Orders, Decorations and Medals (25 September 2008)

Date of Auction: 25th September 2008

Sold for £5,800

Estimate: £6,000 - £8,000

A very rare Malaya operations D.F.M. group of three awarded to Sergeant C. A. Cornford, Royal Air Force, late Royal Navy, who was decorated for services as a Valetta pilot in No. 48 Squadron on jungle supply dropping missions

Distinguished Flying Medal
, E.II.R. (3504359 Sgt. C. A. Cornford, R.A.F.), in its Royal Mint case of issue; Naval General Service 1915-62, 1 clasp, Palestine 1945-48 (P/JX. 721797 C. A. Cornford, A.B., R.N.); General Service 1918-62, 1 clasp, Malaya, E.II.R. (3504359 Sgt. C. A. Cornford, R.A.F.), extremely fine (3) £6000-8000


D.F.M. London Gazette 6 March 1953. The original recommendation states:

‘Sergeant Cornford joined No. 48 Squadron in January 1951. During the 22 months which have elapsed since then he has flown 200 hours in direct support of the Emergency Force operating against the terrorists. On many occasions, he has had the task of supplying units located in dense jungle in the mountainous interior of Central Malaya. Frequently the weather conditions have been adverse and the ordinary difficulties of locating and supplying these small and dangerously situated dropping zones have been greatly accentuated. There have also been occasions when the task has been further aggravated by technical difficulties in his aircraft. On each and every occasion, Sergeant Cornford has dropped the supplies with a high degree of skill and accuracy. In the course of his route flying duties, he has many times been confronted with difficult circumstances and, on these occasions as on all others, he has met adversity with an outstanding degree of determination, without which the tasks could not have been completed. Sergeant Cornford started his tour as a junior and inexperinced pilot. By his determination, courage and patience, he has made himself an outstanding operational supply dropper who has done much to maintain the very high reputation of the supply dropping crews with the ground forces.’

Clifford Albert Cornford would appear to have been a regular in the Royal Air Force, having joined from the Air Training Corps around 1948-49. At the time of being recommended for his D.F.M., he had completed 1402 hours flying time, 1024 of these hours being pertinent to his time in Malaya.