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MALKIN, Harry Pilot Officer, No.35 Squadron, J15521 Distinguished Flying Cross - Bar to Distinguished Flying Cross RCAF Personnel Awards 1939-1949
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MALKIN, P/O Harry (J15521) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.35 Squadron - Award effective 29 September 1942 as per London Gazette dated 9 October 1942 and AFRO 1690/42 dated 23 October 1942. Born 20 March 1915 in Cheshire, England. Home in Verdun, Quebec. Worked in a clerical capacity for Canadian National Railways, Montreal, from May 1930 onwards. Enlisted in Quebec, 2 September 1940. To No.4 BGS (guard duty), 8 November 1940. To No.1 ITS, 28 November 1940; graduated and promoted LC, 3 January 1941; posted that day to No.11 EFTS; graduated 21 February 1941 and posted to No.4 Manning Depot; to No.1 SFTS, 5 March 1941; graduated and promoted Sergeant on 16 May 1941. To Embarkation Depot, 17 May 1941. To RAF overseas, 17 June 1941. RCAF Public Relations Release 7825 says that he briefly commanded his squadron as a Sergeant; after three costly nights he was the senior air captain ! No,35 Squadron, 29 August 1942 to 22 April 1943 after which posted to No.1659 Conversion Unit. Commissioned with effect from 24 May 1942. Incident in DFC citation occurred 8/9 September 1942. Promoted Flying Officer, 24 November 1942. Promoted Flight Lieutenant, 9 February 1943. Promoted Squadron Leader, 24 May 1943. Promoted Wing Commander, 6 December 1943. Repatriated 22 February 1944. DFC presented at Buckingham Palace, 27 July 1943; Bar to DFC presented at Buckingham Palace, 9 December 1943; AFC presented 9 January 1948. Served in postwar RCAF, reverting to Squadron Leader on 1 October 1946 but promoted Wing Commander again, 1 June 1949. In July 1950 appointed Military Observer with United Nations Commission in Korea. Died in Victoria, 10 March 1997. Photo PL-22446 shows W/C T.C. Weir with S/L Harry Malkin, DFC (assistant to Weir in Group Training Programe). RCAF photos PL-40126 and PL-40127 (21 November 1944) show him with his bride, the former WAAF Corporal Joyce Richardson. Photo PL-128040 is a portrait taken at Penhold, 1959. // One night in September 1942, Pilot Officer Malkin, as Captain of a Halifax aircraft, was detailed to attack a target at Frankfurt. When eighty miles away from the target area his aircraft was attacked by an enemy fighter and much damage was sustained. Pilot Officer Malkin, although wounded in the leg by splinters from an explosive cannon shell, took evasive action and enabled his air gunners to return fire, which caused the enemy aircraft to break away. Pilot Officer Malkin set his course for home and, although suffering much pain, brought his aircraft back to base safely where he made a masterly landing. // MALKIN, F/L Harry, DFC (J15521) - Bar to Distinguished Flying Cross - No.35 Squadron - Award effective 23 March 1943 as per London Gazette dated 6 April 1943 and AFRO 757/43 dated 30 April 1943. // One night in March 1943, this officer captained an aircraft detailed to attack Berlin. Whilst over the city the bomber was held in searchlights and subjected to heavy anti-aircraft fire. The rudder controls were severed and one of the port engines was damaged, causing it to fail. Despite this, Flight Lieutenant Malkin skilfully controlled the damaged aircraft and executed a successful attack. Soon after leaving the target area, efforts to restart the damaged engine proved successful but further trouble was encountered. The bomber was again damaged by anti-aircraft fire which rendered the port outer engine unserviceable. The mid-upper gunner was wounded while all lights in the cockpit failed. With extreme difficulty, height was maintained and, displaying superb airmanship, Flight Lieutenant Malkin flew the damaged bomber to an airfield in this country. This officer displayed great skill, determination and endurance in most difficult circumstances. // NOTE: Public Record Office Air 2/4951 has recommendation drafted 7 March 1943 when he had flown 41 sorties (228 operational hours) of which 14 sorties (73 hours) had been flown since his previous award. // One of the force which successfully attacked Berlin on the night of 1 March 1943, Flight Lieutenant Malkin arrived in the target area some few minutes before the time he was detailed to attack, and whilst waiting for his zero hour his aircraft was picked up by searchlights and subjected to heavy anti-aircraft fire which severed the rudder controls and damaged the port inner engine which had to be stopped and the propellor feathered. // Displaying excellent pilotage in controlling his damaged aircraft by means of the rudder trimming tabs, Flight Lieutenant Malkin turned on to the heading for attack and successfully bombed the target. // Having cleared the target and set course for base, attempts to restart the engine proved successful, but further trouble was encountered when searchlights again found his aircraft and he was engaged by heavy and accurate flak for an extended period rendering the port engine unserviceable. Feathering the propellor of this engine, at abut the same time the port inner revolution counter failed with the engine surging. The propellor of this engine was adjusted to fully coarse pitch in which condition