THE PRO PATRIA PROJECT
BAIGENT Cyril Henry
NZ411973, Acting Wing Commander, Royal New Zealand Air Force

CITATION
Distinguished Service Order
Gazetted 17 July 1945
75 (NZ) Squadron, RNZAF
Throughout three years of operational duty this officer has displayed conspicuous gallantry and exceptional determination.  Since the award of a bar to the Distinguished Flying Cross, he has taken part in many attacks against important and highly defended targets.  Both in the air and on the ground, Wing Commander Baigent has proved to be an able, keen and courageous leader, who has invariably set an inspiring example to all under his command

Distinguished Flying Cross
Gazetted 3 November 1942
15 Squadron RAF
This officer, who has completed many sorties, has invariably displayed the greatest determination to complete his allotted task successfully.  During an operation against a target in Bremen, he flew over the area for a considerable time to identify his objective before releasing his bombs.  Although his aircraft was severely damaged by anti-aircraft fire, he flew it back to this country and affected a masterly emergency landing.  Flight Lieutenant Baigent has set a fine example of courage and devotion to duty.  Flight Lieutenant Baigent took part in the first and second 1000 bomber raids on Cologne on the night of 31 May – 1 June 1942, and Essen on the night 1-2 June 1942

Bar to the Distinguished Flying Cross
Gazetted 4 March 1944
115 Squadron RAF
This officer has completed a very large number of sorties, including eight attacks on Berlin.  In an attack on the German capital one night in January 1944, Squadron Leader Baigent’s aircraft was repeatedly hit by cannon fire when attacked by fighters on approaching the target area.  One engine was set on fire, the turrets were rendered unserviceable, and other damage was sustained.  In spite of this, Squadron Leader Baigent pressed home his bombing attack and afterwards flew the damaged bomber to base.  He displayed great skill and determination to make the sortie a success.  Following this particular sortie Squadron Leader Baigent commented – “on landing we found one tyre completely missing which helped to make the landing an interesting one”

Air Force Cross
Gazetted New Year 1948
75 Squadron, RNZAF
This officer was posted to 75 Squadron as a Flight Commander in October 1946 for Mosquito ferry training duties.  Early in 1947 he proceeded to the United Kingdom and delivered his first Mosquito to New Zealand.  Since then this officer has delivered two more aircraft from the United Kingdom.  Furthermore he has assumed command of the Squadron and despite the time occupied in flying, he has completed much valuable work in New Zealand, the United Kingdom and on the ferry route to make this difficult task of ferrying easier and more practical.  By his keenness and fine leadership he has maintained a high morale amongst aircrew of his Squadron and his never failing enthusiasm and energy have made him an outstanding figure and he has won the admiration and respect of all ranks.  Squadron Leader Baigent has now completed 1,572 hours flying of which 279 hours have been flown within the past six months

AWARDS
Distinguished Service Order
Distinguished Flying Cross and bar
Air Force Cross
1939-45 Star
Air Crew Europe Star
Defence Medal
War Medal 1939-45
New Zealand War Service Medal

NOTES
Born 16 January 1923, Ashburton, New Zealand
Died 10 November 1953, Palmerston North, New Zealand
Buried Nelson, New Zealand