Sgt R M LEWIN was the pilot of a RAF Wellington bomber that took off for a night raid on a military objective in Italy. Shortly after the aircraft became airborne, the pilot discovered that he was losing height and warned his crew via intercom to hold tight as he was going to attempt a forced landing. The aircraft crashed into a hillside and immediately burst into flames. Lewin got himself out of the machine and saw that three of his crew were climbing out of the escape hatch. He then shouted to them to run for their lives as the bombs were to go off any minute. He then heard his second pilot shout for help. Lewin then ran round the blazing wing in which full petrol tanks were burning and crept under it to reach his colleague who was badly injured. He half carried and half dragged him to a hole in the ground about forty yards away from the burning aircraft and threw himself on top of his injured colleague just as the bombs exploded. Sgt Lewin carried out this brave action although suffering from a cracked kneecap and severe contusions on face and legs. As captain of his aircraft, no one knew better than he that the explosions of the petrol tanks and bombs were inevitable, it was an exhibition of gallantry of the highest order.
George Cross (Posthumous Award)
LAC A M Osborne was fearless in fire-fighting and rescue operations in which he saved many pilots and others from certain death. He was killed whilst leading a party to extinguish the flames in a burning aircraft. On Aircraftsman Osborne, the Air Officer Commanding RAF Mediterranean later said, that he was one of the bravest men it had been his privilege to meet.
Flt Lt H B H Dickinson displayed outstanding courage, initiative and devotion to duty. When intense and almost continuous enemy air attacks were commenced against Malta he volunteered for special duties and performed dangerous work while the attacks were in progress. Flt Lt Dickinson displayed remarkable powers of leadership and indomitable courage. The utmost confidence had been placed in his sound judgement and initiative in the duties that entailed great risk.
a.W/O D Bishop who was employed on armament duties in Malta, displayed exceptional courage and devotion to duty throughout a long and trying period. He rendered invaluable service, showing absolute disregard for his own safety. His conduct had been of the greatest benefit to his superior officer, whose services had been fully taxed during the constant enemy raids.
LAC E J Drury saved two bomber aircraft during an air attack on an aerodrome in Malta. Several aircraft were hit and set on fire but with complete disregard for his own safety and with bombs bursting all round him, he started up a bomber and taxied it to a place of safety. To do this he had to taxi between two aircraft which had been hit and were enveloped in flames. He then returned and carried out the same task with another bomber whose wing was already on fire. LAC Drury’s courage was tremendous and by his prompt action and exemplary conduct in the face of almost certain death he saved two aircraft which would otherwise have been destroyed.
Wg Cdr R Hill, Flt Lt E L Williams, LAC C J Boarman and LAC H Sumray gained their awards when two bombers, loaded with bombs and mines collided. W/Cdr Hill was Station Medical Officer and Flt Lt Williams Station Signal Officer. All four without hesitation went out to the scene of the accident. Bombs and mines went off and the enemy took advantage of the flames to start to bomb. Between them they managed to save several members of the crew and get them in an ambulance to safety. Without their prompt and courageous action all the members of the crews would probably have lost their lives.
Sgt H Clawson and LAC E M Mitchson were duty fire crew when one of the British fighters crash-landed in the middle of a heavy raid on an aerodrome and burst into flames. To reach the aircraft the fire crew had to cross the aerodrome whilst enemy aircraft were diving to attack and with bombs falling across their path. Enemy fighters were also attacking the aircraft but the fire crew drove unhesitatingly across the aerodrome and rescued the pilot. On many other occasions they had shown the greatest bravery.