F. Malcolm Benitz Page last modified:

Frank Malcolm Benitz, DFC
RCAF 1940-1945

Missing imgage

Enlistee, Oct. 1940
(Source: P. Benitz)

Missing imgage

Pilot Officer, Nov. 1943
(Source: P. Benitz)

Event Timeline

Dates Event
1940, October 17 Ottawa — Enlisted “for the duration” in the Royal Canadian Air Force, Volunteer Reserve - RCAF (VR).
1940 - 1941 Montreal & Toronto — Trained at No.1 ITS (Initial Training School), No.10 EFTS (Elementary Flying Training School), & No.5 SFTS (Service Flying Training School).
1941, April 10 Montreal — Graduated as Flight Sergeant (R74280); he wanted to be a fighter pilot but was assigned to bombers.
1941, June-July 14 England Wellington OTU (22 Operational Training Unit, course #3), Wellesbourne, Warwichshire.
1941, July 23 England Posted to RAF 104 Bomber Squadron, Driffield (Wellington II, Merlin engines). Night bombing ops.
No. 104 Squadron received the Vickers Wellington Mk.II in April 1941.  In October 1941 fifteen aircraft were flow to Malta, from where they attacked targets in Libya, Sicily and Italy.  In January, 1942, this detachment moved to Egypt & was reunited with its ground echelon.  The squadron spent the rest of the war in the Mediterranean, first operating in the Western Desert, moving west behind the advancing armie.
1941, October xx Commissioned Pilot Officer (J15035), effective Oct. x.
1941, October 17 One of 15 aircraft detached to Luqa (Malta).
Malcolm also flew from landing grounds (LG) in northern Egypt.  In his notes, he referred to them by name or LG number (his term in bold):  Aqir (in Palestine, now Tel Nof Israeli Air Force Base),  Helio (LG-218, Heliopolis is today part of north Cairo),  Kabrit (LG-213, a major base on the south shores of the Great Bitter Lake, Suez Canal, now Kibrit Air Base, Egypt),  LG-104 (Qotafiyh II, 15k west of El Dabaa, near coast 300k north-west of Cairo), LG-106 (20k east of El Dabaa, near coast 300k north-west of Cairo), & LG-224 (Cairo West, 20k west of Cairo), Luqa (now Malta International Airport).
1942, April 7 Awarded Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC)
1942, April 20? Wounded, hospitalized in Egypt, recuperated in Palestine on the shores of the Dead Sea.
1942, October 29 Promoted to Flying Officer (J15035), effective Oct. 1.
1942, November 7? Returned to active duty.
1942, November 26 Mediterranean — Ditched within sight of Malta; both engines failed returning from night attack on German airfield at Gerbini, Sicily.
1942, December 5 Mediterranean — Rescued by an Italian hospital ship, & taken prisoner.
POW at P.G. 75, Torre Tresca (transit camp), near Bari; then at P.G. 78, Fonte d'Amore, near Sulmona (Abruzzo).
1943, September 12 Escaped from P.G. 78, took refuge in the Grotta del Cavallone, near Taranta Peligna (Abruzzo).
1943, Oct. 9 - 13 Walked south-east 80+km. to Allied lines at Ripabottoni (Molise).
1943, November 16 Buckingham Palace — Presented the DFC.
1943, December 1 Canada — repatriated from UK, granted special leave, 30 days clear in Arg.
1943, Xxxx Promoted to Flight Lieutenant.
1943, December 23 Argentina — Arrives in BA, on special leave (30 days).
1944 - 1945 Canada — Trained on Lancaster bombers; flew transport while awaiting reassignment to the Far East.
1945, October 2 Canada — Demobilized, returned to Argentina.

© Peter Benitz (Benitz Family)