F/L Dean Hugh Dover DFC

Dean Black  sent me this clipping last year.

At first he thought he had found something on F/L Walter Neil Dove.

F/L Dean Hugh Dover was not of course F/L Walter Neil Dove, but it does not really matter because this blog pays homage to all who served with 403 Squadron.


This was on the Air Force Association of Canada Website

DOVER, F/L Dean Hugh (J16342)

– Distinguished Flying Cross

– No.403 Squadron

– Award effective 8 August 1944 as per London Gazette dated 11 August 1944 and AFRO 2101/44 dated 29 September 1944.

Born 10 December 1916 at Rochester, New York (but Canadian citizen).  Enlisted in Toronto, 22 July 1941. Trained at No.5 ITS (21 August-9 October 1941), No.11 EFTS (10 October to 6 December 1941) and No.8 SFTS (7 December 1941 to 27 March 1942).  Commissioned 1942. Arrived in UK, 12 May 1942.  After further training he went to No.403 Squadron (6 October 1942 to October 1943.  Instructor and staff officer until return to operations with No.442 Squadron, 3 June 1944.  To No.412 Squadron, 2 August 1944 to 28 January 1945.  Repatriated to Canada, 21 March 1945; released 5 July 1945.

Died in London, Ontario, 2 June 2000.

Victories as follows: 17 August 1943: ¼ Bf.110 destroyed (with L. Foster, J.E. Johnson, J. Preston); 19 August 1943: one Bf.109 destroyed south of Flushing; 30 June 1944: one FW.190 destroyed, Falaise; 8 July 1944: shared in destruction of a midget submarine; 10 August 1944: one Bf.109 damaged; 24 December 1944: two FW.190s damaged; 1 January 1945: ½  FW.190 destroyed (shared with E.D. Kelly) plus one Bf.109 destroyed, Gutersloh.

Public Record Office Air 2/9633 indicates he was recommended when he had flown 100 sorties (160 operational hours).

This officer has led his squadron on a great number of operations with marked success and has assisted in destroying many enemy aircraft, personally shooting down two.  An outstanding leader he has always displayed great courage and devotion to duty.

NOTE: Public Record Office Air 2/9633 has recommendation dated 6 December 1943. It evidently was not approved at the time.  The document is interesting for the long list of sorties (100 trips plus one Air/Sea Rescue sweep) totalling 160 hours; it is transcribed here for the record:

Date           Sortie and Time                                                       Opposition Met

