Distinguished Flying Cross, (GVI)., reverse dated ´1945´ Distinguished Flying Medal, (GVI.) (F/Sgt. R.A.F.) 1939/1945 Star, Air Crew Europe Star, with France and Germany Bar, Defence Medal, War Medal,
mounted court style for display, with good research and operational details from Squadron Record Book
D.F.C. London Gazette 25/5/1945 Andrew Jenkinson Dick, D.F.M. (182841), R.A.F.V.R., 35 Sqn.
The Recommendation states:
´Since Being awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal, Pilot Officer Dick has carried out a further 25 sorties, many against heavily defended targets, bringing his total number to 71. As a Flight Engineer, he shows a high degree of skill and his cheerfulness and confidence have inspired a high standard of morale in his crew. It is considered his fine offensive spirit and operational record fully merits the non-immediate award of the Distinguished Flying Cross.´
D.F.M. London Gazette 15/8/1944 Flight Sergeant Andrew Jenkinson Dick, R.A.F.V.R., 35 Sqn. The Recommendation states: ´This N.C.O. has completed numerous operations against the enemy´s most heavily defended targets. He is a Flight Engineer of the highest quality, possessing a very thorough knowledge of his aircraft. On several occasions, he has assisted his captain in bringing back a damaged aircraft to base and making a safe landing. Flight Sergeant Dick continually shows exceptional keenness and enthusiasm for operations against the enemy. His skill and the reliability of his work has inspired the confidence of his crew. In recognition, this N.C.O. is recommended for a non-immediate award of the Distinguished Flying Medal.´
Flying Officer Andrew Jenkinson Dick, D.F.C., D.F.M., who was 35 years old when he volunteered for aircrew training, the average age being then 21. He was born on
24th September 1906 in Edinburgh, Scotland, the son of George Dick, a commercial traveller. Dick then attended school initially at Parsons Green Primary School in Meadowfield Drive, followed by George Heriot’s School in Lauriston Place, Edinburgh, the latter being for ‘needy’ families. On leaving a comment was made in his school record, ‘not
much good in class. Pleasant enough.’ Whilst at school Dick was a member of the Cadet Force and in 1920. On school on 22nd June 1921, tand worked as a labourer. Within a year
of the outbreak of the Second World War he had enlisted as an Aircraftsman 2nd Class (No.1557603) into the Royal Air Force. his trade now an Engineer. Now aged 35, he volunteered for aircrew duties as a Flight Engineer, Having passed out at a Flight Engineer and been promoted to Sergeant, Dick was then posted to a Heavy Conversion Unit where he teamed up with his aircrew. Dick teamed up with a pilot, Sergeant Sidney Honey, a navigator, Sergeant Reginald Ward, a Wireless Operation, Sergeant Ronald Tudberry, and there air gunners, Sergeant’s John Brennan, Fred Hayward, and Donald Wager, the last two being both Royal Canadian Air Force. This crew would go on to complete a tour of 30 operational sorties together.
