Newspaper cuttings award of Victoria Cross



Newspaper cuttings award of Victoria Cross


Left - a master bomber's self-sacrifice. Account of actions of Captain Edwin Swales DFC of the South African Air Force posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross for attack on Pforzheim. He was attached by fighters over the target and aircraft severely damaged. Eventually crew bailed out then aircraft plunged into the ground. Mentions he was in attack on Cologne when his friend Robert Palmer. was awarded the Victoria Cross. Right - page from Times Weekly with many photographs and captions concerning war news, including manufactoring of Grand Slam bombs. Small photograph in centre of Robert Palmer awarded Victoria Cross. Missing after operation to Cologne.



Temporal Coverage




Two newspaper cutting on an album page


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[inserted] Manchester Guardian Wed. April 25th [/inserted]


Posthumous V.C. Award

Captain Edwin Swales, D.F.C., of the South African Air Force, a Master Bomber, has been posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross. With two engines out of action and his aircraft almost defenceless he stayed over his target issuing instructions which made possible one of the most concentrated and successful Bomber Command raids of the war.

When he was satisfied that the attack on Pforzheim on the night of February 23 had achieved its purpose he struggled in vain to bring his aircraft home. After his crew, on his orders, had jumped to safety his crippled aircraft plunged to earth and he was found dead at the controls. The citation says:

Captain Swales had the task of locating the target area and giving aiming instructions to the main force of bombers. Soon after he had reached the target area one of his engines was put out of action by an enemy fighter and his rear guns failed. His crippled aircraft was an easy prey, but he carried on with his allotted task. Clearly and precisely he issued aiming instruction to the main force.

Meanwhile the enemy fighter closed the range and fired again. A second engine was put out of action. Almost defenceless, Swales stayed over the target area until he was satisfied that the attack had achieved its purpose.

His aircraft's speed had been so much reduced that it could only with difficulty be kept in the air. The "blind flying" instruments were no longer working, but, determined at all costs to prevent his aircraft and crew from falling into enemy hands, he set course for home. The aircraft, now over friendly territory, became more and more difficult to control and was losing height steadily. Realising that the situation was desperate, Captain Swales ordered his crew to bale out. Hardly had the last member of the crew jumped when the aircraft plunged to earth. Intrepid in the attack, courageous in the face of danger, he did his duty to the last, giving his life that his comrades might live.

Captain Swales was the only member of the South African Air Force to have flown with Pathfinder Force. He was in the attack on a railway yard at Cologne when the Master Bomber, Captain Swales's friend, Squadron Leader R. Palmer, won the V.C. For his own part in the attack he received the immediate award of the D.F.C. This award was announced on February 22. The next day he went out on his last mission.

Swales, who was born on July 3, 1915, at Durban, was a prominent Rugby footballer. As a front-row forward he appeared for the Combined Dominions team last season.

[page break]

10 [inserted] 28/3/45 THE TIMES WEEKLY


[photograph] [photograph]
Troops of the British Second Army and the American Ninth Army under Field-Marshal Montgomery's command last Friday night burst across the formidable barrier of the Rhine. Within 24 hours four major crossings between Rees and Wesel were merged into a solid bridgehead about 30 miles wide and seven deep. Mr. Churchill was present at the attack and is seen with Field-Marshal Montgomery and General Simpson in an American landing craft crossing to the east bank of the river. The second picture shows men of a Scottish Division led by a corporal landing.

Queen Wilhelmina received a great welcome from her people during her recent visit to liberated Holland. Although for reasons of security little notice of her arrival could be given beforehand great crowds gathered at every stopping place. She is seen on her arrival at Eindhoven.

A/Squadron Leader R. A. M. Palmer, who has been awarded the V.C. He was missing after a daylight attack on Cologne in which his machine went down in flames.

The posthumous award of the V.C. has been made to Fusilier Dennis Donnini. The Royal Scots Fusiliers, for gallantry in an assault between the Roer and the Maas.

DEATH OF [missing words]
Earl Lloyd-George of Dwyfor, O.M., [missing words] Minster of Fuel and Power, along the [missing words] memories of his great leadership durin[missing letters] [missing words]

[photograph] [photograph]
Two phases in the manufacture of the ten-ton bombs which are now being used with devastating effect on important enemy targets. Left: Cores for the huge bombs drying before going to the casting pit. Right: Men filling ten-ton bombs.

Steve Donoghue, the famous jockey who has died at the age of 61, photographed on Brown Jack, the winner six times of the Queen Alexandra Stakes, Ascot, the longest flat race in the country.


“Newspaper cuttings award of Victoria Cross,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed June 12, 2024,

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