ANDERSON, William Andrew Squadron Leader, No.407 Squadron, C1099 Distinguished Flying Cross RCAF Personnel Awards 1939-1949
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ANDERSON, S/L William Andrew (C1099) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.407 Squadron - Award effective 15 December 1941 as per London Gazette dated 16 March 1943 and AFRO 616/43 dated 9 April 1943. Born in Winnipeg, 11 February 1918; home there. Worked for Eastman Photographic Supplies from summer of 1936. Attended University of Manitoba, 1936-1939. Enlisted with No.112 Squadron, Winnipeg, 9 September 1939 as Pilot Officer (Provisional). To Station Trenton, 5 November 1939. To Camp Borden, 10 December 1939. Promoted Flying Officer, 14 April 1940 on qualifying as pilot. Posted to Eastern Air Command, Halifax, 22 April 1940. To No.8 (BR) Squadron, North Sydney, 3 May 1940. Uninjured 24 March 1941 when Bolingbroke 9002 had accident at Dartmouth (undercarriage collapsed during night exercises). Uninjured when Bolingbroke 702 crashed, 31 March 1941 (port undercarriage collapsed on takeoff). Uninjured 14 May 1941 when Delta 672 nosed over on landing (improper application of brakes). Uninjured in accident of 3 June 1941 (Bolingbroke 9003). To “Y” Depot, Halifax, 10 July 1941. Promoted Flight Lieutenant, 15 July 1941. Taken on strength of No.3 Personnel Reception Centre, Bournemouth, 9 August 1941. To No.407 Squadron, 23 August 1941. As of 27 November 1941 described as having flown 570 hours (100 in previous six months) - “With more experience will make an above average officer. Very keen on ops flying and has obtained good results. Requires more experience in Flight ground organisation.” Promoted Acting Squadron Leader, 1 December 1941. Killed in action on Hudson AM712, 12 February 1942; name on Runnymede Memorial. Medal presented to next-of-kin, 20 March 1944. Photo PL-4847 (ex UK-624) shows F/L W.A. Anderson (Winnipeg) discussing flying conditions with F/O J.R. McCulloch (West Virginia). Photo PL-4843 taken while with No.407 Squadron; PL-4619 taken en route to operations office with two of his crew (Sergeant Neville Jordan, RAF and Sergeant Harold Spicer). This officer has always shown the greatest keenness and enthusiasm for operational flying. On one occasion he carried out a successful low level attack on a well defended convoy off Ameland, obtaining a hit on the largest vessel of some 10,000 tons. On another occasion he attacked convoys at night, always at a low level, and in the face of intense anti-aircraft fire, obtaining a hit on a 2,500 ton vessel from fifty feet. He also attacked the vessel with machine gun fire. On another sortie Squadron Leader Anderson was detailed to illuminate, with flares, the position of a convoy to direct a bombing force to the attack. He skilfully accomplished his mission in the face of fire from the ship. He assumed command of a flight in November 1941. This officer has at all times shown great courage. NOTE: Public Records Office Air 2/9262 has recommendation dated 11 November 1941: This officer is a Canadian serving with No.407 Squadron. He has always shown the greatest keenness and enthusiasm for operational flying. On one occasion he carried out a successful attack at very low level on a well defended convoy off Ameland, obtaining a hit on the largest vessel estimated at 10,000 tons. He also attacked balloons flown over the convoy with machine gun fire. On another occasion he has attacked convoys at night, always at a low level, and in the face of intense and accurate anti-aircraft fire, obtaining direct hits on [a] 2,500 ton merchant vessel from 50 feet and a probable hit on a 4,000-ton merchant vessel; he also attacked then [them ?] with machine gun fire, obtaining many hits on the superstructure. On one occasion he was detailed to light up a convoy with parachute flares to direct a bombing force to it; he carried out this task perfectly, dropping ten flares at five minute intervals over the convoy under fire from the ships and knowing that he was in an area frequented by enemy night fighters, an exceedingly long drawn out and hazardous enterprise. He has at all times displayed great personal courage and has set a fine example to the squadron. On 15 December 1942 the Commanding Officer of No.407 Squadron forwarded a further recommendation to his superiors, reading as follows: This officer was recommended by me for an award of the Distinguished Flying Cross on 11th November 1941, but it has not yet been awarded. This recommendation is forwarded to add weight to the previous one, a copy of which is attached. Since the 11th November, Flight Lieutenant Anderson has assumed command of a Flight in No.407 Squadron and has already proved himself a very capable Flight Commander. He has up to date carried out 17 operational sorties, some in very bad weather. In addition to these exploits which have already been retailed [sic] he has now attacked and hit at night a merchant vessel of 8,000 tons leaving it enveloped in clouds of dense smoke and steam. He has a total of three ships hit and confirmed damaged or seriously damaged and one probably damaged. He has at all times shown great personal courage. This was finally edited to the following for Air Ministry Honours and Awards Committee: This officer has always shown the greatest keenness and enthusiasm for operational flying. On one occasion he carried out a successful low level attack on a well defended convoy off Ameland, obtaining a hit on the largest vessel of some 10,000 tons. He also attacked balloons flown over the convoy with machine gun fire. On other occasions he has attacked convoys at night, always at a low level, and in the face of intense anti-aircraft fire, obtaining direct hits on a 2,500 ton vessel from fifty feet and a probable hit on another vessel; he also attacked the vessels with machine gun fire. On another sortie Flight Lieutenant Anderson was detailed to illuminate the position of a convoy to direct a bombing force to the attack. He skilfully accomplished his mission by dropping ten flares at five minute internals over the convoy in the face of fire from the ships. He assumed command of a flight in November and he has since carried out a further 17 sorties. During one of these flights he attacked a large merchant ship leaving it enveloped in dense smoke and steam. This officer has at all times shown great courage.