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BASARICH, George Pilot Officer, No.114 Squadron, J17784 Distinguished Flying Cross RCAF Personnel Awards 1939-1949
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BASARICH, P/O George (J17784) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.114 Squadron - Award effective 23 November 1943 as per London Gazette dated 26 November 1943 and AFRO 113/44 dated 21 January 1944. American in the RCAF. Born Keokuk, Iowa, 26 April 1913; home in Clinton, Iowa. Enlisted in Windsor, Ontario, 29 May 1941. Trained at No.5 ITS (graduated 24 September 1941), No.12 EFTS (graduated 21 November 1941), and No.5 SFTS (graduated 13 March 1942). To “Y” Depot, 20 April 1942. To RAF overseas, 30 April 1942. Commissioned 1943. Repatriated 31 March 1945. Retired 21 August 1945. Photo PL-24054 shows him. See also PL-32530 (ex UK-13804 dated 23 August 1944). Medal presented 11 August 1948. Died in Clinton, Iowa, 17 February 2000. // During the last nine months Pilot Officer Basarich has taken part in a large number of operational sorties. He has flown in adverse weather over the Tunisian mountains to attack enemy airfields and docks and has participated in daylight operations against heavily defended posts. He has also operated consistently and successfully at night over Sicily and Italy against enemy lines of communications. An excellent pilot, this officer has always displayed steadiness and imperturbability which, combined with his fine fighting spirit, have been an inspiring example to the other pilots in his squadron. // NOTE: Public Records Office Air 2/8993 has recommendation dated 28 September 1943 when he had flown 550 hours, 130 in previous six months. He had flown 56 sorties (126 hours 45 minutes). Drafted on 28 September 1943 by the Wing Commander commanding No.114 Squadron. The recommendation is much more detailed than the final citation and is worth quoting: // Pilot Officer Basarich has now been in this squadron nine months and has completed 56 operational sorties for a total of 126.45 hours. // He started in the first bomber wing in North Africa flying Bisleys and did some difficult sorties in extremely bad weather over the Tunisian mountains to enemy aerodromes and dock areas. Then flying Boston aircraft he took part in the intensive daylight operations against heavily defended landing grounds and strong points that culminated in the end of the Tunisian campaign. // Since that time he has operated consistently and successfully at night over Sicily and Italy against aerodromes, towns, marshalling yards and enemy lines of communications with singular success, invariably dropping his incendiaries from 1,500 feet or below, accurately on his target. // Pilot Officer Basarich's crew is one of the most reliable and pugnacious in the squadron. If a more difficult and dangerous task is wanted his name is automatically brought to mind. // His keenness to hit the enemy as hard as possible on every occasion is most outstanding, and he is seldom satisfied with merely dropping his bombs but invariably returns to the attack with all his guns from low level. // As a team-work pilot in daylight boxes he has flown No.2 or No.3 with consistent steadiness and unperturbability even in the worst flak and in so doing has set a fine example and helped his fellow pilots. // As an individual night pilot he has proved himself to be an accurate and deadly intruder with much more than average dash and initiative. // In short, this pilot is a first class fighter who has done extremely well and continues to show very great keenness, and is strongly recommended for this award. // On 29 September 1943 the Group Captain Commanding No.326 Light Bomber Wing added his remarks. // By his example in keenness to attack the enemy and because of the courageous and successful manner in which he has carried out the numerous operational tasks allotted to him this officer has well deserved the above recommendation. // The Air Commodore Commanding, Tactical Bomber Force, added "Strongly Recommended" on 2 October 1943; Air Marshal Alan Coningham, Air Officer Commanding, North African Tactical Air Force, approved the recommendation on 12 October 1943.