Ottawa born Mervyn Fleming joined the RAF in May of 1938 serving in No.58 squadron.
As F/L Fleming he flew on the first mission to drop bombs on Berlin.
Served as Squadron Leader in Ferry Command delivering Hudson aircraft
from Canada to Britain up to around January 1942.( some sources mention he only flew the route once)
He returned to operational duties as Commanding Officer of 419 Squadron September 8th 1942. Replacing W/C Walsh
who had been KIA on June 28th.
A look at the Operations Log shows
Fleming had a number of different aircrew members he flew with. Most frequently though with F/O C.H. Parker (Nav),
Sgt. G.F.Clarke (R/G), F/O A.P. Smith (WAG) and Sgt. O.D. McLean (B/A) and Sgt. Donald Hall F/E.
He had an interesting turn at the controls of a "Mossy" which was part of a group of Mosquito which had
landed at Middleton St. George, S/L Pattison had already had a circuit at the controls of the twin
engine aircraft and had pronounced it the most perfect aircraft he had ever flown.
W/C Fleming's experience was not quite the same. On take off the starboard engine died, the aircraft lost height
and disappeared behind some trees. Fortunately even though it was his first time behind the controls of
this type of aircraft he brought the aircraft out of the dive and brought the Mosquito in for a perfect
He was also responsible for pushing for results for better lack of serviceability of the aircraft caused by
failure of the artificial horizon. He also for the arming of the mid-upper gunner position on Halifax H aircraft.
For which he did succeed in accomplishing.
He also was responsible for approving of the design for the squadron unit badge.
One of W/C Flemming's Halifax aircraft was DT 689 "Moose After Hitler" . It was not his only assigned
Halifax, JD163 being another, but DT689 has a story all its own.
W/C Fleming DFC DSO awards citations read as: DFC "This officer completed 27 trips with over
200 operational hours to his credit. He set a fine example to
his squadron as an unspectacular but most reliable captain.
I have flown with Flight Lieutenant Fleming and was very
impressed by the time and pains he spent in making sure that
he identified his target. On one flight his second pilot lost
control in cloud and in righting his aircraft the ailerons were
completely stripped of all fabric. Flight Lieutenant Fleming
returned and landed safely. On another occasion he took off a
fully loaded aircraft at night when, through no fault of his own,
the 'pitot' head cover had not been removed.
Flight Lieutenant Fleming landed, removed the obstruction
and resumed his sortie. In addition to this example of
steady valuable flying this officer was in charge squadron
navigation and in this capacity rendered valuable service
to the other crews. I consider his activities well merit
the award of the Distinguished Flying Cross."
To the above, the Commanding Officer of Station Linton-on-Ouse
adds (25 November 1940):
Flight Lieutenant Fleming has just those
qualities of dogged perseverance and imperturbability that go
to make the ideal heavy bomber pilot. I consider his long spell
of operational work is well worthy of recognition.
DSO "Wing Commander Fleming has displayed
outstanding skill, courage and devotion to duty.
He has undertaken a large number of sorties during which
he has attacked many important targets with success.
Wing Commander Fleming is an ideal leader, whose example
has contributed materially to the operational efficiency
of the squadron he commands."