||Anderson||Alan Ford||Grp Cpt||1910 Simla India||Pilot||DSO & Bar|
Commander Order of Orange-Nassau Netherlands
1939-45 Star; Air Crew Europe Star, clasp, France and Germany; War Medal 1939-45; Coronation 1953;
|RAF||Fighter Command||613 Sqd RAF|
228 Sqd RAF
|Hector bi-plane, Lysander, Tomahawk, Mustang||Survived war. Retired to Minorca. Returned to UK, died December 2002 aged 92||1940 Suicidal sorties over Calais in an obsolete 170 m.p.h. Hector biplane. Led the first ever single-engined fighter sortie to Germany from the U.K. Many low-level sorties flown over Holland in the latter period of war with 2TAF.
See Archive Report.
DFC Citation London Gazette 5 November 1940. The original recommendation states:
‘During the months of May and June 1940, this officer was in charge of 613 Squadron which operated during the evacuation of the B.E.F. In spite of the fact that this squadron was without previous experience of operational flying, a number of important sorties were successfully accomplished in the face of heavy anti-aircraft fire. Squadron Leader Anderson took part in each of these which included the bombing of batteries in the vicinity of Calais, and the dropping of ammunition and water for the garrison holding the Citadel there. All these operations were successfully carried out. This was substantially due to the confidence and enthusiasm which Squadron Leader Anderson inspired in his junior officers and to his magnificent leadership.’
DSO Citation: London Gazette 5 February 1943. The original recommendation states: ‘Wing Commander Anderson has been in command of No. 268 Squadron since December 1940. At the time the Squadron was equipped with Lysanders and in order to get some sort of operations for his pilots he arranged for dusk and dawn patrols off the East Coast. In May 1941 the Squadron was re-equipped with Tomahawk aircraft and by September was fitted with a No. 19 A.F. wireless set giving larger range. On 19 October 1941, the first attack was made on targets at Ijmuiden and Dan Helder in Holland with the Wing Commander leading. Several other attempts were made by Wing Commander Anderson but were abandoned owing to lack of cloud cover or fog. In December, in order to get further operational experience, Wing Commander Anderson asked for and obtained permission to be attached to R.A.F. Ibsley with a view to getting combat experience. Working under 10 Group, Wing Commander Anderson and three pilots carried out convoy patrols. In January 1942, owing to the numerous mechanical failures of the Alison Engine, H.Q., Army Command, stopped operational flying. Throughout the above period the Squadron continued its normal role of training with H.Q. No. 2 Corps. In April 1942, the Squadron was re-equipped with Mustang aircraft and in June, at the request of Wing Commander Anderson, it was permitted to carry out shipping reconnaissance off the Dutch Coast. In August 1942, the Squadron was attached to No. 12 (Fighter) Group for full fighter operations and was equipped with V.H.F. and operated on interceptor patrols, shipping reconnaissance off the Dutch Coast and attack of ground targets in Holland and Germany. It has been due to the personal effort of Wing Commander Anderson that his squadron has been enabled to carry out offensive operations and he himself has always led the first of any new type of sortie. In October, Wing Commander Anderson led a section of four Mustangs to North-West Germany and attacked targets on the Dortmund-Ems Canal. This was the first time that single-engined fighters based in England had attacked targets in Germany. Throughout this period, Wing Commander Anderson has led: 6 Tomahawk operations over Holland; 2 Mustang “Rhubarbs” - one over Holland and the other over Germany; 12 Mustang shipping reconnaissance operations; and 3 Mustang interceptor patrols over the North Sea. Wing Commander Anderson has always displayed the greatest initiative to get his squadron onto offensive operations. he is a born leader and has instilled an operational attitude into not only the pilots but also the N.C.Os and ground crew as well. He is absolutely tireless and one of the most enthusiastic Commanding Officers I have met. Through his magnificent leadership, courage and example he has produced in 268 Squadron a thoroughly sound and reliable fighting unit not only in its primary role of Fighter Reconnaissance but also in its secondary and more offensive roles.’
Bar to DSO Citation London Gazette 27 April 1945. The original recommendation states:
‘Between 15 December 1944 and 21 February 1945, Group Captain Anderson carried out 6 reconnaissance sorties over enemy territory. Besides bringing back valuable information, this officer and his No. 2 made the following claims:
1 1000-ton ship destroyed (seen on fire); 2 1000-ton ships severely damaged (one on fire); 1 minelayer damaged; 1 tug destroyed; 3 tugs damaged (one on fire); 3 barges severely damaged; 1 500-ton ship and sundry small M.Vs damaged; 1 ferry damaged; 2 M.T. destroyed; 1 Met and 1 A.F.V. damaged.
These attacks were carried out often in the face of intense accurate flak and twice Group Captain Anderson’s aircraft was hit and damaged.
Since the date of his last award this officer has carried out 49 sorties over enemy territory, some of which were to provide photographs necessary during the planning of “Overlord”. Besides the claims made above, he has scored successes against a number of different types of target including 16 locos damaged, parties of troops on the ground, and damage to transport vehicles of all descriptions, at all times displaying a fine offensive spirit and courage of a high order.
Group Captain Anderson has proved himself to be an outstanding Commanding Officer. The Recce. Wing he has commanded in the Field since August 1944 has achieved magnificent results whilst working with 1st Canadian Army. The results achieved, at a small cost to the Wing, are an indication of its efficiency. This high standard is very largely due to the efficiency of its Commanding Officer and the magnificent example he sets to the rest of his unit.’
Order of Orange Nassau Citation London Gazette 31 October 1947. The original recommendation states:
‘Group Captain Anderson commanded No. 35 Reconnaissance Wing from 30 August 1944 until 1 December 1945. The Wing operated from Gilze Rijen and Mill during the winter of 1944-45. During this period his Wing was responsible not only for tactical reconnaissance and artillery spotting, but also for provision of photographic cover extending deep into enemy territory, without which detailed plans for operations by the Army and Air Force could not have been made. Group Captain Anderson proved himself to be a courageous leader; he himself flew a great number of operational sorties and frequently insisted on leading missions which, by the nature of their tasks, expected heavy opposition. Under his inspiring leadership the Wing carried out all these tasks in an exemplary manner.’