A Second World War D.F.C. Group Awarded to No. 50 Squadron in 1943-44
A Second World War D.F.C. Group Awarded to No. 50 Squadron in 1943-44 - Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, late Manchester Regiment, who completed a tour of operations as an Air Gunner in No. 50 Squadron in 1943-44, including six trips to the "Big City", the Peenemunde raid and no less than four combats. Distinguished Flying Cross, G.VI.R., the reverse officially dated "1944"; India General Service 1908-35, 1 clasp, Burma 1930-32 (3519463 Pte. A. Weinberg, Manch. R.); 1939-45 Star; Air Crew Europe Star; Defence and War Medals 1939-45, mounted as worn, the second with an edge bruise, otherwise good very fine and better (6). Footnote: D.F.C. London Gazette 21 April 1944. The original recommendation states:?Pilot Officer Beale is an outstanding gunner in his Squadron. He is exceptionally efficient and extremely enthusiastic about his job. Out of the seventeen successful sorties which he has completed, six were to Berlin, four to the Ruhr, two to Leipzig, and he also took part in the raid on Peenemunde. Pilot Officer Beale who is a qualified Gunnery Leader, has taken part in four combats and on the 20-21 October 1943, on returning from Leipzig, was instrumental in shooting down a twin engined enemy aircraft which was claimed as probably destroyed.On the 23-24th December, the electric circuit of his Taylor suit became unserviceable immediately after take-off. Pilot Officer Beale, in spite of the intense cold, did not mention this to his pilot until after the target had been successfully bombed. The temperature was then -27 degrees. The aircraft climbed to 24,000 feet where the temperature dropped to -35 degrees. Pilot Officer Beale remained in his turret, however and had to be assisted out of it when within a few miles of the English Coast. He was suffering from extreme cold and had also been frost-bitten on the body. When approaching the target, this Officer sighted an enemy aircraft and continued to give correct directions to his pilot, thus enabling his captain to make the appropriate defensive manoeuvres, to avoid the fighter, and press home his attack.For the great keenness and enthusiasm which Pilot Officer Beale has shown for his work, and his exemplary courage in action, he is strongly recommended for the non-immediate award of the Distinguished Flying Cross.Alter Beale (previously Weinberg), who was born in Liverpool in July 1908, enlisted in the Manchester Regiment as a boy recruit in March 1924 and was embarked for India in September of the same year, where he served in the 2nd Battalion, latterly as a Bandsman, and was present in the Burma operations during his unit?s deployment to Mandalay in 1931.Discharged in February 1934, he enlisted in the Royal Air Force as an A.C. 2 in November 1941, in the name of Alter Beale, and was recommended for training as an Air Gunner in October 1942. Having then obtained his Air Gunner?s Badge in January 1943, he joined No. 50 Squadron, a Lancaster unit operating out of Skellingthorpe, Lincolnshire, that June, and went operational in the following month with sorties to Hamburg and Essen, the former as part of the famous "firestorm" raids. As stated above, he was subsequently involved four combats, most memorably on the night of 20-21 October in a strike against Leipzig, when he shot down an enemy nightfighter - his Lancaster was holed in several places in the fuselage, but his pilot managed to effect a forced-landing back at Foulsham. Having then been commissioned as a Pilot Officer and attended a refresher C.G.S. course at Sutton Bridge, Beale returned to No. 50, and completed sorties against Dusseldorf and Modane in November, and Berlin (twice) and Leipzig in December. Returning four more times to the "Big City" in January, in addition to sorties against Magdenburg, Beale and his crew also attacked heavily defended Schweinfurt in February and Nurnberg in March. But with the looming Normandy invasion, No. 50 turned its attention to targets of a French nature in the period April-June 1944, Beales sorties including attacks on the marshalling yards at Juvigy, Lille and Tours (twice).His tour expired, he was posted to No. 53 Base in 5 Group as a Gunnery leader, in which capacity he served for much of the remainder of the War and attained the acting rank of Squadron Leader before being released in January 1946; sold with copied service record and O.R.B. entries for his operational tour with No. 50 Squadron.