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Criteria for DFC award during WW2

Good day to all,

I have recently read a book on the Free French heavy bomber squadrons of the RAF (346 and 347 Sqdn).

Several members of these squadrons were awarded DFCs and DFMs.

In the text of the book, it is stated that a French pilot got a DFC for pressing on a mission regardless of the fact that one of the four engines of his Halifax had broken down.

Was that a typical decision to award a DFC for that sort of command decision ? Apart from exceptional act of bravery that could happen at any moment, was the award of DFCs following strict rules such as the number of missions over Germany for bombers and recce squadrons of number of aerial victories for fighter squadrons?

Thank you,

F

DFC.jpg
 
Yes.

And no.

DFCs/DFMs would (such as your example) would be awarded (probably as an 'Immediate' award, which would be noted on the citation) for a singular and recognisable act of bravery and as 'over and above' normal actions*.

The awards would also be made as an end-of-tour award (usually 30 missions)-not as a simple gizzit but to recognise that, for those 30 missions, the individual had performed at a level slightly above that of his contemporaries.



*'Normal actions' he says! as if 'normal' is flying a lumbering piston-engined bomber over another country whilst the citizens of that country are trying to knock you out of the sky.
 

Fang_Farrier

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Our local recipient merely flew his bomber at a reduced height under the bomber stream with a flaming engine.

Continued to target, dropped and headed home. Completed his 30 and was onto his second when European war ended.
Made it to far East but didn't see action
 
DSO and DSC were also immediately awarded to the CO or XO of a warship, respectively, for sinking a gross tonnage of a certain type of ship and/or submarine.
 
DSO and DSC were also immediately awarded to the CO or XO of a warship, respectively, for sinking a gross tonnage of a certain type of ship and/or submarine.

One sees occasional reference to an officer in WW2 winning a 'good' MC, was there an Army equivalent to what you describe for the RN?
 
On the basis that 346 and 347 didn't form until 1944, and working within the limitations of the (London) Gazette's frankly poor search engine, the DFC would have been awarded using criteria from the amendment to the DFC's Royal Warrant in January 1943:

13. Eligibility. (1) The Distinguished Flying Cross shall be granted to such officers and warrant officers, and the Distinguished Flying Medal to such non-commissioned officers and men, as shall be recommended to Us by or through Our Secretary of State for Air (or, in the case of any of Our Dominions the Government whereof shall so desire, the appropriate Minister of State for the said Dominion) for exceptional valour, courage or devotion to duty whilst flying in active operations against the enemy.​

I'm not sure, without a bit more searching, whether there were further amendments which might have altered the warrant again, but they wouldn't, I suspect, have made significant alterations to the above criteria.
 
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Bubbles_Barker

LE
Book Reviewer
Yes.

And no.

DFCs/DFMs would (such as your example) would be awarded (probably as an 'Immediate' award, which would be noted on the citation) for a singular and recognisable act of bravery and as 'over and above' normal actions*.

The awards would also be made as an end-of-tour award (usually 30 missions)-not as a simple gizzit but to recognise that, for those 30 missions, the individual had performed at a level slightly above that of his contemporaries.



*'Normal actions' he says! as if 'normal' is flying a lumbering piston-engined bomber over another country whilst the citizens of that country are trying to knock you out of the sky.

Here's my uncle's DFM (which you may have found for me, I can't remember):

DFM.jpg


Joined underage, 3 tours on Whitleys and Wimpeys, ended the war as a Flt Lt pilot and transferred to the SAAF where he was killed after the war in a flying accident.
 
@Bubbles_Barker - thanks for sight of that, chap: sadly, I can't take the kudos for finding that (I don't think?!), but I wish that I had.

That's as fine an example of an End of Tour DFM as I've seen, over a period of some of the most intense night raids of the war.
 
How do you go about finding the citation for the award of a DFC?

My father was a recipient but he never told any of the family the reason for it’s award.

Given he served as an Sgt AG with 100 Sqn (slowly doing a bit of research into all of his Op flights) during the war completing a tour of ops l assumed that it was for this but Archimedes post above indicates that it was only awarded to officers.

He was commissioned (not sure when)post war and served in the Malayan anti terrorist campaign but again I believe as an air gunner would this have been normal?

Clues/tips as to where and how to start to find out would be most appreciated.
 
How do you go about finding the citation for the award of a DFC?

My father was a recipient but he never told any of the family the reason for it’s award.

Given he served as an Sgt AG with 100 Sqn (slowly doing a bit of research into all of his Op flights) during the war completing a tour of ops l assumed that it was for this but Archimedes post above indicates that it was only awarded to officers.

He was commissioned (not sure when)post war and served in the Malayan anti terrorist campaign but again I believe as an air gunner would this have been normal?

Clues/tips as to where and how to start to find out would be most appreciated.

A difficult one, that.

DFC could be awarded to Warrant Officers-however, the ranks of Sgt and Flight Sergeant would pick up the DFM*.

Have you got eyes on the group? There should be a date stamped on the lower arm of the Cross-that is the date of issue, not the date of the action for which it was awarded.

