F. Malcolm Benitz Page last modified:

Frank Malcolm Benitz, DFC
RCAF 1940-1945

Missing imgage

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

Missing imgage

Commissioned Pilot Officer
29 October, 1941
R.C.A.F., Special Reserve

(Source: P. Benitz)

Missing imgage

Flight Lieutenant, 1945
(Source: P. Benitz)

Missing imgage

Click ribbons for their significance.

Event Timeline

Dates Event
1940, October 17 Ottawa — Enlisted “for the duration” in the Royal Canadian Air Force, Volunteer Reserve - RCAF (VR).
(Twenty-five years later, out riding on a fresh morning, I asked him why he had volunteered.  He thought about my question and eventually replied: “I didn’t like what they were doing to the Jews.”)
1940 - 1941 Ontario — Trained at No.1 ITS (Initial Training School) in Toronto, Ontario, No.10 EFTS (Elementary Flying Training School) at RCAF Station Hamilton, Mount Hope, Ontario, & No.5 SFTS (Service Flying Training School) at Brantford, Ontario.
1941, April 10 Brantford, Ontario (Toronto) — Graduated as Flight Sergeant (R74280); he wanted to be a fighter pilot but was assigned to bombers.
1941, April 26 Halifax — Sailed for England on the HMS Derbyshire.
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, Yorkshire.  Night bombing ops.
No. 104 Squadron – received the Vickers Wellington Mk.II in April 1941.  In October 1941 Malcolm piloted one of the fifteen aircraft of that squadron that were flown to Malta, from where they attacked targets in Libya, Sicily and Italy.  In January, 1942, his detachment moved to Egypt & was reunited with its ground echelon.  Wimpy – the familiar name for Wellington bombers.
1941, October 17 Malta – One of 15 aircraft detached to Luqa (Malta).  Malcolm also flew from/to many airfields and landing grounds (LG) in northern Egypt.
1941, October 29 Malta – Commissioned Pilot Officer (J15035), see above.
1942, April 7 Malta – Awarded Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC); his citation is on the Redeployed page.
1942, April 29 Egypt & Palestine – Wounded, hospitalized in Egypt, he recuperated in Palestine on the shores of the Dead Sea.
1942, October 29 Malta – Promoted to Flying Officer (J15035), effective Oct. 1.
1942, November 7? Malta – Returned to active duty.
1942, November 26 Mediterranean — Ditched within sight of Malta; 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) to Tripoli (Libya).
1942, abt. Dec 30 Italy Sent on an Italian submarine to Taranto (Italy); placed in transit camp P.G. 75, Torre Tresca, near Bari.
1943, March Italy – Transferred to P.G. 78, Fonte d'Amore, near Sulmona (Abruzzo).
1943, summer Italy – Helped dig escape tunnel; completed, but escape foiled by a honey wagon.
1943, September 8 – Italy capitulated.  Prisoners took over POW camp.
1943, September 12 Italy – Got away; took refuge in the Grotta del Cavallone, near Taranta Peligna (Abruzzo).
1943, Oct. 9 - 13 Italy Walked south-east 80+km. to Allied lines at Ripabottoni (Molise)
1943, November 6 England — Arrived back from Italy.
1943, November 16 England — Presented DFC at Buckingham Palace.
1943, November 25 Canada — Repatriated from UK, granted special leave.
1943, December 23 Argentina — Arrives in BA, on special leave (30 days clear).
1944 Canada — Promoted Flight Lieutenant.
1944, January 22 Canada — Y Depot (holding); Overseas posting cancelled (i.e. returned from Argentina).
1944, March 16 Canada No.16 SFTS (Service Flying Training School), Hagersville, Ontario; presumably trained on Avro Lancaster bombers.
1944, May 11 Canada — Posted to No.164 Transportation Squadron, stationed at Edmonton, Alberta.
1945, March 31 Canada — Y-Depot (holding)
1945, April 13 England — posted to RAF overseas, in England.
1945, May 9 – VE-Day, Victory in Europe (German surrender)
1945, August 2 Canada — Repatriated from UK.
1945, September 2 – VJ-Day, Victory in the Pacific (Japanese surrender)
1945, October 2 Canada — Demobilized, returned to Argentina.


© Peter Benitz (Benitz Family)