Personal info

  • Name: Vivian HOLLOWDAY
  • D.O.B: 13th October, 1916
  • D.O.A: 31st August, 1940
  • D.O.D: 15th April, 1977
  • Award: George Cross
  • Occupation at time of action: Aircraftman, Royal Air Force

Cranfield, Bedfordshire July and August 1940

July and August 1940

More details about:
The Second World War 1939 - 40 

On two occasions in July and August 1940 Aircraftman V Hollowday attempted to rescue aircrew from crashed planes at or near RAF Cranfield, Bedfordshire.

Citation

 The KING has been graciously pleased to approve the award of the GEORGE CROSS to the undermentioned:- 935282 Aircraftman First Class Vivian Hollowday. One night in July, 1940, when returning to camp this airman observed an aircraft crash and burst into flames. He immediately proceeded to the wreckage and made his way through the burning debris which was scattered over a wide area by the force of the impact. He found the pilot whose clothing was on fire, and put out the flames with his bare hands. Had the pilot not been killed instantly in the crash this action would in all probability have saved his life. During August, 1940, this airman was again returning to the camp when an aircraft suddenly spun to the ground and exploded. He immediately went to the crash and a second explosion occurred. Ammunition was exploding all the time but despite this, he borrowed a gas mask, wrapped two sacks over himself and spent some time in the flames, making four attempts before he succeeded in releasing the first occupant. He then re-entered the burning wreckage and successfully removed the second. All three occupants, however, were already dead. Aircraftman Hollowday displayed amazing courage and initiative on both occasions. 

Third Supplement to The London Gazette of 17 January 1941. 21 January 1941, Numb. 35048, p. 403

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