Looking for D.F.M. Citation for Donald Pitman

Discussion in 'The War In The Air' started by W Price, Jun 26, 2017.

  1. W Price

    W Price New Member


    I am trying to locate the Distinguished Flying Medal citation for Donald Thane Pitman.

    His award was listed in the Supplement to the London Gazette dated 11th August 1942 (page 3498), but without the citation.

    His service number was 984566.

    I have the 1990 version of Tavender's book from the library, although Donald is listed it does not contain the citation.

    My library tells me that the only copy of the updated version of Tavender's book that they can locate is in the British Library Archive at Wetherby; a long way away!

    Can anyone point me to a source for the citation?

    Donald was 22 years old when he was killed by enemy action on the night of 17th January 1943. He was in an Avro Lancaster, registration number W4772, which took part in the air raid on Berlin that night. His Lancaster is recorded as having crashed in the North Sea 10km West of Vlieland.

    In the book Nachtjagd, Defenders of the Reich 1940-1943 by Martin Bowman (ISBN: 9781473849839) the event is covered.

    At the beginning chapter 8 the raid on Berlin on the 17th January is described. In this there is a reference that Unteroffizer Karl-Georg Pfieffer filed a report claiming to have shot down a Lancaster at 10km West of Vlieland at 2329. This was probably W4772 in which Donald was returning from the raid.

    The chapter contains a description of the attack on the Lancaster.

    Prior to the war Donald was a child actor. He played the part of Gussy in the 1935 film Emil and the Detectives, he also had an uncredited part in the film The Ghost Goes West.

    Thanking you in anticipation.

    W Price
  2. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

    Not much I am afraid, but perhaps of interest.

    Birmingham Gazette Thursday, 13 August, 1942

    Birmingham Film Actor Gets DFM
    A former Birmingham Boy Scout has been awarded the DFM.
    He is Sergt. Donald T Pitman of the RAF, an ex pupil of Westminster-road School, Handsworth, and member in those days of the Scout Troop connected with Handsworth Parish Church.
    Sergt. Pitman, who is 21 Years of age, was a film actor before joining the RAF, playing with Richard Tauber in “Blossom Time” and filling a bigger role in “Emil and the Detectives”.
    He has also broadcast.
    RosyRedd and 4jonboy like this.
  3. W Price

    W Price New Member

    Hi Tony56

    That is a brilliant piece of information.

    We did not know about his role in Blossom Time

    Many Many Thanks

    (I have subsequently discovered that he played the part of Davy Ashton in the 1935 film "The Last Light of Day". His is the only credited part.)
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2017
  4. Jaap Vermeer

    Jaap Vermeer Active Member

    Donald Thane Pitman DFM

    Attached Files:

    bamboo43 and Drew5233 like this.

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