it functioned better. All the cockpit lights had failed, the pilot’s DR repeater and Gee were also unserviceable and the starboard outer engine revolution counter. This engine was also surging and as in the case of the port inner the propellor was adjusted to fully coarse pitch. The mid-upper gunner reported that he had been wounded. // With extreme difficultly and considerable physical exertion height was maintained at 11,000 feet and course set for Bircham Newton having transmitted an SOS. Diverted to Swanton Morley, the aerodrome was located and a successful landing carried out without further incident. // The determination and endurance displayed by Flight Lieutenant Malkin in flying his aircraft back successfully throughout this long return flight under such extreme difficulties are deserving of the highest award, and in recognition he is recommended for the immediate award of the Bar to the Distinguished Flying Cross. // MALKIN, W/C Harry, DFC (J15521) - Air Force Cross - No.5 OTU - Award effective 21 April 1945 as per London Gazette dated 24 April 1945 and AFRO 802/45 dated 11 May 1945. No citation to AFC in AFRO. Governor General's Records (RG.7 Group 26, Vol.58, file 190-I, dossier 6) has citation. When recommended he had flown 1,025 hours, of which 295 were as instructor (54 hours in past six months). // This officer, as chief instructor, has organized in record time the Training Wing of No.5 Operational Training Unit from nothing to its present tremendous size. His enthusiasm, personal example and outstanding powers of leadership have been largely responsible for the success of this unit in training bomber crews, often under the most adverse weather conditions. This officer,, by his outstanding ability, tact and energy, has contributed very greatly to the success of operational training. // NOTE: Public Record Office Air 50/185 has the following Combat Reports that bear on his operations: // 8/9 September 1942: Target Frankfurt, Halifax G/35. Bomb load was described as “6 x 3 flares” plus nine 250-lb bombs. Captain, P/O Malkin, Observer Warrant Officer Sorsdahl (RCAF, later awarded DFC), WOP as Flight Sergeant Jolly (Hector Arthur William Jolly, RAF, DFM on 1 January 1943), Air Gunner Sergeant Fryer (John Meredith Fryer, awarded DFM 9 July 1943), Rear Gunner as Sergeant Stanton (John Thomas Stanton, awarded DFM on 12 January 1943) and Sergeant Stocker as Flight Engineer. // Ten miles north of Arlon, 2246 hours, 15,500 feet on bearing 113 degreess Magnetic, before bombing. Weather clear and dark. Rear Gunner reported that enemy aircraft had switched on and off green forward and white rear lights at about 1,000 yards astern. These lights were switched on and off again as enemy aircraft closed to 800 yards, when lights were once more switched on an enemy aircraft opened fire hitting our aircraft in fuselage between 2nd pilot and navigator’s positions with cannon, damaging the starboard inner engine propellor and slightly wounding the Captain in the leg. // Our aircraft turned and dived to starboard and as enemy aircraft, which was identified as ME.110, passed about 250 yards over, Mid-Upper and Rear Gunners opened fire and 2 and 3 second bursts which appeared to hit the enemy aircraft. It went down in an almost vertical dive to port and disappeared. No IFF, no flak, no searchlights. // 14/15 January 1943: Target Lorient, Halifax H/35. Bomb load was described as “7 x 4 flares” plus 720 four-pound incendiaries. Take off at 2303 hours, landed at 0403 hours. Captain, P/O Malkin, Sergeant Bedward, Air Bomber Warrant Officer Sorsdahl (RCAF) WOP as Flight Sergeant Jolly, Mid-Upper Gunner Flight Sergeant Fryer Emerson, Rear Gunner was Sergeant Fryer and Sergeant Stocker as Flight Engineer. // 14/15 January 1943. Halifax Mk. II, W1141, H/35 Squadron, Lorient, had encounter five miles N.W. of Lorient with FW.190 at 0130 hours, 7,000 feet, speed unknown, A.S.O. frozen. Course 325 Degrees Magnetic. Weather was medium cumulus, visibility good, half moon on port beam, no searchlights or other ground co-operation. There were no lights on the enemy aircraft which did not open fire during the encounter. // First Attack: Rear Gunner reported FW.190 approaching from S/B Beam at same height, 4-5,000 yards distant. Our aircraft evaded by corkscrewing with a 45 Degree turn, 600 feet dive, and climbing return back to course into attack. Enemy aircraft broke away approximately 300 yards. // Second Attack: Enemy aircraft approacjed again from S/B Beam, slightly below and our aircraft evaded by corkscrewing as in first attack. Mid-Upper Gunner gor in 2/3 second burst. No results observed. // Third Attack: Enemy aircraft then approached from S/B Quarter slightly below; our aircraft corkscrewed as before; Mid-Upper Gunner sprayed him with a 5-second burst. The Flight Engineer, who was watching the enemy aircraft for evidence of his guns opening fire, noticed the Mid-Upper Gunner’s bullets striking the belly of the enemy aircraft, in a shower of sparks. NO CLAIM. // The Rear Gunner, Sergeant Fryer, who was unable to get in any bursts himself, gave excellent fire control over the intercom to the Mid-Upper Gunner throughout the attacks. He was traine at the B and G S, Marston. The Mid-Upper Gunner, Flight Sergeant Emerson, was trained at No.7 A.G.S., Stormy