103 Squadron RAF
No 103 Squadron RAF awards
Medal citations for awards to 103 Squadron officers and NCO's for actions during 1918.
Major Michael Henry Braddon Nethersole, DSO.
"A squadron commander of exceptional merit, who, by his enthusiasm and fine example has revolutionised the tactics of his squadron. Formerly accustomed to bombing from a high altitude the members have descended to low altitudes, thus ensuring greater accuracy of aim. On 30th October he led his squadron on a low bombing raid against an aerodrome. The raid was most successful, he himself destroying two hangars. On the return journey he kept his machines so well together that, though they were attacked by large numbers of hostile scouts, they succeeded in destroying five of them with no loss on our side. The engagement continued during the whole of the return journey, but the squadron succeeded in causing considerable damage to hostile troops on the ground in addition to the casualties in the air as noted above." Gazette 8 Feb 1919.
Lt. Joel Gordon Hirst Chrispin DFC.
"This officer has carried out over eighty bombing raids far into enemy country and has shown most consistent determination and gallantry, notably on 4th November, when, leading a formation of some sixty machines to bomb an enemy aerodrome, he encountered a large number of enemy aircraft. His progress was also seriously interfered with by many thick clouds. Undeterred by these difficulties, he never wavered, but led the whole raiding party straight to the objective, and descending to the low altitude of 1,000 feet, inflicted very serious damage on the aerodrome." Gazette 8 Feb 1919.
Sgt. Mech. Ernest James William Watkinson DFM
"This non-commissioned officer has over one hundred hours' war flying to his credit, and has taken part in sixty bombing raids. He has destroyed one hostile aeroplane, and has proved himself an exceptionally skilful and courageous bomber, notably on 10th October, when, flying at a height of about one thousand feet under heavy fire from the ground, he directed his bombs with such accuracy that one hit the rolling stock in the station and another the transport on a road." Gazette 19th Dec 1918.
Lt. (A/Capt) John Austin-Sparks DFC
"An officer distinguished for gallantry and fine leadership. On 29th September Capt. Austin-Sparks rendered exceptionally fine service. Detailed to carry out an important reconnaissance, he succeeded in reaching his objective and obtaining the necessary information. The opposition he had to encounter was exceptionally heavy and concentrated; his machine was badly damaged, and his observer's gun, with its mounting, was carried away by shell fire. Eventually both he and his observer were wounded, Capt. Austin-Sparks being rendered temporarily unconscious and unable to control his machine. He, however, recovered sufficiently to land his machine safely with the aid of his observer." Gazette 3rd Dec 1918.
Captain Roy Edward Dodds DFC
"An officer who possesses high courage combined with great power of leadership. He has taken part in sixty bombing raids far over enemy territory, a large number of which he has led. In addition, he has carried out a number of successful photographic reconnaissances, frequently meeting and overcoming strong hostile aerial resistance. In the course of these flights he has destroyed four enemy machines, and his observer has accounted for three others. A fine achievement, for the machine he flies is designed for heavy bombing and long reconnaissance rather than for aerial combats." Supplement to the London Gazette, 8 Feb 1919
Lt. Geoffrey Bruce Hett DFC
"This officer has taken part in fifty bombing raids, proving himself a capable and resolute officer. On 30th October, during a return journey, his formation was attacked by thirty scouts. Lt. Hett, flying in the rear, bore the brunt of this heavy attack. With skill and cool judgment he so manoeuvred his machine that his observer was enabled to destroy two of the hostile .aircraft before he was seriously wounded. Facing the enemy scouts, Lt. Hett maintained a successful combat until they were driven off by the arrival of some of our scouts." Gazette 8th Feb 1919.
2nd Lt. (Hon. Lt) Frank Masterman Loly DFC
"This officer has done over two hundred hours war flying as an observer. On 18th October, accompanying the leader of a special bombing raid, he descended in his heavy bombing machine to 2,500 feet above an enemy railway station. From this altitude, unusually low for the- type of machine, and in face of heavy fire, he, with remarkable coolness and precision, aimed his bombs,; one fell on the station buildings, and another on an ammunition train, which was completely destroyed." Gazette 8th Feb 1919.
Captain John Stevenson Stubbs DFC.
"Captain Stubbs is a fine leader and a skilful tactician, who during the last few months, has led fifty-one reconnaissances and raids over enemy lines with marked success, frequently extricating his formation, when attacked by large numbers of scouts, by his coolness and judgment. One evening this officer, with Lt. Russell as Observer, in company with another machine, encountered ten enemy aeroplanes. Regardless of their superiority in numbers, he at once attacked and shot down one. By skilful manoeuvring he enabled his Observer to bring down another; the remainder of the enemy were driven down to their lines; he then completed his reconnaissance and returned home. Leaving the other machine behind, he again crossed the enemy lines; he bombed a train and attacked some mechanical transport at 1,500 ft. altitude. This particular exploit is highly creditable to both these officers, the machine in which they flew being unsuitable for low bombing attacks; moreover, they were subjected to very heavy anti-aircraft and machine-gun fire." DFC citation, Supplement to the London Gazette, 2 Nov 1918.
Sgt. Leonard Cecil Ovens (25013)
Croix de Guerre avec Palme
(conferred by the President of the French Republic)
[No citation but Sgt Ovens flew 71 missions as an Observer with the Squadron before being brought down on 24 September 1918 and taken prisoner.]
London Gazette 15 Jul 1919