627 Squadron in retirement









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At First Sight

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At First Sight

For the precise detail in the following schedules of awards I am indebted to Nick
and Carol Carter, authors of a book on Royal Air Force Awards to be published

A large proportion of the aircrews posted to the Squadron throughout its existence had
already completed one, two and sometimes three tours of operations on heavies ranging from Whitleys & Wellingtons to Stirlings, Halifaxes and Lancasters.

The actual “Weekly Return of Aircrew” for the Week Ending Friday June 1944 is reproduced here, from which you will see that the aircrew strength of 41 pilots or navigators had, at that date completed 2193 operations, or an average of 53 1/2 operations each. At the time five members were in the middle of their third tour. The one third of an operation was originally credited for raids on pre-invasion French targets, it being considered that these would be a “piece of cake”, but when the losses equalled those of the German targets the system was abolished.

The vast experience of crews posted to the Squadron inevitably showed in the DSOs,
DFCs and DFMs already held by many and these are listed with the previous squadron number where established:


S/L Roy Pryce Elliott. DFC. RAFO. 27-10-42 83 Sqdn.


S/L Ronald George Churcher. DFC RAFVR. 24-12-43 619 Sqdn.
S/L George William Curry. DFC RAFVR 14-05-43 57 Sqdn


F/ O Ronald Latham Bartley. RAFVR 26-06-42 50 Sqdn.
F/ O Ronald George Churcher. RAFVR 27-10-42 106 Sqdn.
P/ O George William Curry. RAFVR 23-09-41 75 Sqdn.
S/L William Wentworth Meade DeBoos RAAF 23-05-44 7 Sqdn.
S/L Roy Pryce Elliott. RAFO 16-10-42 83 Sqdn.
F/ O Wallace Stanhope Gaunt. RAFVR 15-10-43 466 Sqdn.
F/ O john George Grey. RNZAF 07-07-42 104 Sqdn.
W/ O Norman William MacKenzie. RAF 06-11-42 35 Sqdn.
F/ O Douglas William Peck. RAF 26-05-42 103 Sqdn.
P/ O John Forbes Thomson. RNZAF 13-07-43 156 Sqdn.


Sgt John Francis Daly. RAFVR 07-04-42 37 Sqdn.
Sgt Michael Desmond Gribbin. RAFVR 29-05-42 10 Sqdn.
F/Sgt Geoffrey Ernest Heath. RAAF 14-05-43 460 Sqdn.
Sgt Rupert Gordon Westley Oakley. RAFVR 17-01-41 61 Sqdn.
F/ Sgt James Alexander Saint-Smith. RAAF 14-05-43 460 Sqdn.
F/ Sgt Harry Steere. RAF 25-06-40 19 Sqdn.

The work carried out by the Squadron was of an exacting nature, where split second timing and precise navigation at high aircraft speeds was essential, and pin point accuracy in marking at the precise time was always called for. Couple this with massive light flak in the target area on most occasions at the low altitudes flown during the marking process and the quality of the crews is amply demonstrated by the results achieved.

The number of awards granted to aircrew whilst serving on 627 Squadron reflects the
above described attributes and these awards are listed here:


W/ C George William Curry. DSO.DFC. RAFVR 27-02-45


S/L Ronald George Churcher. DFC. RAFVR 13-04-45
W/ C George William Curry. DFC. RAFVR 17-10-44
F/L Leo Charles Evan Devigne. DFC. RAFVR 27-02-45
S/L Rupert Gordon Westley Oakley. DFC.DFM. RAFVR 25-10-45
F/L Douglas William Peck. DFC. RAF 09-06-44


F/L Ronald Latham Bartley. DFC. RAFVR 08-12-44
P/ O Robert Garland Boyden. DFC. RCAF 17-07-45
S/ L Francis William Boyle. DFC. RAAF 13-04-45
F/L Richard Frank Davies. DFC. RAFVR 27-06-44
F/L Wm. Wentworth Meade DeBoos. DFC. RAAF 16-01-45
W/C Roy Pryce Elliott. DSO.DFC. RAFO 15-09-44
F/L Wallace Stanhope Gaunt. DFC. RAFVR 02-03-45
F/L jack Richard Goodman. DFC. RAFVR 13-10-44
F/L john George Grey. DPC. RNZAF 13-10-44
F/L Arthur john Linzee Hickox. DFC. RAFVR 13-10-44
F/L Norman Lewis. DPC. FAP 13-10-44
S/L Norman Wallis MacKenzie. DFC. RAFVR 13-10-44
S/L Edward Porbes Nelles. DPC. RAFVR 13-10-44
P/ O John Forbes Thomson. DFC. RNZAF 23-03-45


