skill and courage, coupled with his fine qualities of leadership have set an excellent example to the squadron.
Acting Flight-Lieutenant Robert Burns Carey-Evans (152357) R.A.F.V.R.,No. 640 Squadron, whose home is at Shepherds Bush has just been awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. Born in 1923, at Simla, India, he served in A.T.C. and U.A.S. and enlisted in November, 1941. He trained in Canada and was commissioned in May, 1943.
Flight-Lieut. Carey-Evans, states the citation, has completed a large number of operational sorties. He has led his squadron on daylight missions against the most heavily defended targets in the Ruhr Valley and has invariably displayed leadership and courage of the highest order. In November, 1944, his aircraft was detailed for a mission against an important oil refinery at Sterkrade. When 30 miles from the target, his aircraft was subjected to an attack by an enemy night-fighter. Severe damage was sustained and it was not possible to maintain the correct height and air-speed. Undaunted, Flight Lieut. Carey-Evans attacked his target from a low altitude in the face of very heavy anti-aircraft fire. He obtained an excellent photograph and then succeeded in flying his badly crippled aircraft safely back to base.
Quotes from an interview: (I am assuming that Robin is Robert - and in the London Gazette of April 1945, his middle name is given as 'Rufus'.
Lloyd George’s grandsons Robin and Bengy Carey Evans, who are now in their 90s, also paid tribute to the man they knew as Taid.
Robin said: “I heard him speak publicly on only one occasion, at the Caernarfon National Eisteddfod. He was magnificent – he had the whole assembly completely captivated hanging on every word and gesture. I have never heard anyone else master an audience like that.
“In 1945 I had been on leave from the RAF and went down to see him at Ty Newydd his last home in Llanystumdwy to say good bye. He was lying in bed very weak but he raised his head and took my hand and was just able to wish me a safe return to my squadron.
“He died that night.”
Bengy added: “If one was able to ask him now what he would like to be remembered for, it would I believe be the “other war” he waged from 1909 to 1912, the war against poverty and social injustice.
“This was a war he clearly won without any loss of life – in fact it gave life to millions of workers by awarding them for the first time a Government sponsored pension and ultimately a National Health Insurance scheme. SOURCE
The King has been pleased to approved awards in recognition of gallantry and devotion to duty in the execution of air operations to the under-mentioned officers and airmen, of Bucks connection, who have completed, in various capacities, numerous operations against the enemy, in the course of which they have invariably displayed the utmost fortitude, courage and devotion to duty:
Acting Flight Lieutenant Ronald (136705), R.A.F.V.R., No. 640 Squadron. This officer was born in 1916, at Ealing, and was educated at Ealing County School. His home is at High Wycombe. Enlisting in 1939, for air crew, he was commissioned in 1942 and is entitled to wear the ribbon of the 1939/43 Star.
This one is a bit of a conundrum.
It is unusual that they have only used the one name of 'Ronald' which would generally be a forename so the media article may have inadvertently omitted the surname.
However, when searching on Google, the registered number of 136705 produces the name of Jack Dowsett - also of 640 Squadron.
See the London Gazette Supplement of 13 October, 1944.
The names of:
Harry Coates (52288)
Thomas Johnston (141571)
both of 640 Squadron and Acting Flight Lieutenants also appear in the supplement.
The King has approved a number of awards in recognition of gallantry and devotion to duty during air operations.
Flying Officer Ronald Walker, D.F.M, R.A.F.V.R., No. 640 Squadron, who receives the D.F.C., was born in 1917 at Alfreton, Derbyshire, where his home is. He was educated at Swanwick Hall Secondary School.
According to the Gazette supplement of 13 October 1944, this is F/O Ronald Esla WALKER, D.F.M. (157438), R.A.F.V.R., 640 Sqn.
The Gazette of 26 May 1942 published the award of the D.F.M. to 959121 Flight Sergeant Ronald Esla WALKER, No. 103 Squadron.
The Gazette of October 1943 is the notification of his commission.
ROYAL AIR FORCE VOLUNTEER RESERVE.
GENERAL DUTIES BRANCH.
Appointment to commission.
As Plt. Offs. on prob. (emergency): —
959121 Ronald Esla WALKER (157438). 29th
There is a R.H. Walker with 640 Squadron mentioned on the FB page but I am reasonably certain it is not the same one. (Different middle initial, rank and arrived later.) (LINK)
Flying Officer Richard Walter Craft, R.A.F.V.R., No. 640 Squadron, hails from Beverley. He enlisted in August, 1940, and was commissioned in August 943.
The above awards are for gallantry and devotion to duty, the citation reading:
"These officers have completed, in various capacities, numerous operations against the enemy, in the course of which they have invariably displayed the utmost fortitude courage and devotion to duty."
The D.F.C. has been awarded Flying Officer Robert Roy Fielder 177013, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, No. 640 Squadron, for gallantry and devotion to duty in the execution of air operations.
Flying Officer Fielder has now completed his first tour of operational duty. It has included attacks on some of the enemy's most heavily defended targets. On one occasion, in October, 1944, when detailed to attack Duisburg, the port outer engine of his aircraft became serviceable. Despite the loss of speed and height Flying Officer Fielder pressed home the attack in the face of intense enemy opposition. Although the controls were difficult to handle he succeeded in making a safe landing on an emergency airfield. He has always shown outstanding courage and devotion to duty.
Flying Officer Fielder was born in 1920 at Shirley, Southampton, and his home is at Portsmouth. He was educated at University College, Southampton, enlisted in May 1941, trained in South Africa, and was commissioned in May 1944.
From Forces War Records
This is a unique recording of a pre-op briefing that occurred 28/29 November 1944 for with Essen, Germany, as the target. Unlikely to be anything similar still in existence. F/O Fielder's Halifax crew was one of the 340 aircraft from various squadrons that were part of the operation. Run time of approximately 18 mins. (From Australian War Memorial.)
The D.F.C. has been awarded, it was announced last night, to Flying Officer Frederick William Powell, R.A.F.V.R., 640 Squadron, whose home is at Cricklade. He was educated at Saint Peter's School, Stratton, near Cirencester.
Among the names of R.A.F. men to whom it was last night announced decorations had been made are:-
Flying Officer Ivor Albert Jackson, R.A.F.V.R., 640 Squadron who was born in and whose home is at Bristol, and who was educated at Moorfields Council School.
Acting Squadron-Leader Thomas Hamilton Sproulle (144448) R.A.F.V.R., No. 640 Squadron, who home is at Rotherfield, Tunbridge Wells, has just been awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. Born in 06 at Patrington, York, he was educated at Baston House, Prestatyn, and Denstone College, Staffs. He enlisted for air crew in 1940, trained in Canada, and was commissioned in 1943 He is entitled to wear the ribbon of the 1939-43 Star.
This officer, states the citation, has completed many highly-successful operations against a wide range of enemy targets. Squadron-Leader Sproulle has displayed exceptional skill and determination and he has rendered valuable service in the training of new personnel.
Awards in recognition of gallantry in air operations issued by the Air Ministry last night include the following Westcountry names:-
Wt. Off. William Henry Bishop (1338729), R.A.F.V.R., No. 640 Squadron, who was born in 1923 at Plymouth. He was an electrical fitter's apprentice before enlisting in 1941.