Sold with a quantity of original documentation and related artefacts, including the recipient's original Flying Log Book, covering the period April 1943 to April 1946, together with what appears to be a wartime duplicate; Buckingham Palace forwarding letter for the D.F.M.; Mention in Despatches Certificate (dated 14.6.1945); his R.A.F. Officer's tunic, with ribands, Pilot Officer's rank insignia and A.G. Brevet; assorted wartime maps of the Scandinavian Coast, mounted on boards, with various annotations; his Airman's Pay Book; and a fine period photograph album with scenes from Singapore, Hong Kong and Japan, circa 1945-46, in addition to earlier active service with No. 502 Squadron.
D.F.M. London Gazette 8.5.1945. Recommendation states 'During the whole of Flight Sergeant Tam's tour on the Squadron its work has been done at night and during the last nine months, wholly close to the enemy's coast.
As Chief Radar Operator with Flight Lieutenant Clark, he has taken part in a number of attacks which have been especially skillful in this respect. A typical example occurred on 29 December 1944, when in weather which gave abundant cloud and sea returns, they struggled for over an hour to blind-bomb important contacts in the middle of Skagerrak. One was a large Merchant Vessel and the other must have been a Naval-type of a formidable kind, for the flak, heavy, medium and light, was accurately predicted and burst all around the aircraft in each of five runs in cloud. On each run the sea returns spoiled the homing, but finally through sheer skill in Radar operating, the work was done. The aircraft returned with flak holes.
Fine Radar homing was also vital on several flare attacks: the most recent being on 2 March 1945, when three Merchant Vessels off Arendal were illuminated and bombed in the face of accurate flak after two runs which were considered unsatisfactory. The crew saw the bombs straddle. Two Merchant Vessels and an Escort Vessel between Oslo Fjord and Goteburg were bombed on 21 February 1945; two actually inside the Leads south of Aalesund were picked out and bombed on 5 December 1944; another was attacked near Arendal in October. On 22 November 1944, in the absence of time to find another target, a finishing blow was delivered to a ship which had already been set alight. The fresh bombs stoked up the fire and finally the S.S. Keil went to the bottom.
Prior to this work in the Skagerrak, Flight Sergeant Tams had already taken part in the eventful sorties of Flight Lieutenant Aidney, D.F.C. in the Bay of Biscay area. They were hit by flak repeatedly but their determination never faltered. Seven E-Boats (from low level), four Destroyers and St. Peter's Port, Guernsey were among the targets which they found by night.
During his adventurous tour, Flight Sergeant Tams has been well known, not only for his courage but also for his outstanding ability to make the Radar the "Eyes of the Aircraft" '.
Flying Officer Douglas Francis Tams, D.F.M., enlisted in the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve in February 1941 and qualified as a Wireless Operator before joining his first operational posting, No. 502 Squadron, in early 1944. Thus ensured a typically arduous Coastal Command tour, commencing with long range patrols in Halifaxes over the Atlantic and Bay of Biscay and ending with a spectacular array of night shipping attacks - the Squadron carried out over 180 strikes along the Scandinavian Coast and the Baltic Approaches between late 1944 and V.E. Day. As evidenced by Tams' Recommendation, he was more often than not in the thick of the action, his Flying Log Book providing an extensive and illuminating record of many of these sorties:
15.3.1944: English Channel - Anti-U-Boat Patrol: 'Attacked 7 German E-Boats. Intense light flak encountered. No results seen due to violent evasive action. Aircraft hit. Diverted to Chivenor'.
26.4.1944: Bay of Biscay - Anti-Shipping Patrol: 'Sighted and attacked 7 German Destroyers. Very heavy flak. No results seen due to violent evasive action. Aircraft hit'.
16.6.1944: Bay of Biscay - Anti-Shipping Patrol: 'Contacted 2 German Minesweepers and Flak Ship. Very heavy flak encountered. Aircraft hit in starboard bomb-bay and hydraulic system of aircraft damaged. Emergency landing at Brawdy'.
22.11.1944: Norway (Skaggerak and Kattegat) - Anti-Shipping Patrol: Attacked 1 enemy Merchant Vessel. Direct hit scored. Huge fires and smoke rising over 1000 feet seen. Vessel left low in water and fire seen 40 miles away. Enemy aircraft in vicinity. Vessel later verified as sunk, S.S. Keil, tonnage 3700, cargo of sulphur and troops going on leave'.
29.12.1944: Norway (Skaggerak and Kattegat) - Anti-Shipping Patrol: 'Attacked Merchant Vessel and 1 Escort Vessel. Intense heavy and light flak encountered. Aircraft hit in port bomb-bay and rear of fuselage. No results of attack seen due to low cloud and evasive action'.
24.4.1945: Norway (Skaggerak and Kattegat) - Anti-Shipping Patrol: 'Investigated at 150 feet 3 unknown vessels. Intense light flak encountered. Aircraft hit in port bomb-bay, starboard inner engine, rear turret and numerous shrapnel holes along fuselage. Fire in port inner engine. Landed O.K. with burst port tyre. Followed by enemy aircraft during trip'.
In his own estimation, according to an unofficial Flying Log Book entry, Tams reckoned on a total of 16 Shipping Strikes during his tour of operations. Commissioned in April 1945, he was advanced to Flying Officer that October and released in July 1946.