A Collection of Awards to the Royal Air Force between the Wars (1919-1939) formed by Group Captain JE Barker

Date of Auction: 6th December 2017

Sold for £1,700

Estimate: £1,800 - £2,200

A rare inter-war Bristol F2b Air Gunner’s D.F.M. pair to Leading Aircraftman T. J. Waddell, 6 Squadron, Royal Air Force, for operations against Turkish forces in Iraq, September - November 1924

Distinguished Flying Medal, G.V.R. (342485. L.A.C. T. J. Waddell. R.A.F.) suspension neatly repaired; Iraq, Active Service Medal, no clasp, generally very fine (2) £1800-2200


Provenance: Buckland Dix & Wood, October 1995.

D.F.M. London Gazette 28 May 1926:

‘In recognition of gallant and distinguished service in connection with the operations in Iraq during the period September to November, 1924.’

Thomas John Waddell served as a Leading Aircraftman with 6 (Army Cooperation) Squadron (F2b’s), Mosul, Iraq, in 1924. During the period for which Waddell was awarded the D.F.M., Chaz Bowyer in his book RAF Operations 1918-38 records that 6 Squadron were involved in operations against Turkish attempts to occupy the Mosul area:

‘On 13 September 1924 intelligence was received indicating that Turkish forces intended crossing the frontier to seize Zakho that same night. Nine Bristol F2b’s of 6 Squadron took off at dawn on 14 September and within fifteen minutes came upon some 300 Turkish cavalry crossing the river Borana. Sweeping into action, the F2b crews swiftly dispersed these troops at a cost of one pilot wounded by ground fire. Refuelled and re-armed, the F2b’s returned and effectively strafed and bombed a second Turkish cavalry force of some 150 men at Birkar. Such prompt action served to stultify Turkish movement into Iraq for the moment...’

Waddell, who in his own words, served as a ‘Gunner/Photographer/Carpenter/Rigger’ with 6 Squadron was awarded 1 of 3 D.F.M.s given for this period of operations. No British campaign medal was awarded for this period of operations in Iraq, and as such the pair listed above is Waddell’s full entitlement. In later life Waddell resided at 5 Fenwickland Place, Ayr, Scotland.

Sold with a file of copied research, and an original handwritten letter from recipient to the collector J. Loffett.