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View Full Version : WW1 DCM should have been a VC I think !!! what a hero



The.Tyke
11-20-2008, 10:07 AM
Communique No. 101, Page 100, August 11th 1917

The following narrative of fights by machines of 45 Squadron has been sent by the Officer Commanding that squadron and is of considerable interest:

"While on north line patrol Lt O L McMaking and Capt I Mc A M Pender* crossed the lines at 6.35pm (on the 11th instant) under the clouds at 4500 feet over Deulemont. While passing a gap in the cloud two Albatros scouts dived at them from the clouds, firing continuously. Cpl A Jex (Lt McMaking's Observer) got in a full drum at the enemy scout from very close quarters. The EA crashed in flames on the canal immediately to the left of Deulemont. The second EA attacked Capt Pender's machine from the side and one bullet passed through both the main petrol tanks and wounded Capt Pender seriously in the back. Pioneer W T Smith (Capt Pender's Observer) got in a full double drum at the EA from close quarters and it crashed four fields to the left of the first machine. Capl Pender then fainted and his machine got into a spin. As Pioneer Smith could not make him hear, he climbed over the side and forward along the plane to the pilot's cockpit and found the stick wedged between Capt Pender's legs. He pulled Capt Pender back and pushed the stick forward. The machine came out of the spin and Capt Pender almost immediately recovered. Capt Pender then brought the machine and landed his Observer safely near Poperinghe. Members of the 16th Divisional Ammunition Column, where Capt Pender came down, saw Pioneer Smith standing on the side of the machine and heard him encouraging Capt Pender, saying 'Pull her up, sir' as they were about to crash into some hop poles. Capt Pender did pull her up and landed on the other side with very little damage."

* Captain Ian McAllister Moffat Pender, Seaforth Highlanders (2nd Lt & Capt.), RAF (Capt.)

All in a day's work!!! Who reckons that Pioneer Smith's EXACT words were "Pull her up, sir.".....

William Thomas Smith DCM on the Aerodrome: http://www.theaerodrome.com/aces/england/smith11.php

No surprise that Pioneer Smith got the DCM for his "stunt". London Gazette, 22-10-1917 & 26-1-1918 - Awarded the DCM: 48027 Pnr. W. T. Smith, 14th Signal Co. R.E., attd. R.F.C. (Kensal Rise, London). "Conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty whilst acting as aerial gunner to an officer. Having shot down an enemy machine, his own pilot was wounded, and fell forward insensible on to the control lever. Pioneer Smith then climbed forward along the plane, pulled the pilot off the lever and got the machine under control. The officer then partially recovered, whereupon he remained standing on the side of the fuselage shouting words of encouragement to him, and the machine was eventually landed without much damage, entirely owing to his exceptionally gallant and prompt action." Announcement and citation. (Smith went on to be a Sgt., became an observer ace, survived the war and went to Australia, where he ran into Pender again in 1942).

The.Tyke
11-20-2008, 10:07 AM
Communique No. 101, Page 100, August 11th 1917

The following narrative of fights by machines of 45 Squadron has been sent by the Officer Commanding that squadron and is of considerable interest:

"While on north line patrol Lt O L McMaking and Capt I Mc A M Pender* crossed the lines at 6.35pm (on the 11th instant) under the clouds at 4500 feet over Deulemont. While passing a gap in the cloud two Albatros scouts dived at them from the clouds, firing continuously. Cpl A Jex (Lt McMaking's Observer) got in a full drum at the enemy scout from very close quarters. The EA crashed in flames on the canal immediately to the left of Deulemont. The second EA attacked Capt Pender's machine from the side and one bullet passed through both the main petrol tanks and wounded Capt Pender seriously in the back. Pioneer W T Smith (Capt Pender's Observer) got in a full double drum at the EA from close quarters and it crashed four fields to the left of the first machine. Capl Pender then fainted and his machine got into a spin. As Pioneer Smith could not make him hear, he climbed over the side and forward along the plane to the pilot's cockpit and found the stick wedged between Capt Pender's legs. He pulled Capt Pender back and pushed the stick forward. The machine came out of the spin and Capt Pender almost immediately recovered. Capt Pender then brought the machine and landed his Observer safely near Poperinghe. Members of the 16th Divisional Ammunition Column, where Capt Pender came down, saw Pioneer Smith standing on the side of the machine and heard him encouraging Capt Pender, saying 'Pull her up, sir' as they were about to crash into some hop poles. Capt Pender did pull her up and landed on the other side with very little damage."

