Orders, Decorations, Medals and Militaria (28 February & 1 March 2018)

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Date of Auction: 28th February & 1st March 2018

Sold for £4,000

Estimate: £4,000 - £5,000

A Second War 1945 ‘Pathfinder Force’ D.F.C., 1943 D.F.M. group of six awarded to Halifax and Lancaster Flight Engineer, Flying Officer G. H. Jones, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, who flew in at least 50 operational sorties with 76 and 635 Squadrons. He participated in attacks on some of the most heavily defended German targets including taking part in the Peenemunde Raid, 17 August 1943, during which his Halifax suffered substantial damage

Distinguished Flying Cross, G.VI.R., reverse officially dated ‘1945’, and additionally engraved ‘Flg. Off. G. H. Jones D.F.M. 635 Sqdn.’; Distinguished Flying Medal, G.VI.R. (917016. Sgt. G. H. Jones. R.A.F.); 1939-45 Star; Air Crew Europe Star; Defence and War Medals 1939-45, generally good very fine (6) £4000-5000

Footnote

D.F.C. London Gazette 25 September 1945:

‘This officer has completed 50 operational sorties against the enemy. He has participated in attacks on some of the most heavily defended German targets including Berlin, Stettin, and Nuremburg.

As Flight Engineer his ability, cheerfulness and confidence have inspired a high standard or morale in the crew.’

D.F.M. London Gazette 16 November 1943.

George Herbert Jones served with the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve during the Second War, and after training was posted as a Sergeant and Flight Engineer for operational service with 76 Squadron (Halifaxes), Linton-on-Ouse, in April 1943. He flew in 27 operational sorties with the Squadron, including: Stettin; Dortmund (2); Duisberg; Bochum (2); Dusseldorf (2); Essen (2); Wuppertal (2); Le Creusot, 19/20 June 1943; Mulheim; Gelsenkirchen; Aachen; Hamburg (3); Remscheid; Peenemunde; Leverkusen; Berlin; Nuremburg; Mannheim; Munich and Montlucon.

For all of the above flights, Jones was crewed with the American born pilot Sergeant (later during the same tour - Pilot Officer) Ken Hewson. Reminiscences of these sorties are found in the Squadron History:

‘Sergeant Ken Parry, a navigator destined to be severely wounded on operations to Peenemunde later in the summer, writes:

“Our first trip to Stettin [20 April 1943] in the Baltic was uneventful and seemed a ‘piece of cake’. But we were faced with stark reality on our next few trips which were all to the Ruhr. The aircraft received flak damage on a number of occasions, particularly on raids over Gelsenkirchen [9 July 1943] and Bochum.”

Ken Parry was crewed with a quite remarkable pilot, Ken Hewson, an American by birth. Between 4 May and 24 June, Ken Hewson took his crew on thirteen consecutive operations, a record unsurpassed in the history of the squadron.....

Bochum was next in line [12 June 1943]... the night is remembered as being extremely bright, giving the defending night-fighter crews the chance to make visual sightings almost at will. Nearing Texel on the homeward leg Sergeant Ken Hewson’s Halifax was approached by a Ju88. The events that followed are clearly described by his rear-gunner, Sergeant ‘Dave’ Davis:

“I spotted him flying about 800 to 1,000 yards dead astern and slightly above us. His shape was clearly silhouetted in the first early light of the day. He did not look too dangerous and I think that he was being radar predicted onto us.

I called to Al in the mid-upper turret to verify my recognition, but before he could reply I saw his tail tip up and I shouted to the skipper to corkscrew, the direction not mattering as our attacker was approaching from astern.

My pilot’s response threw me backwards against the bulkhead doors, causing me to lose sight of the fighter as it dived into the dark part of the sky. A long burst of tracer came snaking below our starboard wing, so I touched my firing button and gave a short reply into that part of the sky from where I imagined his fire lay. He replied and again missed.

Then I saw him, his wing span wider than my Graticule Ring, about 150 to 200 yards away. He was breaking away in a climbing turn to port, so I opened fire into his belly. To my satisfaction I saw him catch fire and break up into flaming pieces as he disappeared into the North Sea.”

For several minutes the blazing remains of the night-fighter continued to burn on the surface of the water, as a jubilant bomber crew continued their journey westwards the dawn breaking behind them.....

A more seasoned crew captained by Ken Hewson turned in an equally spirited performance on Gelsenkirchen on 9 July [1943]:

“Persistent engine trouble prevented our aircraft from getting above 8,000 feet and on arrival over the target I estimated our position from the Wanganui flares drifting down above us. No sooner had I called ‘bombs gone’ then we were coned, and in getting clear of the lights we lost the use of the port outer engine. More seriously, we strayed off track and arrived over Bonn where we were chased by more searchlights.

For sometime after leaving the Ruhr we flew along in cloud and when eventually this thinned we discovered we were over Paris. The shortest possible route to the coast was taken, by which time dawn was breaking. After what seemed an age we arrived at Base and after one overshoot we touched down on the grass. The brakes failed and we crashed through a boundary fence, crossed a field, and came to a stop with the aircraft wrecked......”

Jones also flew with Hewson on the famous Peenemunde raid, 17 August 1943, during which ‘substantial damage was inflicted on the nose of his aircraft and Ken Parry, his navigator, received upper arm and shoulder wounds of such severity that he never flew operationally again.’ (Ibid)

Having completed his first tour of operations in September 1943, Jones returned to operational flying as a Flying Officer with 635 Squadron (Lancasters), Downham Market, in November 1944. The Squadron served as part of Pathfinder Force, No. 8 Group. Jones flew in 23 operational sorties with the Squadron, including: Neuss; Karlsruhe; Merseburg; Essen; Ludwigshaven; Duisberg; Munchen-Gladbach; Troisdorf; Dortmund (2); Nuremburg; Hannover; Munich; Gelsenkirchen; Mainz; Weisbaden; Osterfeld; Kleve; Wanne Eickel; Chemnitz; Worms; Hemmingstedt and Zweibrucken.

Sold with copied research, including a photographic image of recipient in uniform.