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Pitfield Alan Leonard


Born 2 July 1917 68 High Street West Hobart to Leonard Charles and Dorothy Ida Pitfield (nee Hawkins) he spent his early years in Lenah Valley and attended Friends School. 

The Mercury 25 Oct 1941


Flight - Lieut. A. Pitfield’s Father Receives D.F.C.

An impressive ceremony took place in Franklin Square, Hobart, last night when the Distinguished Flying Cross won by the late Flight-Lieut. Alan Leonard Pitfield, R.A.F., was presented to his father, Mr. L. C. Pitfield, by the Governor (Sir Ernest Clark). A guard of honour was formed by a detachment of the R.A.A.F. and a detachment of the Women's Air Training Corps, and a large gathering of citizens witnessed the ceremony.

STANDING with Mr. Pitfield, the Premier (Mr. Cosgrove), the District Naval Officer (Commander Stevens), and the District Commandant (Brigadier Manchester), on the flag-draped dais, Sir Ernest Clark said: "I have the honour to be deputed by the Governor-General, on behalf of the King, to hand to the next-of kin of the late Flight-Lieut. Alan Pitfield the Distinguished Flying Cross awarded to him." His Excellency then read the official record of the heroic service rendered by Flight-Lieut. Pitfield, which stated:

"During May 1940, this officer took part in six night and one day operational flights in Battle aircraft, carried out in face of strong enemy opposition, and under difficult weather conditions. He displayed magnificent courage and devotion to duty and his skill and keenness were a splendid example to the pilots of his flight."

"Do you remember those words of the Prime Minister that "never in the history of the world have so many owed so much to so few ", said Sir Ernest Clark, "Alan Pitfield was one of that body of superb young men to whom the world, and especially we of the British Empire, owe so much. I have read a letter from Alan Pitflcld's wing-commander which tells how heroically and joyously Pitfield undertook his dangerous duties. He says: "He acted as a splendid example to his pilots, even during our most trying times. We always found Alan smiling and eager to get on with the job. He died doing his duty, and I know he would not have wished it to be in any other way. He was a grand type, and we still miss him in the squadron.'"

Heroic Death in Action

Relating how Flight-Lieut. Pitfield met his death, Sir Ernest Clark said: "On June 12 the enemy were holding an important bridge on the River Oise, and Alan and another pilot were ordered to attack and destroy the bridge. The pilot following Alan saw him dive on the bridge and release his bombs on the northern half; after the explosion half the bridge was completely destroyed, and Alan was seen flying close to the ground. When he did not return, he was posted as missing. About a month later, word was received through the Red Cross that he was buried near the Oise between Beaurepaire and Pont St. Maxence, France.

Presenting thc Cross to Mr. Pitfield, Sir Ernest Clark concluded: "I hand you this Cross with admiration for your son, and with deepest sorrow and. sympathy for his loss”



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