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Livingstone Airfield, Northern Territory (Daniel J. Leahy, 2012)
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Service:Royal Air Force
Rank:Air Commodore
Date of Birth:1 August 1914
Place of Birth:Fremantle, WA, Australia
Date of Death:5 August 1982 (Aged 68 years)
Decorations:Victoria Cross
Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George
Companion of the Order of the Bath
Companion of the Distinguished Service Order
Officer of the Order of the British Empire
Distinguished Flying Cross
Knight of the Order of St John
Mentioned in Despatches
Units:No. 105 Squadron, RAF

AWM: 042687A


Victoria Cross:
Wing Commander Edwards, although handicapped by a physical disability resulting from a flying accident, has repeatedly displayed gallantry of the highest order in pressing home bombing attacks from very low heights against strongly defended objectives.
On 4th July, 1941, he led an important attack on the Port of Bremen, one of the most heavily defended towns in Germany. This attack had to be made in daylight and there were no clouds to afford concealment. During the approach to the German coast several enemy ships were sighted and Wing Commander Edwards knew that his aircraft would be reported and that the defences would be in a state of readiness. Undaunted by this misfortune he brought his formation 50 miles overland to the target, flying at a height of little more than 50 feet, passing under high-tension cables, carrying away telegraph wires and finally passing through a formidable balloon barrage. On reaching Bremen he was met with a hail of fire, all his aircraft being hit and four of them being destroyed. Nevertheless he made a most successful attack, and then with the greatest skill and coolness withdrew the surviving aircraft without further loss.
Throughout the execution of this operation which he had planned personally with full knowledge of the risks entailed, Wing Commander Edwards displayed the highest possible standard of gallantry and determination.

Distinguished Flying Cross:
In June, 1941, this officer led a formation of aircraft in an operational sweep against enemy shipping off the Dutch coast. A convoy of eight merhcant vessels was sighted at anchor about 3 miles outside The Hague. In the face of intense and accurate pompom and machine gun fire, the formation attacked from a height of only 50 feet. Wing Commander Edwards attacked a ship of some 4,000 tons and, after raking the decks with his forward machine guns, released his bombs from mast high. A considerable explosion followed, debris being thrown in the air while columns of black smoke were emitted. The vessel was certainly severely damaged if not sunk. This officer has completed numerous operational missions over enemy and enemy-occupied country and against their shipping and has at all times displayed great leadership, skill and gallantry.

External Links

The London Gazette - Victoria Cross Citation (22 July 1941)
The London Gazette - Distinguished Service Order Announcement (8 January 1943)
The London Gazette - Distinguished Flying Cross Citation (4 July 1941)

Record updated on 2 January 2018.


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