Back To 1941-50







1. Name
Orbell Ray OAKES
2. Date Commissioned
October 1940
3. Date retired
1945/46 Class A Release
4. Rank
Lieutenant RM (Temporary)
5. Awarded wings
6. Flying schools
EFTS Luton
No. 31 FTS Kingston, Ontario
7. Aircraft types flown
Fighters: eg Magister, Moth, Harvard, Hurricane, Spitfire, Fulmar, Martlet, Hellcat,
Corsair, Reliant, Barracuda, Martinet
8. Squadrons
804 Squadron. Emperor
Later also in 800 Squadron
9. Aircraft Carriers
10. Senior Appointments
Flight Commander 804 Squadron

DSC 25 July 1944. "For bravery, leadership, skill and devotion to duty while operating from HMS Emperor during successful strikes at enemy shipping off the coast of Norway"
1939-45 War medals, Atlantic, Italy

12. General
"Titus" Oates was one of a small number of HO Officers who served in the FAA. He took part in Operations TUNGSTEN and PLANET against the Tirpitz on 3 April 1944 in Kaafjord. He also took part in other raids off the coast of Norway in April and May 1944. His unit then operated in the Western Approaches giving flank protection to the Normandy invasion before proceeding to the Mediterranean. Here the Emperor joined Task Force 88 under Rear Admiral Troubridge for Operation DRAGOON, the landings in the South of France. Oakes says that they bombed and straffed almost anything they could see and claimed to have knocked out 70% of the 9th Panzer Division. He also remembers blowing up an "E" Boat which suddenly disappeared in a great explosion whilst he was straffing it.

On completion of "Dragoon" activity was then transferred to the Greek Islands - Rhodes, Milos, Leros hiarassing and destroying all German activity as they withdrew. Oakes also says that he is fairly well known for taxiing over the side after landing on. He was fairly shot up and claims his brakes failed but apparently his Captain (Hilken, RN) was not impressed.

Oakes returned to civilian life after the war and is farming near Bury St. Edmunds 1978.