Rank & Name: P/O P.A. Womersley DFC, AE, DL

Date of Death: 12/03/2009
Details:

 

P/O Patrick Anthony Womersley received his DFC whilst serving with 59 Squadron after completing 94 operational sorties. He was operational during the Battle of Britain, later receiving the Clasp. He features in the book "Convoy Peewit" written by Andy Saunders and talks about 59 Sqn having the award revoked in 1960. He was promoted to the rank of Squadron Leader and posted from 59 to 18 Squadron where he later received a bar to his DFC. He later served as C/O of 609 Sqn after the war.

 

Further Information
Awardee of the Battle of Britain Clasp - Although entitlement was revoked by the Air Ministry in 1960 (read more).
Image sourced from Andy Saunders
Image sourced from "Tally Ho" - 609 Sqn veterans newsletter.

The following is an obituary that featured in one of the newsletters:

90649 Squadron Leader Patrick Anthony Womersley DFC AE DL: I’d briefly noted his passing in the last newsletter. Mark Crame has, once again, unearthed details of his career.

Pat Womersley was a pre-war pilot. On 6th July 1939 609 Sqn records note that one Mr P A Womersley had
been granted a commission in the Auxiliary Air Force as an Acting Pilot Officer, with effect from 29th March
1939. He joined 609 at Yeadon during the general mobilisation. On 27th August the Squadron proceeded to
its War Station, which was Catterick, but some of 609’s pilots remained at Yeadon. P/Off David Crook, G
Dodgshun, Acting P/Off Michael Appleby, Mitchell and Womersley received further training, but no flying.
For a month they played rugger and mixed hockey with some WAAFs, before being posted to the first
wartime flying course at No 6 FTS at Little Rissington, near Gloucester, where they flew Harvard Advanced
Trainers. Here they found themselves being subjected to the regular RAF way of life, which included drill,
bed at 10.30pm, and no private cars.

Pat was graded Pilot Officer on 9th December 1939, and, for some reason that I must guess at, reconfirmed
exactly as before on 4th May 1940. This must be because he was posted to fly Blenheim Mk V’s with 59 Sqn
around this period, and may have had to undergo conversion training to twins. They flew bombing sorties
over occupied France and the Low Countries until 1st April, when 59 became a general reconnaissance Sqn
under Coastal Command, reequipping with Hudson’s in July 1941.

Promotion to Flying Officer came on 9th December 1940, and to Flight Lieutenant on 7th August 1941. On
25th November, the Air Ministry announced the award of the DFC to Acting Squadron Leader P A
Womersley, AuxAF, No. 59 Squadron. He appears to have reverted to F/Lt after that, because on 1st July
1944 he was promoted from F/Lt to Sqn. Ldr. (temp)

I have no records of him until he was awarded a bar to his DFC whilst flying with 18 Squadron. This had gone
to Italy in 1943, converting to Douglas Boston’s, and staying with that campaign until September 1945, when
it moved to Greece, disbanding there one year later. His citation was dated 17th July 1945, and read: “S/Ldr
Patrick Anthony Womersley DFC (90649), AuxAF. No 18 Sqn. Squadron Leader Womersley has completed
much operational flying. He has displayed skill and courage of a high order and his determination to attack his
targets with accuracy, despite heavy enemy opposition, has set a fine example.

On one occasion when attacking the ferry terminals at Cavanella D’Adige, his aircraft was repeatedly hit by
anti-aircraft fire. Undeterred, S/Ldr Womersley pressed home his attack and successfully attacked his
objective. His exceptional qualities of efficiency and keenness have been well in evidence throughout his
operation tours of duty.”

Pat Womersley was appointed as 609’s CO on 1st August 1946; the Squadron initially flying Mosquito
NF32’s, and then Spitfire XVI’s. His command of 609 during this period has not met with much acclaim from
some to whom I have spoken. It seems that a very laissez faire atmosphere existed, and, as Dave Shaw told
me: “people turned up when they wanted to, and with most it was not very often. Or not at all. Discipline was apparently non-existent.” Pat transferred to reserve (class A) on 3rd October 1949, when he relinquished
command to Arthur Hudson. “By then, 609 were very short of pilots and airmen. Hudson rescued the
Squadron by kicking out all who did not turn up, and installed some firm rules all round.” Pat’s war record is
at odds with this period, but it was peacetime, and perhaps he felt that strong discipline wasn’t required.

Pat had an extension of service for 5 years, from 1st August 1950, undertaking General Duties, and he
resigned his commission on 1st August 1945. When Dave Shaw and Malcolm Slingsby started the
Association in 1967, Pat Womersley contributed to the Yeadon Memorial, but didn’t attend the ceremony.

Rest In Peace