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 £320

Estimate: £250 - £300

Four: Pilot Officer W. A. Marsden, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, who was killed in action while serving as a Navigator in No. 44 Squadron during a raid on Dortmund in May 1943

1939-45 Star; Air Crew Europe Star; Defence and War Medals 1939-45, together with the recipient’s Air Ministry condolence slip in the name of ‘Pilot Officer W. A. Marsden’, extremely fine (4) £250-300


William Allan Marsden was born in 1910, the only son of John and Anne Marsden of Gatley, Cheshire. Enlisting in the Royal Air Force on the outbreak of hostilities, he was trained as a Navigator out in Miami, U.S.A.

Subsequently commissioned, he was posted to No. 44 (Rhodesia) Squadron, a Lancaster unit operating out of R.A.F. Waddington, in early 1943, and flew his first sortie - against St. Nazaire - on the night of 28 February. Having then participated in another 10 operational outings, including two trips to Berlin, he took-off on his final assignment on the night of 23-24 April, a strike against Dortmund. Nothing further was heard from his aircraft, presumably a victim of a night fighter or flak. Either way, none of the crew have a known grave and they are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.

Sold with an original silk evader’s map, and a printed log book insert commemorating the raid on St. Nazaire on 28 February 1943, Marsden’s name appearing on one of the falling bombs being dropped from a Lancaster; so, too, with a copy of The Log, namely the publication marking the graduation of his class in Miami, U.S.A., in 1942, and of which he was the Editor, and a quantity of photographs marking the unveiling of the Runnymede Memorial, together with related memorial register 7, Part IX.