He commenced serving with 102 (Ceylon) Squadron (Halifaxes) and took part in six consecutive operational sorties to German targets with the squadron, 23/5/1943-21/6/1943. t was on the 21st June during a raid on Krefeld that Dick and his crew had their first close shave. Some 705 aircraft attacked the city Some 6.2 of the attacking force however were lost,
mostly due to enemy night fighters. For their part, Dick’s crew were caught over Holland in the heavy flak on the way out, and his aircraft sustained serious damage. Honey had originally piloted his aircraft towards the target area on a route over the Dutch coast at Goeree-Overflakkee Island, where the aircraft was severely hit by flak. This resulted in only the starboard outer engine being able to function. The operation report reads that: ‘engine trouble developed leaving only starboard outer. Having opted to jettison the bombs,
Sergeant Honey decided to ‘ditch’ the aircraft up moon, and turned back over the Channel to jettison his bomb-load. Honey thensuccessfully landed the aircraft on the water some 30 km off Le Havre, where the crew managed to get into the life raft, and a drogue was put out quickly to stop easterly drift. At 0635 hours a flight of Mustangs from 170 Squadron reported sighting the crew in a dinghy off the Dutch Coast, with a second sighting of the raft being made at 1530 hours this time by a formation of Typhoons. At 1900 hours two Walrus
amphibians from 277 Squadron at Martlesham Heath were scrambled and
alighted nearby. This squadron save the lives of 598 airmen in this way during the Second World War. Honey and two others were taken aboard the aircraft whilst the second Walrus taxied towards the rest of the crew. Having then collected them, the pilot found the aircraft was too heavy to takeoff and made contact with the Royal Navy, who sent a fast motor boat which then delivered them safely to Felixstowe. This ‘ditching’ and the use of their dinghy at sea entitled the crew to join The Goldfish Club. This was formed in November 1942 by PB Cow& Co, the manufacturers of the life rafts and lifejackets, who presented each member with a heat sealed membership card, and an embroidered white winged goldfish, flying over two symbolic waves. Dress regulations forbade the wearing of the badge on uniforms, so most aircrew placed the badge under the flap of their left hand pocket, or collar.
As a member of 35 Squadron, Dick completed his tour of 30 ops but extended immediately into his second tour remaining with his crew and his second tour took his tally to 48 ops. Survival at the this point was greatly against the odds. 37 of his ops were over heavily defended German cities with losses often between 4 and 6% (Berlin 23/8/43 7.9% and the following week Berlin 7.6%. That the other European raids were soft were a fallacy. The raid on the Laon Marshalling Yards 22/4/1944 cost 5% of the force and the Railway Yards at Haint St. Pierre 8/5/1944 some 7%.. He completed his second tour on 31/5/1944 with a trip to Trappes. This last trip with a new crew piloted by W/C Cribb, DSO, DFC..
Returning to 35 Sqdn. for a third tour after a three month leave in August, 1944 he commenced with a trip to Kiel, 26/8/1944. From then until February 1945 he flew with a variety of crews a flew a total of 23 further ops. and commissioned Pilot Officer was awarded a DFC with now 71 ops under his belt. His third tour continued completing a further 13 ops completing his service on 25 April, 1945 and by now a Flying Officer, with a trip to the gun positions at Wangerooge Island.
A remarkable group. Sqd Ldr Alec Panton Cranswick DSO, DFC, was in 35 Sqd at the time of his death when his Lancaster was shot down on a raid to Villeneuve St George near Paris on the night of 4 July 1944. it was his 107th mission (32 Middle East 75 Europe) and he flew more bombing operations than any other RAF pilot in WW2, he was on his 4th operational tour. However Andrew Dick’s 84 Europe with 78 with the same Pathfinder squadron has to be some record to beat.
His school record also credits him with USA D.F.C. but if so it does not appear in any official source that could be found
Post-war he would continue to work as a mechanical engineer up until his death aged 65, on 17th January 1971 whilst living at 129a Beaufort Street, Chelsea, London.
Research detailing all the recipient’s ops.
Second World War period Royal Air Force Flight Engineers single wing brevet.
2 x Pathfinder Force badges. One complete with both retaining pins.
Air Council Campaign Medal Award Slip.
Second World War issue Sergeant’s sleeve brevet.
Royal Air Force other ranks cap badge.
A wartime aero-printed Loading Diagram and Weight Sheet for Carriage of Passengers in Lanc 1/111 as printed as Appendix “A” to 3 Group
Operation Order No.33. Passenger Loading Chart Lancaster Mk. 1 & 3.
Flight Engineer’s Notes for ‘Lancaster’ aircraft. June 1943 edition.
Original photograph of a Halifax bomber, taken with No.1667 Heavy Conversion Unit at Falding North in February 1944.
Original Air Ministry press photograph of a Lancaster bomber being bombed up, with the air crew and ground crew standing in the image, this possibly being Dick’s Lancaster, as it has numerous completed sorties on the side of the fuselage.