Fleet Air Arm Malta Convoy Distinguished Service Medal Group for the 1942, Operation Harpoon.
This group, which has come directly from the family comprises of the DSM, 39/45 Star, Africa Star, Defence Medal, War Medal, mounted on a bar.
The D.S.M. is named to – FX/76445 W. J. SOUTER L. A. MECH.
Announced in the London Gazette (front page) 28th August 1942 (3rd Supplement, number 35687, page 3817), serving on H.M.S. Eagle in the Mediterranean
The heading of the award section states – “For bravery and resolution while escorting an important Convoy to Malta.”
The despatch from H.M.S. Eagle, dated 17th June 1942, details the performance of 801 Squadron Naval Air Squadron during Operation Harpoon (see images).
William Souten is mentioned in consideration for honours along with a colleague for the replacing of propellers of two Hurricanes in incredibly short time to enable the aircraft to return to fighting. This work was carried out in very short time, during action and in a very congested hangar.
It is also highly probable that he was still on board when HMS Eagle was sunk by German torpedo later that summer.
This group came directly from the family. It is said that his brother and father were both decorated men of the Royal Navy and that his mother met the King twice at the investitures.
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