Distinguished Flying Cross, GVI, dated 1945, 1939-45 Star, France and Germany Star, War Medal, Pilot Officer R.F. Tribe, No 158 Squadron, R.A.F.
Raymond Frederick Tribe was born on 18th September 1913 in Victoria Road, Withington, Manchester.
In the Mid 1920’s his parents divorced, he was sent off to Boarding School.
When it came time to get a Job he trained as a Ship’s Wireless Operator but never went out to Sea, and instead joined the Manchester Police Service, Transport Section.
As WW2 was ongoing he was at first in the reserves, finally in 1943 he was allowed to enlisted in the Royal Air Force as a Flight Engineer, he was 30 years old and based upon his Group Photos, at least 6 Foot Tall, towering over his comrades, Upon qualifying he was posted to 158 Heavy Bomber Squadron, which was based out of Lissett Aerodrome in Yorkshire.
He had begun his Flight Training on 5th May 1944 and first qualified as Flight Engineer Sergeant on 14th July 1944 and began operational service from 12th August 1944.
Fresh out of training he took part in his First Operation on 24th August 1944, taking off at 10 a.m. as Engineer in Halifax III NP/K piloted by P/O Lee who he had been undergoing flight training with for the last month.
They were tasked with bombing Brest, France, bombing the Blockships, the operation took 5 hours, 33 minutes, dropping 9,000lbs of bombs, and it was a true trial by fire as his aircraft sustained Flak damage to the Mainplanes and Starboard undercarriage.
The very next day he went out again, with P/O Lee, this time bombing Ops over Watten, dropping 11,000 lbs over 3 Hours, 51 Minutes and arriving Safely Home.
With 2 only days break he was sent out once more with P/O Lee to Operational bombing over Homburg on 27th August , dropping 8,000 lbs during a 4 hours 40 minutes trip.
He took part in many more successful bombing runs, totalling 35 and through which he was granted a commission as Pilot Officer during 1945 and awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross making an unstoppable bomber crew with Flight Lieutenant Lee.
After his recommendation for the D.F.C. had been put through, he took part in 2 more operations, bombing over Rheine on 21st March 1945 and Gladbech-Buer on 24th March 1945.
After completing his First Tour of Operations he stayed as Staff & Screen Engineer for RAF Lissett until 28th May 1945.
Recommendation put forward by Group Captain, Commanding RAF Lissett , 20th March 1945;
“Pilot Officer Tribe has completed 33 Sorties as a flight engineer in Halifax III aircraft with 158 Squadron and his work has been noted for its excellence in all circumstances.
An officer of high personal courage, he has set a fine example in times of danger when his technical skill has remained unimpaired. Much of the success in attacks against the enemy achieved by his crew is attributable to his able engine=handling.
Keen, Cheerful and determined in all his operational work, Pilot Officer Tribe has been an excellent aircrew member. He has also given much of his time and talent to the task of training new engineers with the Squadron.
It is strongly recommended that Pilot Officer Tribe’s unfailing courage and competence throughout an eventful tour and his devotion to duty at all times be recognised by the award of the Distinguished Flying Cross.”
After the war and his discharge, he returned to the Manchester Police Service until his retirement in 1961.
He would later use his skills learned as a Police Driving Instructor to set up his own driving instruction business in Penmaenmawr, North Wales. He died there on 2nd April 1983.
Before the war he married Olive Petrie and they had one Child.
D.F.C. additionally machine engraved on reverse arms “187668” “F/O R.F. TRIBE” and contained in original case of issue, With Officer’s Flying Log Book containing all of his flights, His Pilot’s and Engineer’s Notes on the Halifax III Bomber (no doubt known word for word by him), D.F.C. Award Slip, original newspaper cutting form Manchester Evening News July 1945, One Original Photograph in uniform wearing the original Kings Crown RAF Officer’s Cap Badge which is included & numerous Aerial Photographs of his bombing targets, also two more copy photographs, one group with the Officers of 158 Squadron and another in Uniform.