Francis Henry WARD DFM

Poppy

WARD, Francis Henry

Service Number: 411207
Enlisted: 26 April 1941
Last Rank: Flight Sergeant
Last Unit: No. 460 Squadron (RAAF)
Born: Sydney New South Wales Australia , 13 July 1917
Home Town: Belmore, Canterbury, New South Wales
Schooling: Christian Bro’s. High School Lewisham (1929-33)
Occupation: Clerk
Died: Flying Battle, Germany, 17 April 1943, aged 25 years
Cemetery: Durnbach Cemetery, Germany
Coll. Grave Plot 8. Row A. Grave 13-15 Local Roll of Honour- Belmore New South Wales Australia
Memorials: Australian War Memorial, Roll of Honour
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World War 2 Service

26 Apr 1941: Enlisted Royal Australian Air Force, Aircraftman 2, SN 411207, No. 2 Initial Training School
21 Jun 1941: Promoted Royal Australian Air Force, Leading Aircraftman
15 Nov 1941: Embarked Royal Australian Air Force, SN 411207, Emb. Sydney for Canada
25 Apr 1942: Promoted Royal Australian Air Force, Sergeant
21 Jul 1942: Involvement Royal Australian Air Force, Sergeant, SN 411207, 27 Operational Training Unit (RAF), Air War NW Europe 1939-45
17 Oct 1942: Involvement Royal Australian Air Force, Sergeant, SN 411207, No. 460 Squadron (RAAF), Air War NW Europe 1939-45
25 Oct 1942: Promoted Royal Australian Air Force, Flight Sergeant, 27 Operational Training Unit (RAF)
16 Apr 1943: Honoured Distinguished Flying Medal, Air War NW Europe 1939-45
17 Apr 1943: Involvement Royal Australian Air Force, Flight Sergeant, SN 411207, No. 460 Squadron (RAAF), Air War NW Europe 1939-45

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Biography contributed by Graham Padget

ROYAL AUSTRALIAN AIR FORCE

HONOURS AND AWARDS.

THE DISTINGUISHED FLYING MEDAL

No. 411207 SERGEANT FRANCIS HENRY WARD.

CITATION.

     Flight Sergeant WHITE and Sergeant Ward were pilot and bomb aimer respectively of an aircraft detailed to attack St. Nazaire one night in March, 1943.

     Shortly after crossing the French coast on the outward flight, a Junkers 88 was encountered. In the ensuing combat the bomber was damaged and temporarily went out of control, diving steeply.

     By strenuous effort Flight Sergeant WHITE pulled out of the dive at 4000 feet and although aircraft was difficult to control continued to the target and bombed it.

     On completion of the bombing run, whilst taking photographs, Sergeant WARD discovered one bomb had failed to release and could not be jettisoned.  He endeavoured to dislodge the bomb and after half an hour of unrelaxed effort succeeded.  Afterwards, he went to the assistance of the pilot who was having great difficulty in controlling the damaged bomber.

     Displaying fine airmanship, Flight Sergeant WHITE succeeded in flying the aircraft back to base where a safe landing in difficult circumstances was effected.

     Both members of the aircraft crew displayed great skill, courage and resolution.

[transcribed un-edited from the NAA record file for Francis Henry Ward]

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