Personnel Index - Detail

First Names
Edmund Basil
Sgt (later Flt Lt)
Service Number
911217 (NCO) 122814 (Officer)
Crew Position
Air Gunner


Known as 'Chan'.
Awarded the DFC, Bar to DFC and Soviet Medal for Valour (SMV)
Completed a total of 98 operations, 65 of which were with 49 Squadron.
His first tour began on the 16th April 1941 and, 38 operations later, was completed on the 28th September 1941.
A second tour with 49Sqn began on 30th May 1942 and, after being knocked down by Guy Gibson's car, ended four operations later on the 10th August 1942.
Following the accident, which broke Chan's leg in four places, he spent seven months in hospital and rehabilitation centres before completing his second tour with 49Sqn.

Sgt Chandler photographed on his 20th birthday.

On the 1st July 1941 his crew ditched on their 15th operation.

Extract courtesy of W R Chorley's Bomber Command Losses 1941

The dreaded telegram

Followed by the dreaded letter.

The equally unpleasant follow-up letter complete with standard accompanying explanatory notes (opens in a new window).   

Eight days after the first, Chan’s Mother receives a very welcome second telegram.

Followed by an equally welcome second letter giving more details.

Followed by a third explanatory letter. By this time, Chan had already sent two private telegrams to his mother from the hospital in Great Yarmouth.

This extract from the Daily Express dated 14th July 1941 gives an impression of their ordeal.

Further details from the Sussex Express. Click the above image or this link to view a larger version (opens in a new window).

The story of ‘HMS Insufferable’ in the words of F/Sgt Bryan ‘Skip’ Woolston DFM as published in ‘The War Illustrated” 22nd August to view the full story (opens in a new window)

Chan's membership card of the "Goldfish Club"

It is interesting to note in Chan's Logbook that the 206 hours adrift in their dinghy counted as nine operations.

Chan, centre, with as yet unidentified crew-mates (who both appear to be wearing pilot's wings).
Probably, Sgts Bryan Woolston and Doug Broomfield.

The air and ground crew of Chan’s Hampden bomber, believed to have been photographed by Chan at Scampton in 1941.

Hampden 3057 in which Chan flew 14 Operational Sorties, pictured at Scampton in 1941.

By the start of his second tour, Chan had converted to Manchester/Lancaster ‘Heavies’. 
Mementos from two such raids shown above – note the printed signature of Air Chief Marshal Sir Ralph A Cochrane suggesting a standard template given to aircrew.

During his second tour, Chan flew two operations with P/O Tom Taylor. Details of these operations are described in a letter of condolence sent to Chan's wife following his death.

Click the icon above to view the letter.........opens in a new window.

The signed bank note from the Algeria stop-over.......signed vertically by B Chandler and P/O Taylor's crew.

Details of Chan's promotions and awards are as follows:
1st May 1942 - Sergeant to Pilot Officer.
1st November 1942 - Pilot Officer to Flying Officer
24th August 1943 - Recommended for DFC
15th Oct 1943 - Awarded the DFC
(At this time he was an Acting Flight Lieutenant – ref. London Gazette 36211/supplement/4560)
11th April 1944 - The King grants unrestricted permission for the wearing of the Soviet Medal for Valour
(ref. London Gazette 36463/supplement/1674/)
1st May 1944 - Acting F/Lt to Flight Lieutenant
11th July 1944 – Recommended for 1st Bar to DFC
13th October 1944 – Awarded bar to DFC (ref. London Gazette 36745/supplement/4691)
6th March 1945 – Invested with DFC & Bar by King George VI at Buckingham Palace
11th January 1946 - Demobbed

Recommendation for Chan’s DFC signed by Wing Commander L.C. Slee C/O 49 Sqn.

Announcement of Chan’s DFC in the Sussex Express 15th October 1943

Chan's uniform badges

Following his service with 49Sqn, Chan was posted to 617 Squadron.
Read the story of his service after 49 Squadron in the Documents section (or click this link)