Edwards, Hughie Idwal

    Date of birth:
    August 1st, 1914 (Fremantle, Australia)
    Date of death:
    August 5th, 1982 (Sydney, Australia)
    Service number:
    39005
    Nationality:
    Australian (1901-present, Federal Republic)

    Biography

    Do you have more information about this person? Inform us!

    Period:
    Second World War (1939-1945)
    Rank:
    Acting Wing Commander
    Unit:
    No. 105 Squadron, Royal Air Force
    Awarded on:
    July 4th, 1941
    Action:
    Citation:
    "In June, 1941, this officer led a formation of aircraft in an operational sweep against enemy shipping off the Dutch coast. A convoy of eight merchant vessels was sighted at anchor about 3 miles outside The Hague. In the face of intense and accurate pompom and machine gun fire, the formation attacked from a height of only 50 feet. Wing Commander Edwards attacked a ship of some 4,000 tons and, after raking the decks with his forward machine guns, released his bombs from mast high. A considerable explosion followed, debris being thrown in the air while columns of black smoke were emitted. The vessel was certainly severely damaged if not sunk. This officer has completed numerous operational missions over enemy and enemy-occupied country and against their shipping and has at all times displayed great leadership, skill and gallantry."
    Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC)
    Period:
    Second World War (1939-1945)
    Rank:
    Acting Wing Commander
    Unit:
    No. 105 Squadron, Royal Air Force
    Awarded on:
    July 22nd, 1941
    Victoria Cross (VC)
    Action:
    Citation:
    "Wing Commander Edwards, although handicapped by a physical disability resulting from a flying accident, has repeatedly displayed gallantry of the highest order in pressing home bombing attacks from very low heights against strongly defended objectives.

    On 4th July, 1941, he led an important attack on the Port of Bremen, one of the most heavily defended towns in Germany. This attack had to be made in daylight and there were no clouds to afford concealment. During the approach to the German coast several enemy ships were sighted and Wing Commander Edwards knew that his aircraft would be reported and that the defences would be in a state of readiness. Undaunted by this misfortune he brought his formation 50 miles overland to the target, flying at a height of little more than 50 feet, passing under high-tension cables, carrying away telegraph wires and finally passing through a formidable balloon barrage. On reaching Bremen he was met with a hail of fire, all his aircraft being hit and four of them being destroyed. Nevertheless he made a most successful attack, and then with the greatest skill and coolness withdrew the surviving aircraft without further loss.

    Throughout the execution of this operation which he had planned personally with full knowledge of the risks entailed, Wing Commander Edwards displayed the highest possible standard of gallantry and determination."
    Details:
    Decoration was presented on February 17th, 1942.
    Period:
    Second World War (1939-1945)
    Rank:
    Wing Commander
    Unit:
    No. 105 Squadron, Royal Air Force
    Awarded on:
    January 8th, 1943
    Awarded for:
    Operation Oyster
    Distinguished Service Order (DSO)
    Action:
    Citation:
    "On the 6th December, 1942, a force of bombers was detailed to make an attack in daylight on the Philips Factory at Eindhoven. The operation, which was executed faultlessly, demanded a high degree of skill and accurate timing. Bombs were released at varying heights, down to roof top level. Many hits were obtained, some in the center of the target area. Two gun posts were silenced. Intense and heavy opposition was encountered and both of the outward and return flights attacks were made by enemy fighters. The great success achieved reflects the greatest credit on the following personnel who participated in various capacities as leaders and members of aircraft crews."
    Period:
    Second World War (1939-1945)
    Awarded on:
    July 4th, 1941
    Mentioned in Despatches
    Awarded on:
    1959
    Companion of The Most Honourable Order of the Bath (CB)
    Awarded on:
    October 1974
    Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George (KCMG/DCMG)

    Sources

    Photo