Personnel Index - Detail

Name
FLINT
First Names
James
Rank
Sgt
Service
RAF
Service Number
741968
Crew Position
Pilot
Posting Details
Posted in 2/41 and out 9/41

 

Awarded the George Medal.

Flew 27 Hampden operations with 49Sqn.

The action which won Sgt Flint the George medal:
Shortly after crossing the Dutch coast, Sgt James Flint's Hampden was intercepted by night fighters, receiving some damage before eventually shaking their attackers off. The crew continued on to make a successful bombing attack before returning back across the North Sea. Just 50 miles from the English coast, cannon shells from two German Me110 intruders ripped into the Hampden, mortally wounding the W/Op, Sgt Fitch.
Very cartridges were ignited inside the Hampden and on another attack the port engine was put out of action. Within sight of the English coast, the Germans eventually broke off their attack and turned tail. Jim Flint fought valiantly to keep his stricken aircraft airborne but was eventually forced to ditch AD856 just off the Norfolk coast near Cromer.
The pilot managed to escape through the hatch above his seat, but soon realized the navigator had not followed. Re-entering the quickly submerging bomber, Jim found the navigator badly wounded on the aircraft floor. At considerable personal risk and with superhuman strength, he managed to pull the inert body from the wreck, before P-Peter slipped below the waves. Within 50yds of the shore, a soldier came to the airmen's help.Sadly, the navigator later died of his wounds. At 11.00hrs the following morning, police recovered the body of Sgt Fitch from the beach near Cromer. For his display of exceptional heroism under continuous attack, Sgt James Flint was awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal.... then for his bravery in trying to save the life of his navigator, Sgt James Flint was also awarded the George Medal - an extremely exceptional occasion with two gallantry awards being granted for the same action.

Hampden AD856
Sgt J. Flint Pilot (Injured)
Sgt A.S. Benningfield (Killed)
Sgt J.D. Fitch (Killed)
Sgt E.C. Atkinson (Injured)

After completion of his tour with 49 Squadron, Jim went on to command 50 Squadron at Skellingthorpe. 

With the planned closure of RAF Scampton in October 1995, many veterans gathered to pay their final tribute to the men and women who had served at this historic station. 

Seen here alongside his portrait in the mess, is Jim Flint.


 

In May 2013 Jim Flint celebrated his 100th birthday
 


 


 


 

All photographs are courtesy of Andrew Hallsworth of Marlow Photographic.
 


 

Click to read the eulogy to Jim Flint written and delivered by Erl Annesley
 

'Posted out' December 2013