8 Feb 43    Sweep to Abbeville (1.30)                                      Nil

8 Feb 43    Rodeo to Abbeville (1.30)                                      Nil

26 Feb 43  Circus mopping up Dungeness (1.10)                  Nil

26 Feb 43  Circus mopping up (1.50)                                       Strong at 30,000 ft.

8 Mar 43    Ramrod and escort for 60 Fortresses (1.35)       Strong

9 Mar 43    Rodeo, Le Touqet                                                   Strong

25 Mar 43  Rodeo at 30,000 feet                                              Nil

29 Mar 43  Circus Abbeville; escort to six Venturas (1.25)   –

31 Mar 43  Rodeo escort, Fortress diversion (1.45)               Medium

3 Apr 43     Rodeo, Le Touqet, St.Omer (1.20)                        15 FW.190s

5 Apr 43     Ramrod, Ostend area (1.25)                                  Strong

6 Apr 43     Rodeo, le Treport area (1.40)                                Nil

6 Apr 43     Rodeo, Abbeville (1.35)                                          –

8 Apr 43     Rodeo, St.Valery at 14,000 feet (1.30)                 –

13 Apr 43  Ramrod, Caen area (1.30)                                     –

16 Apr 43  Ramrod, Le Touqet-Calais (1.15)                         Medium

16 Apr 43  Ramrod, mopping Fauville (1.35)                          Nil

17 Apr 43  Circus, Abbeville (1.30)                                          Nil

17 Apr 43  Circus, Le Havre area (1.45)                                 Nil

19 Apr 43  Ramrod, Boudeville area at 4,000 feet (1.20)      Nil

20 Apr 43  Ramrod, Le Touqet-Dieppe (1.25)                        –

20 Apr 43  Patrol Beachy at 20,000 feet (1.25)                      –

20 Apr 43  Ramrod, Fecamp-Tricqueville (1.35)                    Strong

1 May 43    Rodeo, Brest (1.35)                                                Medium

4 May 43    Ramrod to Antwerp (1.35)                                      Strong

11 May 43 Circus to Dunkirk (1.25)                                          Medium

13 May 43 Air/Sea Rescue (1.00)                                            Nil

16 May 43 Circus, Tricqueville (1.35)                                       Very strong

17 May 43 Sweep to Caen (1.30)                                            Nil; much flak

18 May 43 Rodeo, Abbeville (1.25)                                          Nil

19 May 43 Rodeo, Caen area (1.25)                                       Medium

21 May 43 Circus, abortive (1.00)                                            Nil

30 May 43 Sweep to Caen (1.30)                                            Nil; little flak but accurate

31 May 43 Ramrod, Ostende-Bruges (1.30)                           Strong

7 June 43   Sweep to Gravelines-Aire (1.30)                           Nil

4 July 43    Ramrod to France, Ghent (1.35)                            Medium

6 July 43    Rodeo (40 minutes)                                                Nil

10 Jul 43    Ramrod escort, Fortresses (1.40)                         Medium

14 Jul 43    Ramrod, Fecampe (1.40)                                       Medium

15 Jul 43    Rodeo, Harlot-Gravelines (1.25)                            Medium

15 Jul 43    Rodeo, Hardlot and Poix (1.35)                             Nil

16 Jul 43    Rodeo, Abbeville area (1.35)                                 Medium

25 Jul 43    Ramrod, Amsterdam area (1.40)                          Medium

25 Jul 43    Ramrod, Amsterdam area (1.40)                          Medium

26 Jul 43    Ramrod, St.Omer (1.20)                                         Slight

26 Jul 43    Rodeo, Armentiers (1.40)                                       Medium

27 Jul 43    Rodeo, Ostende-Boulogne (1.30)                         Nil

27 Jul 43    Ramrod, Tricqueville area (1.40)                           –

28 Jul 43    Ramrod, Rotterdam (1.30)                                     Slight

28 Jul 43    Ramrod, Montfort (1.35)                                         Slight

29 Jul 43    Ramrod, Amsterdam (1.40)                                   Strong

29 Jul 43    Ramrod, Bainville (1.30)                                         Nil

30 Jul 43    Ramrod, Amsterdam (1.40)                                   Strong

31 Jul 43    Ramrod, Merville (1.40)                                          Medium

2 Aug 43    Ramrod, Merville (1.30                                           –

8 Aug 43    Ramrod to Poix (1.35)                                            Nil

9 Aug 43    Ramrod to St.Omer (1.15)                                      Nil

12 Aug 43  Ramrod, Flushing area (2.10)                                Considerable

12 Aug 43  Ramrod, Amiens (1.35)                                          Strong

15 Aug 43  Ramrod, Woenesdreght (1.00)                              Medium

15 Aug 43  Ramrod, Poix and Amiens (1.45)                          Medium

16 Aug 43  Ramrod, Rouen (1.50)                                            Strong

17 Aug 43  Ramrod, North Walchren (1.40)                             Slight

17 Aug 43  Ramrod, St.Nicholas (1.45)                                    Medium, ¼ dest.

18 Aug 43  Ramrod, Lille (1.15)                                                Medium

19 Aug 43  Ramrod, Poix (1.15)                                                Medium

