ANDERSON, William Robert Weir Flying Officer, No.405 Squadron, J13558 Distinguished Flying Cross RCAF Personnel Awards 1939-1949
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ANDERSON, F/O William Robert Weir (J13558) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.405 Squadron - Award effective 17 August 1943 as per London Gazette of that date and AFRO 2005/43 dated 1 October 1943. Born May 1920; home in Vancouver. Enlisted in Vancouver, 28 July 1941. To No.2 Manning Depot, 17 August 1941. To No.3 Personnel Holding Unit, 15 December 1941. To No.2 WS, 28 February 1942. Promoted LAC, 2 April 1942. Graduated and posted to No.6 BGS, 4 July 1942; graduated and commissioned 14 August 1942. To \"Y\" Depot, 15 August 1942. To RAF overseas, 2 October 1942. Promoted Flying Officer, 14 February 1943. Promoted Flight Lieutenant, 14 August 1944. Repatriated 17 September 1944. To No.5 OTU, 23 October 1944. To Sea Island, 5 May 1945. Medal presented 16 May 1945. Released at uncertain date. Rejoined RCAF, 17 April 1948 (12630) as Engineer Assistant, rank of LAC. Transferred to Service Police, 19 August 1948. Promoted Corporal, 1 April 1949. Promoted Sergeant, 1 May 1951. To Sea Island, 3 December 1952. To No.2 Composite Training School, 14 January 1952. To Sea Island, 3 May 1952. To No.12 Armament Depot, 17 June 1952. To No.2 (Fighter) Wing, Europe, 8 May 1953; to No.3 (Fighter Wing), 10 May 1953; to No.4 (Fighter) Wing, 4 July 1953. Released 19 August 1954. Photo PL-23723 is portrait. One night in July 1943, this officer was mid-upper gunner of an aircraft which was attacked by an enemy fighter during an operational flight. Although he sustained four wounds in the left arm, Flying Officer Anderson continued to fire his guns during seven subsequent attacks until the hostile aircraft was sent diving towards the ground with one engine in flames. Flying Officer Anderson displayed great courage and fortitude in most trying circumstances. NOTE: Public Record Office Air 2/4995 has recommendation for an immediate award drafted by W/C J.E. Fauquier, 27 July 1943; he had flown 15 sorties (85 hours 15 minutes). On the night of 15th July 1943, the aircraft in which Flying Officer Anderson was mid-upper gunner was attacked by a Dornier 217 which fired a burst of cannon and machine gun fire. Flying Officer Anderson received four wounds in the left arm. In spite of this he continued to fire during the seven subsequent attacks of the enemy aircraft which finally went into a dive with one engine in flames and crashed to the ground where it continued to burn. After receiving first aid treatment, Flying Officer Anderson acted as lookout in the lower blister on the return journey. Flying Officer Anderson\'s courage and devotion to duty have been an inspiration to this squadron. FURTHER NOTE: Bomber Command Monthly Supplementary Narrative of Operations, July 1943 had the following entry under date 15/16 July 1943. 8 Group - Aircraft Halifax \"P\" of 405 Squadron, West of Besancon at 0100 hours, height 5,500 feet when R/G and M/U/G both identified a Dornier 217; they both also recognised British camouflage and roundels on the attacking aircraft. The E/A made 7 or 8 attacks, both gunners returning fire. The E/A went into a slight dive and one engine was seen to burst into flames, just before the E/A crashed into the ground, where it continued to burn. The Do.217 is claimed as destroyed. Public Record Office Air 50/248 has Combat Report for the above action, as follows. Pilot was F/O M. Sattler. Whilst on operations on the night of 15/16th July 1943, Halifax Aircraft P (HR860), heading 114 T., flying at 5,500 feet, position 47.11 N, 05.38 E., was attacked by an enemy aircraft which both the Rear and Mid-Upper gunners identified as a Dornier 217. The enemy aircraft was first seen by Rear Gunner [Flight Sergeant I.G. McEwen, RCAF] on a parallel course at 300 yards on port side. It continued to fly in this position for three minutes. Both Rear and Mid-Upper Gunners recognised British camouflage and roundels on the attacking aircraft. Enemy aircraft passed from port beam to starboard beam and fired a burst of cannon and machine gun fire. Halifax aircraft was doing violent corkscrew evasive action. Halifax aircraft sustained damage on first attack. Mid-Upper Gunner (F/O W.R,W. Anderson, RCAF] wounded four times in left arm. Mid-Upper Gunner continued to keep on firing. Enemy aircraft made seven or eight attacks. Enemy aircraft went into a slight dive and one engine was seen to burst into flames just before enemy aircraft crashed into the ground where it continued to burn. Rear Gunner [McEwen] fired approximately 2,500 rounds and Mid-Upper 450 rounds. The enemy aircraft is claimed as destroyed.