F. Malcolm Benitz Page last modified:

Frank Malcolm Benitz, DFC
Wounded
29 April, 1942

On the night of April 29/30, 1942, Malcolm was on an operational flight when he was hit by shrapnel and badly wounded in his left leg and buttock with a compound fractures to his tibia.  A crew-member gave him an injection to alleviate the pain so he could pilot the aircraft back to Malta.  Hospitalized at No.64 General Hospital, Alexandria (Egypt), he refused emphatically (& colorfully) to allow his leg be amputated.  Instead it was put in a plaster cast; it suppurated and stank.  When he had recovered enough, he was sent to Palestine to convalesce near the Dead Sea; he found the sea’s high salt content made him very buoyant when swimming.

Malcolm eventually returned to active service, rejoining his bomber squadron (104) in early November, 1942.

His left leg never fully recovered and as the years went by he became very bow-legged.  To play polo he would bind his left calf with a horse bandage to protect and strengthen it.  He also rode with a shortened left stirup.  He became even more bow-legged after his horse tripped and fell, rolling on his good right leg.  His gait was unique.  A friend once said he walked “como con las patas de una gallareta” — as with the feet of a coot.

Telegrams received at “La California”

Wounded-1

Missing image.

Received 4 May, 1942
(Source: P. Benitz)

Wounded-2

Missing image.

Continued (page 2)
(Source: P. Benitz)

Wounded-3

Missing image.

Received 18 June, 1942
(Source: P. Benitz)

  Destinatario: Mr. W.A. Benitz
  Destino: La California
Procedencia: Ottawa Ontario
Hora: 6.45 ayer Día 4/5/42
Observaciones: Internacional
  ——————————

P.709. Regret to inform you advice received. from the royal canadian air-force casualties officer - overseas that your son pilot officer - Frank oficer Malcolm Benitz J.15035 dfc seriousty injured on active service april twenty

nints suffering from shrapnet wound left calf and compound fracture left tibia stop
  You will B. informed of any chantge in his condition
  Chief of The Air-Stafff
  Nal en B.A. 840 46

  Destinatario: Mr. W.A. Benitz
  Destino: La California
Procedencia: Ottawa ont.
Hora: 1610 ayer Día 18/6/42
Observaciones: Recomendado. Del Nac en 2210Hr.
  ——————————

P.696 Further advice has been received from the royal canadian air force casualties officer overseas Which states that your son pilot officer frank macolm Benitz dfc J.one five nought A hace five five has been removed from the seriously ill list stop letter follows
  Chief of the Air staff.

Recovery in Egypt & Palestine:

Wounded-4

Missing image.

In Hospital
Alexandria, Egypt
(Source: P. Benitz)

Wounded-5

Missing image.

In Hospital
Alexandria, Egypt
(Source: P. Benitz)

Wounded-6

Missing image.

In Hospital (Malcolm?)
Alexandria, Egypt
(Source: P. Benitz)

Wounded-7

Missing image.

Convalescing
Swimming in the Dead Sea
Palestine
(Source: P. Benitz)

Wounded-8

Missing image.

Convalescing
Swimming in the Dead Sea
Palestine
(Source: P. Benitz)

Wounded-9

Missing image.

Convalescing
Swimming in the Dead Sea
Palestine
(Source: C. Le Bas)

 

Wounded-10

Missing image.

Convalescing
Permit to attend the cinema, 11 Oct 1942
12th British General Hosptial
Sarafand al-Amar, Palestine
(Between Tel Aviv & Aqir)
(Source: P. Benitz)

 


© Peter Benitz (Benitz Family)