medal code J2460

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A WW2 ‘1945’ D.F.C. GROUP OF FIVE TO AIR-GUNNER FLIGHT LIEUTENANT WHO COMPLETED 39 OPERATIONAL SORTIES WHILST SERVING WITH 51 SQUADRON, WHERE “HE HAD SEVERAL ENCOUNTERS WITH ENEMY FIGHTERS, DURING WHICH HE SHOWED GREAT INITIATIVE AND RESOURCEFULNESS AND PLAYED A LARGE PART IN THE SUCCESSFUL RETURN OF THE AIRCRAFT”

DISTINGUISHED FLYING CROSS, G.VI.R., REVERSE OFFICIALLY DATED ‘1945’, WITH CASE OF ISSUE AND NAMED BUCKINGHAM PALACE ENCLOSURE; 1939-45 STAR; FRANCE AND GERMANY STAR; DEFENCE AND WAR MEDALS 1939-45.

D.F.C. London Gazette 17 July 1945. Recommendation states;
“Flying Officer Douglas has completed 39 operational sorties, 14 of which have been against heavily defended targets in Germany, including Kiel, Bochum, Osnabruck, and Sterkrade, and many against enemy supplies and communications in support of the Allied armies in Europe. Flying Officer Douglas has maintained a very high standard of efficiency throughout his operational tour. Many of his trips were done as a spare gunner and he inspired great confidence in the crews with which he was detailed to fly. He had several encounters with enemy fighters, during which he showed great initiative and resourcefulness and played a large part in the successful return of the aircraft. His devotion to duty on the ground has been of a high order and he has done valuable work as Deputy Gunnery Leader; at all times his ability and manner set an excellent example to all who knew him.”

Remarks by Station Commander:
“Flying Officer Douglas´ ´Flying Officer Douglas has completed an excellent tour of operations under difficult conditions. He possesses coolness and displays exceptional fearlessness in the face of danger, and his co-operation and skill have led to a fine record of achievement. This officer has at all times displayed outstanding qualities of leadership and courage.”

Kenneth Douglas was born in Bristol in 1908 and at the outbreak of the Second World War, initially volunteered for the War Reserve Police. Being commissioned shortly after, in 1943, he volunteered for service in the Royal Air Force as an Air Gunner. Starting his training in September 1943, he was posted to 51 Squadron at R.A.F. Snaith in May 1944. As a mid upper gunner in Halifax 3’s, Flying Officer Douglas would take part in his first operational sortie on 9 May 1944; a raid on Marsalines. Flying with the same crew, over the next two and a half months, he would take part in 22 sorties. Many of these in support of the D-Day invasion and breakout, his aircraft suffering hits by flak on a number of occasions. On 20 July 1944, during a raid on Bottorp, Douglas claimed probable hits during a combat with an FW190. This would be his final mission with this crew as he was selected for Gunnery Leader training. On returning to 51 Squadron in September 1944, Douglas, flew with a new crew, his previous crew having been killed in action two weeks after he left for training. Between 15 September 1944 and his final sortie on 20 February 1945, he would take part in another 17 sorties, many against targets in Germany, completing his tour with a total of 39 operational sorties. Posted to 575 Squadron in November 1945, Douglas would briefly serve as a supernumerary crewman on a Dakota, before finally being demobilised. He died on 3 June 1990.

Sold with with Under-Secretary of State for Air enclosure slip and Second War Campaign Medals card box of issue, addressed to recipient. Extremely fine, original Royal Air Force logbook, giving details of all flights from 29 September 1943 – 23 November 1945. Also a very large amount of copied research, including, sorties lists, recommendations, combat and operation reports, London Gazettes, biographical and copy photographs of recipient etc.

Code J2460        Price £2395