Medals to the R.F.C. and R.A.F. from the Collection Formed by the Late Squadron Leader David Haller

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Date of Auction: 25th March 2014

Sold for £3,600

Estimate: £1,800 - £2,200

A rare post-war A.F.C. and Bar awarded to Flight Lieutenant P. N. Perry, Royal Air Force

Air Force Cross, E.II.R., the reverse of the Cross officially dated ‘1973’ and the reverse of the Bar ‘1975’, in its Royal Mint case of issue, with related miniature dress medal, extremely fine (2) £1800-2200

Footnote

A.F.C. London Gazette 1 January 1973. The original recommendation states:

‘Flight Lieutenant Perry was posted to Royal Air Force Waddington in April 1969 for duty as a Vulcan Captain with No. 44 Squadron. He was a very experienced Valiant pilot and had the distinction of being the youngest Captain in the 'V' Force. In September 1970 he was appointed the Squadron Instrument Rating Examination and Flying Instructor, with particular responsibilities for continuity training of co-pilots.

Flight Lieutenant Perry is a very experienced instructor and assumed his duty with exceptional enthusiasm and determination. He devoted himself unsparingly, displaying infinite patience and understanding, imparting his expertise to the newly trained co-pilots. He has achieved outstanding success and during the last twenty months all the Squadron co-pilots boarded for Captaincy have been selected. His superb qualities of example and leadership have been further demonstrated by the constantly high standards achieved by Squadron pilots during the regular checks carried out by the No 1 (Bomber) Group Vulcan Standardisation Unit.

In addition to his training duties Flight Lieutenant Perry has also captained his own crew with considerable success, and although the composition of his rear crew has changed, the crew was awarded Command Classification by the Air Officer Commanding No 1 (Bomber) Group.

Flight Lieutenant Perry and his crew participated in both the 1971 and 1972 Strike Command Bombing and Navigation Competition, and in 1971 were included in the team which competed in the Strategic Air Command Bombing and Navigation Competition in the United States of America. His selection for both competitions have added to Flight Lieutenant Perry's prestige and standing, and exemplifies his exceptional ability and professionalism.

Flight Lieutenant Perry has also gained an enviable reputation as the best Vulcan display pilot in Strike Command; he is the automatic choice and has taken part in numerous displays, demonstrating excellent flying skill. He has enthralled spectators with his impressive handling, split second timing and breathtaking displays and has brought much credit to the Medium Bomber Force and the Royal Air Force. The height of an outstanding tour for Flight Lieutenant Perry was to be chosen to fly with Prince Charles, on a Vulcan sortie during the Prince's Royal Air Force flying training.

Flight Lieutenant Perry has established himself as an outstanding Vulcan Captain and pilot. His achievements are unequalled, and are of the highest traditions of the Service, and for his flying skill, devotion and exceptional sense of duty I strongly recommend that he be awarded the Air Force Cross.’

Bar to A.F.C. London Gazette 14 June 1975.

Peter Neville Perry, who was born in January 1938 and educated at the Perse School, Cambridge, ‘never wanted to take up any career than that of a flier in the Royal Air Force’ and, in November 1956, his wish was granted, when he commenced pilot training at Kirton-in-Lindsey as an Acting Pilot Officer.

Having then trained as a co-pilot in the V-Force, at the Valiant Operational Conversion Course at Gaydon, where he was promoted to Flying Officer in February 1958, he joined No. 90 Squadron. Duly qualifying as a V-Force Captain of Aircraft, the youngest in the R.A.F., the highlights of his subsequent career are best described in the above quoted recommendation for his A.F.C. - namely his time in No. 44 Squadron at R.A.F. Waddington from April 1969 until September 1972, flying Vulcan IIs, a period of service in which he was rated as ‘an exceptional pilot and captain’. Actually, probably the best in the business.

And following equally exceptional service as a Flying Instructor at 230 O.C.U. at Scampton from September 1972 until October 1975, also in Vulcan IIs, he was awarded a Bar to his A.F.C.

His latter appointments included time at the Central Flying School, Cranwell and in No. 1 Squadron, S.O.A.F., and he was finally placed on the Retired List in November 1978. But, as evidenced by accompanying documentation, he continued to lend valuable service to the R.A.F. as a civilian Flight Simulator Instructor until at least 1982.

Sold with a complete run of the recipient’s original R.A.F. Pilot’s Flying Log Books (4), covering the periods March 1956 until July 1960, August 1960 until May 1963, May 1963 until December 1972, and February 1973 until January 1978, together with an impressive career scrapbook, featuring photographs, letters and newspaper cuttings, and much besides.