View Full Version : DFM recommendation

11th Aug 2017, 13:18
Is someone able to help me out? Whilst clearing her mothers home, a friend of mine has discovered that her father (2211992 Flight Sergeant John Samuel Roberts of 158 Squadron) was awarded the DFM in 1945 but she has no idea why as he had never mentioned it although he did say that he was the last crew in "Friday the 13th". I have been trying to help her find out but have drawn a blank as to where to go next. I have found him listed on the Gazette in, I think, October 1945. I believe that there is a book that lists the citations and recommendations (?by Tavender). Does someone out there own this book and would they be willing to look it up for us?

11th Aug 2017, 14:23
I own both Tavenders DFM books and will go and see what it says about Roberts - wait out.

Old Duffer

11th Aug 2017, 14:58
As promised:

ROBERTS John Samuel 2211992 Flight Sergeant 158 Squadron

LG 26/10/1945 Sorties 35 Flying Hours 181.46 Air Gunner Air 2/9112

As mid-upper gunner in a Halifax III aircraft with 158 Squadron, Flight Sergeant Roberts has just completed and excellent tour of 35 operational sorties. He has flown against all types of highly defended targets and has always displayed great courage and complete skill and efficiency. An NCO who took his operational responsibilities seriously, he equipped himself well by a complete knowledge of his job and this efficiency, coupled with his natural keenness and fine offensive spirit, made him a valuable member of his section. In the face of the severest enemy fire and in the most hazardous of circumstances, Flight Sergeant Roberts showed coolness and courage of the highest order and his example did much to maintain high morale in the crew with whom he flew. It is recommended that this NCO’s valuable work, constant courage, keenness and determination throughout a hazardous tour be recognised by the award of the DFM.

17 May 1945

Remarks by Station Commander.

Flight Sergeant Roberts constantly displayed the qualities which make a good gunner and throughout his tour he remained keen, willing and full of courage. His efforts are worthy of the recommendation and I recommend the award of the Distinguished Flying Medal.


LG means the date of the London Gazette entry, sorties are only qualifying operational flights and the flying are related to these sorties. The Air 2 reference is the file at the National Archives where the original recommendation is filed

13th Aug 2017, 09:14
OD - I suppose there is not a similar book of AFC citations......

13th Aug 2017, 11:44

I am not aware of a similar book for the AFC. However, the AFC is awarded (generally) in one of two ways. First, it's awarded in the NY or QB Honours List for doing good things like introducing a new aircraft into service or completing twenty years as an A1 QFI. The second way is when you do something brave like bringing home your smashed up airplane or rescue the crew of a sinking ship far from land.

In the first case, there is a citation but it does not appear in the London Gazette entry but (generally) in the second case it does.

In neither case does it stop The RAF News from spelling your name wrongly and calling you a squadron leader when you are wearing the - clearly - badges of rank of a Flight Lieutenant!!

There are books with details for the following: George Cross and Medal, DFC and DFM, Queen's Gallantry Medal. Oh, and two books which show RAF awards of the DSO but not too much detail.

If you go to the London Gazette on the web and insert a personal number, it usually pops up with LG entries and on opening these you get taken to the appropriate page. If you can't find a citation, employ a National Archives Researcher to search for you - they are usually pretty good.

Old Duffer

Heathrow Harry
13th Aug 2017, 13:29
Always thought it odd that there is no central list of citations for ALL gallantry medals TBH - maybe when I win the Euro Lottery.........................

13th Aug 2017, 15:24
Old Duffer

Thank you very much. My friend is absolutely delighted to finally find out about it.

14th Aug 2017, 05:47

It depends on how much time you want to invest in the project.

Up to the end of the last global unpleasantness, there is a listing of awards to the air forces compiled by a chap called Maton. Unfortunately, it does not cover MIDs. Thereafter a trawl of the Gazette will get you what you want.


Heathrow Harry
14th Aug 2017, 06:37
Big job to get ALL gallantry awards logged I'd guess -

something for the "HH Research Foundation" if I ever come up lucky.........................

But worthwhile - better than wasting the money on wine, women and song................

14th Aug 2017, 08:04
Many of the gallantry awards made during WW2 appear in the Gazette in long lists of personnel with one generic citation to the effect that the award has been made for "gallantry in air operations over a sustained period" - or words to that effect. The implication is that they were awarded at the end of a tour.

The recommendations for these awards are in large numbers of files in the National Archives. The only time I tried looking for one I didn't find the chap I was looking for, but did find someone else in whom I was interested - serendipity is a much-underrated search tool!

In the early 1980s I did an evening class in family history; it was explained to us that finding a birth/marriage/death certificate involved searching through large, heavy index books - one per quarter for each type of certificate - and one of the other students expressed surprise that it wasn't all on a computer. I laughed my socks off - why would the Government pay for the data transfer? Now we have several online genealogy firms who have invested in that work, as well as a crowd-sourced free site, so perhaps HH has identified a gap in the market...

14th Aug 2017, 10:37
O-D - many thanks. Trying to help an acquaintance whose Grandfather was a Polish pilot who transferred to the RAF and as a Master Pilot was awarded an AFC in the 1952 NYHL. Sadly he was killed in the crash of an Anson on Mt Snowdon later that year. Well after the end of the war, and I would have thought awards of AFC to a Master Pilot was fairly unusual.

14th Aug 2017, 10:58

Several years ago I asked for help from the Polish Institute and Sikorski Museum in Princes Gate London (next to the Iranian Embassy of fond memory). I wanted information about Flt Lt Kazimierz SRAJER and WO Stanislaw KLOSOWSKI, both special duties pilots.

What I received was essentially their personal files which contained a wealth of information. You might find a letter to the museum might help.

Incidentally, I was subsequently able to get an obit written for Srajer by the Torygraph's air force obits writer. Unfortunately, Klosowski was killed in Streatham High Street in about 1971 when a bus crashed into a queue waiting to board - a dreadful way for a man who had done so much to end his days.


Heathrow Harry
14th Aug 2017, 16:54
"In the early 1980s I did an evening class in family history; it was explained to us that finding a birth/marriage/death certificate involved searching through large, heavy index books - one per quarter for each type of certificate"

Well into the 90's IIRC - bloody great volumes on miles of shelves firstly in Chancellry Lane then in the Family History Centre in Exmouth Market (before it became posh). remember a newbie wandering around and some kind soul offerd to help -

"what is the name of the person you're looking for?" "David Jones - born in Swansea in the early 1890's"

"anything else you know about him?" "No"

there were 10-20 pages of David Jones EVERY QUARTER - maybe 200 a year -

"Take my advice mate, give up now while you're still sane!"

15th Aug 2017, 10:02
O-D - that is a a place I did not know of. I will point my contact in that direction. Many thanks.