* Captain Ian McAllister Moffat Pender, Seaforth Highlanders (2nd Lt & Capt.), RAF (Capt.)

All in a day's work!!! Who reckons that Pioneer Smith's EXACT words were "Pull her up, sir.".....

William Thomas Smith DCM on the Aerodrome: http://www.theaerodrome.com/aces/england/smith11.php

No surprise that Pioneer Smith got the DCM for his "stunt". London Gazette, 22-10-1917 & 26-1-1918 - Awarded the DCM: 48027 Pnr. W. T. Smith, 14th Signal Co. R.E., attd. R.F.C. (Kensal Rise, London). "Conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty whilst acting as aerial gunner to an officer. Having shot down an enemy machine, his own pilot was wounded, and fell forward insensible on to the control lever. Pioneer Smith then climbed forward along the plane, pulled the pilot off the lever and got the machine under control. The officer then partially recovered, whereupon he remained standing on the side of the fuselage shouting words of encouragement to him, and the machine was eventually landed without much damage, entirely owing to his exceptionally gallant and prompt action." Announcement and citation. (Smith went on to be a Sgt., became an observer ace, survived the war and went to Australia, where he ran into Pender again in 1942).

Enforcer572005
11-20-2008, 11:37 PM
Large heavy, brass ones. I can't imagine such courage, but it existed in both World wars. Guys did stuff like that climbing out on the wings of RAF bombers to stuff jackets into burning holes etc.

Waldo.Pepper
11-21-2008, 04:07 AM
I think that after you watch this little clip you may well understand why this very brave man was denied the VC. The crux of the issue revolves around the quality of self preservation in his acts.

Though the two stories in this little clip hail from WW2, when VC's became harder still to be awarded, I still think that this clip will get at the issue of why it was not awarded in this case.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eVLWuL-floM

And in case anyone wants to know what a Gammon bomb is here is a picture and a description.

http://www.millsgrenades.co.uk/images/WW2%20Grenades/Gammons.JPG

Grenade, hand. No. 82 (The Gammon grenade)

Dimensions Variable"”see text Fusing Impact, all-ways.

The Gammon Grenade goes down in military history as the only officially issued 'Do-it-yourself' grenade. The design appears to have originated with the Airborne forces, and their object was to try and relieve the airborne soldier of some of the weight with which he was being threatened as the list of desirable accessories grew longer and longer. Among the many things he was expected to carry was a supply of plastic explosive in sticks; when demolitions were needed, a quick levy around the men in the area would thus be sure of producing the necessary explosive, since in the environment in which airborne troops expected to fight it would not always be convenient to go looking for an engineer specialist.

Another desirable item was, of course, a supply of grenades, and it must have occurred to someone that a grenade was little more than a fuse with a quantity of explosive underneath; and since the soldiers were already carrying explosives, why not just give them the fuse and they could bring the two together as and when required.

Thus the No. 82 grenade was born; as issued it consisted of no more than an all-ways fuse attached to a cloth bag which was open at the bottom and gathered by a strong elastic band. Quite a number of these could be crushed together and carried in the soldier's pockets or pouches, and they added little weight to his burden. When a grenade was wanted, a quantity of plastic explosive was pushed into the bag, around the base of the fuse, the cap removed and the assembly thrown. The amount of plastic used depended on the user's requirement; a half-stick for blowing in a house door or clearing a dugout, two sticks to attack a tank, or any suitable amount in between.

The fuse originally issued had a 4in tape, which removed the pin and armed the fuse almost as soon as it left the thrower's hand; but this, apparently, was a little too dangerous, and most production used the normal 11.5in tape. The name 'Gammon' is said to have been given due to the filled grenade's resemblance to a wrapped gammon. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
The Gammon seems to have been used on most airborne operations from North Africa onwards down to the end of the war; its principal applications were either as an anti-tank bomb or for house-to-house work, where it was particularly useful for 'mouse-holing', i.e. blowing holes in connecting walls to allow clearing parties to move from house to house in a street without having to go outside the house to do it.

Jex_TE
11-21-2008, 04:10 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Cpl A <span class="ev_code_RED">Jex</span> (Lt McMaking's Observer) got in a full drum at the enemy scout from very close quarters. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

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Divine-Wind
11-21-2008, 02:30 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Jex_TE:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Cpl A <span class="ev_code_RED">Jex</span> (Lt McMaking's Observer) got in a full drum at the enemy scout from very close quarters. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_eek.gif </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
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