Can/R.83959 Flight Sergeant Gordon Thompson MACKENZIE, Royal Canadian Air Force, No. 156 Squadron.
MacKENZIE, FS Gordon Thompson (R83959) - Distinguished Flying Medal - No.156 Squadron
Award effective 16 October 1942 as per London Gazette dated 27 October 1942 and AFRO 1783/42 dated 6 November 1942.
Born in Ferhurst, Sussex, England, 27 April 1919.
A ledger keeper in Toronto when he enlisted there, 10 December 1940.
Trained at No.3 ITS (graduated 21 April 1941),
No.10 EFTS (graduated 9 June 1941),
and No.6 SFTS (graduated 20 August 1941).
Presented at Buckingham Palace, 23 February 1943.
Flight Sergeant MacKenzie has participated in many attacks on the enemy. On the night of the 28th July, 1942, he took control of a badly damaged aircraft from his wounded captain. By his courage and skilful handling he saved a valuable aircraft.
LG 3579 1942- 10-23 Page 2 35759_1942_10_23
NOTE: Public Records Office Air 2/9600 has recommendation dated 22 August 1942 when he had flown on ten sorties (51 operational hours):
Flight Sergeant MacKenzie has carried out ten operational sorties in the past two months.
On the night of 28th/29th July 1942, when flying as second pilot, he took over controls of a badly damaged aircraft from his wounded captain near the Dutch coast.
Despite the fact that his starboard elevator was missing and his starboard tailplane damaged, making the aircraft very difficult to handle, Flight Sergeant MacKenzie brought it safely to the English coast. The engines were then misfiring due to shortage of petrol, and the captain gave orders to abandon by parachute.
Flight Sergeant MacKenzie, however, continued to fly the aircraft and effected a safe landing without further damage. By his courage and skilful handling of his aircraft, he saved a valuable aircraft and was largely responsible for the safe descent by parachute of his captain and crew.
To this the Officer Commanding, RAF Station Wyton, Hunts, added:
Is strongly recommended for the award of the DFM. His actions on the night of 28th/29th July, described above, were, in my opinion, extremely courageous and determined and in addition displayed a high degree of skill in handling the aircraft. He is a most reliable captain of aircraft and deserves recognition.
On 28 August 1942 the Air Officer Commanding, No.3 Group, added:
I most strongly support the above recommendation and the determination that this Non-Commissioned Officer displayed in endeavouring to save a valuable aircraft after he had assisted the wounded captain and crew who escaped by parachute, is typical of his behaviour during all his operational sorties. For the last two he has been appointed captain of aircraft after his behaviour on the night of 28/29th July and he has already proved his ability as such.