Embry, Basil Edward

Date of birth:
February 28th, 1902 (Barnwood/Gloucestershire, Great Britain)
Date of death:
December 8th, 1977 (Boyup Brook/Western Australia, Australia)
Nationality:
British (1801-present, Kingdom)

Biography

In addition to the medals mentioned below, Embry also received the following decorations:
January 1st, 1926: Air Force Cross
September 13th, 1938: DSO
January 1st, 1953: KCB
January 2nd, 1956: GCB

Promotions:
March 29th, 1921: Pilot Officer
September 29th, 1922: Flying Officer
January 1st, 1926: Flight Lieutenant
December 1st, 1935: Squadron Leader
November 1st, 1938: Wing Commandder
March 1st, 1941: Temporary Group Captain
August 22nd, 1942: Acting Air Commodore
February 22nd, 1943: Group Captain (war substantive)
June 1st, 1943: Acting Air Vice-Marshal
December 1st, 1943: Temporary Air Commodore
June 1st, 1944: Air Commodore (war substantive)
January 1st, 1946: Temporary Air Vice-Marshal
July 1st, 1947: Air Vice-Marshal
April 19th, 1949: Acting Air Marshal
January 1st, 1951: Air Marshal
July 16th, 1953: Acting Air Chief Marshal
December 1st, 1953: Air Chief Marshal


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Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Wing Commander
Awarded on:
April 30th, 1940
Citation:
"In April, 1940, Wing Commander Embry led a squadron of twelve aircraft in an attack on Stavanger aerodrome and seaplane base. He successfully completed his task and returned to his base, with the whole squadron, despite the failure of one of his engines before he reached his objective. Again, two days later, he led his squadron in another attack on Stavanger, which was also a success, and very valuable photographs were taken. During this flight he suffered from frostbite. The satisfactory results achieved were due, primarily, to the courage, determination and fine leadership of this officer."
Second DSO awarded as a bar for on the ribbon of the first DSO.
He was awarded his first DSO in September 1938.
Distinguished Service Order (DSO)
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Wing Commander
Awarded on:
August 20th, 1940
Citation:
"During the operations over the Low Countries and France, Wing Commander Embry continued to display an extremely high standard of leadership and resolution in carrying out all the tasks allotted to his squadron, raising its morale, to a high level and setting an example to the other squadrons in his group. He has shown a high sense of duty and determination."
Third DSO awarded as second bar for on the ribbon of the first DSO.
Distinguished Service Order (DSO)
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
September 22nd, 1941
Mentioned in Despatches
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
June 11th, 1942
Mentioned in Despatches
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Acting Air Vice-Marshal
Awarded on:
January 1st, 1945
Companion of The Most Honourable Order of the Bath (CB)
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Acting Air Vice-Marshal
Unit:
Royal Air Force
Awarded on:
June 22nd, 1945
Citation:
"On three occasions within recent months, Air Vice-Marshal Embry took part in air attacks on Gestapo headquarters. The targets were at Aathus, Copenhagen and Odense respectively. In the first operation complete surprise was achieved and the attack proved highly successful. At Copenhagen -the operation was also well executed, and success obtained. At Odense, the target was cleverly camouflaged; making the task on hand even more difficult. In spite of this, several runs were made over the target, which was finally attacked with great precision. In these hazardous missions, Air Vice-Marshal Embry pressed home his attacks with a skill and gallantry in keeping with his outstanding reputation."
Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC)
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Acting Air Vice-Marshal
Awarded on:
July 5th, 1945
Knights/Dames Commanders of the Order of the British Empire (K/DBE)
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Acting Air Vice-Marshal
Awarded on:
July 20th, 1945
Recommendation:
"Air Vice-Marshal Embry was a Prisoner-of-War in Germany in 1940. During his escape he found it necessary to kill three Germans with the result that a price of 70,000 Reichmarks was placed on his head. In spite of this greatly increased hazard in the event of capture, he has, since D-Day in 1944 taken part, by night and by day in the operations shown below. He has refused to lead and has flown his Mosquito as an ordinary pilot of the force. This example of personal skill and courage by the A.O.C. has had such an inspiring effect upon his squadrons of 2 Group that their standard of operational efficiency has reached a height which has never been exceeded. For these operations, involving long and hazardous flights in varying conditions of summer and winter weather I strongly recommend A.V.M. Embry for the award of a third bar to his DSO. Since September 1939, a total of 120 sorties amounting to approximately 360 hours has been flown. Since D-Day the details are as follows:-
7.6.44 ........Night Interdiction
20.6.44 ......Night Interdiction
7.7.44 ........Night Interdiction
23.7.44 ......S.A.S. Special Target, Cherbourg
30.7.44 ......Attack on Submarine Rest Centre, Chateauneuf
4.8.44 ........Night Interdiction
14.8.44 ......Attack on enemy positions 5 miles north of Failaise
18.8.44 ......Attack on S.S. Barracks at Egletons
31.10.44 ....Attack on Gestapo Headquarters, Aarhus
23.3.45 ......Attack on Gestapo Headquarters, Copenhagen
31.3.45 ......Attack on enemy gun positions at Emmerich
17.4.45 ......Attack on Gestapo Headquarters, Odense."
Fourth DSO awarded as third bar for on the ribbon of the first DSO.
Distinguished Service Order (DSO)
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Air Vice-Marshal
Unit:
Royal Air Force
Awarded on:
January 1st, 1945
Grootofficier in de Orde van Oranje Nassau (ON.2)
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Air Vice-Marshal
Awarded on:
February 11th, 1947
Awarded for bombing in 1945 Gestapo headquarters in Copenhagen and Odense as well as a succesful attack on the Aarhus University, Denmark, which housed the Gestapo HQ for the whole of Jutland.
StorkommandÝrer af Dannebrog

Sources