Rank/Name: P/O A.R. Neilson
Date of Award: 19/05/1943

NEILSON, F/O Alexander Roy (J5293) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.59 Squadron - Award effective 19 May 1943 as per London Gazette dated 25 May 1943 and AFRO 1247/43 dated 2 July 1943. Born in Windsor, Ontario, 1919; home there; enlisted there 14 December 1940. Trained at No.1 ITS (graduated 30 December 1940), No.7 EFTS (graduated 7 February 1941), and No.8 SFTS (graduated 16 May 1941). Presented by Governor General, 28 January 1946.

This officer has flown on operations since May 1942, when he made a daylight attack on an enemy convoy off the Dutch coast. Later he participated in the 1,000 bomber raid on Germany. Another time Flying Officer Neilson, in the face of intense opposition, made a successful attack on an enemy merchant vessel. More recently he has done excellent work on long-range anti-submarine patrol. Throughout his operational career this officer has shown determination and a fine fighting spirit, coupled with judgement of the highest order.

NOTE: Public Records Office Air 2/8952 has recommendation dated 16 January 1943 with more details:

Flying Officer Neilson did his first operation with No.59 Squadron in May 1942. In company with two other Hudsons of the squadron, he made a daylight attack on a convoy off the Danish coast. Flying Officer Neilson bombed a destroyer with results that could not be observed owing to evasive action, but his two companions were shot down. His own aircraft was damaged and he had to make a belly landing at home.

His second sortie was a daylight reconnaissance into the Skagerrak, searching for the Prince Eugen. His fourth trip was on the 1,000 bomber raid on Bremen, from which he landed back at base with five gallons of petrol registering on his gauges. On a subsequent night bombing strike, he flew through intense flak and hit a 2-3,000 ton ship in convoy, leaving it stationary and giving off heavy smoke.

After the squadron's conversion to Liberators, Flying Officer Neilson did excellent work on long range anti-submarine operations, meeting convoys 600 miles from base without the assistance of Special Equipment. On one occasion he was sent on an anti-shipping patrol and No.4 engine caught fire. He succeeded in extinguishing it and carried on his patrol as if everything was normal. He possesses determination and judgement of the highest order.

Source: London Gazette