Lieutenant d’aviation Joseph Omer Léopold Desroches

J’avais continué mes recherches sur les aviateurs tués lors de l’écrasement du Wellington piloté par le Pilot Officer Doucette.

Cliquez ici pour être dirigé vers mon article.

Voici le navigateur de son équipage.

Le texte est en anglais.

À la mémoire de
Lieutenant d’aviation
JOSEPH OMER LEOPOLD  DESROCHES
décédé(e) le 15 avril 1943
Froidlieu, Belgique

Service militaire :

Numéro matricule : J/15820
Âge : 24
Force : Aviation militaire
Unité :  Aviation royale du Canada
Division : 425 Sqdn.
Mention élogieuse : Croix du Service distingué dans l’Aviation (D.F.C.)
Décorations et titres honorifiques :  Croix du Service distingué dans l’Aviation

Renseignements supplémentaires :

Fils de Ovila et Emilia Desroches.

DESROCHES, F/O Joseph Omer Leopold (J15820)

Distinguished Flying Cross

– No.425 Squadron (deceased)

– Award effective 14 April 1943 as per London Gazette dated 1 June 1945 and AFRO 1219/45 dated 27 July 1945.

Born 1919 in Montreal; home there; enlisted there 22 June 1940. Trained at No.2 ITS (graduated 27 July 1940), No.2 AOS (graduated 23 November 1940), No.2 BGS (graduated 4 January 1941) and No.1 ANS (graduated 3 February 1941).  Commissioned 1942.  Killed in action 14/15 April 1943 (Wellington X3763).

This officer is an excellent navigator who possesses exceptional courage and coolness, which he has demonstrated in many emergencies.  During a daylight attack on Wilhelmshaven the aircraft in which he was flying was attacked and damaged by enemy fighters. While on the way to the rear turret to assist the wounded gunner, Flying Officer Desroches fell through the escape hatch but caught himself on his elbows.  After he was assisted back into the aircraft he rendered first aid to the wounded, operated the wireless and navigated the aircraft to the target and back to base. He has performed his duties at all times in a thoroughly efficient manner and recently applied to be allowed to continue on operations until his present captain and crew completed their tour of duty.  Flying Officer Desroches has set a splendid example to the squadron.

NOTE:

Public Record Office Air 2/8950 has recommendation dated 18 March 1943 when he had flown 32 ½ sorties (182 hours 35 minutes); the sea search on 23 January 1943 was counted as a half-sortie. The daylight raid on Wilhelmshaven mentioned in the text was on 6 November 1942. One peculiar entry is a sortie listed for 13 May 1942 (Cologne); this is more likely to read 30 May 1942 and was likely performed between regular tours.  The document gives his name as Joseph Olivier Leopold Desroches.

16 Sept 41 Le Havre (5.40)

23 Nov 42 GARDENING (4.10)

10 Oct 41   Ostend (5.30)

31 Oct 41   Dunkirk (3.20)

7 Nov 41    Boulogne (4.50)

12 Nov 41  Hamburg (5.25)

8 Dec 41    Aachen (4.15)

28 Dec 41 Wilhelmshaven (4.55)

6 Jan 42     Brest (3.10)

9 Jan 42     Brest (5.45)

10 Jan 42  Wilhelmshaven (6.25)

12 Jan 42  Hamburg (6.40)

17 Jan 42  Bremen (6.00)

21 Jan 42  Hanover (7.00)

13 May 42 Cologne (6.10)

6 Oct 42     Osnabruck (6.25)

13 Oct 42   Kiel (6.25)

6 Nov 42    Wilhelmshaven (5.15)

25 Nov 42  GARDENING (7.10)

6 Dec 42   Mannheim (5.45)

7 Dec 42   GARDENING (5.00)

11 Dec 42 GARDENING (5.25)

2 Jan 43    GARDENING (4.00)

23 Jan 43  Sea search (3.45)

26 Jan 43  Lorient (7.00)

3 Feb 43    Hamburg (6.20)

7 Feb 43    Lorient (6.15)

11 Feb 43 GARDENING (4.45)

13 Feb 43 Lorient (6.40)

16 Feb 43 Lorient (6.30)

19 Feb 43 Wilhelmshaven (5.05)

24 Feb 43 Wilhelmshaven (5.55)

26 Feb 43 Cologne

6 Nov 42    Wilhelmshaven (5.15)

Pilot Officer Desroches, Canadian, in the Royal Canadian Air Force, has proven himself to be an excellent navigator who possesses courage and exceptional coolness in emergency.  This was demonstrated on a daylight attack against Wilhelmshaven when the aircraft he was navigating was attacked and damaged by enemy fighters.  When he went back to the rear turret to assist the wounded rear gunner, Pilot Officer Desroches fell through the escape hatch but caught himself on his elbows.  After he had been helped back into the aircraft, he rendered first aid to wounded crew members, operated the wireless and navigated the aircraft on to the target and then back to base.

On making application, Pilot Officer Desroches was given permission to continue flying on operations until his present captain and crew completed their normal tour of 30 sorties. Such a request exemplifies further the courage and keenness of this officer.

The Officer Commanding, Station Dishforth, added his comments on 20 March 1943:

Pilot Officer Desroches has taken part in raids against some of the most heavily defended targets in enemy territory including Osnabruck, Kiel and Hamburg.  Always he has carried out his duties in a thoroughly efficient manner.  He has a strong character which couples with his unquestioned courage makes him an asset to the crew and undoubtedly the right-hand man of his captain. I endorse the comments of the Squadron Commander and recommend that Pilot Officer Desroches be awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.

Air Vice-Marshal G.E. Brookes, Air Officer Commanding, No.6 Group, endorsed the recommendation on 29 March 1943.

                                                           

Une réflexion sur “Lieutenant d’aviation Joseph Omer Léopold Desroches

  1. Je ne parle bien le français mais je ferai de mon mieux.
    Léopold était mon oncle; le frère plus aimé de ma mère Marie Suzanne Desroches. J’avais les médailes ainsi qu’une lettre du département de guerre lui confiant le DFC.
    J’ai visité la tombe de mon oncle près de la riviere Marne mais c’était en France et non pas en Belgique. Aussi mon grand-père s’appelait Ovila et non pas Avila.

    Ecris-moi s’il vous plait.
    Merci,
    Peter

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