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 £330

Estimate: £180 - £220

Three: Flight Sergeant H. A. Oliver, Royal Air Force, who was killed when his Blenheim of No. 27 Squadron crashed as a result of flak damage received off Singapore in February 1942

1939-45 Star; Pacific Star; War Medal 1939-45, together with the recipient’s original Air Ministry condolence slip in the name of ‘Flight Sergeant H. A. Oliver’, and card forwarding box addressed to ‘Mrs. J. Oliver, 7, Orchard Court, Walton-on-Thames, Surrey (Bridge St.)’, extremely fine (4) £180-220

Footnote

Henry Alan Oliver was born at Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, in March 1921, and enlisted in the Royal Air Force as a boy entrant in May 1937. Trained as an Air Gunner, he was posted to No. 27 Squadron, a Blenheim unit based in India, in early 1941.

The Squadron having then moved to Sungei Patani, near Butterworth, it was attacked by the Japanese in December, on the same day as Pearl Harbour, eight of its aircraft being destroyed on the ground and, with just four operational Blenheims left, it moved to Kallang, Singapore.

Here, as the investment of the colony drew ever closer, No. 27 was ordered to move to Palembang, Sumatra, in early February 1942, from whence, on the 15th, Oliver took-off in Squadron Leader Banks’ aircraft to attack Japanese shipping approaching Singapore in the Banka Strait. But such was the ferocity of the enemy convoy’s A.A. fire that only one of 27’s remaining aircraft got home unscathed - Banks’s aircraft crashing in the River Moesi after taking severe flak damage. He and his Observer were picked up by an R.A.F. launch, but nothing further was seen of Oliver, who had suffered fatal injuries. The son of Harry and Jean Oliver, of Barnes, Surrey, he was just 20 years of age, and is commemorated on the Singapore Memorial.

Sold with a file of research.