F/Lt Basil Oliver PETRIDES D.F.M.
Serial Number: 115353
RAF Trade: Wireless Operator
Enlistment: Not Known
? Ops with 50 Squadron presumably a first tour of 30 ops,
with 101 Squadron,
with 156 Squadron
of Basil Cecil and Olive Petrides, husband of Anne Merriel
Petrides, of East Dean, Sussex. Basil died
aged 22, married, a DFM receipient, and probably around 40 +
History: Basil appears to have started
his operational service with 50 Squadron which at the time
were flying Hampden bombers. Basil was awarded the Distinguished
Flying Medal on 10/02/1942 presumably after having completed his
first tour of ops of 30 missions. At this point in time his rank
I assume that
Basil would then have been posted to an Operation Training Unit
(O.T.U.) for some time before being posted back to operational
appears in the records of 101 Squadron, with the rank of Flight
Lieutenant in August 1943. His missions with 101 Squadron have
been confirmed as:
Basil flew the
above missions with a variety of crews and due to his rank and
the gaps between missions I wonder if he may have been the
Squadron's Wireless Operator Leader.
It seems that
Basil joined up with F/Lt Mackay to make up a crew for transfer
to 156 Squadron. As with most Pathfinder postings this would
have been on a volunteer basis.
Basil flew only 5
ops with 156 Squadron, including three to Berlin. January 1944
saw the heaviest losses in 156 Sqn. history. On a mission to
Berlin on 27/1/1944 their aircraft was attacked and seriously
damaged by a fighter attack and both Air Gunners were wounded.
Basil's last mission was to Stuttgart on
20/3/1944 when his aircraft was hit by flak at 20,000 ft and
exploded. Only the captain, who was thrown clear, survived.