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ANDERSON, William Brodie Squadron Leader, No.429 Squadron, J8924 Distinguished Flying Cross RCAF Personnel Awards 1939-1949
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ANDERSON, S/L William Brodie (J8924) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.429 Squadron - Award effective 7 July 1944 as per London Gazette of that date and AFRO 2032/44 dated 22 September 1944. Born in Winnipeg, 26 February 1914; home there. Educated at University of Manitoba, 1931-34 (Engineering). Summer work in Manitoba mines. From 1935 to 1941 employed by International Nickel Company, Coppercliff, Ontario. Enlisted in North Bay, Ontario, 22 April 1941 and posted to No.1 Manning Depot, Toronto. To Station Trenton, 5 May 1941. To No.3 ITS, Victoriaville, 10 June 1941; graduated 15 July 1941 and promoted LAC. To No.4 EFTS, Windsor Mills, 16 July 1941; graduated 1 September 1941 and posted to No.13 SFTS, St. Hubert. Damaged Harvard 2932, 20 September 1941 (landing in cross wind, low wing into wind to prvent drifting; put too much weight on one wheel and pulled aircraft into wind; added weight blew tyre, wing tip hit ground, aircraft turned around). Graduated and commissioned 21 November 1941. Posted to Central Flying School, Trenton, date uncertain; to No.2 SFTS, Uplands, 16 March 1942, serving there until 4 April 1943 (Acting Flying Officer from 1 June 1942). Posted to “Y” Depot, 4 April 1943; embarked from Canada, 16 May 1943; disembarked in Britain, 24 May 1943. To No.11 (P) AFU, 15 June 1943; attended No.1521 Beam Approach Training Flight, 6-13 July 1943; to No.24 OTU, 24 August 1943. To No.61 Base, 19 November 1943. Promoted Flight Lieutenant, 21 November 1943. Attended No.1664 CU, 29 December 1943 to 1 February 1944. To No.429 Squadron, 1 February 1944. Promoted Squadron Leader, 18 April 1944. Wounded 25 April 1944 (perspex shattered by flak, injured in left eye and forehead, landed at Woodbridge where first aid applied, and returned to base the same day. On 7/8 June 1944 he was severely wounded during raid on Acheres. He ordered crew to bale out and the navigator, bomb aimer and wireless operator did so over the continent. The aircraft was flown back to England by the RAF flight engineer. Near Benson, the remaining crewmen assisted Anderson into parachute and got him out; parachute seen to open. The flight engineer and two gunners baled out safely, but Anderson died before being located. Halifax LW128 crashed one half miles north of Benson airfield. He had flown 19 sorties. CGM (Flying) to Sergeant G.E.J. Steere (RAF, Flight Engineer), DFMs to Sergeants J. Mangione and G.J.M. Ritchie (RCAF). His medal presented to next-of-kin, 2 December 1946. RCAF photo PL-28223 (ex UK-9118 dated 23 March 1944) shows him as a Deputy Flight Commander. // This officer has taken part in many attacks on targets in Germany and has invariably displayed a high degree of skill and gallantry. On a recent occasion when returning from an operation against Karlsruhe, his aircraft was hit by anti-aircraft fire. Squadron Leader Anderson was injured about the eyes by flying splinters. Although temporarily blinded he piloted the aircraft clear of the target area. Later the second pilot took over the controls, but Squadron Leader Anderson fully maintained his duties as captain throughout the remainder of the homeward flight. This officer is a most efficient flight commander whose leadership and devotion to duty have set a fine example. // DHH file 181.009 D.5524 (Library and Archives Canada RG.24 Box 20667) has recommendation dated 6 June 1944 by W/C A.F. Avant; he had flown 17 sorties (113 hours 15 minutes): // // This officer has taken part in many attacks against targets in Germany and has displayed skill, courage and determination of the highest order. One night in April, on return from Karlsruhe, his aircraft was hit by flak and Squadron Leader Anderson was himself injured about the eyes by flying perspex. Although temporarily blinded, he piloted his aircraft out of the danger area and though later relieved by his second pilot, he supervised the remainder of the return journey to base. He is a most efficient flight commander whose leadership has been most inspiring. I strongly recommend that he be awarded the DFC. // NOTE: Described 6 May 1942 as “...a very satisfactory junior instructor. He has capably kept his students on time and at a satisfactory standard. He has good disposition, is well mannered and with further experience his value to the service should improve materially” (W/C W.R. MacBrien).