Yes, many WWII AGs were officers: and it's more than possible that he could have served in that role on Lincolns (think of the final iteration of the Lancaster). But, sadly, not in Malaya as that was an RAAF gig for their Lincolns (I believe). RAF Lincolns did fly operationally in Kenya during the Mau Mau rebellion.

*cheers, John Major, you twat, for removing the MM, AFM, CGM, DFM, DSM and DCM from the Honours and Awards table.
 

Bubbles_Barker

LE
Book Reviewer
@Bubbles_Barker - thanks for sight of that, chap: sadly, I can't take the kudos for finding that (I don't think?!), but I wish that I had.

That's as fine an example of an End of Tour DFM as I've seen, over a period of some of the most intense night raids of the war.
Thanks - he was a brave boy and the exemplar for my family in many ways although both his brothers also served as did his sister (my Mum). Such a pity he stoofed in flying a Harvard in SA.

I am continuously struck by the youth of him and his compatriots (and was forcibly reminded of it on my HERRICK tour of 09/10). They just did amazing things - my uncle crashed on his very first sortie with 429 Sqn RCAF - on take off with a full fuel and bomb load. Walked away with a badly cut head, back on ops a week or two later - other crew weren't so lucky...also in the citation they talk about an aircraft catching fire. They don't mention him extinguishing said fire with his own parachute....

Sadly his DFM was lost when my cousin moved from Saudi to UK - cruel luck. He's on the Family photos thread but here he is:

IMG_4147.jpg
 

Bubbles_Barker

LE
Book Reviewer

diverman

LE
Book Reviewer
And in recent history the Chinook force has had anumber of awards. Air Commodore Robinson a still serving pilot, awarded the DFC and two bars for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. The first female DFC to Flight Leiutenant Michelle Goodman on 28 Squadron for a noght casevac in Basra in the middle of a battle.

 
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Bubbles_Barker

LE
Book Reviewer
And in recent history the Chinook force has had anumber of awards. Air Commodore Robinson a still serving pilot, awarded the DFC and two bars for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. The first female DFC to Flight Leiutenant Michelle Goodman on 28 Squadron for a noght casevac in Basra in the middle of a battle.

If they could just stop routing right over my house at 250’ that would be fine. Love the sound of freedom etc but...

Just left 50 or right 50 is all I’m asking...
 
And in recent history the Chinook force has had anumber of awards. Air Commodore Robinson a still serving pilot, awarded the DFC and two bars for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. The first female DFC to Flight Leiutenant Michelle Goodman on 28 Squadron for a noght casevac in Basra in the middle of a battle.



French magazine RAIDS had its issue #400 last winter and they did a special with heroes from various countries. Air Commodore Robinson is mentioned with a couple of pictures, one mentioning that he was one of the first officer to receive the GC&LS medal to add to his DFC**. A number of other British characters are mentioned including a Brigadier with a DSO and Bar.


1586463571882.png
 

PFGEN

GCM
Thanks - he was a brave boy and the exemplar for my family in many ways although both his brothers also served as did his sister (my Mum). Such a pity he stoofed in flying a Harvard in SA.

I am continuously struck by the youth of him and his compatriots (and was forcibly reminded of it on my HERRICK tour of 09/10). They just did amazing things - my uncle crashed on his very first sortie with 429 Sqn RCAF - on take off with a full fuel and bomb load. Walked away with a badly cut head, back on ops a week or two later - other crew weren't so lucky...also in the citation they talk about an aircraft catching fire. They don't mention him extinguishing said fire with his own parachute....

Sadly his DFM was lost when my cousin moved from Saudi to UK - cruel luck. He's on the Family photos thread but here he is:

View attachment 464228

Even nowadays its sometimes hard to fathom what these lads went through. Three tours would be 70 missions if my memory serves (30 sorties, extended leave, 20 sorties, possible assignment to other duties).

When Harris discovered that his men were getting the clap he threatened to reset the "malingerer's" counter on the number of missions counting towards a tour. For those approaching the end of a tour it was considered to be akin to a death sentence. There were enough however who signed up for further tours with the odds seriously stacked against them. Given a higher than 50% attrition rate receiving a DFM or DFC, especially for multiple tours, is as far from a geezit as I can imagine.
 

Bubbles_Barker

LE
Book Reviewer
Even nowadays its sometimes hard to fathom what these lads went through. Three tours would be 70 missions if my memory serves (30 sorties, extended leave, 20 sorties, possible assignment to other duties).

When Harris discovered that his men were getting the clap he threatened to reset the "malingerer's" counter on the number of missions counting towards a tour. For those approaching the end of a tour it was considered to be akin to a death sentence. There were enough however who signed up for further tours with the odds seriously stacked against them. Given a higher than 50% attrition rate receiving a DFM or DFC, especially for multiple tours, is as far from a geezit as I can imagine.
There are some folk on here that hold an opinion that what RAF Bomber Command did in taking total war to the Germans was somehow wrong or inappropriate.

I can’t believe that now or ever frankly.
 

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