Sgt Frank Morton Griggs DFM, 400468 RAAF. Pilot
On the night of 27/06/1942 Stirling N3751 coded BU-P set out for operations to Bremen. After bombing the target the crew encountered Luftwaffe nightfigters who often frequented the bomber routes home. ;Enduring an unforgettable night of horror N3751 and crew, although severely damaged by flak, attacked by five enemy fighters and shot at over the sea managed to bring their aircraft home. At 0500 be it a miracle or skill, N3751 returning to base, skidded down the runway wheels up and came to a rest. Although not officially verified yet ;it is almost certain that Stirling BU-P never flew again. All surviving crew members were awarded the DFM. The citation as follows tells the harrowing story:
3196 SUPPLEMENT TO THE LONDON GAZETTE, 21 JULY,1942
Award of the Distinguished Flying Medal to:
953982 F/Sgt James Ian Cunningham Waddicar, Gunner
Aus- 4OO468 Sergeant Frank Morton GRIGGS RAAF, Pilot
1378114 Sergeant ;Arthur 'O'HARA, Navigator
953982 Flight Sergeant James Ian Cunningham WADDICAR
1014907 Sergeant Ronald WATSON, Gunner
527989 .Sergeant Thomas Noel Castree PROSSER,'
1052356 Sergeant 'William WILDEY 1st Wireless Operator
These airmen (listed above) were members of the crew of an aircraft detailed to attack Bremen" on ' the night' of 27th June, 1942 (27/06/1942), Sergeant Griggs acting as captain. The objective was successfully bombed., but over the target area the aircraft sustained much damage from anti-aircraft fire. One of ;the starboard engines was hit and put out of action. Shortly afterwards the bomber was subjected to an attack by an enemy fighter, fire from which caused further damage. Almost immediately a second fighter opened fire and Sergeant Wildey, the 1st wireless operator, was wounded in the arm. The first fighter then returned to the attack but was met with a long and vicious burst from Sergeant Waddicar's guns which sent the enemy aircraft spinning towards the ground, where it exploded on impact.
Some time later, after crossing Holland, Sergeant O'Hara, the navigator, who had "skilfully guided his captain' thus far, observed 2' enemy fighters closing in. Sergeant Watson, who was tending the injured wireless operator, immediately attempted to man his turret but it was jammed. With the assistance of Sergeant O'Hara, who held his legs, he managed to reach his guns and he then delivered an effective burst at the leading fighter, which caused it to dive towards the sea completely out of-control. Meanwhile, Sergeant Waddicar, with commendable ingenuity, had temporarily repaired one of his guns which had failed and opened fire at the second aircraft from close range.. The attacker dived away and exploded before hitting the water! The bomber was not yet out of danger, being subjected to machine gun fire from the sea. A few minutes later another fighter appeared opening fire with a long burst but Sergeant Waddicar's return fire caused it to break off the engagement.
Sergeant Griggs, displaying fine airmanship, eventually flew his severely damaged aircraft safely back to base where he made a crash landing. Throughout the operation, these airmen displayed unflinching courage, great fortitude and splendid team work in foiling the attacks of 5 enemy fighters, 3 of which were shot down. Their conduct upheld the highest 'traditions of the Royal Air Force.