Down, Wales. // // Press Release No. 1585 dated 5 May 1943 (London, R.C.A.F. News service) - article by F/O W.J. Crampton, Public Relations Officer. // // “Rudders! I don’t use ’em. Courses! “I don’t fly ‘em,” said Hank Malkin, 28-year-old Canadian bomber pilot, when he returned to his base after “landing away” following a recent operation against the enemy. // It was his way of trying to laugh off a story he would inevitably have to recount – a story the other chaps of his squadron were waiting to hear – a story the official account of which led to the immediate award to the gallant skipper of a Bar to his Distinguished Flying Cross. // You might not notice Hank Malkin in a crowd, nor even his lanky navigator, Carl Sorsdahl, who also wears the blue and white ribbon of the D.F.C., a result of some 46 operations he has carried out with outstanding success, nearly all of them with Malkin. // In civvy street Hank is a clerk and accountant with the C.N.R. – in the office of the general superintendent in Montreal. His home is at 422 Argyle Avenue, Verdun. // Carl was a schoolteacher at Weyburn, Saskatchewan. His home is at Midale, and he is the same age as his skipper. // On their way to Frankfurt in their four-engined bomber last September, Sorsdahl was sent sprawling on the floor when a cannon-shell shattered the chair he was sitting on. // He felt a bump on his hip and found that a machine-gun bullet had torn through his trousers. // He left his table, climbed up the steps to the cockpit and stood by his skipper. // Malkin, with an inch-long piece of cannon-shell in his leg, was weaving the Halifax in violent evasive action. His leg was numb. // The Me.110 which attacked them 70 miles from their target put their starboard inner engine out of commission, blew a tire off their starboard undercarriage, and sent a fusillade of shells crash-in into the fuselage. // One landed only two feet from the wireless operator and destroyed his parachute. // “I remembered being the third on a match when we had our last cigarette before take-off,” Malkin relates. “Never again”. // The two gunners opened fire on the German fighter, and from his look-out in the astro-dome, the flight engineer saw their tracers strike his fuselage and wings, but he still sent a stream of shells and machine-gun bullets towards the bomber. // When he broke off he did not return to the attack. It was just as well. The starboard inner engine of the bomber had dropped forward and was hanging down from its mounting at a sharp angle. // It had caused the aircraft to start to vibrate. // You can’t carry bombs in an aircraft that is shaking as if the grip of an earthquake – especially when you have only three engines and are short of parachutes. // Reluctantly, Malkin jettisoned his bombs and turned for home. By this time, the numbness had left his leg and it had begun to ache. In spite of the pain and the great difficulty he had in keeping his control over the bomber, he made base and landed safely. This gallant effort won for him the D.F.C. // The crew begin to laugh breathlessly as they talk about their Berlin trip of the night of March 1st. They find it hard to describe. // It was dark over the target as they headed in from the north. Then, as Malkin relates it: “Two or three searchlights came up behind us”. // “We were weaving, of course, but everywhere we turned, beams popped up in our path, first to starboard, and they flicked on straight ahead of us. Then to port, and others came up on our nose. As soon as the first beams found us, others joined them. In a matter of seconds we were in a cone and didn’t get out of it for eight minutes.” // During these eight minutes that seemed to the crew like hours, the German gunners were sending burst after burst into the cone. The port inner engine was hit, and had to be feathered. Worse still, the rudder control bar, which traverses the length of the aircraft, was shattered. // “We couldn’t make a bombing run. We just had to let them go, knowing that we were over the target and that they would do some good,” said Sorsdahl, the navigator, who, in the brilliantly-lighted compartment (lighted by the searchlights) was desperately trying to keep check of the rapid changes of course. // Losing height rapidly the bomber gradually emerged from the danger zone, and after half-an-hour the skipper found that he was able to restart the feathered engine. // That night most of the bombers returning from Berlin encountered intense searchlight and “flak”. Sorsdahl navigated safely around the danger spots, but farther along, the already crippled bomber ran into a pack of trouble beside which their experience over Berlin seemed like nothing at all. // Beams came up and suddenly a cone was dropped right on them. It was 20 minutes before they got away. As searchlight beams held them in the terrifying cones and snakelike streams of flak were hosepiped towards them from below, Malkin corkscrewed violently. Nevertheless, the “flak” reached them. “We ain’t kidding, either,” they grin as they tell about it. Three of the four propellers were hit, the two port wing petrol tanks were punctured and the oil tank of the port inner engine was holed. The crew could only talk to each other intermittently through a spasmodically functioning intercom system. The hydraulics were damaged and