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Medals and Awards

The Distinguished Flying Cross 



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COFFEY, F/L Robert Ellsworth (J10256) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.438 Squadron - Award effective 13 January 1945 as per London Gazette dated 23 January 1945 and AFRO 471/45 dated 16 March 1945. Born 1915 in Greenview, Illinois; home there; spent six years in U.S. Army, two years in USAF; civil engineer. Enlisted in RCAF at Windsor, Ontario, 26 June 1941. Commissioned in February 1942. Trained at No.3 ITS (graduated 13 September 1941), No.17 EFTS (graduated 7 November 1941), and No.8 SFTS (graduated 27 or 29 March 1942). Instructed at No.1 SFTS, Camp Borden and then further trained at No.1 OTU, Bagotville. Overseas in November 1943, flying with No.438 Squadron, 18 December 1943 to 15 March 1945 until given command of No.440 Squadron. 

Fatally injured in an automobile accident, 1 August 1945; buried in Graasthen, Denmark. Photos PL-40907 and PL-42809. DFC and Bar sent by registered mail to his father, 13 October 1947. Recommended when he had flown 101 sorties (105 operational hours).

Flight Lieutenant Coffey has a fine record of successful operations. He has displayed excellent qualities as a leader. Prior to the invasion of Normandy he participated in numerous attacks on enemy installations in France, encountering heavy and accurate anti-aircraft fire. In July 1944, Flight Lieutenant Coffey pressed home a successful attack on a bridge at Thury Harcourt which was completely destroyed and during and after the battle in the Falaise Gap he destroyed many locomotives, barges and an ammunition ship. He has led many successful sorties against railway targets in the battle area and has done effective work disrupting enemy communications and supply lines.

COFFEY, S/L Robert Ellsworth, DFC (J10256) - Bar to Distinguished Flying Cross - No.440 Squadron - Award effective 3 September 1945 as per London Gazette dated 14 September 1944 and AFRO 1672/45 dated 2 November 1945. 

This officer is now on his second tour of operational duty. In March, 1945, he participated in an attack on the railway sidings at Winterswijk. Despite intense anti-aircraft fire his squadron destroyed twenty-five trucks and damaged ten. On another occasion this officer completely silenced heavy guns on a well defended enemy position. Squadron Leader Coffey has at all times shown a high standard of devotion to duty. He has led attacks against a wide variety of targets displaying exceptional qualities of leadership and courage.


Webmasters notes: Although not mentioned here, RE Coffey was posted for a short period of time with 439 Squadron on the 24 Jan 1945 following the completion of his first tour with 438 Squadron. He was subsequently posted to 440 Squadron. 


The information contained in this segment is provided by The Air Force Association of Canada and Hugh A. Halliday who is the author of the RCAF Personnel - Honours & Awards - 1939-1949 which can be found on the Air Force Association of Canada Website. Used with permission and sincere gratitude.

Additional Resources Canadian Medals and Decorations 


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