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A matter of honour

After reading TAG Les Sayer’s account of attacking the Bismarck from the back of a Swordfish in the Swordfish bookazine that accompanied the January edition of Aeroplane, I was struck by the randomness of awarding medals by the services. At the end of the Bismarck story it says Les was awarded the DSM for his part in the action. Now take the case of LAC Lawrence Reynolds, a Fairey Battle rear gunner, who was killed along with his fellow crew members during an attack on bridges at Veldwezelt and Vroenhoven in Belgium on 12 May 1940. Pilot Fg Off Donald Garland and observer Sgt Thomas Gray were awarded posthumous VCs, while LAC Reynolds got nothing as it was stated he wasn’t in a decision-making position.

While not wishing to denigrate the award of the DSM to Les Sayer, I would suggest he was no more in a decision-making position than LAC Reynolds, and so Reynolds should have been recognised in some way.


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