Pilot Officer George William PENROSE (80423), Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, No. 12 Squadron.
Pilot Officer Donald Joseph WHEELER (Aus.404663), Royal Australian Air Force, No. 12 Squadron.
As rear gunner and wireless operator/air gunner respectively Pilot Officers Penrose and Wheeler
have participated in numerous bombing sorties.
In August, 1942, during a sortie against Kassel, both displayed high devotion to duty in difficult circumstances. The following night, they were members of the crew of an aircraft which attacked Saarbrucken. On the return flight, the aircraft was intercepted by an enemy fighter. In a series of 15 attacks, the bomber sustained severe damage.
A shell which burst in the rear turret exploded some ammunition and eventually rendered the turret unserviceable. In spite of this, Pilot Officer Penrose used his guns effectively and his fire eventually set one of the attacker's engines alight, causing it to break off the combat. Meanwhile, Pilot Officer Wheeler who had been wounded in both hands by shrapnel, continued his duties of fire control without mentioning his injuries. He afterwards rendered first aid to a wounded comrade.
In the face of most trying circumstances both Pilot Officers Penrose and Wheeler displayed great courage and devotion to duty