|156 Squadron Log
||Citation / Reference
Pilot Officer Kenneth John LAWSON (82721), Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, No. 149 Squadron.
LAWSON, Kenneth John, P/O (82728, RAFVR*) - No.149 Squadron
Distinguished Flying Cross - awarded as per London Gazette dated 18 April 1941.
Citation in Public Record Office Air 2/8892.
This officer has completed 26 major operational night flights as navigator and observer, involving a total of 168 hours flying. He has shown outstanding devotion to duty, even to the extent of spending many hours of "stand-down" periods in perfecting his standard of astro-navigation, an accomplishment which has enabled him to locate targets when other aircraft have failed.
His skill in navigation was particularly evident when on the night of 11th/12th February, during appalling weather and in spite of wireless failure soon after the take-of, his target was successfully located, accurately bombed and the aircraft safely navigated back to a base in England.
Original recommendation drafted 21 February 1941 read as follows:
This officer has completed 26 major operational night flights as navigator and observer, involving a total of 168 hours flying.
His devotion to duty is outstanding. He has spent many hours of his"stand-down" periods in perfecting his standard of astro-navigation. On many occasions his skill in this has enabled him to locate the target when other aircraft failed, In particular on the night of 11/12th February, when appalling weather conditions existed over most of England, wireless failure was experienced soon after leaving base. Pilot Officer Lawson navigated the aircraft over mostly 10/10th cloud by means of astro - identified a target and bombed it accurately (as shown by a first class photograph which he took at the same time). He then returned to England and was able to bring his captain safely into an aerodrome.
On all occasions his gallantry is outstanding even over targets where the fiercest opposition is encountered, he will not drop his bombs unless he is certain of obtaining a good result.
The Officer Commanding, Station Mildenhall, added his remarks on 22 February 1941.
An exceptionally efficient Air Observer whose navigation on operational work is always of a very high order. Very strongly recommended.
On 25 February 1941, the Air Officer Commanding, No.3 Group, wrote:
I concur in the remarks of the Unit and Station Commanders. This officer has been a pioneer in night photography at which he is rapidly proving himself as outstandingly efficient as he is in his other duties.
He is one of the individuals who have been largely responsible for No.149 Squadron’s attaining such a very high standard of navigation, making it, at the present moment, the outstanding unit in the Group.
Citation details provided by Hugh Halliday
Acting Squadron Leader Kenneth John LAWSON, D.F.C. (82728), Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, No. 156 Squadron.
LAWSON, Kenneth John, S/L, DFC (82728, Royal Air Force) - No.156 Squadron
Distinguished Service Order - awarded as per London Gazette dated 9 July 1943.
Born 1913 at Brentford; home in Ealing.
Biographical notes, apparently published in connection with his Bar to DSO in Air Ministry Bulletin 19709/AL.1091, state that
he was born in Winnipeg, 1918; home there;
commissioned from LAC to Pilot Officer on Probation, 28 July 1940;
however, Ferry Command delivery cards held by Directorate of History as Document 84/44-3 state he was born 24 March 1913 in Ealing (London) and give his home as Ealing;
he ferried B-26 FK124 to Gibraltar, October 1942.
Awarded DFC, 18 April 1941 for services in No.149 Squadron.
Canadian Forces Directorate of History cards do not list him as CAN/RAF.
Commonwealth War Graves Commission records state he was killed on 2 January 1945, aged 31, in the rank of Wing Commander with No.405 Squadron;
buried in Durnbach War Cemetery, Bayern, Germany;
"Son of Frederic John and Beatrice Mary Lawson, of Ealing, Middlesex".
No citation in London Gazette;
following text from Air Ministry Bulletin 10775 dated 9 July 1943..
This officer is on his second operational tour and has taken part in a large number of attacks on well-defended and distant enemy targets such as Berlin, Spezia, and Cologne. Although Squadron Leader Lawson is a specialist navigation officer, he has shown the greatest determination to fly on every possible occasion. He has invariably completed his missions with high courage and devotion to duty.
Public Record Office Air 2/8964 has a slightly different text, drafted when he had flown 54 sorties of which 24 sorties (148 hours) had been since his previous award.
This officer is on his second operational tour and has taken part in a large number of attacks on well-defended and distant enemy targets such as Berlin, Spezia, and Cologne. Although Squadron Leader Lawson is a specialist navigation officer, he has shown the greatest determination to fly on every possible occasion.
Despite the fact that he suffers from air sickness he has invariably completed his missions with high courage and devotion to duty.
Citation details provided by Hugh Halliday.
Bar to DSO
LAWSON, W/C Kenneth John (82728) - Bar to Distinguished Service Order - No.405 Squadron - awarded as per London Gazette dated 18 September 1945 with effect from 1 January 1945 (since deceased). Air Ministry Bulletin 19709/AL.1091 refers.
LG *** 37272_1945_09_14
Wing Commader Lawson has a long record of operational flying. Since his last award he has participated in numerous attacks against heavily defended targets. This officer has proved himself an outstanding leader with a high sense of devotion to duty and a fearlessness which has inspired confidence in his less experienced subordinates. Both in the air and on the ground Wing Commander Lawson has displayed great zeal and efficiency.
LAWSON, Kenneth John, W/C, DSO, DFC (RAF 82728) - No.405 Squadron, Royal Canadian Air Force
Bar to Distinguished Service Order - No.405 Squadron - awarded as per London Gazette dated 18 September 1945 with effect from 1 January 1945 (since deceased). Air Ministry Bulletin 19709/AL.1091 refers.
No citation in London Gazette; following text from Public Record Office Air 2/9053, drafted when he had flown 91 sorties (507 operational hours) of which 31 sorties (145 hours) had been since previous award.
Text also published in Flight, 25 October 1945.
Citation details provided by Hugh Halliday.