Combined Operations Badge (embroidered cotton)
Honours and Awards


John Dobbin, MC
Sqn Ldr Dobbin MC

The award of the Military Cross to Flight Lieutenant John Dobbin was announced in the Supplement to the London Gazette dated 30th November 1943, as follows:

Air Ministry, 30th November, 1943.

The KlNG has been graciously pleased to approve the following award:-

Military Cross.

Acting Flight Lieutenant John Nicholas DOBBIN (67733),
Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve.

Acting as an assistant military landing officer, Flight Lieutenant Dobbin landed with assault troops on one of the beaches in Italy. The beach was under heavy fire from enemy guns and mortars. Realising the urgency of establishing the beach, Flight Lieutenant Dobbin started the organisation in a most prompt and praiseworthy manner and it was due to his efforts that immediately the first vehicles arrived, they were landed and despatched to the assembly area. Later, though wounded by cannon fire from an enemy aircraft, this officer refused to leave his duties. Throughout the whole operation he displayed fine courage and leadership.


See Gazette Issue 36267 at

John Nicholas Dobbin was originally commissioned in the R.A.F.’s Balloon Branch. He transferred to the Administrative and Special Duties Branch as a Flying Officer on 15th February 1943. As an Acting Flight Lieutenant he won his M.C. at Salerno in September 1943 with an R.A.F. beach unit and he returned to the U.K. from the Mediterranean in December 1943.

He was an officer of  No. 4 R.A.F. Beach Unit when it was formed in January 1944 and then, in March 1944, he was posted to No. 1 R.A.F. Beach Unit. On joining No. 1 R.A.F. Beach Unit, he was appointed officer commanding No. 101 Beach Section and, promoted Acting Squadron Leader, led this section (renamed No. 101 R.A.F. Beach Flight) in the invasion of Normandy. In recognition of his conduct in Normandy it was announced, on 1st January 1945, that he had been Mentioned in Despatches.


Rowland George, DSO, OBE

The award of the D.S.O. to Wing Commander Rowland George was announced in the Supplement to the London Gazette dated 26th May 1944, as follows:

Air Ministry, 26th May, 1944.

The KlNG has been graciously pleased to approve the following award:-

Distinguished Service Order.

Acting Wing Commander Rowland David George, O.B.E. (75777), Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve.

Wing Commander George, the senior movements staff officer, was responsible for the smooth and efficient working of the supply system from the beaches to the airfields during the assault landings at Salerno. He landed with the first assault troops on the beaches in the early morning of 10th September 1943. Thereafter he was under fire, both on the beaches and whilst travelling between the various supply dumps and airfields, until the enemy had been forced to retreat sufficiently to allow the airfields to be occupied by units of the Tactical Air Force. Wing Commander George was wounded when his tented camp was hit by 2 bombs. He did not, however, allow this to interfere with his personal supervision of the work of unloading and distributing the urgently required supplies. Throughout the operation Wing Commander George displayed great gallantry and his example and coolness whilst under fire were an inspiration to those under his command and contributed largely to the success of the operation.


See Gazette Issue 36531 at

Rowland George had previously been awarded an O.B.E. (Officer of the Military Division of the Order of the British Empire) for his work at Bone, Algeria after the Operation TORCH landings in late 1942. As an Acting Squadron Leader, he commanded the R.A.F. unit responsible for R.A.F. supplies coming in through the harbour at Bone. The award of the O.B.E. was in recognition for his efforts in that operation when there was considerable harassment from the Luftwaffe.

In September 1944 it was announced that Acting Wing Commander Rowland David George D.S.O., O.B.E  had been made Officer of the Legion of Merit by the United States of America in recognition of valuable services rendered in connection with the war.

Before the Second World War, Rowland George had been a successful oarsman and won a gold medal at the 1932 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. At the start of the War, George was 34 years old and was commissioned in the Equipment branch of the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve as an Explosives specialist.

Rowland George was probably the only officer in the Equipment branch of the R.A.F. to have been decorated with the D.S.O. He died in 1997 aged 92.

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Copyright © J.M.Fenton, 2007-2011

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