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WW2 RAF Aircrew engineer who should have been recognised!

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Hi All,

Just a quick post to see whether you all agree that this chap deserved some recognition for his brave actions in the Second world war!

The man in question was 526697 Sgt (Flt Engineer) Henry George Mallott of 7 squadron Royal Air Force. He was the Son of Mr and Mrs James Alexander Mallott of Southwark London and he was 25 years old when he died. I have 2 photographs, a cap badge and his commemorative Bomber Command Medal which the family applied for. Sadly I don't have his other medals. With these items came the original Report of his death which the family were sent which goes as follows;

Sterling Aircraft W.7564 

"On the Night of 10th September 1942, the above aircraft (Captain, Flying Officer J P Trench) took off on a bombing mission to Dusseldorf. The aircraft was airborne at approximately 20.30 hours. 

Whilst over Dusseldorf during and immediately after bombing the aircraft was continuously hit by Flak. The starboard petrol tank was holed and port oil pipes severed. After a short time the port inner propeller and reduction gear sheared and flew off hitting the mid upper turret. About three minutes later the complete port outer engine fell out leaving only the two starboard engines in action and one of them not functioning to full capacity. The Wireless Operator who was occupying the 2nd Pilots seat imediately came to the assistance of the captain and added pressure to the rudder bad and control column, thus enabling the captain to keep the aircraft on a more or less even keel; owing to the W/Op's occupation with this, no distress signal could be sent out. The Engineer during this period was using his expert knowledge and in an unbelievably short time had turned off the cocks to the useless pipelines and had the two remaining engines working to capacity. This was maintained over the whole of the journey from the target to the English coast by his continuous watchfulness and efforts.

Height was lost gradually down to 100/200 fee near the Dutch coast, The Navigator worked out a course avoiding all defended ares which course was kept to with consummate skill by the captain. In order to maintain the little height they had, the remainder of the crew collected all moveable equiptment, guns, parachutes, ammunition, etc, and jettonised it. This was not an easy task owing to the altitude of the aircraft and the need for care in keeping the weight evenly distributed.

As the aircraft was crossing the English coast, the starboard inner engine started to splutter and finally cut out altogether, thus forcing the captain to crash land in a field near Weeley (South east of Colchester). In the crash, the captain and Wireless operator were knocked unconscious, but the navigator, with great courage, remained with them in spite of the risk of fire which was imminent, until he had managed to extricate them and get them well clear. The remaining members of the crew were out, with the exception of the rear gunner, when the aircraft burst into flames. Seeing that the rear gunner was trapped, the front gunner and engineer re-entered the blazing wreckage in an heroic attempt to save him. Just after they had entered the fuselage, the petrol tanks blew up and they were both killed. Meanwhile the rear gunner was rescued by the mid upper gunner through a break in the fuselage and was taken to Colchester military hospital with severe burns.

The whole flight back from England was an outstanding example of the highest courage and the determination on the part of the captain and crew and proof of the excellency of captaincy and the team spirit which he had instilled into the crew."

The crew were:-   

Captain - Flying Officer J Trench

Naviator - Pilot Officer C L Selman

Wireless Op - Sgt I J Edwards 

Front Gunner - Sgt F A Thorpe

Rear Gunner - Sgt W N Glendenning

Engineer - Sgt H G Mallott

Mid Upper - Flight Sgt R F Jenner

 

I am really amazed that the Engineer and Front gunner weren't recommended for any gallantry awards or even an Mention In Dispatches! The fact that these two brave young men were out safely from the aircraft after quite an ordeal getting back from Dusseldorf and then went back into a blazing fuselage to try and save their mate is amazing. its a real injustice that they were not recognised!

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Similar situations of life saving attempts and disregard for one's own life probably went on day in and day out among Commonwealth troops, possibly making it something not that special back in the war whereas today with far fewer men in the forces, they may have received some kind of recognition. Just my thoughts.

Tony

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It all depended who was watching, and, sadly, soemtimes who the person performing the act was.  But, as Tony suggests, such acts of 'qiet heroism' probably happened daily and most were never formally acknowledged.  One good reason for forums like this one.  Thanks for posting this, Rob.

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Rob.

The option of an MID was clearly one which could/should have been engaged with as a posthumous award. The Canadian Jenner was awarded the George Medal because he went in following the deaths. 

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My wife had a relative who was the pilot of a SAAF plane that crashed on landing during the Abyssinian Campaign.  Although injured, he escaped the burning plane, but then went back in a vain effort to save a crewman.  He was terribly burned and disfigured for life.  Since his younger brother, a RAF pilot, had shortly before been killed in a crash in England, General Smuts arranged for him to be flown back to South Africa, so his mother could be near to him.  He spent the next three years at the Brenthurst Clinic.  He returned to active service and took part in the Italian Campaign, where he once had to bale out of his burning Spitfire.  His courage and fortitude was never officially acknowledged.

Brett

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His name was Neville Fischer.   He gave me his flying helmet that he wore when he bailed out of his burning Spitfire over Italy.  It was left with the family who helped him after he landed, and he retrieved it from them after the war.   His 'Golden Caterpillar' was given to a relative in the United States.   He never claimed his WWII medals, but wore a set of miniatures  while an active member of the SAAF Association.  His widows claimed a late issue of the medals after his death.

Brett

I meant to mention that Neville's brother who served in the RAF was Flight Lieutenant Sydney Adnil Fischer, 90 Squadron,  who was killed on 9 January 1942.  As I remember it, he was test flying one of the first B17's to arrive in England when it crashed.

Brett

Edited by Brett Hendey

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