David Samuel Anthony Lord VC


David Samuel Anthony Lord was born on the 18th October 1913 in Cork, Ireland.

He was a Flight Lieutenant with the Royal Air Force 271 Squadron, and had been awarded a Distinguished Flying Cross in 1943.

On the 19th September 1944 he was flying his Dakota to drop supplies during the Battle of Arnhem, Holland. The crews had been warned of the intense fire they would face over the drop zone, where they had to fly at 900ft for accurate drops.

The Germans had encircled the first Airborne Division in a small area, where they were surrounded by anti-aircraft guns.

The starboard wing of his aircraft had already been hit twice, and the starboard engine was on fire. As the dropping zone was close by, he made sure the crew were all right and decided to carry on with the mission, as the troops on the ground were desperately short of supplies.

When he got to 900ft he came under even heavier fire, but kept the aircraft on course while the supplies were dropped. He was then told there were still two containers left. Although they were still in danger from the starboard wing, he circled the area and rejoined the line of aircraft, doing another run to drop the canisters.

This had taken around eight minutes, under intense fire all the time. At 500ft he ordered the crew to bale out, making no attempt to do so himself, choosing to remain at the controls to give his men a chance of escape. A few seconds later the wing finally collapsed and the plane crashed in flames. He was thirty years old.

Only the navigator survived.

It was announced on the 13th November 1945 that David Lord was to be awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross for his actions.