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BEACH, Albert Mansfield Pilot Officer, No.104 Squadron, J15187 Distinguished Flying Cross RCAF Personnel Awards 1939-1949
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BEACH, P/O Albert Mansfield (J15187) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.104 Squadron - Award effective 30 August 1942 as per London Gazette dated 18 September 1942 and AFRO 1653/42 dated 16 October 1942. Born in Vancouver, 12 April 1916; educated there (Queen Mary School, 1922-1929; Lord Byng High, 1929-1934, University of British Columbia, 1934-1940 as medical student), working summers as a cannery packer and streetcar conductor; enlisted there 13 April 1940. To No.1 Manning Depot, Toronto, 17 April 1940. To No.1 ITS, 29 April 1940; graduated and promoted LAC, 24 May 1940 although posting to Vancouver Flying Club was dated 23 May 1940. To No.2 ITS, 23 July 1940; to No.2 AOS, 31 August 1940; may have graduated 23 October 1940 but not posted to No.2 BGS until 23 November 1940; graduated and promoted Sergeant, 4 January 1941, when posted to No.1 ANS; graduated 3 February 1941. To Embarkation Pool, Pool, Debert, 12 March 1941. Embarked 8 April 1941. Taken on strength of United Kingdom, 2 May 1941. To No.21 OTU, 4 May 1941. To No.405 Squadron, 14 July 1941. To No.104 Squadron, 10 October 1941. To Middle East, 19 October 1941, serving with No.104 Squadron Detachment in Malta for part of his tour. Commissioned 2 December 1941. Embarked for United Kingdom, 10 June 1942, arriving 24 June 1942. To No.12 OTU, 17 July 1942. Promoted Flying Officer, 1 October 1942. Promoted Flight Lieutenant, 26 November 1942. To No.1655 Mosquito Training Unit, 13 November 1943. To No.139 Squadron, 15 June 1944. Repatriated via Rockcliffe, 16 October 1944. To Western Air Command, 4 December 1944. To No.3 Repair Depot, Vancouver, 9 December 1944. Retired 9 July 1945. Medal presented 27 April 1943. Completed medical studies at McGill University after the war. RCAF Press Release 7206 dated 1 July 1947 reported that as a third year Medical student he had (with 23 other medical students, all RCAF veterans) who were serving as reservists in the force? he was one of two officers attached to AFHQ working on personnel selection research. Rejoined RCAF, on a permanent basis, 10 June 1948 at AFHQ. To Sea Island, 29 June 1949. To No.426 Squadron at Dorval as Medical Officer, 2 July 1950 for service on Korean Airlift. Promoted Squadron Leader, 1 January 1951. To No.14 Training Group, Winnipeg, 25 May 1952. To AFHQ, 12 September 1952. To No.2 (Fighter) Wing, Gostenquin, 1 October 1952. To No.12 Air Defence Group, 13 August 1954. This became No.5 Air Division. Promoted Wing Commander, 1 January 1955. To No.1 Group Headquarters, 12 September 1955. To Lachine, 16 March 1957. To Station London (Centralia), 1 October 1957. To National Defence Headquarters, Ottawa, 8 July 1963. Promoted Group Captain, 28 December 1963. To Institute of Aviation Medicine, Toronto, 23 August 1965. Retired 12 May 1968 to take up duties with St.Brendan?s Hospital, Bermuda. Died in Victoria, British Columbia, 2 April 1976. As navigator and bomb aimer this officer has participated in numerous sorties against targets in Germany, France, Belgium, Italy, Tripoli and Cyrenacia. Whilst based in this country he took part in the first daylight attack on the battle cruisers at Brest. During engagements his gunners shot down an enemy fighter. During his operations in the Middle East, Pilot Officer Beach has maintained his very high standards of navigation and bomb aiming. His coolness in his attacks is exceptional. NOTE: Public Record Office Air 2/9596 has recommendation communicated on 5 August 1942 to Air Ministry by Group Captain W.J.M. Akerman (Headquarters, Royal Air Force, Middle East). This provided the following details: Pilot Officer Beach of the Royal Canadian Air Force has completed 39 operational night bomber sorties as navigator and bomb aimer against targets in germany, France, Belgium, Italy, Tripoli and Cyrenaica. He completed his first nine operations with No.405 (Canada) Squadron and was navigator of a crew which took part in the first daylight attack on the battle cruisers at Brest. His aircraft shot down a Messerschmitt and was the only one of its formation to return. His navigation and bomb aiming have been consistently of a very high standard. On one recent occasion at Malta, he and his captain made no fewer than ten runs over the target before releasing their 4,000-pound bomb. This officer has set an outstanding example to the squadron of precise and determined night bombing attacks. BEACH, F/L Albert Mansfield DFC (J15187) - Bar to Distinguished Flying Cross - No.139 Squadron - Award effective 4 November 1944 as per London Gazette dated 14 November 1944 and AFRO 239/45 dated 9 February 1945. Medal presented 22 May 1946. This officer has a long record of successful sorties against a variety of targets, including fifteen on Berlin. He has now completed a second tour of operational duty. On numerous occasions he has participated in attacks on heavily defended targets and secured valuable photographs. At all times an outstanding navigator, Flight Lieutenant Beach has continued to show admirable keenness and devotion to duty. Notes: Application for Operational Wing dated 20 January 1944 stated he had flown 44 sorties with Nos.405 and 104 Squadrons, 13 July 1941 to 9 June 1941. Hours flown (840) seem to have been both operational and non-operational. Application for Bar to Operational Wing dated 14 September 1944 stated he had flown 50 sorties with No.139 Squadron (187 hours 25 minutes), 5 January to 27 August 1944. Selected Assessments: \"A good instructor who has always carried out his duties in a satisfactory and conscientious manner.