A Collection of Medals to Second World War Royal Air Force Casualties

Date of Auction: 17th July 2019

Sold for £550

Estimate: £300 - £400

Three: Sergeant (Air Gunner) N. J. Patton, 61 Squadron, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, who was killed in action when his Manchester was shot down during a raid on the Krupps works at Essen, 6-7 April 1942

1939-45 Star; Air Crew Europe Star; War Medal 1939-45, with named Air Council enclosure, in card box of issue, addressed to ‘N. J. Patton, Esq., 60 Borrowdale Avenue, Newcastle on Tyne 6.’, extremely fine (3) £300-£400


Neville James Patton served during the Second World War as an Air Gunner with 61 Squadron, flying Manchesters, and took part in his first operational sortie on 10 January 1942, attacking Essen. Engine failure caused them to fly on one engine, and consequently they abandoned the main target, and attacked Terchelling sea plane base instead. In February Patton and his crew twice attacked the German battleships Scharnhorst and Gneisenau in Brest docks, and in March he took part in the attack on the Billencourt Renault works, which was the R.A.F.’s heaviest raid yet of the War, involving 225 aircraft, and completely destroyed the heavily defended target, with debris rising to 1,500 feet.

Patton was killed in action when Manchester L7497, piloted by Flight Sergeant E. Noble, was shot down by the German night-fighter ace Obit. Eckhart-Wilhelm von Bonin, whilst on a raid on the Krupps works at Essen, on 6-7 April 1942 - unbeknown to Patton and his crew they had to run the gauntlet of severe thunder storms, with the target completely covered by cloud. The entire crew were killed.

Patton is buried in Heverlee War Cemetery. His medals were sent to his father, James Patton.

Sold with copied research. A photograph of Patton, together with his crew, appears in Avro Manchester, the Legend behind the Lancaster, by Robert Kirby.