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jeffskea

MBE, Officer of the Legion of Honor, U.S. Bronze Star ****Recommended

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So if we're looking at an O.B.E. I would say Lieutenant Colonel or Colonel.

Michael

Hi Michael, yes so far any close matches have indicated that rank or the RAF equivalent, I suppose it is always possible it could go up to Brigadier/Air Commodore, I've seen some who were never elevated to C.B.E.. The Officier grade of the LdeH was very sparsely awarded I have found so far. Throughout the entire WO files for French awards to British there were perhaps only around thirty or so, mostly General officers, though one Officier was to a Major, RE, for services as assistant attache in Paris 1937-40.

The key with the LdeH was that it was almost always accompanied by an automatic Croix de Guerre with palme when awarded during the Wartime years, unless awarded for non-operational type service. I have found sole awards of the LdeH during the War but they are very infrequent which is leading me to believe that this particluar LdeH could have been awarded pre or post-War. If that was the case however it should show up in the London Gazette but have not been able to find many. I still have a considerable amount of RAF files to go through which hopefully will produce results though one thing I firmly believe so far is that this set is unique :)

Jeff

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Hi Herman,

I regret to inform I have made little progess of late due to a busy personal life, birth of our second son, house move, and work among other things :) I have not lost heart by any means, just time and funds, but should have some time this fall to get right back into the AIR 2 Files. I appreciate everyone's support who have followed this project so far and will continue to track down the recipient until all resources have been exhausted.

Jeff

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Jeff - you just have to keep battling away - you have quite a following on this and we are hopeful you will

succeed in the ident..

Just a note on Viscount Acheson. The British peerage has the son of a titled person taking the next Honour

down - so as a Viscount he was the son of an Earl - a second son would be a Lord and any after - Honourables.

Whilst he is shown as Viscount, it is unlikely that he would use that title whilst in the Services. He would have

become the Earl of Gosford on the death of his Father. Mervyn

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Thanks Mervyn, an interesting point about the Viscount. Interestingly enough in all the official mentions of him in the London Gazette and Air Force List before and throughout the War he is listed as, "Squadron Leader The Viscount Acheson, RAF" or whatever rank he held at various times. Indeed though he was elevated to the title of Earl of Gosford after the War upon the death of his father. I still felt he was the strongest candidate to date except for a few months service in NW Europe, and as he held numerous senior positions in various organizations throughout his life, including post war RAF service I would like to find a portrait of him wearing his full medal entitlement in order to rule him out completely but have had no success yet.

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Jeff - whilst it would be correct for him to be shown with his title on official documents , whilst on service

they would use his rank. Very 'non-you' to use a title when you have a military rank.

Have you tried the British Air Force Museum - they may have something on him in their archives ?

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That makes sense, so he would have gone by Archibald Acheson. That is a good idea I will check with the Museum to see if they have any portraits, thanks Mervyn.

Jeff

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I am once again able to continue my research, awaiting a new set of AIR 2 files from the National Archives. On a side note would anyone happen to know if the Air Force List indicates foreign awards to officers? I've seen a few digital copies online but they are difficult to read and haven't had the chance to look through a hard copy. Thanks.

Jeff

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It looks to be that the Air Force List doesn't list foreign decorations unfortunately. I have re-checked 107 RAF Bronze Star recipients with the London Gazette (from WW2 plus 40 years to cover a person's potential career) - only twelve meet the criteria of an OBE and Bronze Star during that period, they are:

Acting G/C Peter Henry Gibbings, OBE

(43208) W/C Stanely Conway, OBE

(90677) W/C Geoffrey Keighley, OBE

(77881) W/C Ian McNaughton Parsons, OBE

(76395) W/C Leonard William Wells, OBE

(05244) W/C Archibald Acheson, OBE (Only confirmed LdeH, O to date - but served in NW Europe)

(74250) W/C Donald John Wiseman, OBE

(78180) W/C John Howard Weaver, OBE

(35114) W/C James Woods, OBE

(119209) W/C Leonard Stanley Laughton, OBE

(86263) W/C Frederick Ronald Cook, OBE

(65622) S/L Ronald Scott Lawrence Bowker, OBE

Some of these OBE's were awarded up into the 1950's and 60's so I believe it is a pretty conclusive list of RAF recipients. The next AIR 2 files from the National Archives should be in by next week so I will be able to check these names with the French awards to RAF. If anyone is able to find any information that would disqualify a name that would be great.

