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WWII IMMEDIATE C.G.M GROUP OF 4 MEDALS TO SGT. F.W. CRIDGE, R.A.F.

*** RESERVED *** The moving Immediate C.G.M. group to a wounded Lancaster airman. Consisting: Conspicuous Gallantry Medal George VI to 1802499 Sgt. F.W. Cridge, R.A.F. in box of issue and E.F.; 1939-45 Star; France & Germany Star; WWII War Medal. Accompanied by a wealth of original material including boxed King's Police Badge, Navigator's cloth wings, original contmeporary photographs and those of Cridge inspecting the plane's damage later in life, certificates, recommendations and congratulations, framed commemorations, framed copy documents, telegrams and letters of congratulations, Cridge's maps and flying manuals, newspaper cuttings, R.A.F. ties and school reports.
Description

Recommendation 29 Sep 1944: "IMMEDIATE. This N.C.O. was flying as navigator in an aircraft detailed to attack Neuss on the night of 23/24th Sep 1944. No untoward incident marked the outward journey until shortly before reaching the target area when our aircraft was engaged by an enemy fighter. In the ensuing combat the rear gunner and fighter opened fire simultaneously, resulting in our rear gunner being killed, wounding the navigator, Sergeant Cridge, and also the wireless operator and wrecking both turrets and the Junkers 88 blowing up close to our aircraft. On a survey of the damage, it was found that the hydraulics, wireless and navigational aids and most of the pilot's instruments were unserviceable. It was found too that the bomb doors had been badly holed and seeking a last resort target, bombs were released, their weight causing the doors to open. Once opened they would not close. Sergeant Cridge had been wounded in the face, left arm and body by the explosion of a cannon shell on the former. He was in great pain and suffered greatly from loss of blood. Undaunted, his first thought was to give his captain all the assistance he could to continue with the mission and bring the attack home to the enemy. This having been done and by great efforts, he managed to get one of his navigational aids working again and thereafter constantly passed corrections of course to the captain to ensure a safe journey back to base. At times he nearly collapsed owing to loss of blood and his charts were unserviceable owing to blood stains. It was in a large measure due to this N.C.O.'s heroism and determination to ignore his wounds that the aircraft was able to reach this country. At no time did he complain and his thoughts were ever concentrated on working the whole time to ensure the safety of the aircraft and the crew. Although his comrades tried to assist him, he refused all help and would not allow them near him in case they realised the severity of his wounds. Sergeant Cridge, by his actions, proved himself to be very gallant and courageous. His heroism on this flight is worthy of the highest traditions of the Service and for his devotion he is recommended for the award of the Conspicuous Gallantry Medal."

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