156 Squadron Log
Award Date Citation / Reference Squadron
DFC  12/10/1943  Acting Flight Lieutenant Peter Frederick CLAYTON (122931), Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve,No. 97 Squadron.  97 
DSO  6/03/1945  Acting Squadron Leader Peter Frederick CLAYTON, D.F.C. (122931), R.A.F.V.R., 156 Sqn.

CLAYTON, Peter Frederick, S/L, DFC (122931, Royal Air Force) - No.156 Squadron
Distinguished Service Order - awarded as per London Gazette dated 23 March 1945.

Draft in Public Record Office Air 2/9044 differs slightly from published version in that “One night in January 1945" is rendered as “On the night of 16th January 1945.”

This officer has completed a very large number of sorties, involving attacks on a wide range of well-defended targets. He has displayed exceptional skill and throughout his devotion to duty has been unfailing. One night in January 1945, Squadron Leader Clayton took part in an attack on Magdeburg. In spite of considerable fire from the ground defences, Squadron Leader Clayton pressed home his attack with great skill. His determination to obtain the best results on this occasion was typical of that which he has always shown throughout his tour of operational duty. His splendid example has earned him the respect of the whole squadron.

Public Record Office Air 2/9044 has recommendation drafted 17 January 1945 when he had flown 84 sorties (435 hours 15 minutes) of which 54 sorties (243 hours 40 minutes) had been since his previous award. It was accompanied by a sortie list as follows:

First Tour


25 October 1942 - antisubmarine sweep
28 October 1942 - antisubmarine sweep
1 November 1942 - antisubmarine sweep
6 November 1942 - antisubmarine sweep
9 November 1942 - antisubmarine sweep
21 February 1943 - bombing, Bremen
26 February, 1943 - bombing, Cologne
27 February 1943 - minelaying, Frisians
1 March 1943 - bombing, Bremen
11 March 1943 - bombing, Stuttgart
12 March 1943 - bombing, Essen
22 March 1943 - bombing, St.Nazaire
26 March 1943 - bombing, Duisburg
29 March 1943 - bombing, Berlin
3 April 1943 - bombing, Essen
4 April 1943 - bombing, Kiel
9 April 1943 - bombing, Duisburg
13 April 1943 - bombing, Spezia
30 April 1943 - bombing, Essen
11 June 1943 - bombing, Dusseldorf
12 June 1943 - bombing, Bochum
16 June 1943 - bombing, Cologne
3 July 1943 - bombing, Cologne
8 July 1943 - bombing, Cologne
12 July 1943 - bombing, Turin
24 July 1943 - bombing, Hamburg
25 July 1943 - bombing, Essen
27 July 1943 - bombing, Hamburg
29 July 1943 - bombing, Hamburg
2 August 1943 - bombing, Hamburg
12 August 1943 - bombing, Milan
17 August 1943 - bombing, Peenemunde
23 August 1943 - bombing, Berlin
27 August 1943 - bombing, Nuremberg
30 August 1943 - bombing, Gladbach-Munchen
27 September 1943 - bombing, Hannover
1 October 1943 - bombing, Hagen
2 October 1943 - bombing, Munchen
4 October 1943 - bombing, Frankfurt
7 October 1943 - bombing, Stuttgart
8 October 1943 - bombing, Hannover
18 October 1943 - bombing, Hannover
20 October 1943 - bombing, Leipzig
22 October 1943 - bombing, Kassel
18 November 1943 - bombing, Berlin
22 November 1943 - bombing, Berlin
23 November 1943 - bombing, Berlin
26 November 1943 - bombing, Stuttgart

Second tour


12 August 1944 - bombing, Russelsheim
14 August 1944 - bombing, Falaise
15 August 1944 - bombing, Volkel
17 August 1944 - bombing, Stettin
18 August 1944 - bombing, Bremen
25 August 1944 - bombing, Russelsheim
27 August 1944 - bombing, Pas de Calais
6 September 1944 - bombing, Emden
8 September 1944 - bombing, Le Havre
9 September 1944 - bombing, Le Havre
10 September 1944 - bombing, Le Havre
11 September 1944 - bombing, Gelsenkirchen
12 September 1944 - bombing, Frankfurt
14 September 1944 - bombing, The Hague
15 September 1944 - bombing, Kiel
17 September 1944 - bombing, Flushing
17 September 1944 - bombing, Boulogne
18 September 1944 - bombing, Flushing
23 September 1944 - bombing, Neuss
27 September 1944 - bombing, Calais
28 September 1944 - bombing, Cap Gris Nez
5 October 1944 - bombing, Saarbrucken
6 October 1944 - bombing, Sterkrade
14 October 1944 - bombing Duisburg
14 October 1944 - bombing, Duisburg
15 October 1944 - bombing, Wilhelmshaven
25 October 1944 - bombing, Essen
28 October 1944 - bombing, Westkappelle
29 October 1944 - bombing, Westkappelle
2 November 1944 - bombing, Dusssldorf
17 November 1944 - bombing, Munster
27 November 1944 - bombing, Freiburg
5 December 1944 - bombing, Soest
17 December 1944 - bombing, Ulm
14 January 1945 - bombing, Saarbrucken
16 January 1945 - bombing, Magdeburg

On the night of 16th/17th January 1945, Squadron Leader Clayton was detailed as Master Bomber for an attack on Magdeburg, one of the most heavily defended targets in Germany. He accurately marked the aiming point, and so ably did he control and direct the Main Force that initial reports show the attack as being a highly successful one. He remained over the target for the duration of the whole attack and his quick and accurate instructions ensured that this important target received the maximum concentration of bombs.

This raid is typical of the dogged determination, skill and tenacity with which this officer has acted in eleven Master and Deputy Master Bomber operations.

Squadron Leader Clayton has a magnificent operational record in the Bomber Command. He has completed 84 operational sorties, 67 of which have been with the Pathfinder Force, including 64 Marker sorties. His fine fighting qualities and resourcefulness in pressing home his attacks with the utmost determination, and with a complete disregard for the opposition has earned him the respect and admiration of the squadron. I strongly recommend him for the immediate award of the Distinguished Service Order.

Citation details provided by Hugh Halliday. 
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