Orders, Decorations, Medals and Militaria (16 April 2020)

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Date of Auction: 16th April 2020

Sold for £3,800

Estimate: £4,000 - £5,000

A scarce ‘Korea’ Fleet Air Arm Squadron Commander and Sea Fury pilot’s D.S.C. group of nine to Commander P. B. Stuart, Fleet Air Arm and Royal Navy, who having served at sea during the Second War, commanded 801 Squadron off Korea, November 1952 - May 1953, and flew in at least 89 operational sorties, including reconnaissance and attacks on road and rail targets, carried out from H.M. Carrier Glory

Distinguished Service Cross, E.II.R., reverse officially dated ‘1953’, hallmarks for London ‘1952’; 1939-45 Star; Atlantic Star; Africa Star; Burma Star; War Medal 1939-45; Naval General Service 1915-62, 1 clasp, Malaya (Lt. Cdr. P. B. Stuart R.N.); Korea 1950-53, 1st issue (Lt. Cdr. P. B Stuart R.N.); U.N. Korea 1950-54, unnamed as issued, mounted for wear, cleaned, light contact marks overall, generally very fine or better (9) £4,000-£5,000

Footnote

D.S.C. London Gazette 1 June 1953.

The recommendation states: ‘Lt. Commander Stuart has commanded 801 Sea Fury Squadron throughout the period of H.M.S. Glory’s third tour of duty in the Korean theatre. He has himself flown 89 operational sorties, frequently doing as much as six hours flying a day and often in the face of enemy aircraft fire. He has shown a marked determination and ability to lead, and his offensive spirit, tempered with skill and judgement, has been a great inspiration to the younger air crew.

His Squadron has inflicted considerable damage on enemy communications, transport and troop concentrations which, to a large degree, must be attributed to Lt. Cdr. Stuart’s own personal example and good leadership.’

Peter Basil Stuart joined the Royal Navy as a Cadet in January 1939. He advanced to Midshipman in September 1939, and to Sub-Lieutenant in October 1940. Early Second War service included with H.M.S. Fame (destroyer), and H.M.S. Warspite. Stuart advanced to Lieutenant in September 1942, and saw further service with H.M. Ships Balfour and Dauntless.

Stuart was posted as a Pilot under instruction to H.M.S. Macaw (Fleet Air Arm Shore Establishment) in November 1945. He gained his ‘Wings’ in September the following year, and subsequent postings included with 804 and 800 Squadrons. Stuart was posted as a pilot to 736 Squadron in August 1949, and appointed to the command of the Squadron in February of the following year. The Squadron was equipped with Sea Furies, and was based at Culdose (Naval Fighter Air School).

Stuart advanced to Lieutenant-Commander in September 1950, and was appointed to the command of 801 Squadron (Sea Furies) at Lee-on-Solent in May 1952. He commanded the Squadron (21 aircraft) from the carrier H.M.S. Glory when she returned for her third tour of operations off Korea in November 1952. The following detail is added in British Naval Aviation: The Fleet Air Arm, 1917-1990 by R. Sturtivant:
Glory then returned for her third Korean tour, carrying No. 801 Sea Fury Squadron and No. 821 Firefly Squadron…. Improved weather then allowed more information from photographic interpretation; this was invaluable in selecting rocket targets for the Fireflies, the main effort of the Sea Fury attacks being directed at bridges. Poor weather again reduced activities in the New Year of 1953. The enemy took advantage of the frozen ground and rivers to drive easily round any damage so the attacks were concentrated on railway lines in inaccessible parts of the routes, 33 rail cuts of this nature being effected.

In February special attention was paid to villages south-south-west of Chinnampo, said to be housing about 1,400 troops, and to the Ongijn peninsular, where the troops were reported to be massing with rubber boats for attacks on friendly islands. Pre-dawn strikes on 8 and 14 February caught a large number of lorries with their lights on and did considerable damage.

By this stage good liaison was being achieved with the partisans. On 2 March an attack at short notice by two Sea Furies on CAP in bad weather achieved such success, in support of partisans who were being attacked on an island north of Sunwi-do, that the planned follow-up strike proved unnecessary. Later that month the spring thaw was exploited as much as possible and attacks on road and rail targets were carried out. On 23 April four Sea Furies were attacked by four unidentified aircraft with swept-back wings, one Royal Navy aircraft suffering superficial damage.’

Stuart, and H.M.S. Glory’s tour ended when she was replaced by the carrier Ocean in May 1953. Having been awarded the D.S.C., Stuart advanced to Commander in December 1954. Subsequent appointments included the command and as R.N.O., Christmas Island from November 1958.

Commander Stuart retired in November 1961, and died aged 42, at Guy’s Hospital, London in August 1963.

Sold with copied research.