- Second World War (1939-1945)
- Squadron Leader
- No. 82 Squadron, Royal Air Force
- Awarded on:
- May 17th, 1940
"This officer has made six reconnaissance flights, including pamphlet dropping and security patrol duties, during the period September 1939 to February 1940, over heavily defended enemy territory and often under very trying conditions but despite many difficulties has has accomplished his missions successfully. As a flight commander he sets a high standard and is unsparing in his efforts to maintain efficiency in his flight"
"Squadron Leader Sutcliffe was the pilot, and Sergeant Phillipson and Leading Aircraftman Whitehead the Observer and Air Gunner of a Blenheim which carried out a photographic reconnaissance over Sylt on 20th March 1940. The aircraft was over Sylt from 0854 to 0900 hours flying below the clouds and, in spite of very heavy and continuous A.A. fire from the shore battery which damaged the port wing, and with enemy fighters in the vicinity, a complete line overlap of Sylt was taken. There is no doubt that courage and resource was shown by the whole crew in successfully completing a difficult task when it was obvious that such a reconnaissance was certain to be expected by the enemy after the previous night's bombing raids. Squadron Leader Sutcliffe also carried out a previous reconnaissance on 20th March which he attacked a Flak ship, and obtained valuable information and photographs. He also led a sector on an operational sweep on 13th January which was successfully completed in spite of very bad weather. This officer has proved himself to be an inspiring leader under all conditions. Both Sergeant Phillipson and L.A.C. Whitehead were with Squadron Leader Sutcliffe on both these occasions in addition to having taken part in a large number of other operational flights. Both men are first class operational crews and can be relied upon to put up a first class show under the most difficult circumstances."