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Kearns, Richard Stansfield Derek

Date of birth:
March 9th, 1920 (Reefton, New Zealand)
Service number:
N.Z.405572
Nationality:
New Zealander (1907-1947, Dominion UK)

Biography

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Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Sergeant
Unit:
No. 75 (RNZAF) Squadron, Royal Air Force
Awarded on:
October 27th, 1942
Recommendation:
"The above named N.C.O. has completed 22 major operations and in each and every case has displayed determination of a very high order. He expends every effort to find and bomb the target and to date he has been most successful, bringing back a photograph of the aiming point when many other crews have been unsuccessful in their mission. He sets a fine example to all aircrew of high devotion to duty and cool courage in the face of intense opposition."
Covering Remarks of Station Commander: ‘An outstanding operational pilot whose courage, keeness, enthusiasm and devotion to duty deserve the highest recognition. Through an intensive operational period this pilot maintained these qualities up to an exceptional level.’
Distinguished Flying Medal (DFM)
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Acting Flight Lieutenant
Unit:
No. 156 Squadron, Royal Air Force
Awarded on:
April 20th, 1943
Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC)
Recommendation:
"This officer has carried out 46 operational flights over enemy and enemy occupied territory. During the time he has been with this squadron, he has completed 19 operational sorties against targets in Germany, Italy and enemy occupied territory. Flight Lieutenant Kearns has been consistent in pressing home his attacks, and has at all times displayed the highest qualities as a pilot, and it has been largely due to his sense of airmanship that his many operations have been successfully performed. By his capabilities as a pilot, and supreme devotion to duty, he has set a very high example to the other members of the squadron."
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Acting Flight Lieutenant
Awarded on:
September 26th, 1944
Recommendation:
"Flight Lieutenant Kearns has now completed a total of 87 operational sorties as captain of aircraft, 39 of which have been undertaken since he was awarded the D.F.C. in March, 1943. He has, moreover, frequently operated against the most heavily defended objectives in Germany and has on many occasions returned to
base with his aircraft damaged through enemy action. During the last seven months he has been employed on Special Duties and a particularly high standard of leadership and skill has been essential for the successful completion of the independent and often hazardous operations of his Squadron. This officer has never failed to rise magnificently to the occasion and he has truly set an outstanding example of fortitude and determination. He has consistently brought back aiming-point photographs and he has never once failed to complete his task.
The unsurpassed gallantry and devotion to duty which this officer has so long and so enthusiastically displayed has had a most profound effect upon the morale and fighting spirit of his Squadron. His cheerfulness, great courage, and determination have enabled him to create a crew whose efficiency could not be exceeded in the Royal Air Force of today. His efforts have resulted in much damage to the
enemy and his conduct and leadership throughout his operational career have been an inspiration to all and are worthy of the highest praise."
Remarks by Base Commander: ‘During his long tour of operational duty, Flight Lieutenant Kearns has shown exceptional determination and courage. He proved himself one of the best Captains in the Squadron and he set an example which was admired by all his associates."
Distinguished Service Order (DSO)
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
With "FRANCE AND GERMANY" clasp.

Air Crew Europe Star
two clasps, Malaya, Near East,
General Service Medal 1918-1962

Sources

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