CORBETT, Vaughan Bowerman Squadron Leader, No.402 Squadron, C299 Distinguished Flying Cross RCAF Personnel Awards 1939-1949
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CORBETT, S/L Vaughan Bowerman (C299) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.402 Squadron - Award effective 31 January 1942 as per London Gazette dated 13 February 1942 and AFRO 358/44 dated 18 February 1944. Born in Toronto, 24 March 1911. Educated in Ontario and at McGill University. Attended Royal Military College, Kingston, 1928-1932. P/P/O and Royal Military College Cadet, 24 June 1929; received wings, 19 August 1931. Graduated 1932 and placed on Reserve of Officers, 5 October 1932. Pilot Officer with No.15 Squadron (Auxiliary), 30 December 1935; Flying Officer, 30 December 1937. Struck off strength of No.115 (F) Squadron on posting to Halifax, 1 November 1939. Returned to No.115 Squadron at Montreal, 25 November 1939. Promoted Flight Lieutenant, 1 May 1940. To No.1 (F) Squadron, Dartmouth, 10 May 1940 and proceeded overseas with that unit. Flew in Battle of Britain. To No.112 (Army Cooperation) Squadron, 2 September 1940. To No.2 (F) Squadron, Digby, 11 December 1940. This was renumbered No.402 Squadron. Promoted Squadron Leader, 15 May 1941. To RCAF Overseas Headquarters, 14 December 1941. To Canada, 15 December 1941. Employed with AFHQ, Ferry Command and on liaison duties to New York, early 1942. To United Kingdom as second pilot and flight engineer on PBY V9723, February-March 1942. Finally repatriated to Canada, 26 July 1942. To Station Trenton, 5 August 1942. To Eastern Air Command Headquarters, 15 September 1942. Promoted Wing Commander, 8 October 1942. To “Y” Depot, 1 August 1943. To Station Gander, 25 August 1943. To Station Moncton, 22 January 1944. To No.1 OTU, Bagotville, 17 February 1944. Appointed Acting Group Captain, 19 February 1944. Awarded Air Efficiency Award, 9 December 1944. Killed in flying accident at Bagotville, 20 February 1945 (Bolingbroke 7179). Credited with one Do.215 damaged (26 August 1940) and one Bf.109 destroyed (27 September 1941, shared with another pilot). Invested with award by King George 14 July 1942. RCAF Photo PL-4341 (ex UK-58) shows A/V/M R.E. Saul , DFC chatting with W/C G.R. McGregor while waiting for arrival of Vincent Massey; others in group are G/C Merlis Green, G/C A.P. Campbell (RCAF), S/L Vaughan Corbett (RCAF), F/L P. Pitcher (RCAF), S/L H.B. Norris, F/L Ewart Cockram (Squadron Chaplain) and S/L Dean Nesbitt; PL-4342 (ex UK-59) shows Corbett as Vincent Massey arrives for inspection of an RCAF fighter squadron; PL-4345 (ex UK-62) shows S/L Vaughan Corbett explaining Hurricane guns to Vincent Massey. RCAF photo PL-4436 (ex UK-156) shows F/L D.S. Patterson, S/L V.B. Corbett (Belleville), Air Minister C.G. Power, a Mr. Mackenzie, A/C L.F. Stevenson and A/C Harold Edwards “during a visit to an RCAF Fighter Station.” RCAF photo PL-4441 (ex UK-161) shows, left to right, F/L D.S. Patterson, S/L D.B. Corbett and a Mr. Mackenzie. This officer has led his squadron on numerous bomber escorts over enemy occupied territory in France. Throughout he has displayed great skill and leadership which have undoubtedly played a large part in the splendid protection afforded to the bomber formations. During these operations, Squadron Leader Corbett has destroyed at least one enemy aircraft and damaged several others. He has also participated in numerous low flying attacks on enemy territory during which his tactical ability and fine fighting spirit have proved an inspiration. This officer, who fought in the Battle of Britain, has always displayed the greatest keenness. TRAINING An undated memo (probably winter of 1928-1929) signed by F/L A. De Niverville decsribed him as smart in appearance and bearing, keen to fly and “Good type and would likely make good as a pilot”. De Niverville ranked him eighth in a selection of RMC candidates for flying training. His 1929 flying course ran from 24 June to 29 August 1929 during which he flew 13 hours 30 minutes (dual) and three hours (solo), all on Moths. He was assessedd by F/L B.A. LeBoeuf as follows: “This officer has shown a keen interest in his flying duties. His rate of progress is good. Recommended for further instruction next year. Deportment good.” Although LeBoeuf was his instructor, he was tested on 1 August by F/L F.V. Beamish (RAF on exchange duties with RCAF). His 1930 flying training lasted from 23 June to 29 August 1930. He was considered a slow but satisfactory pupil, logging 19 hours 40 minutes (dual) and 22 hours 55 minutes (solo), all on Moths. F/O B.A. LeBoeuf described him as “Very keen and promises to become a good, dependable pilot.” The amount of flying he experienced was remarkably low in the 1930s. Between 9 July and 28 November 1936 ten hours and 30 minutes. In 1937 he logged 39 hours, and in 1938 he logged 72 hours 20 minutes. Throughout 1939 this increased to 92 hours 35 minutes.