Jeff

Edited by jeffskea

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Have gone through the recently received AIR 2/9142 files with no matches, though some interesting points. Fourteen recommendations for the Officer grade were listed to the following ranks: 3 W/C, 3 G/C, 4 A/C, and 4 A/V/M. There was also a remark from the Foreign Office in 1948 stating, "..there is a fixed rule which precludes the acceptance of any foreign decorations other than for war-time services." I wasn't aware of this rule and wonder when it was lifted, but it helps to maintain the focus on WW2 awards. The recommendations also break down the awards into Operational and Non-Operational, the majority being operational (LdeH accompanied by CdeG with Palm), and very few non-operational. There are six more sets of AIR 2 files to request, each seem to be around 400-500 pages so it will take some time still.

Jeff

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Hi Herman,

I am still actively searching although have not been able to go through any more AIR 2 files recently as it is just a bit too costly at the moment. Just had a thought if I could access the individual recommendatons for the Bronze Star Medals for the above RAF recipients and discard ones awarded in operational theatres I may be able to narrow down further we'll see..

Jeff

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This group was posted earlier this year on this forum; I acquired it at an online auction.

Attributed to Lt.Col. Dennis Daybell, The Life Guards; only the U.S. Bronze Star is named.

 

                                                                                                            BobSDSCN3009.thumb.JPG.a2c47fd6cdcdc33564ac9DSCN3011.thumb.JPG.1edcb50f306d930ed6bb9DSCN3014.thumb.JPG.e39d6e5e172a09bbcc624DSCN3017.thumb.JPG.3485db573c6aaa0fb4a19DSCN3035.thumb.JPG.fd30fe67607325482dd98DSCN3044.thumb.JPG.083d085b67275be540806DSCN3046.thumb.JPG.737824a781ebc007c8e90

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Hi Bob,

Very nice set, have you had a chance to browse for the recommendations for the Legion of Honour, Croix de Guerre, and Bronze Star Medal? As he was Army these should all be accessible online at the National Archives under:

WO 373/147-148-149 (Foreign Awards to British: USA)

WO 373/185 (Foreign Awards to British: France)

I believe there is a small fee to download the individual recommendation/citation but you can download all of the above files entirely for free as well.

Interesting to note the two CdeG's, incorrect to wear by the regulations but understandable that he chose to wear both - the CdeG with Palme (Highest grade - Army level award) was automatically given alongside the LdeH for operational service (both counting as a single award) and the CdeG with Bronze Star (Lowest grade - Regt/Brigade level) was likely awarded on a separate occasion. Had he been a French officer he would have likely only received the Star to go on the ribbon but for whatever reason he received the full medal and chose to wear it as such. Regardless both French and Allied would normally wear the two devices on the one medal - a small matter in the grand scheme no doubt. Anyhow four decorations for service in NW Europe is impressive.

Jeff

Edited by jeffskea

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A small update to this topic - I've discovered yet another resource which may prove very helpful in this search - The Aeroplane Directory of British Aviation - formerly Who's Who in British Aviation - numerous bios each year including lists of foreign decorations received. I have ordered a copy for 1958 and will see from there.

- Rest in Peace Mervyn - your personal encouragement on this forum was, and continues to be, an inspiration to me.

Jeff

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No luck with the 1958 edition of the Aeroplane Directory but a great resource for biographical details of anyone associated with British aviation.

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Hi Jeff,

 

We're 15 months further, any news?

 

I don't want to push you, but i'm very interested. 

 

Cheers

Herman

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Hello Herman,

Thank you for your continued interest - I have not given up by any means but unfortunately have made little progress in my research in the last year simply due to a busy life at home and work.

My biggest lead and resource remains the AIR 2 files at the NA, the only road blocks holding me back at the moment are time and money to dedicate to the project - perhaps a week trip to the UK and NA would be more affordable in the long run!

As of right now I have submitted a request to the RAF Museum in London requesting any information or portraits of the list of RAF officers holding both the OBE and Bronze Star, hopefully they may be able to assist.

Again I appreciate the nudge and will keep digging away for more info and try to provide more updates!

Jeff

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I have ordered another set of files AIR 2/8769, looking forward to searching through them in the next week or two.

Jeff

Edited by jeffskea

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Have received the AIR 2/8769 files, the correspondence contained in them is quite interesting with tid bits of contemporary information on the rules and regulations regarding foreign awards of the time.

For example, two RAF officers who were recommended for the Legion of Honour had their awards deferred on request of the British authorities as they held positions as liaison officers with the French, and as they were appointed to those roles it was not considered "adequate grounds for the bestowal of awards."

Other rules included avoiding the award of a British and foreign decoration for the same service, no posthumous awards, and no more than three foreign decorations to one person (I've also read 4 was the limit).

Jeff

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