F/ O Dennis Herbert Ackworth. RAFVR 27-06-44
F/ O Robert Garland Boyden. RCAF 02-03-45
F/ L Francis William Boyle. RAAF 02-06-44
F/L john Prancis Daly. DFM. RAFVR 13-04-45
F/L Richard Prank Davies. RAFVR 21-09-45
F/ L Leo Charles Evan Devigne. RAFVR 15-09-44
W/ O Ralph William Fenwick. RAFVR 17-04-45
F/ O Phillip Spencer Foxcroft. RAFVR 06-06-44
F/ O Kenneth William Gale. RAAF 21-04-44
F/ O jack Richard Goodman. RAFVR 21-04-44
F/L Michael Desmond Gribbin. DFM. RAFVR 14-11-44
F/L Ian Hugh Hanlon. RNZAF 23-03-45
F/ O Brian Edward Barton Harris. RAFVR 17-04-45
F/ O Geoffrey Ernest Heath. DFM. RAAF 15-08-44
F/ O Arthur John Linzee Hickox. RAFVR 21-04-44
F/ O Alexander Hindshaw. RAFVR 03-06-44
F/ O Norman Lewis. RAF 21-04-44
F/ L Peter Prederick Mallender. RAFVR 02-01-45
P/ O james Marshallsay. RAFVR 17-10-44
F/L James David Mitchell. RCAF 16-01-45
S/L Edward Forbes Nelles. RAFVR 23-05-44
S/L Rupert Gordon Westley Oakley. RAFVR 28-11-44
P/ O Sidney Frederick Parlato. RNZAF 19-09-44
P/ O Nigel Anyan Ranshaw. RAFVR 17-10-44
F/ O Anthony Ernest Richards. RAFVR 27-06-44
F/ O James Alex. Saint-Smith.DFM. RAAF 15-08-44
F/L Harry Steere. DFM. RAF 23-06-44
F/ L Kenneth George Tice. RAFVR 04-12-45
F/L William Worthington Topper. RAFVR 09-03-45
F/ O Joseph Harold Willis. RAFVR 25-09-45
F/L Arthur Francis Wimsett. RAF 21-09-45
F/L Wilfred Horace Yeadell. RAFVR 04-12-45


P/ Sgt Andrew James Winsor Heggie. RAFVR 21-04-44

As with any Service there were anomalies in the distribution of awards. A navigator for instance does such a perfect piece of guidance that an extremely difficult target is marked in extremely adverse conditions - the pilot is awarded the DFC, which he, theoretically shares with the navigator. Many a “quiet on the ground” pilot or navigator continued for long periods unnoticed by the hierarchy when he should have been rewarded. This type will tell you “But I only ......... ” He probably did, but he did it extremely well under very dangerous circumstances.

Aircrew members serving with No. 627 Squadron to whom awards had been made
whilst serving on other Squadrons.

W/ C Rollo Kingsford-Smith. RAAF. DFC 463 (RAAF) Sqdn
DSO 463 (RAAF) Sqdn
W/ C William Guy Lockhart DFC 161 Sqdn
DSO 161 Sqdn
Bar to DFC 692 Sqdn
S/ L Edward Inkerman Bell DFC 12 Sqdn
F/ O Philip John Quarles Back DFC 692 Sqdn
F/O Ian Prior Bishop DFC 150 Sqdn
P/ O William Ronald Brooks DFC 142 Sqdn
P/ O Prank Leslie Chipperfield DFC 619 Sqdn
F/L Walter Harold Coke-Kerr DFC 139 Sqdn
F/L Ronald Victor Cutts DFC 7 Sqdn
F/L Alexander Reynell Galbraith. RNZAF. DFC 83 Sqdn
F/ O Henry Massey George DFC 76 Sqdn
W/ C Brian Roger Wakefield Hallows DFC 97 Sqdn
F/L William James Hanks DFC 158 Sqdn
P/ O Sidney Huskinson DFC 50 Sqdn
P/ O George Edward Lockey DFC 9 Sqdn
S/L Herbert John May DFC 9 Sqdn
F/ L Ronald Wingate Olsen DFC 619 Sqdn
P/ O Lawrence John Stow DFC 100 Sqdn
P/ O Kenneth Hudson Youdale DFC 619 Sqdnn
F/ S William McLeod DFM 619 Sqdn
F/S Prank Mycoe DFM 106 Sqdn
F/ S Leslie Arthur James Patey DFM 14 Sqdn

Copyright 1943-2012 627 Squadron in Retirement or as credited