Pilot's brevet : Wing Commander R C Cresswell DFC AM (US), 77 Squadron RAAF


Gold bullion embroidered RAAF wings of the 1937 - 1938 pattern featuring the King's crown

History / Summary

Gold bullion RAAF pilot's brevet worn by Squadron Leader, later Wing Commander, Richard Cresswell. Cresswell was born in Launceston, Tasmania on 27 July 1920. He enlisted in the RAAF at Potts Point, Sydney on 19 July 1938 and trained as a pilot. He was appointed squadron leader and posted to 77 Squadron on 20 April 1942. The squadron had been formed in Pearce in Western Australia earlier in the year. In July, the squadron moved to Darwin and in February 1943 relocated to Milne Bay, New Guinea, the first of several bases in the South West Pacific Area.

Cresswell was appointed wing commander on 26 September 1944. He continued serving with the squadron after the end of the Second World War. In 1946 the squadron became part of the British Commonwealth Occupation Force (BCOF) in Japan and were based at Iwakuni. From July 1950 the squadron played an active role in United Nations operations in Korea. During the Korean War, Cresswell received a number of awards including the United States DFC (Distinguished Flying Cross) and the United States Air Medal. He received a DFC for 'Leadership of high order on 98 sorties 301 flying hrs', cited in the London Gazette on 8 January 1952, and Commonwealth of Australia Gazette on 17 January 1952. Cresswell died in December 2006.