Hughie Edwards VC
39005 Acting Wing Commander
Hughie Idwal EDWARDS DFC
No. 105 Squadron, Royal Air Force
4th July 1941, in raid on Bremen, Germany
Hughie EDWARDS was born at Fremantle, Western Australia, on 1 August 1914. He died in Sydney on 5 August 1982 and was buried in the Northern Suburbs Cemetery, Sydney, New South Wales.
Wing Commander Edwards, although handicapped by a physical disability resulting from a flying accident, repeatedly displayed gallantry of the highest order in pressing home bombing attacks from very low heights against strongly defended objectives. On 4th July, 1941, he led an important attack on the port of Bremen, one of the most heavily defended towns in Germany His attack had to be made in daylight and there were no clouds to afford concealment. During the approach to the German coast several enemy ships were sighted and Wing Commander Edwards knew that his aircraft would be reported and that the defences would be in a state of readiness. Undaunted by this misfortune he brought his formation 50 miles overland to the target, flying at a height of little more than 50 feet, passing under high-tension cables, carrying away telegraph wires, and finally passing through a formidable balloon barrage. On reaching Bremen he was met with a hail of fire, all aircraft were hit and four destroyed. Nevertheless he led a most successful attack, and then with the greatest skill and coolness withdrew the surviving aircraft without further loss.
London Gazette: 22nd July 1941:"Throughout the execution of this operation, which he had planned personally with full knowledge of the risks entailed, Wing Commander Edwards displayed the highest possible standard of gallantry and determination."
[Photo courtesy of the Australian War Memorial]