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Old 30th October 2009, 14:53
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Wg. Cdr. Doug Benham OBE DFC AFC

Dear all

I've just been informed by 104443 Wg. Cdr. Doug Benham's family, that he passed away at his home in Manorbier, Wales, on the evening of 28 October 2009, aged 91. I spoke to him only the evening before and had arranged to see him this Sunday... so sad.

He was CO of 41 Squadron from 28 August 1944 to 8 April 1945, and was awarded the DFC in 1943, the AFC in 1944, a Bar to his DFC in 1945, and an OBE in 1957. He was born in Wimbledon on 30 December 1917, was commissioned in August 1941, and retired in December 1957, retaining Wing Commander.

There's also an entry in Chris Shores' Aces High.

RIP Douggie.

Regards
Steve
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Old 31st October 2009, 19:33
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Re: Wg. Cdr. Doug Benham OBE DFC AFC

Further to my below, which I wrote at work yesterday during my lunchbreak, with no notes at hand...

Wg. Cdr. Doug Benham was born in Wimbledon on 30 December 1917 and joined the RAFVR in February 1938. He served on 10 (B) Sqn in May-July 1940, before transferring to Fighter Command, and was posted to 607 Squadron at Drem in ealy 1941. He was commissioned in August 1941 and served as a Flying Instructor for some time before joining 242 Squadron as Flight Commander in April 1942. Benham shipped to North Africa with the unit in November 1942 and was awarded the DFC in March 1943, after a quick series of victories.

In April 1943, he was posted to command the Tactical OTU a Kalaa Djerda, Tunisia, where he remained until June 1944, when he returned to the United Kingdom. After a brief tenure with 504 Squadron at Detling, from July-August 1944, he was posted to 41 Squadron as its Commanding Officer. Soon after his arrival on the Squadron, he was awarded an AFC for his services as a Flying Instructor.

Benham led 41 Squadron from 28 August 1944 to 8 April 1945, through the end of the V1 onslaught, the hunt for V2 launch sites in ‘Big Ben’ operations, Market Garden, Walcheren, their move back to the Continent in December 1944, and the advance through Belgium, Holland and into Germany, which was one of the Squadron’s most intensive periods since the Battle of Britain.

Benham was awarded a Bar to his DFC on VE Day, and remained in the RAF after the cessation of hostilities. He ended his RAF career as a Wing Commander in December 1957, after a long and intensive period at RAF Aden, for which he was awarded an OBE.

RIP Douggie. It was a pleasure knowing you.

Regards
Steve
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