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.

Rolls and Awards

Honours and Awards (Recommendation) : Victoria Cross

  • Conflict: Second World War, 1939-1945

Honours and Awards : Distinguished Flying Cross

  • Unit: No. 105 Squadron (RAF)
  • Conflict: Second World War, 1939-1945

Honours and Awards : Officer of the Order of the British Empire

  • Unit: Royal Air Force
  • Conflict: Second World War, 1939-1945

Honours and Awards : Victoria Cross

  • Unit: No. 105 Squadron (RAF)
  • Conflict: Second World War, 1939-1945

Honours and Awards : Distinguished Service Order

  • Unit: Royal Air Force
  • Conflict: Second World War, 1939-1945

Honours and Awards : Mention in despatches

  • Unit: Royal Air Force
  • Conflict: Second World War, 1939-1945

Collection Items

Photograph

042687A

PORTRAIT OF WING COMMANDER HUGHIE IDWAL EDWARDS VC DFC, RAAF. WING COMMANDER EDWARDS OF NO 105 SQUADRON, 2 GROUP, BOMBER COMMAND, RAF, WAS AWARDED THE VICTORIA CROSS FOR THE DISPLAY OF THE HIGHEST POSSIBLE STANDARD OF GALLANTRY AND DETERMINATION DURING A DAYLIGHT AIR ATTACK ON THE PORT OF BREMEN,...

042687A

100638

A group portrait of Wing Commander Hughie Idwal Edwards VC (with family or friends) attached to No. 105 Squadron RAF, who received the Victoria Cross for his bombing attack on Bremen, Germany, 1941-07-04.

100638

SUK10172

Wing Commander (later Group Captain) Hughie Edwards, the Australian airman serving with the RAF who was awarded the Victoria Cross for his courage and daring in leading a remarkable attack on Bremen, is leaving Buckingham Palace with his wife and mother-in-law after attending an Investiture to...

SUK10172

UK0550

LINCOLNSHIRE, ENGLAND. 1943-09-16. AIR CHIEF MARSHAL SIR ARTHUR HARRIS, AIR OFFICER COMMANDING-IN-CHIEF, BOMBER COMMAND, VISITING RAF STATION BINBROOK, WHERE NO. 460 (LANCASTER) SQUADRON RAAF WAS LOCATED. HE IS FOLLOWED BY AIR VICE-MARSHAL E. A. B. RICE, COMMANDER OF NO. 1 GROUP AND COMMANDER OF...

UK0550

UK0551

LINCOLNSHIRE, ENGLAND. 1943-09-16. AIR CHIEF MARSHAL SIR ARTHUR HARRIS KCB OBE AFC, AIR OFFICER COMMANDING IN CHIEF, BOMBER COMMAND (CENTRE), WITH AIR COMMODORE A. M. WRAY DSO MC DFC AND BAR AFC, RAF (LEFT); AND GROUP CAPTAIN HUGHIE I. EDWARDS VC DSO DFC, PERTH, WA, RAF, STATION COMMANDING OFFICER...

UK0551

Art

The episode in which Wing Commander Hughie Edwards won his VC

Wing Commander Hughie Edwards leading a bombing raid on Bremen Harbour 4 July 1941. The Squadron involved was No. 105 Squadron. Bristol Blenheim light bombers of 105 Squadron can be seen in very low level attack on Bremen Harbour; the leader of this raid, 39005 was Wing Commander (later Group...

ART28455

Group Captain Hughie Edwards

Portrait of Group Captain Hughie Idwal Edwards, VC, DSO, DFC, Bomber Command, 105 Squadron RAF.

ART26264

Hughie Edwards VC

Bust of Air Vice Marshal Sir Hughie Idwal Edwards, VC, KCMG, CB, DSO, OBE, DFC (1914-1982). Sir Edward was an air force hero who became Governor of Western Australia. He was a highly decorated airman whose awards included the Victoria Cross for a low-level attack on the port of Bremen.

ART40985

Film

Memorial service for Sir Hughie Edwards, VC.

Memorial service for Air Commodore Sir Hughie Edwards, VC KCMG CB OBE DFC K ST J at St Andrews Cathedral Sydney.

F10283

Private Record

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