- Flying Officer
- Service No:
- Date of Death:
- Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
- 50 Sqdn.
- V C
7. G. 1.
HEVERLEE WAR CEMETERY
- Additional Information:
Son of Thomas James Stedman Manser and Rosaline Manser, of Radlett, Hertfordshire.
The citation in the London Gazette of 20th October, 1942 gives the following details : Flying Officer Manser was captain and first pilot of an aircraft which took part in the mass raid on Cologne on the night of 30th May, 1942. Despite searchlights and intense and accurate anti-aircraft fire he held his course and bombed the target successfully from 7,000 feet. Thereafter, although he took evasive action, the aircraft was badly damaged, for a time one engine and part of one wing were on fire, and in spite of all the efforts of pilot and crew, the machine became difficult to handle and lost height. Though he could still have parachuted to safety with his crew, he refused to do so and insisted on piloting the aircraft towards its base as long as he could hold it steady, to give his crew a better chance of safety when they jumped. While the crew were descending to safety, they saw the aircraft, still carrying the gallant captain, plunge to earth and burst into flames.
In pressing home his attack in the face of strong opposition, in striving against heavy odds to bring back his aircraft and crew, and finally, when in extreme peril, thinking only of the safety of his comrades, Flying Officer Manser displayed determination and valour of the highest order.