CAMACHO, F/L Vivian Evelyn (J4899) – Distinguished Flying Cross – No.59 Squadron -
Award effective 1 September 1944 as per London Gazette dated 15 September 1944 and AFRO 2373/44 dated 3 November 1944.
Born 1919 in British West Indies (Antigua); served in Officer Training Corps, England, 1932-1936. Home in Radcliffe, Manitoba; enlisted in Montreal 24 August 1940. Trained at No.1 ITS (graduated 3 November 1940), No.3 EFTS (graduated 23 December 1940) and No.5 SFTS (graduated 17 March 1941).
Invested with award by King George 29 June 1945. This officer completed a tour of operational duty on Hudson aircraft. He has since taken part in many anti-submarine patrols. Early this year he was captain of an aircraft which delivered a telling attack on an enemy U-boat. This attack was pressed home in the face of extremely heavy anti-aircraft fire and in very bad weather. Since the above action Flight Lieutenant Camacho has continued to display great keenness and a fine fighting spirit.
NOTE: Public Records Office Air 2/9276 has original recommendation dated 17 July 1944 when he had flown 23 Very Long Range sorties (326 operational hours); he was reported as having flown 500 hours on his first tour ! This officer joined No.59 Squadron on the 12th November 1943, and has since completed 23 sorties. This is his second operational tour wit Coastal Command, having already competed a tour on Hudson aircraft prior to joining this unit. On the 27th May 1944, Flight Lieutenant Camacho was captain of aircraft “S” (No.59 Squadron) when a U-boat was sighted in an estimated position of 62∞ 37′ North, 00∞ 57′ East. The weather conditions at the time were extremely bad and the captain was forced to descend below 300 feet before breaking cloud and making his sighting, having previously obtained a radar contact. The captain, however, pressed home a very determined attack at low altitude in the face of extremely heavy flak. During the run in, the starboard engine was damaged by a cannon shell to such an extent that the aircraft returned to base on the remaining three engines. The attack was, however, well executed, and an analysis given by higher authority was “probably sunk”. Since the above action, Flight Lieutenant Camacho has continued to display great keenness and aggressiveness in carrying out his duties concerning U-boat warfare, and has been a fine example to junior and less experienced members of the squadron.
[Source: Air Force Association of Canada; courtesy Jerome Lee]