M.B.E., 1941 immediate ‘Battle of Greece’ D.F.M. group air gunner, Sergeant, later Flight Lieutenant, 11 Squadron, confirmed 3 enemy aircraft in citation, later in the war with 7 aircraft in total

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Product code: A8359

Item condition: V.F.

Our price: £3,600.00

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Medal Description

M.B.E. (Military)  2nd type Military, Distinguished Flying Medal, (GV1) (Sgt.  R.A.F.), 1939-45 Star, Air Crew Europe Star, Africa Star, Italy Star, Defence  Medal, War Medal,
 
Henry Trevelyan Bowen 
 
M.B.E. L.G. 8/6/ 1968.
 
D.F.M. L.G. 4/3/1941 (Immediate award)
 
‘Sergeant Bowen was the air gunner of the leading aircraft of a formation of bombers which was attacked by a superior number of hostile aircraft. He destroyed one, and successfully warded off several attacks against other aircraft in his formation. He has displayed courage and endurance throughout the many missions in which he has participated and has now destroyed a total of three enemy aircraft.’
 
The original recommendation states:
 
‘This N.C.O. was the air gunner in the leader’s aircraft of a formation of six Blenheims which were engaged by nine enemy aircraft over Berat [Albania]. During the fight, he fired 500 rounds, destroying one fighter in flames (confirmed) and damaging others. On several occasions, he warded off attacks on other aircraft in the formation when they were hard pressed, setting a magnificent example throughout. On 32 previous operational flights, he has shown courage and endurance of a very high order and has shot down two other enemy aircraft (confirmed).’
 
Henry Trevelyan Bowen was born in Tonypandy, Rhonda, Wales in July 1919. He joined the Royal Air Force in January 1938, and trained as an Air Gunner. He was  posted to 11 Squadron (Blenheims) in May 1940, as sergeant and moved with the Squadron to Larissa, Greece at the beginning of 1941. The Squadron was tasked with raids and reconnaissance sorties over Albania.
From, 'Air War For Yugoslavia, Greece And Crete 1940-41, by C. Shores, B. Cull and N. Malizia'.
 
‘The squadrons were off again at 1500, 12 Gladiators rendezvousing with six 211 Squadron Blenheims bound for Bousi and six of 11 Squadron from Larissa heading for Berat. The latter formation was intercepted by six G.50bis scrambled by 154 Gruppo and led by Cap Giuseppe Scrapetta. The bombers were attacked over Berat, several being forced to jettison their bombs, and T2166 was seen to go down in flames, only Sgt. L. Williams, the pilot, managing to bale out. Sqn. Ldr. [O.] Stevens’ aircraft came under attack but his gunner, Sgt. H. Bowen, believed that he had shot down one attacker, identified as an MC200, in flames, and caused a second to go down smoking....’
 
The War Illustrated, 10 September 1941, gives the recipient as having ‘shot down 7 aircraft’ by that time. He was commissioned as Pilot Officer in May 1944, and  Flight Lieutenant in October 1948. At the time of his retirement in July 1968, Bowen was serving with the Allied Combined Intelligence Unit (ACIU)  based at R.A.F. Medmenham, a international and Joint Service intelligence unit specialising in photographic intelligence and its’ interpretation and presumably his M.B.E. was awarded for these services
 
With  research, and an original copy of The War Illustrated, 10 September 1941, which includes a photographic image of the recipient and refers to his then seven victories.
 
 
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