Medal Citations for
Wing Commander Arthur Ashworth

Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC)

Rank: Pilot Officer
Unit: No. 75 (New Zealand) Squadron, Royal Air Force
Awarded on: July 15th 1941
Recommended: 20 June 1941. 20 sorties (125 hours 45 minutes)

Citation: "One night in June, 1941, this officer was the pilot of an aircraft which carried out an attack on the Scharnhorst at Brest. Although the target was obscured, Pilot Officer Ashworfh flew over target area for a considerabletime finally dropping flares immediately north and south of the target, which enabled him to see and attack his objective. He also aimed one bomb at an unidentified vessel of 10,000 tons which was observed to be entering the docks. This operation necessitated Pilot Officer Ashworth remaining over the area for one and a quarter hours, making eight surveying runs, at times at an extremely low altitude and in the face of intense anti-aircraft fire. Since February, 1941, this officer has participated in twenty operational missions. He has displayed outstanding skill, courage and infinite care in his efforts to bomb his objectives accurately."

"On the night of 18/19th, June 1941, he was detailed to attack the ‘Scharnhorst’ at Brest in Wellington aircraft T.2747. On arrival over the area, he found the target covered by a smoke screen; however, leaving nothing to chance, he set about his task in so painstaking and methodical a manner that there is every reason to expect that the target was probably hit. Spending a considerable time in surveying the area he succeeded in dropping flares immediately North and South of the target, which enabled him to make his final run exactly over the ship. Altogether, he was over the area for 1 ¼ hours, during which time he made eight surveying runs, at times at an extremely low altitude, in face of intense anti-aircraft opposition. In addition, he aimed one bomb at an unidentified 10,000-ton vessel seen to be entering the docks."

"Since February 21st, this year, this officer has taken part in twenty major operations including two successful missions over Berlin, and one day operation. On other occasions, notably on the nights of 8/9th and 11/12th May, when attacking targets in Hamburg he showed the same resource and infinite care and patience in locating and bombing precisely over his aiming point, and he rarely brings his aircraft home without showing some evidence of enemy action."

"By his undoubted courage, outstanding skill as Captain of aircraft, and devotion to duty, this officer is worthy of the highest commendation."
(Wing Commander, Commanding No. 75 (NZ) Squadron, R.A.F.), 20th June, 1941)

"Very strongly recommended. This officer has at all times set an excellent example to the other pilots in his squadron."
(Group Captain, Commanding, R.A.F. Station, Peltwell, Norfolk, 20 June, 1941)

"I strongly support the above recommendation and consider that this captain has at all times displayed the perseverance, coolness and courage which is so necessary if bombing operations are to be pressed home to a successful conclusion. I consider his example has undoubtedly influenced many individuals in his unit."
(Air Vice-Marshal, Commanding No. 3 Group, 21st June, 1941)

Bar to DFC

Rank: Flight Lieutenant
Unit: No. 635 Squadron, Royal Air Force
Awarded on: November 6th 1945

Citation: "Since the award of the Distinguished Service Order, Flight Lieutenant Ashworth has completed numerous sorties. He has been employed on operational flying since 1941 and, however arduous the task allotted to him, this officer has completed it in a cheerful and confident manner, often making several runs over heavily defended targets to ensure accuracy. Flight Lieutenant Ashworth’s fine fighting spirit and devotion to duty have set an inspiring example to all."

Distinguished Service Order (DSO)

Rank: Acting Squadron Leader
Unit: No. 75 (New Zealand) Squadron, Royal Air Force
Awarded on: August 21st 1942
Recommended: 31 July 1942. 61 sorties (338 hours five minutes).

Citation: "Throughout the numerous sorties which Squadron Leader Ashworth as completed, many of them in the Middle East, this, officer has displayed utter fearlessness and a magnificent .determination to reach and bomb his allotted target despite all odds. His great skill and efficiency as a captain of aircraft have been an excellent example and stimulus to the entire squadron."

"The above-named officer is now on his third operational tour, having so far completed 61 operations. He commenced his first tour in this squadron on February 21st, 1941, finishing in August, 1941, having completed thirty-one sorties. During this tour he was awarded an immediate Distinguished Flying Cross. He then proceeded to the Middle East, where he completed a tour of operations of twenty-two trips."

"Since commencing his third tour, he has consistently displayed great courage and devotion to duty of the highest order. He never fails to reach the target in spite of all odds pressing home his attack at heights of 8-9000 feet or even lower and invariably obtains photographs of the aiming point. On recent raids on Duisburg and Hamburg he has secured the following photographs of the aiming points."

Date Target Number of photos
13th July 1942 Duisburg 1
21st July 1942 Duisburg 1
25th July 1942 Duisburg 1
26th July 1942 Hamburg 1
28th July 1942 Hamburg 3

"Flying Officer Ashworth shows exceptional keenness to operate at all times and his great courage, skill and efficiency as pilot, Captain of aircraft and Officer are a splendid examples and stimulus to the entire squadron. I consider Flying Officer Ashworth worthy of the highest consideration and strongly recommend him for the award of the Distinguished Service Order."
(Wing Commander, Commanding, No. 75 (NZ) Squadron, R.A.F., 31st July, 1942)

"It is impossible to speak too highly of this officer’s great courage, his determination to reach his aiming point at just the target area, his utter fearlessness and his great enthusiasm and devotion to duty. Every one of his sorties are carried out in such a ?? as to earn a decoration if they were carried out by the ordinary mortal. I would like to see this officer awarded an immediate award."
(Remarks of Station Commander)

"Forwarded and strongly recommended."
(Air Vice-Marshal, Commanding No. 3 Group)

Air Force Cross (AFC)

Rank:Squadron Leader
Unit: Instrument and Photographic Flight at the Royal Aircraft Establishment in Farnborough
Awarded on: June 5th 1952

Awarded following his duties as test pilot, firing some of the early ejector seats, and low level/high speed/night photography from a Gloster Meteor.

Bar to AFC

Rank: Squadron Leader
Unit: No 139 (Jamaica) Squadron
Awarded on: May 31st 1956

Awarded for his work with No 139 Squadron.


Mentioned in Despatches (MiD)
Mentioned in Dispatches

Rank: Acting Squadron Leader
Unit: Pathfinder Headquarters
Awarded on: 1 January 1943

Belatedly awarded following his 65th sortie, which was flown in September - the target being Saarbrcken, Germany.