F. Malcolm Benitz Page last modified:

Frank Malcolm Benitz, DFC
Wounded
29 April, 1942

On the night of April 29/30, 1942, Malcolm was on an operational flight when he was hit by shrapnel and badly wounded in his left leg and buttock with a compound fractures to his tibia.  A crew-member gave him an injection to alleviate the pain so he could pilot the aircraft back to Malta.  Hospitalized at No.64 General Hospital, Alexandria (Egypt), he refused emphatically (& colorfully) to allow his leg be amputated.  Instead it was put in a plaster cast; it suppurated, stank, and itched.  When he had recovered enough, he was sent to Palestine to convalesce near the Dead Sea; he found the sea’s high salt content made him very buoyant when swimming.

Malcolm eventually returned to active service, rejoining his bomber squadron (104) in early November, 1942.

His left leg never fully recovered and as the years went by he became very bow-legged.  To play polo he would bind his left calf with a horse bandage to protect and strengthen it.  He also rode with a shortened left stirup.  He became even more bow-legged after his horse tripped and fell, rolling on his good right leg.  His gait was unique.  A friend once said he walked “como con las patas de una gallareta” — as with the feet of a coot.

Telegrams received at “La California”

Wounded-1

Missing image.

Received 4 May, 1942
(Source: F.M. Benitz)

Wounded-2

Missing image.

Continued (page 2)
(Source: F.M. Benitz)

Wounded-3

Missing image.

Received 18 June, 1942
(Source: F.M. Benitz)

  Destinatario: Mr. W.A. Benitz
  Destino: La California
Procedencia: Ottawa Ontario
Hora: 6.45 ayer Día 4/5/42
Observaciones: Internacional
  ——————————

P.709. Regret to inform you advice received. from the royal canadian air-force casualties officer - overseas that your son pilot officer - Frank oficer Malcolm Benitz J.15035 dfc seriousty injured on active service april twenty

nints suffering from shrapnet wound left calf and compound fracture left tibia stop
  You will B. informed of any chantge in his condition
  Chief of The Air-Stafff
  Nal en B.A. 840 46

  Destinatario: Mr. W.A. Benitz
  Destino: La California
Procedencia: Ottawa ont.
Hora: 1610 ayer Día 18/6/42
Observaciones: Recomendado. Del Nac en 2210Hr.
  ——————————

P.696 Further advice has been received from the royal canadian air force casualties officer overseas Which states that your son pilot officer frank macolm Benitz dfc J.one five nought A hace five five has been removed from the seriously ill list stop letter follows
  Chief of the Air staff.

Hospital - Alexandria, Egypt:

Wounded-10

Missing image.

Photographers
AMP, AMP-18, AMP-31 - Approved Military Photographers
(AMP prints are on "Velox" or "Selo" paper)
FMB - possibly taken by Malcolm or with his camera
(FMB prints are on "Selo" or unlabeled paper)
FMB-Neg. - from a negative, ditto FMB.
Source
F.M. Benitz packrat files unless labelled otherwise.

Wounded-11

Missing image.

Very likely:
No.64 General Hospital
Alexandria, Egypt

(Photo: AMP-18)

Wounded-12

Missing image.

Very likely:
No.64 General Hospital
Alexandria, Egypt

(Photo: FMB-Neg.)

Wounded-13

Missing image.

Malcolm
(per cast left leg)
Alexandria, Egypt
(Photo: AMP)

Wounded-14

Missing image.

Malcolm's left foot
Alexandria, Egypt
(Photo: FMB-Neg.)

Wounded-15

Missing image.

Room-mate opposite Malcolm
Alexandria, Egypt
(Photo: FMB)

Wounded-16

Missing image.

Room-mate across from Malcolm
Alexandria, Egypt
(Photo: FMB)

Wounded-17

Missing image.

Room-mate diag. across from Malcolm
Alexandria, Egypt
(Photo: FMB)

Wounded-18

Missing image.

Practice standing & walking
Alexandria, Egypt
(Photo: AMP / FMB-Neg.)

Wounded-19

Missing image.

Hospital staff
Alexandria, Egypt
(Photo: FMB)

Wounded-20

Missing image.

Hospital staff
Alexandria, Egypt
(Photo: AMP-18)

Wounded-21

Missing image.

Hospital staff
Alexandria, Egypt
(Photo: FMB)

Wounded-22

Missing image.

Malcolm's left foot.
Fresh air on veranda

Alexandria, Egypt
(Photo: FMB)

Wounded-23

Missing image.

Fresh air on veranda
Alexandria, Egypt
(Photo: AMP-18)

Wounded-24

Missing image.

Boredom on the veranda
Alexandria, Egypt
(Photo: AMP-18)

Wounded-25

Missing image.

Hospital staff on veranda
Alexandria, Egypt
Badly scratched, cleaned only her face.
(Photo: FMB-Neg.)

Wounded-26

Missing image.

Fellow sufferer
Alexandria, Egypt
(Photo: FMB)

Wounded-27

Missing image.

Fellow recovering patients
(per walking-stick)
Alexandria, Egypt
(Photo: FMB-Neg.)

Wounded-28

Missing image.

Malcolm, in bed
Alexandria, Egypt
(Photo: AMP)

Wounded-29

Missing image.

Malcolm?
Alexandria, Egypt
(Photo: AMP)

Wounded-30

Missing image.

Malcolm
Alexandria, Egypt
(Photo: AMP-31)

 

Wounded-31

Missing image.

Back of hospital?
Alexandria, Egypt
(Photo: FMB-Neg.)

 

Recovery - Palestine:

Wounded-51

Missing image.

Convalescing
Swimming in the Dead Sea
Palestine
(Photo: FMB-Neg.)

Wounded-52

Missing image.

Convalescing
Swimming in the Dead Sea
Palestine
(Photo: ??)

Wounded-53

Missing image.

Convalescing
Swimming in the Dead Sea
Palestine
(Photo: FMB-Neg.)

Wounded-54

Missing image.

Malcolm & Unknown
Swimming in the Dead Sea
Palestine
(Photo: AMP)

Wounded-55

Missing image.

Malcolm
Swimming in the Dead Sea
Palestine
(Source: C. Le Bas, Photo: AMP)

Wounded-56

Missing image.

Unknown person
Swimming in the Dead Sea
Palestine
(Photo: FMB-Neg.)

Wounded-57

Missing image.

Convalescing,1942? – Unknown persons
Coast of the Dead Sea at left?
Very faded photo

Wounded-58

Missing image.

Convalescing,1942? – Unknowns
Meditarranean sea?
Very faded photo

Wounded-59

Missing image.

Convalescing,1942? – Unknown
Meditarranean sea?
Very faded photo

Wounded-60

Missing image.

Horses!
Malcolm found horses,
we assume in Palestine
(Photo: FMB-Neg.)

Wounded-61

Missing image.

Horses!
Malcolm found horses,
we assume in Palestine
(Photo: FMB-Neg.)

Wounded-62

Missing image.

Convalescing
Permit to attend the cinema, 11 Oct 1942
12th British General Hosptial
Sarafand al-Amar, Palestine
(Between Tel Aviv & Aqir)



© Peter Benitz (Benitz Family)