An exciting Halifax “combat” award won from the Mid-Upper Gun turret on the night of 12/13th August 1944.
The target was BRAUNSCHWEIG (Brunswick) and the aircraft MZ373, NP-K, left RAF Lissett at 21:25. The aircraft was attacked by a JU88 night fighter at 17,500ft on the way to the target.
This was a particularly nasty raid during which 158 Squadron lost two aircraft. The night’s total losses were 27 aircraft. Knox’s Halifax was also seriously hit by cannon shell and riddled with machine gun fire from the enemy aircraft and holed in the fuel tanks, the starboard elevator and in the tail end of the fuselage. Tail Gunner warned the pilot to initiate an avoiding corkcrew and Mid Upper Gunner (Sgt W Knox) then sighted the enemy aircraft and opened fire at 350yds range. He fired 350 rounds which hit the enemy causing him to break off the attack. (* the enemy aircraft was seen damaged and was probably lost). Sgt W.Baxter (Flight Engineer) made a quick calculation that the fuel and damage situation was such as to allow the aircraft to continue on its mission, which it did, also making a safe return to base. Sgt W.Baxter as also awarded a DFM for this action in the same Gazette as Sgt W. Knox (20th Feb 1945).
DISTINGUISHED FLYING MEDALAir Crew Europe, (F&G) Air Gunner.158 Squadron (HALIFAX) The group comes with an extensive file of research on Knox and his fellow crew members with detials of their awards and service. Copy combat reports and a full file of Sgt Knox’s sorties copied from the squadron ops’ books.
The original squadron recommendation /citation form at first stated that this was an “Immediate” award, but was later altered (probably erroneously) to read “none-immediate” in two out of three places….however, and from long experience in RAF matters we feel that this was indeed an Immediate award in line with most such awards which were made for an individual occurance and ‘one off’ combat such as this. It could maybe be confirmed by looking at Sgt W.Baxter’s papers which probably confirm they were both “immediate” awards!
This DFM was regularly and proudly worn by William Knox and has sustained some edge bumps to the rim and to parts of the naming. ALL the naming is however fully clear and fully readable with no erasure whatever of any characters. The ends of the ribbon bar were superbly and professionally reinforced in silver during the recipients lifetime. It’s actually quite nice to see a medal that has shared a proud life with its most worthy winner.
DISTINGUISHED FLYING MEDAL. Aircrew Europe, (F&G) Air Gunner.158 Squadron (HALIFAX) The group comes with a set of RAF sleeve badges, an Air Gunner’s
Brevet “AG” Wing and a brass RAF WWII cap badge .
DFMs …Getting scarcer all the time…..A medal with a great story from WW2.
Sgt Knox bombed Chateaudun on D-Day (6th June 1944) and carried out a total of 39 sorties during 170.36 hrs of operational flying.
This Group is for sale at http://www.medals4heroes.co.uk