\" (W/C W.M. Morris, No.12 OTU, 30 July 1943, noting he had 811 hours 50 minutes flying to date). \"This officer has been exceptionally keen and conscientious in his instructional duties here and has done very good work in his section.\" (W/C J. Hurry, No.12 OTU, 18 November 1943, noting that he now had 896 hours 15 minutes time flown, 74 hours five minutes in previous six months). \"An above average officer in all respects. In my opinion suitable for promotion to Senior Navigation Officer List.\" (W/C J.R. Womersley, No.139 Squadron, 15 September 1944, for period of 14 January to 25 August 1944; he had now flown 1,103 hours, 212 in previous six months). A particularly interesting letter is that dated 19 June 1951 (Colonel Hervey B. Porter, USAF, commanding United States Air Force Hospital, McChord Air Force Base, Washington to Commanding Officer, No.426 Squadron, McChord AFB: 1. At this time of scheduled departure from McChord Air Force Base of Squadron Leader Albert M. Beach and Corporal Gustave Normandin, both of your organization, it is only fitting to make known our high regard for both. Closely associated with Dr. Beach, professionally and socially, I and my officers valued his gentlemanliness, his council, his piercing understanding, and the comradery between the Medical Services of the two Sister Nations without barrier. Truly it was an enjoyable and profitable experience. He willingly joined in and contributed to solution of our mutual and individual problems. And I am sure he paid no attention to the design of the Air Force Blues when treating patients; always sympathetic and understanding. Corporal Normandin has been with us longer, and was faced with, at the outset, even more of a problem; but with energy, tact, good fellowship and dry humour, he won a place for himself in my organization and made all his friends. He worked hard, and the net result from standpoint of Medical Service no man was Canadian or American but Comrades together. The service of these two outstanding individuals has been deeply appreciated by the 325th Medical Group. \"Squadron Leader Beach is a first class officer in all respects, and I believe a very capable doctor. At this station [Lachine] he always ran a highly efficient section, and in addition gave freely and cheerfully of his time to provide medical assistance to dependents, as well as to take an active part in station activities of all sorts. He also managed to maintain his proficiency as a navigator by flying as crew with No.426 (Transport) Squadron. I consider him an outstanding Medical Officer, capable of assuming higher responsibilities at any time.\" (G/C G.S. Austin, 16 June 1952). \"When Squadron Leader Beach arrived here he set up his hospital in two rooms of the occupiable building on the station - a barrack block. The hospital proper was expected to be completed in approximately 4-6 weeks, but was not completed until six months later. During this time, showing outstanding initiative and organizing ability, he managed his temporary hospital and treated patients to such good effect that [the] sickness rate was lower than at the average Canadian station. This could be marked down to coincidence, but I do not believe it to be coincidence. Unheated barrack blocks, lack of hot water, very wet weather and mud were other conditions militating against a high health standard. Squadron Leader Beach is highly thought of and like by all ranks. He inspires confidence and has a good ?bedside manner?. He participates in Mess and Station life and is a most enthusiastic member of the RCAF.\" (W/C E.H.M. Walsh, No.2 Wing, Grostinquin, 30 July 1952). G/C W. Weiser thought that Walsh tended to be too generous with praise and suggested that the above might be somewhat \"over the top.\" A year later, 31 August 1954, W/C J.C. McCarthy of No.2 Wing wrote, \"Squadron Leader Beach is a very capable and competent service Medical Officer. Operating under adverse conditions from the opening day of this unit, Squadron Leader Beach has been unsparing in demands on himself and his staff. With limited personnel and equipment he has treated the varied illnesses common to a station and simultaneously directed the organization and administration of the hospital. Today this unit has a hospital that is second to none on the continent and the efficient operation is entirely due to Squadron Leader Beach.\" At this time, G/C Weiser had to agree: \"Squadron Leader Beach has not only performed the duties of Senior Medical Officer in an outstanding manner but has been an outstanding officer as well. His keen understanding of human nature and his natural sympathy for people in trouble has been of invaluable benefit to this wing.\" \"I have known this officer for a long time and have followed his career with interest. He is highly intelligent and very well motivated. He is professionally very competent and inspires the respect of his patients and fellow workers. I am very pleased to be working with him. He is at present taking elementary flying instruction in order to understand the selection procedure more fully. I think that this is indicative and characteristic of his inquiring mind.\" (G/C T.J. Powell, Centralia, 7 January 1960.) \"This officer is Chief of Psychiatry at National Defence Medical Centre. A quiet, somewhat retiring, very dedicated specialist of great integrity. He is a very likable personality and is an extremely competent specialist. Well liked by his colleagues, the staff and his patients. A hard working and dedicated officer who gets on with the job without complaining and in a difficult specialty has a great capacity to weigh correctly his responsibilities to patients and the Service. A good family man. I would recommend him for promotion, but in the present circumstances I do not think he would make a suitable Staff Officer at the Surgeon General Headquarters.\" (G/C W.J.F. Young, National Defence Headquarters, 1 March 1964.)