Biography

Birth date: 01 August 1914
Birth place: Australia: Western Australia, Fremantle
Death date: 05 August 1982
Death place: Australia: New South Wales, Sydney, Darling Point
Final rank: Air Vice Marshal
Service number: 39005 - Second World War, 1939-1945
Units:
  • Royal Air Force
  • No. 105 Squadron (RAF)

Hughie Edwards was born at Fremantle, Western Australia, and joined the RAAF in 1935 before transfer to the RAF. He was appointed to command No. 105 Squadron in 1941.

On 4 July 1941 Edwards led 12 twin-engine bombers in a low-level attack on the heavily defended port of Bremen. The aircraft had to fly under high-tension wires, through a balloon barrage, and into intense fire. All his bombers were hit, and four were shot down.

In 1943 Edwards became commanding officer of the bomber base at Binbrook, Lincolnshire, where No. 460 Squadron, RAAF, was based. The most highly decorated Australian of the war, Edwards also had a distinguished civil career, including an appointment as Governor of Western Australia, 1974 75.

Edwards was awarded the Victoria Cross, the Distinguished Service Order, the Order of the British Empire, the Distinguished Flying Cross, service medals for the Second World War, and coronation and silver jubilee medals for Queen Elizabeth II. His honours include the Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George, the Companion of the Order of the Bath, and the Knight of the Order of St John of Jerusalem.

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Rolls and Awards

  • Recommended for: Victoria Cross
  • Conflict: Second World War, 1939-1945
  • Recommended for: Distinguished Service Order
  • Conflict: Second World War, 1939-1945
  • Recommended for: Officer of the Order of the British Empire
  • Conflict: Second World War, 1939-1945
  • Recommended for: Distinguished Flying Cross
  • Conflict: Second World War, 1939-1945
  • Recommended for: Mention in despatches
  • Conflict: Second World War, 1939-1945
  • Awarded: Officer of the Order of the British Empire
  • Unit: Royal Air Force
  • Conflict: Second World War, 1939-1945
  • Awarded: Mention in despatches
  • Unit: Royal Air Force
  • Conflict: Second World War, 1939-1945
  • Awarded: Distinguished Service Order
  • Unit: Royal Air Force
  • Conflict: Second World War, 1939-1945
  • Awarded: Distinguished Flying Cross
  • Unit: No. 105 Squadron (RAF)
  • Conflict: Second World War, 1939-1945
  • Awarded: Victoria Cross
  • Unit: No. 105 Squadron (RAF)
  • Conflict: Second World War, 1939-1945

Collection Items

Digitised Collection

Timeline

Date of birth 1914-08-01
Date and unit at enlistment (ORs) 1935 The Royal Australian Air Force.
Other units 1941 105 Squadron RAF.
Date of honour or award 1941-07-04 Distinguished Flying Cross.
Date of honour or award 1941-07-22 Awarded Victoria Cross for action at Bremen, Germany whilst serving with No 105 Squadron, 2 Group, Bomber Command, RAF as a Wing Commander.
Date of honour or award 1943-01-08 Distinguished Service Order.
Date of honour or award 1945-01-01 Mention in Dispatches.
Date of honour or award 1947-02-11 Officer of the Order of the British Empire.
Date of honour or award 1959-01-11 Companion of the Order of the Bath.
Date of honour or award 1974-10-08 Knight Commander of the Order of Saint Michael and Saint George.
Other 1974-1975 Governor of Western Australia.
Date of death 1982-08-05