19 Aug 43  Ramrod, Brussels (1.35)                                        Strong, 1st dest.

20 Aug 43  Sweep, Abbeville (1.25)                                         Nil

22 Aug 43  Sweep, Abbeville (1.35)                                         Nil

23 Aug 43  Ramrod, Lille (1.10)                                                Medium

23 Aug 43  Rodeo, Amiens area (1.25)                                   Nil

24 Aug 43  Ramrod, Conche Evereux (1.30)                           –

25 Aug 43  Ramrod, Beaumont (1.55)                                      Medium

27 Aug 43  Ramrod, Beaumont le Roger (1.45)                      Nil

27 Aug 43  Ramrod, Furgus and St.Pol (1.40)                        –

30 Aug 43  Ramrod, Aremtries [?] (1.30)                                 Nil

31 Aug 43  Ramrod, Mazingarbe (1.30)                                   Nil

2 Sep 43    Ramrod, Hesdin (1.35)                                           Strong flak heavy

3 Sep 43    Ramrod, Beaumont le Roger (1.35)                      Strong

3 Sep 43    Ramrod, St.Omer (1.15)                                         Nil

4 Sep 43    Ramrod, Roubaux (1.25)                                        Medium

5 Sep 43    Ramrod, Ghent area (1.45)                                    Medium

6 Sep 43    Ramrod, Rouen (1.35)                                            Medium

6 Sep 43    Ramrod, Forts (2.05)                                              Nil

6 Sep 43    Ramrod, Abbeville (1.30)                                       Medium

8 Sep 43    Ramrod, Vitry (1.30)                                                Medium

8 Sep 43    Ramrod, Abbeville (1.10)                                       Nil

9 Sep 43    Beach Patrol (1.25)                                                 Nil

9 Sep 43    Ramrod (1.20)                                                         Medium

11 Sep 43 Ramrod (1.45)                                                         Medium

14 Sep 43 Rodeo support, Marauders (1.30)                         Medium

15 Sep 43 Ramrod, St.Andres with Liberators (1.30)            Slight

18 Sep 43 Ramrod, Beaumont le Roger with Marauders (1.15)     –

19 Sep 43 Ramrod, Lens (1.30)                                               Medium

21 Sep 43 Ramrod (1.30)                                                         Medium

22 Sep 43 Ramrod with Marauders (1.40)                              Medium

23 Sep 43 Ramrod (1.40)                                                         Nil

23 Sep 43 Ramrod (1.40)                                                         Medium

24 Sep 43 Rodeo (1.50)                                                            Nil

24 Sep 43 Rodeo (1.35)                                                            Medium

This officer’s devotion to duty, outstanding ability to lead and keenness in air battles has been an inspiration to all pilots in his squadron. He has led his squadron on at least 20 occasions over France with marked success and apart from assisting in destroying many enemy aircraft he has personally shot down two in combat well inside enemy occupied territory.

On 6 December 1943 his unit Commanding Officer, Squadron Leader R.A. Buckham, wrote:

With my knowledge of the above mentioned officer I concur completely with the above statement.

The document was further favourably endorsed by Group Captain W,R. McBrien (6 December 1943), an Air Vice Marshal (signature illegible, 13 December 1943) and by the Air Officer Commanding, Tactical Air Force (1 January 1944).  In light of these statements, it is difficult to understand the delay before Dover was awarded a DFC.

DOVER, S/L Dean Hugh, DFC (J16342) – Bar to Distinguished Flying Cross – No.412 Squadron – Award effective 1 December 1944 as per London Gazette of that date and AFRO 239/45 dated 9 February 1945.

Squadron Leader Dover, now on his second tour of operational duty, has proved an outstanding leader, both in the air and on the ground.  His great skill, coolness and tactical ability have contributed materially to the success of the squadron which, within a short period, has put out of action some 528 enemy vehicles.  In addition, three enemy aircraft have been destroyed.  By his outstanding keenness, iron determination and untiring devotion to duty, Squadron Leader Dover has set a splendid example to all.

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One thought on “F/L Dean Hugh Dover DFC

  1. My dad was the E.D. Kelly mentioned above. Always warms my heart to see my dad’s name on the net or in print. It may interest you to know that my dad was wounded by an aircraft cannon shell over Normandy flying on ops with 403 Sqn on D+3. Ever one to save his aircraft, he returned to the UK. People on his Sqn remarked that the cockpit was covered with blood. He returned to ops once he recovered.
    I think his most prized possession were his small silver Op Tour ‘wings’ with bar.
    In no way was he a typical ‘Fighter Jock’ and was instead a mild-mannered and rather shy man typical of old rural Ontario – one could hardly believe that he was one of the best jet age aerobatic pilots in the post-war RCAF.

    Brilliant website.

    Thanks

    Paul Kelly

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