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).
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.  Trained on the Vickers Wellington Mark Ic, which was the same as a Mark II except for its engines.
1941, July 23 England Posted to RAF 104 Bomber Squadron, Driffield, Yorkshire.  At least 4 night bombing ops. over Europe (Boulogne, Hamburg, Stettin).
  • No. 104 Squadron – It had received the Vickers Wellington Mark II in April 1941.  In October 1941 fifteen of its aircraft were detached to Malta, from where they attacked targets in Libya, Sicily, and Italy.  In January, 1942, the detachment moved to Egypt where it was reunited with its ground echelon.
  • The Vickers Wellington bomber (a.k.a. “Wimpey”) Mark II is indentifiable by its Rolls-Royce Merlin X engines; these V-12 piston engines (1,375 hp) had a row of exhausts along each side.  Most other Marks of the Wimpey used rotary piston engines.
1941, October 17 Malta – Malcolm, as a member of the ‘Sea Party’, presumably travelled by sea when 15 aircraft were detached to Luqa (Malta).  In the following months, he flew from Malta & 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; engine failure 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 for retraining (he had not flown since Nov.'42).
1944, May 11 Canada — Posted to No.164 Transportation Squadron, stationed at Edmonton, Alberta; he likely flew twin engine transports: Lockheed Lodestar (C-60A) and Douglas Dakota (C-47).
1945, March 31 Canada — Y-Depot (holding)
1945, April 13 England — posted from Canada to RAF overseas, in England.
1945, May 9 – VE-Day, Victory in Europe (German surrender)
1945, May 9 England — Reported for training on Lancasters (at No. 6 Aircrew School, RAF Dalton, Yorkshire ?)
1945, August 2 Canada — Repatriated to Canada from England.
1945, September 2 – VJ-Day, Victory in the Pacific (Japanese surrender)
1945, October 2 Canada — Demobilized, 10 days short of 5 years in the RCAF, logged over1,000 hours flying in Europe, north Africa, & Canada.
1945, October 10+⁄- Argentina — Arrived on Panam (Pan American Airways), stayed at the Hotel Continental in Buenos Aires.

© Peter Benitz (Benitz Family)