A F Carlisle

Anthony Francis Carlisle was a pilot in Bomber Command. Initially a 2nd Lieutenant in the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry he transferred to the RAF as a pilot officer on 2 November 1940. He survived the war.

88 squadron badge 1107 Squadron

He served initially in 88 Squadron before transferring to107 Squadron in January 1942. Stationed in Belfast with 88 Squadron he flew a mixture of Fairey Battles, Blenheim IVs and Boston Is before the squadron converted to Boston IIIs from July 1941. He was with 107 Squadron until August 1942, flying Boston IIIs, when he was transferred on being made acting squadron leader. I have not been able to trace his subsequent postings.

He was awarded the DFC in 1942 and received a bar to his DFC (a second award of the same medal) in 1944.

The reports of his first award are from the Western Morning News dated 28 October 1942 and 17 December 1942.


Westcountry Officer's Courage

The King has approved the award of the Distinguished Flying Cross to Actg Sqn. Ldr Anthony Francis Carlisle, No. 107 Squadron. During a low-level attack on Leeuwarden Aerodrome Sqn. Ldr. Carlisle's aircraft was caught in the blast from bombs detonating on the ground. The aircraft was thrown on to its back. extensive damage was caused to its tail unit and the rear guns were torn away. Despite the very low altitude of the aeroplane at the time this officer regained control and returned to his base safely.

Sqn. Ldr. Carlisle has led a formation of aircraft on numerous operational sorties, and has at all times displayed the highest courage, determination, and devotion to duty.

Sqn. Ldr Carlisle was born in !918 at Kingswear. His home is in St. Mawes. He was commissioned second-lieutenant as in the Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry in 1938. In 1940 he was seconded to the R.A.F. as pilot officer. He reached his present rank last February.


Several Cornish officers of the R.A.F. were decorated with the D.F.C. They included Sqn. Ldr. Anthony Carlisle, Bomber Command, whose home is at Searings, St. Mawes. Sqn. Ldr. Carlisle is a member of the famous 107 Squadron.

It was in October last that his machine made a low-level attack on Leeuwarden Aerodrome. The plane was caught in the blast from the detonating bombs, and by the force of it was thrown on to its back with the result that the tall was damaged and the rear guns torn away. Sqn Ldr. Carlisle pluckily regained control of the machine and at a very low altitude got home safely.

This is not the only occasion he has won commendation for his fine work as a pilot. He has, as the official citation states, "displayed the highest courage, determination, and devotion to duty." He is a native o! Kingswear. He was first commissioned in the D.C.L.T., but in 1940 was seconded for duty with the R-A.F. as pilot officer. He was promoted squadron leader last February.

Another St. Mawes officer to receive the D.F.C. was Flt. Lt. Drinkwater, of Brooklyn House.

There are some inaccuracies in the above reports: Carlisle was in 88 Squadron when the incident for which he was decorated occurred, he was promoted to Flight Lieutenant in February and he was no longer with 107 Squadron at the time of the report.

The Falmouth Packet of 18 August 1944 reports Carlisle receiving the bar to his DFC. However, this was not awarded for a specific incident but for displaying outstanding courage and leadership over many operations.

Fairey Battle

Fairey Battle





Engine                         Merlin I, II or III

Crew                           3

Max Speed                  241 mph at 10,000ft, 257 mph at 20,000ft

Cruising Speed            200 mph at 16,000ft

Initial Climb Rate        920 feet per minute

Ceiling                         25,000ft

Range                          900 miles

Bomb load                  1,000lb made up of four 250lb bombs

Armament                   one 0.303in Browning machine gun in starboard wing, one .303in Vickers K gun in rear cockpit.

Blenheim IV

Blenheim IV

Engine                          Mercury XV

Horsepower               995

Max Speed                  266 mph

Range                          1,460 miles

Ceiling                         22,000 ft

Bomb load                   1,000 lb

Armament                   Early Mk IVs carried a single forward firing .303in Browning machine gun in the port wing, and a single .303 in Vickers machine gun in the dorsal turret. Later the turret was upgraded to carry two Vickers or Browning machine guns. A free mounted Vickers “K” gun was added to the nose. Finally, rear-firing ventral turrets were fixed under the nose.

Boston III

Boston III

Engine                          Wright R-2600-A5B Double Cyclone

Power                         1,600hp take-off and at 1,000ft, 1,400hp at 10,000ft

Crew                           3

Maximum speed

at sea level                  311mph

at 11,000ft                   320mph

at 12,500ft                   338mph

Cruising speed            273mph

Ceiling                         24,500ft or 27,600ft

Climb Rate                  2,420ft/min

Range                          1,240 miles; 745 miles with 1,000lb bombs, 525 miles with 2,000lb bombs

Guns                            4 fixed 0.303in Browning machine guns in nose, two flexible 0.303in Browning machine guns in dorsal position, one flexible Vickers K 0.303in machine gun in ventral position

Bomb load

Maximum                    2,000lb made up of four 500lb bombs

Normal                       1,000lb, either two 500lb or four 250lb bombs

The Boston I was not suitable for use as a bomber and only used for training.

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