LEST WE FORGET

Flight Lieutenant Walter Michael BLOM DFC

From Australia serving in the Royal Air Force

Service No: 40041 (RAF)
Born: Date, Location unavailable
Enlisted in the RAF: Date unavailable
Unit: No. 150 Squadron (RAF), RAF Station Newton, Nottinghamshire
Awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC)
Died: Ground Accident: Battle of Britain and the Germany Blockade (No. 150 Squadron Fairey Battle I aircraft L5528), Newton, 27 July 1940, Aged 23 Years
Buried: East Bridgfort (St Peter) Churchyard, Nottinghamshire
CWGC Additional Information: Husband of Catharine Winifred Blom, of Peterborough, Northamptonshire
Roll of Honour: Unknown
Remembered: Supplementary Panel 12, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

Son of Mrs W. M. Blom, of 42 St. Georges Terrace, Battery Point Tasmania, and the late Captain Blom. Brother of Stoker Leslie Michael Blom (21266) (RAN) KIA: 20 November 1941 (HMAS Sydney)

Flight Lieutenant Blom was an Australian Cadet trained for the RAF who embarked for the UK on 20 July 1937.

DFC Citation: During May, 1940, this officer was detailed to lead a half section of aircraft in a low level bombing attack against an enemy motorised column of all arms advancing on a road in Luxemburg. Before reaching his objective a petrol tank was pierced by machine-gun fire and, although unable to locate his allotted target through being drenched and almost blinded by the escaping petrol, he pressed home his attack on another enemy column with considerable success. During this time the aircraft was subjected to very heavy fire from the ground and was repeatedly hit, receiving such damage as to render it beyond repair, but this did not prevent Flying Officer Blom from flying back to the base, a distance of 90 miles. He displayed outstanding courage and tenacity.

While Flight Lieutenant Blom’s aircraft was being prepared for operations at Newton, a bomb fell off and began to burn. Despite an heroic effort by those inside the aircraft to quell the flames, assisted by a number of squadron ground crew and headquarters staff, an explosion occurred and six airmen were killed by the blast and five others were injured, one so severely that he died the next day.

Those killed were:

Flight Lieutenant Walter Michael Blom DFC (40041) (RAF)
Leading Aircraftman Walter Ypres Cann (638518) (RAF)
Sergeant William Henry James Franklin BEM (522061) (RAF)
Sergeant Albert Edward Frank Gould (524674) (RAF) Fatally injured: Died 28 July 1940
Leading Aircraftman George Arthur Hall (619068) (RAF)
Corporal Dennis Harold Sharpe (619842) (RAF)
Aircraftman Class I Frederick Stewart (638353) (RAF)

References:

Chorley, W.R. Royal Air Force Bomber Command Losses of the Second World War Volume 1 Aircraft and Aircrew Losses 1939-1940, Midland Counties Publications UK, 1992
Commonwealth War Graves Commission On-Line Records
Newton, Dennis A Few of the Few: Australians and the Battle of Britain, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT 2600, 1990

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