Distinguished Flying Medal, GVI, 1219233 F/Sgt E.R. Oakes. 9 Squadron, Royal Air Force.
Eric Raymond Oakes was a Wireless Operator and Air Gunner with 9 Squadron, RAF, having completed 155.55 Hours flying and 26 Sorties, his award was announced in the London Gazette on 21st April 1944, being recommended on 17th January 1944 with the following citation:
“This N.C.O. has completed 26 operational trips as Wireless Operator involving 156 hours flying. He has at all times displayed the utmost keenness and devotion to duty. His hard work on the ground has been proved by his efficiency in the air while his courage and cheerfulness under the most trying conditions have made him a most valuable member of his crew. He took part in many raids on the Ruhr as well as other heavily defended targets in Germany including Berlin.”
Also announced in the Birmingham Daily Post 22nd April 1944: “GALLANTRY IN AIR OPERATIONS
The following awards have been made in recognition of gallantry and devotion to duty in air operations:-
….Distinguished Flying Medal: Flight Sergeant Eric Raymond Oakes (of Selly Oak, Birmingham).”
Eric Raymond Oakes was born on 1st May 1921 in Kings Norton, Warwickshire, to Stanley and Jane Oakes.
As of the 1939 Census, His father was a Fitter in the Motor Trade and Eric Oakes was working as a Dictaphone Engineer before joining the Royal Air Force.
His first flight was a Raid on Dortmund on 4th May 1943, subsequent targets include Duisberg, Dusseldorf, Essen, Wuppertal, Bochum, Oberhausen, Krefeld, Gelsenkirchen, Cologne, Milan, Nuremberg, Gladbach, Berlin, Kassel, Frankfurt, and Leipzig, many of these targets more than once. He completed his tour on 9th November 1943 and was involved in training duties with another flight on 2nd March 1945 when he flew on the Diversionary Raid known was “Sweepstake”.
He did not marry and died in Colchester, Essex during December 1998 aged 77.