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Curtin, Donald Josep  'Joe' DFC & Bar (Flight Lieutenant)

Killed in Action 1943-February-25

Birth Date: 1918-January-20 (age 25)

Born: New York New York USA

Son of James J. Curtin, D.D.S., and Julia M. Curtin, of New York City, United States.

Home: New York City, New York, USA

Decorations: DFC & Bar

Distinguished Service Cross Bar
106 (B) Sqn- Squadron (RAF)
Pro Libertate (For freedom)
Flight Lieutenant
Air Chief MarshalA/C/M
Air MarshalA/M
Air Vice MarshalA/V/M
Air CommodoreA/C
Group CaptainG/C
Wing CommanderW/C
Squadron LeaderS/L
Flight LieutenantF/L
Flying OfficerF/O
Pilot OfficerP/O
Warrant Officer 1st ClassWO1
Warrant Officer 2nd ClassWO2
Flight SergeantFS
Senior AircraftmanSAC
Leading AircraftmanLAC
Aircraftman 1st ClassAC1
Aircraftman 2nd ClassAC2
Service Numbers

American in the RCAF; Born 1918 in New York City, NY; home there; Enlisted in Ottawa, 5 May 1941; Trained at No1 ITS (graduated I2 August 1941), No12 EFTS (graduated 25 September 1941), and No5 SFTS (graduated 12 September 1941); Commissioned December 1941. Killed in action 25/26 February 1943 with No.106 Squadron (Lancaster W 4886); buried in Germany

106 Squadron (Pro Libertate) RAF Syerston, Lancaster I aircraft W 4886 was shot down by flak near the target Nuremberg, at Fuerth, Germany

F/Lt D J Curtin DFC & Bar (RCAF)(USA) F/O R J F Windsor RAF P/O A F Lear RAF Sgt V E Jack RAF Sgt H Rigby RAF Sgt K O Court RAF navigator Sub Lt P M McGrath RNVR were killed

Originally buried near the crash site, F/Lt Curtin was exhumed and reburied at the War Cemetery at Durnbach, Germany

Addendum: - Distinguished Flying Cross - unit not given in AFRO; (Attached to RAF Overseas) - Award effective 7 August 1942 as per London Gazette dated 21 August 1942 and AFRO 1497/42 dated 18 September 1942. DFC and Bar presented to next of kin, 13 June 1944. The citation for the D.F.C reads - "One night in July 1942 this officer was captain of an aircraft detailed to attack a target in northwest Germany. When nearing the target area his aircraft was intercepted by an enemy fighter but Pilot Officer Curtin evaded it and flew on to the objective. Shortly after leaving the target area his aircraft was again intercepted by enemy fighters. In the ensuing engagement the rear gunner and wireless operator were badly wounded. Pilot Officer Curtin was almost blinded by cordite from a bursting shell and the aircraft lost height by several thousand feet before the captain was able to clear his eyes and regain control. Later, when nearing the Dutch coast, the bomber was hit by fire from the ground defenses. The navigator sustained wounds and the aircraft was damaged. Despite this, Pilot Officer Curtin flew on and eventually reached this country. In difficult circumstances he made a safe landing in a field. Afterwards be assisted his wounded crew from the aircraft and then went off for further help. In this, his first operational flight, Pilot Officer Curtin displayed great courage, determination and devotion to duty." CURTIN, F/L Donald Joseph, DFC (J9340) - Bar to Distinguished Flying Cross - No.106 Squadron - Award effective 10 February 1943 as per London Gazette dated 12 February 1943 and AFRO 410/43 dated 12 March 1943. The citation for the Bar to the DFC reads - "Since the award of the Distinguished Flying Cross, this officer has participated in numerous operational sorties against heavily defended targets in the Ruhr and in North Italy. During a daylight raid on Milan in October, when attacked by enemy fighters, Flight Lieutenant Curtin skillfully evaded them and enabled his gunners to destroy one and drive off the other. On two consecutive nights in January 1943, he took part in attacks on Berlin, on the second occasion spending thirty minutes over the target to ensure accurate bombing. This officer has always displayed the greatest courage and devotion to duty." Detail provided by H Halliday, Orleans, Ontario.

Aviation Safety Network

Canada Source Canadian Virtual War Memorial

Canada Primary Source Library and Archives Canada Service Files (may not exist)

Flight Lieutenant Donald Josep 'Joe' Curtin was exhumed and reburied.

Avro Lancaster

Avro Lancaster Mk. X RCAF Serial FM 213
Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum

The Avro Lancaster is a British Second World War heavy bomber. It was designed and manufactured by Avro as a contemporary of the Handley Page Halifax, both bombers having been developed to the same specification, as well as the Short Stirling, all three aircraft being four-engined heavy bombers adopted by the Royal Air Force (RAF) during the same wartime era.

The Lancaster has its origins in the twin-engine Avro Manchester which had been developed during the late 1930s in response to the Air Ministry Specification P.13/36 for a capable medium bomber for "world-wide use". Originally developed as an evolution of the Manchester (which had proved troublesome in service and was retired in 1942), the Lancaster was designed by Roy Chadwick and powered by four Rolls-Royce Merlins and in one version, Bristol Hercules engines. It first saw service with RAF Bomber Command in 1942 and as the strategic bombing offensive over Europe gathered momentum, it was the main aircraft for the night-time bombing campaigns that followed. As increasing numbers of the type were produced, it became the principal heavy bomber used by the RAF, the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) and squadrons from other Commonwealth and European countries serving within the RAF, overshadowing the Halifax and Stirling. Wikipedia

YouTube Lancaster Bomber

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General Harold A Skaarup Web Page

CASPIR Aircraft Groups:
RCAF On Strength (234), RCAF 6 Group (5), RCAF 400 Squadron (7), Canadian Aircraft Losses (1732)
last update: 2021-09-18 14:32:33

Lancaster Mk.I W4886

106 (B) Sqn- Squadron (RAF) Pro Libertate

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