For Valour: Sergeant James Allen Ward (NZ/401793) VC Royal New Zealand Air Force
RAF Museum Blog
by Jay Sullivan
1w ago
Location: 7 July 1941, over Germany and Holland Who: Sergeant James Allen Ward (NZ/401793) VC Royal New Zealand Air Force 14 June 1919 – 13 September 1941 On Sunday 22 June 1941, the Germans launched Operation Barbarossa, the invasion of the Soviet Union; the largest land offensive ever. Some 3.8 million military personnel were involved from Germany and their satellite countries (Bulgaria and Romania, with volunteers from occupied countries). The Red Army was forced to retreat in disorder. To ease the pressure on the USSR, Bomber and Fighter Commands launched raids on Germany and nearby occup ..read more
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For Valour: Wing Commander Hughie Idwal Edwards (39005) VC DFC
RAF Museum Blog
by Jay Sullivan
1w ago
Location: 4 July 1941, over Germany Who: Wing Commander Hughie Idwal Edwards (39005) VC DFC Royal Air Force 1 August 1914 – 5 August 1982 On Sunday 22 June 1941, the Germans launched Operation Barbarossa, the invasion of the Soviet Union; the largest land offensive ever. Some 3.8 million military personnel were involved from Germany and their satellite countries (Bulgaria and Romania, with volunteers from occupied countries). The Red Army was forced to retreat in disorder. To ease the pressure on the USSR, responding to Stalin’s appeals for help, Bomber and Fighter Commands launched raids on ..read more
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For Valour: Flight Lieutenant David Ernest Hornell (Can/J.7594) VC
RAF Museum Blog
by Jay Sullivan
2w ago
Location: 24 June 1944, over  North Atlantic Who: Flight Lieutenant David Ernest Hornell (Can/J.7594) VC Royal Canadian Air Force 26 January 1910 – 24 June 1944 During the Second World War, the primary air-launched anti-submarine weapon was the depth charge. Exploding under water, if near enough to the submarine, the shock wave would cause major internal damage and start leaks, even if it did not rupture the submarine’s pressure hull. But to be effective, the attacking aircraft should ideally fly at 45° to the submarine’s track, and at low level for accuracy, to achieve a “straddle” – de ..read more
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From Sierra Leone to the Short Stirling: the Story of Johnny Smythe
RAF Museum Blog
by Jay Sullivan
1M ago
Johnny Smythe in military unform, image courtesy of Eddy Smythe. Jonny Smythe’s life story has all the makings of a movie script. One of the first black RAF serviceman, he was navigator of a Short Stirling bomber who was shot down and captured in Nazi Germany. Smythe not only survived becoming a POW, but also had an astounding post-war career as the senior officer on the HMS Windrush before retraining as a barrister and setting up his own practice. In this blog, we delve into the pioneering life of Johnny Smythe. John Henry Smythe was born in 1915 in Sierra Leone in West Africa.  When he ..read more
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For Valour: Pilot Officer Andrew Charles Mynarski VC
RAF Museum Blog
by Jay Sullivan
1M ago
Location: 12 June 1944, over France Who: Pilot Officer Andrew Charles Mynarski (Can./J.87544) VC Royal Canadian Air Force 14 October 1916 – 12 June 1944 Pilot Officer Mynarski (third from right) with whole crew. During the period leading up to and immediately after Operation Overlord (Normandy invasion, 6 June 1944, colloquially, though incorrectly, called D-Day), Bomber Command was placed under the control of the Supreme Allied Commander, Allied Expeditionary Force, General Dwight D Eisenhower. Its role switched from predominantly strategic bombing of German cities to tactical support of th ..read more
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For Valour: Flying Officer Leslie Thomas Manser (66542) VC
RAF Museum Blog
by Jay Sullivan
1M ago
Fg Off Leslie Thomas Manser VC, portrait photograph, in uniform, with RAFVR collar insignia.  Location: 31 May 1942, over Germany Who: Flying Officer Leslie Thomas Manser (66542) VC, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve 11 May 1922 – 31 May 1942 On the night of 30/31 May 1942, Bomber Command mounted ‘Operation Millennium’, the first ‘Thousand Raid’, against Cologne. By marshalling all available aircraft, including from training units, Air Marshal Harris, appointed as Air-Officer- in-Command, Bomber Command, only 3 months previously, wanted to prove to both British and German Governments – an ..read more
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For Valour: Flight Lieutenant Cruickshank VC
RAF Museum Blog
by Jay Sullivan
1M ago
Image: photograph by 210 Squadron, RAF Coastal Command, of Flt Lt John Alexander Cruickshank (RAF Museum X004-7598/011; CH 137/44). Location: July 17 1943, over the Norwegian Sea Who: Flight Lieutenant Cruickshank VC, 20 May 1920 The Royal Air Force Museum wishes John Alexander Cruickshank VC, the last surviving Second World War recipient of the Victoria Cross, a very happy 104th birthday.  Born on 20 May 1920, Flight Lieutenant Cruickshank VC (126700), Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, was awarded the Victoria Cross, the highest gallantry medal, for his bravery in command on the 17-18 ..read more
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For Valour: Wing Commander Guy Penrose Gibson VC
RAF Museum Blog
by Jay Sullivan
1M ago
Location: 17 May 1943, over Germany Who: Wing Commander Guy Penrose Gibson (39438 ) VC, DSO*, DFC* , Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, 12 August 1918 – 19 September 1944 On 3 May 1943, Squadron Leader Leonard Trent was B Flight Commander, 487 (RNZAF) Squadron based at RAF Feltwell, Norfolk, equipped with Lockheed Ventura light bombers. That day, he was to lead his squadron’s daylight attack against a power station in Amsterdam, Netherlands, as a diversionary raid for one by 107 Squadron against a steel works elsewhere in Holland. Both raids were planned to have strong fighter escor ..read more
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For Valour: Sergeant Thomas Gray and Flying Officer Donald Garland’s Victoria Crosses
RAF Museum Blog
by Jay Sullivan
2M ago
In our seventh Victoria Cross blog, we bring you the story of two men who both earnt the Victoria Cross whilst trying to destroy bridges using the Fairey Battle. Location: 12 May 1940, over Belgium Who: Sergeant Thomas Gray 563627 VC Royal Air Force, 17 May 1914 – 12 May 1940 and Flying Officer Donald Edward Garland (40105) VC Royal Air Force, 28 June 1918 – 12 May 1940   After 8 months of inactivity on the Western Front, with British, French and German armies facing each other over the Maginot and Siegfried Lines of forts, on 10 May 1940, German forces launched their Blitzkri ..read more
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For Valour: Squadron Leader Leonard Henry Trent VC
RAF Museum Blog
by Jay Sullivan
2M ago
On 3 May 1943, Squadron Leader Leonard Trent was B Flight Commander, 487 (RNZAF) Squadron based at RAF Feltwell, Norfolk, equipped with Lockheed Ventura light bombers. That day, he was to lead his squadron’s daylight attack against a power station in Amsterdam, Netherlands, as a diversionary raid for one by 107 Squadron against a steel works elsewhere in Holland. Both raids were planned to have strong fighter escorts.  Location: 3 May 1943, over the Netherlands Who: Squadron Leader Leonard Henry Trent (N.Z. 2481) VC DFC Royal New Zealand Air Force, 14 April 1915 – 19 May 1986.   Tr ..read more
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