ROBINSON, Hugh Wilson Flight Sergeant, No.420 Squadron, R212986/J89242 Distinguished Flying Medal RCAF Personnel Awards 1939-1949
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ROBINSON, FS (now P/O) Hugh Wilson (R212986/J89242) - Distinguished Flying Medal - No.420 Squadron - Award effective 20 October 1944 as per London Gazette of that date and AFRO 1/45 dated 5 January 1945. Born 20 March 1924 in Fenelon Falls, Ontario; home there. Enlisted in Toronto, 17 December 1942 and granted Leave Without Pay. To No.1 Manning Depot, 5 May 1943. To No.6 ITS, 27 June 1943; to No.1 Air Gunner Ground Training School, 7 August 1943; graduated and promoted LAC, 18 September 1943; posted that date to No.9 BGS; graduated and promoted Sergeant, 29 October 1943. To “Y” Depot, 12 November 1943; taken on strength of No.3 PRC, Bournemouth, 23 November 1943. Commissioned 3 September 1944. Promoted Flying Officer, 3 March 1945. Repatriated 18 June 1945 and posted to Debert for “Tiger Force” training. Released 16 September 1945. RCAF photo PL-32852 (ex UK-14985 dated 18 September 1944) is captioned as follows: “With his guns and turret as background, Flight Sergeant Hugh Robinson, DFM of Fenelon Falls, Ontario wears as proud smile and why not ? The Snowy Oil gunner has two German fighters to his credit, shooting down an Me.109 over Bourg Leopold and a Junkers 88 during an attack on Stuttgart. An expert with the shotgun back home where he used to get his share of partridge, pheasant, fox and duck, the Canadian lad is now sniping bigger game from the rear turret of his Halifax.” Photo PL-32853 (ex UK-14986) also shows him (similar caption). // As rear gunner, this airman has participated in very many sorties. He is a most efficient and devoted member of aircraft crew and has set a fine example of determination and devotion to duty. He has destroyed two enemy aircraft. // DHH file 181.009 D.1730 (Library and Archives Canada RG.24 Volume 20607) has the recommendation for this award, drafted by W/C G.A. McKenna, 23 August 1944 when he had flown 27 sorties (129 hours 50 minutes); no sortie list but text as follows: // Flight Sergeant Robinson as Rear Gunner of Flying Officer Aldred’s crew has through his fearless courage in combat and coolness and presence of mind, two enemy aircraft credited as destroyed. // On the night of 27/28th May 1944, target Bourg Leopold, his bomber was attacked by an Me.109. Giving the proper combat manoeuver, Flight Sergeant Robinson opened fire and shot down the enemy aircraft. Again on the night of 25/26th July 1944, target Stuttgart, his bomber was attacked by a Ju.88. Once again, by giving his pilot the proper combat manoeuver and handing his guns with cool determination, [he] destroyed the enemy aircraft. // By his courageous action and exceptional fearlessness in the face of danger, Flight Sergeant Robinson protected his fellow crew members and his aircraft from the enemy, and it is strongly recommended that he be awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal. // DHH file 181.003 D.564 (No.6 Group RCAF Encounters with Enemy Aircraft) - now LAC2016-00503-3 Vol.72, includes the following re action on 27 May 1944, Halifax MZ503, L/420 Squadron: // While on operations to the target Bourg-Leopold, Halifax aircraft “L” of 420 Squadron encountered an enemy aircraft identified by Rear Gunner as an Me.109 at position 51 degrees 08 minutes North 05 degrees 25 minutes East at 0215 hours, on a course of 083 degrees Magnetic, at 10,000 feet altitude. Visibility hazy below, quarter moon ahead of bomber. // The enemy fighter was first seen after tracer had been fired at out aircraft from the Starboard Quarter above, at 500 yards range. The Rear Gunner gave Combat Manoeuver “corkscrew Starboard” and opened fire at the same time with one burst of 300 rounds. Flames were seen to issue from the motor of the enemy aircraft, and the Rear Gunner gave a further burst of 400 rounds. The enemy aircraft immediately caught fire and was seen to dive earthwards, where it hit the ground and exploded. // This enemy aircraft is definitely claimed as destroyed. // The Rear Gunner, Sergeant Robinson, trained at No.22 OTU and No.1664 Conversion Unit. // The Mid-Upper Gunner, Sergeant Barrett, trained at No.23 OTU and No.1659 Conversion Unit. // Comment [by Gunnery Officer] - This crew was very fortunate that the first burst fired by the fighter did not do any damage. Good crew cooperation after the fighter had lost his advantage of surprise resulted in another enemy fighter being shot down. // RCAF Press Release No. 6288 dated 20 August 1944 from F/O Fred Jackson, transcribed by Huguette Oates, reads: // WITH THE RCAF BOMBER GROUP OVERSEAS: -- Flight Sergeant Hugh Robinson of Fenelon Falls, Ontario, Snowy Owl squadron rear-gunner, liked nothing better than testing his shooting skill on partridge, pheasants, ducks and the occasional fox back home. May’be that boyhood experience accounts for the fact that he’s bagged two German fighters in his 27 trips over enemy territory. Hugh figures it didn’t do him any harm. The way he reasons, a fellow has to keep his wits about him whether he’s after a Jerry or flushing partridge out of the woods around Fenelon Falls. // The first fighter to be knocked off was on the way back from Bourge Leopold in Belgium where F/S Robinson and his crew had helped blast railway yards in the before D-Day offensive. It was an Me109 and it came in firing from the starboard quarter, slightly up. The first burst from Hugh’s guns set the Jerry on fire, the tracer going right into the nose of the plane. “I knew I had him then,” recalled Robinson, “but I gave him another just to make sure.” The entire crew watched the Me109 explode on the ground. // The second score was on the way to Stuttgart. This time, it was a Ju88 coming in from dead astern. The German fired and started to follow the Canadian bomber through a corkscrew and three of Robinson’s guns stopped after fifteen rounds. He got the fighter with the one serviceable gun, firing 45 rounds into the motors. The Ju88 dived earthward and when it was about 1000 feet off the deck was seen to burst into flames and explode.