COCHRANE Alfred William Gordon
NZ403429, Squadron Leader, Royal NZ Air Force
Distinguished Service Order
Gazetted 30 November 1944
This officer has displayed the highest standard of skill and courage in operations against the enemy. He has completed a very large number of sorties involving attacks on a very wide range of enemy targets and throughout has displayed outstanding determination and devotion to duty. On a recent occasion Squadron Leader Cochrane took part in an attack on the airfield at Eindhoven. His courage and determined bombing in the face of concentrated anti-aircraft fire set a very fine example
Distinguished Flying Cross
Gazetted 11 August 1942
This officer is employed as captain of aircraft. Throughout his operational tour he has completed his attacks with skill, courage and determination. His fearlessness in the face of danger has inspired a high standard of morale in his crew. Pilot Officer Cochrane has attacked important enemy targets including Brest, Cologne, Bremen and Hamburg.
Bar to the Distinguished Flying Cross
Gazetted 8 January 1945
Squadron Leader Cochrane is a cool and courageous captain and pilot, whose fine qualities of leadership and determination have been well illustrated in many operations against the enemy. In December 1944 Squadron Leader Cochrane participated in an attack on the airfield at Desseldorf. In spite of intense and accurate fire from the ground defences, Squadron Leader Cochrane pressed home his attack with his usual skill. His aircraft was hit but he flew it back to base. His devotion to duty has been unfailing.
Second bar to the Distinguished Flying Cross
Gazetted 21 February 1945
One night in February 1945 Squadron Leader Cochrane, as captain of aircraft, was detailed to attack enemy troop concentrations at Goch. Soon after reaching the target the port wing of his aircraft sustained severe damage and part of it fell off. Undeterred Squadron Leader Cochrane, with superb airmanship and courage, continued with his task. This officer has set a magnificent example of fearlessness. His tenacity of purpose and cheafullness has been and inspiration to his squadron.
Distinguished Service Order
Distinguished Flying Cross and 2 bars
Air Crew Europe Star
War Medal 1939-45
NZ War Service Medal
Croix de Guerre (France)
Order of the Orange Nassau, Commander (Netherlands)
Born 10 October 1916, Rawene, New Zealand
Died 29 October 1994, Wimborne Minster, England
Cochrane ended the war as an acclaimed pathfinder captain, with three tours and 88 operations behind him. He was one among the most highly decorated New Zealander bomber pilots. After the war Cochrane remained in Britain, joining BOAC, the forerunner of British Airways. Cochrane flew Yorks, Hermes, Stratocruisers and Comets before becoming a Boeing 707 captain in 1964. He retired at the end of 1971 as a senior captain with 25 years service