the port outer engine was knocked out of commission. // In his turret, the mid-upper gunner, Flight Sergeant Joe Fryer, an Englishman, sat with a wounded shoulder and another wound in his leg. Refusing first-aid until they should get out of the trouble they were in, he remained at his post. // In a maelstrom of noise as “flak” burst nearby and crashed into the aircraft, Malkin, dripping with perspiration, threw the bomber this way and that in almost desperate efforts to free it from the leech-like beams. The loss of rudder control made it doubly hard to handle the huge 25-ton aircraft. // “When we finally flew out the barrage, it was like walking into a quiet room,” he said afterwards. // The bomber was way off track when it finally emerged from the danger, and but for the hard work at his wireless set put in by the operator, an Englishman, veteran of 60 operations, the bomber would not perhaps have had enough fuel left to reach England. His loops and fixes, obtained at high speed, quickly put the bomber back on track and Sorsdahl held her there all the way back. // Another hazard awaited them when they reached an English airfield. Visibility was bad and the lowering cloud base had already reached 700 feet. // Without rudder control to aid him, and with only three engines, Malkin at first failed to make his approach, unable to control the aircraft’s swing. “I guess I was tired,” he apologized afterwards. // As a matter of fact, the condition of the aircraft was such that he had seriously thought of ordering the crew to bale out, so doubtful was he of making a successful landing. He made it the second time, and the gunner was rushed to hospital. // Three weeks later, the bomber was flown to a maintenance unit. It had taken all that time to get it into shape to fly again. // One of the difficulties under which the pilot was working on the way back on this operation was the lack of all lights on his instrument panel. All were put out when the electrical system was damaged. // He couldn’t even be sure that the undercarriage would not fold up as he touched down, as though he knew it was lowered, no light came on his panel to tell him that it was locked in position. // It was this operation, marked by a safe return under the most extraordinarily difficult circumstances, which brought the intrepid Montreal captain the Bar to his D.F.C. // Malkin has been to every major target in Germany and Italy, with the exception of one. // Stuttgart is the only name that does not appear in his log-book, which is filled with the names of targets that have become household words in the history of the bombing offensive. // His first operation made him wonder a bit about this bombing business. When he brought his two-engined Whitley back from Stettin he had been airborne exactly 11 hours, and had to be towed from the flare-path, every drop of petrol having been used up in the long flip. “I thought if we’ve got to do more of these, I’ve had it,” he relates. // In January, 1943, Malkin and Sorsdahl were attacked three times by an FW.190 after they had dropped their bombs on L’Orient. // Flight Sergeant Emerson, of Moose Jaw, Sask., in the Halifax’s mid-upper turret, used up all his ammunition, and between them the gunners drove off the deadly nightfighter. The bomber’s casualties, however, included the port outer engine. // Malkin got the aircraft back over his base on three engines well enough, then at 700 feet the inboard engine on the port wing conked out. // It takes remarkable skill to land a four-engined bomber safely with power on only one wing. The port wing suddenly dropped, when the inner engine went, “to not a very comfortable angle,” according to the pilot’s own description. // Throttling back the two engines on the starboard wing, he managed to straighten out the rapidly dropping and lopsided aircraft in time to glide her safely in to an almost perfect landing. They are not designed for gliding, these four-engined bombers, either. // Malkin, Sorsdahl and the rear-gunner, Flight Sergeant John Stanton, D.F.M., have just completed their second tour of operations. The wireless operator, W.O.1 Herb Jolly, D.F.M., is well on in third tour. Amongst them, the crew had accumulated more than 270 operations. // Until the Frankfurt trip of September, 1942, Hank Malkin had only one superstition. // It was shared by the rest of the crew and was instigated by the ground crew. // Two aircraft letters only were used by Malkin on his tour. His first 20 operations were done on “E for Edward,” the remainder on “G for George.” // When he got “G for George”, he found the ground crew had painted a fantastic Gremlin on the fuselage. // It had become a ritual with the crew they had formerly teamed with to bow to the Gremlin painted on the side of their kite, which they knew as “G for Gremlin” instead of the official “G for George”. // Every new member of the crew had to incline to the Gremlin before entering the aircraft. // One night, a new member, going into the aircraft, forgot to make his obeisance, and nobody remembered to tell him about it. The crew did not come back. // Meaningless? But small and meaningless things matter a lot in retrospect among men who are here tonight and may not be back tomorrow. // “Our Gremlin always got his bow from the newcomer,” Malkin’s crew assert.