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Flt. Lt. G. H. Bastow
Service # 798728

Flt. Lt. G. H. Bastow RAF Awarded D. F.C

For gallantry and devotion to duty, the Distinguished Flying Cross has been awarded to Flight Lieut. Gerald Hugh Bastow. R.A.F., 22-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. Hugh A. Bastow, Hamilton Avenue.

After enlisting in the R.A.F. in 1941, he received his training in Canada and then proceeded overseas in November 1942.

Flight Lieut. Bastow is a survivor of the ill-fated Caribou which was torpedoed in October 1942. At that time he was returning home on leave after completing his training in Canada.

News was received on September 20th, 1944, by his parents that Flt. Lieut. Bastow was missing on active service, but after five weeks in enemy territory he turned up safe and sound in Britain. At the time he was shot down over enemy territory he was engaged in a reconnaissance photography mission. At the present time, Flight Lieut. Bastow, who has been overseas since 'November 1942, is an instructor in Britain.

The official citation is as follows: "Information has been received from the Air Ministry that NFD124-697 Flight Lieutenant Gerald Hugh Bastow, R.A.F., of St. John's, Newfoundland has been awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross in recognition of gallantry and devotion to duty in the execution of air operations. This award appears in the London Gazette No. 36910 dated 23rd January, 1945."

From a newspaper clipping in the files of Aileen Bastow Martin (my mother, Gerry’s sister)

Gerry was shot down on Wednesday September 20, 1944 three days after the Allied landing at the Arnhem bridgehead. He was assigned to do photo reconnaissance of the bridgehead area to confirm the dropping of supplies to troops on the ground. His Spitfire was hit by anti-aircraft fire and he crash landed just west of Arnhem, in a field full of allied gliders.

The family who hosted dad during his last two weeks in Holland were the Kloosters in Barneveld, Holland. Mr. Klooster was found by the Gestapo after three months in hiding and was shot the day before Northern Holland was liberated. His wife and children were placed in concentration camps and later released to bury their father.

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