DISTINGUISHED FLYING MEDAL GVI ‘564369 SGT A F SKELTON R.A.F.’ 1939/45 STAR, AIR CREW EUROPE STAR, BURMA STAR, DEFENCE MEDAL AND 1939/45 WAR MEDAL.
Alfred Fulford Skelton was born in 1914 at York. He became an aircraft apprentice in 1930.
By the outbreak of WW2 he was serving as Sergeant Air Observer with 38 Squadron. 38 squadron, flying Vickers Wellington 1A bombers, was based at Marham, and was part No. 3 Group.
During Skelton’s entire tour with 38 Squadron, he was one of the crew of Sergeant, later Wing Commander, Edward Frederick James Odoire AFC, DFC/Bar aircraft. On 3rd December 1939, Skelton’s aircraft was one of 3 from the squadron to take part in a raid on German war ships at Heligoland. The first operation of the War for 38. During this operation, Skelton’s aircraft was severely shot up, crash landing on return. However the gunner of their aircraft shot down one of the German fighters (a future 35 Victory Ace), for which he was awarded an immediate DFM.
Skelton’s completed another 23 operations between then and 22nd July 1940, the date he was recommended for the DFM (LG 13th Sept 1940). During this time he took part in another attack on Capital ships at Heligoland, in numerous operations over targets in Germany; Ruhr, Bremen, Hamburg, Cologne etc He also took part in many operations in Support of the BEF in May/June 1940; various airfields in the Low Countries, Dixmude, Ypres, St Valery as well as at St Omer on 28th May 1940 where his squadron was tasked with slowing down the enemy during the evacuation at Dunkirk. According to the Squadron log; ‘St Omer, Aire, Bethune. To prevent activity and rest and to create blocks in these centres’.
It also seems Skelton was also somewhat of a pioneer of early gliding attacks.
No further detailed research has been done of Skelton (or service papers obtained) He was Commissioned Pilot Officer on 11th May 1943, Flying Officer 16th July 1943 and Flight Lieutenant 15th January 1945. Its likely he went onto training duties after his tour with 38 Squadron. However its unknown whether he had further offensive operational flights but is likely he did. Odoire and Copley certainly did.
Condition GVG, just a little contact wear but a fine group that needs some in depth research. Sold with copies of 38 Squadron’s Operations book Dec 1939-July 1940, giving details of all 24 of Skelton’s operations. LG’s, DFM recommendations etc. All on CD.