Summer Auction 2019 Sale 76
Search By:
This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 7/30/2019
Important grouping of 28 items concerning eleven of the brave R.A.F. “Dam Busters”, including 11 pieces signed by those directly involved with the raid. Included in this large group is: DON BENNETT (1910-1986) Australian Air Vice Marshal, leader of the Pathfinder Force which marked targets during the Dambusters raid. T.L.S., 1p. 4to, Denham, Oct. 29, 1980. Bennett thanks his correspondent for having sent an extract “of the Recommendation for my C.B.” and further adds: “…I am afraid the copy of the Recommendation for the D.S.O. is something which I thought you had only shown me for perusal and I left it with the Chairman of the meeting to return to you…Unfortunately therefore I have not retained a copy and if it were convenient for you to do so, I would greatly appreciate it if you could obtain one for me…” Small tear at bottom, else very good; HAROLD MARTIN (1918-1988) Australian Air Marshal of the RAF, Pilot of Lancaster ED909/G AJ-P of 617 Squadron on the Dambusters Raid. Martin was a crew member of the third aircraft to attack the Mohne Dam. A.L.S. “Mick” , also bearing his name “Air Marshal Sir Harold Martin” at top, 1p. 4to., London, Dec. 14, 1981. Martin explains that he has been putting together some notes for a small contribution to the Royal Institute's series on measurement and is aware that his correspondent has a copy of Jack Leggo's navigation flight logs and asking if he could have some copies as: “…They would be of great interest to me and [an] aide memoir…On the copies of information about the height lights you inked around certain paragraphs. To save me writing time I would like to lift complete sentences here and there. I can't think of a shorter or better way of saying the same thing…” Two file holes, else very good. Jack Leggo (1916-1983) was navigator of Martin’s Lancaster; BILL TOWNSEND (1921-1991) British Flight Lieutenant, pilot of Lancaster ED886/G AJ-O of 617 Squadron on the Dambusters Raid. Townsend was the pilot of the only aircraft to attack the Ennepe Dam. A.L.S. 1p. 4to., Bromsgrove, Mar. 26, 1978. Townsend states that he is sorry to have to return a photograph (no longer present): “…without being able to make even a guess at the identity…There is something vaguely familiar about the Flying 'O' in the middle of the back row but I cannot tie it down…If you want a photograph of myself, I have quite a selection now… or maybe you want one taken during the war…I forget if I put you in touch with Chiefy Powell of 617 Squadron who may be able to help with identifying your photograph…” George Edward “Chiefy” Powell (1911-1986) British Flight Sergeant, was Disciplinary NCO of 617 Squadron; GEOFFREY RICE (1917-1981) British Pilot Officer, Pilot of Lancaster ED936/G AJ-H of 617 Squadron on the Dambusters Raid. War-date A.L.S., 3pp. 8vo., Lincoln, Nov. 8, 1943, to “My Dear Dad & Anne” on RAF Station Coningsby letterhead. Rice writes a largely social letter home, commenting: “…I flew over Burbage & Hinckley yesterday (Sunday) about 3.30pm. We did about 3 circuits & there were lots of people waving to us. Hope you saw us!” He mentions relatives, and asks: “Did you hear Noel Coward's postscript last week. Absolutely wizard. Also last night the programme by Jack Byfield & his ensemble with organ before the midnight news. Grand stuff”. He also mentions visitors to his base: “…He is one of a few parsons sent round by the Archbishop to visit RAF stations. He was a nice old chap & I flew him up to Prestwick near Glasgow. He was very grateful & gave me a quid to share among the crew”. With transmittal envelope. Printed address in the upper right corner of the second and third pages of the letter has been torn and neatly cut away, and with a couple of very light, extremely minor paperclip rust stains to the upper edges of two pages, none of which affect the text or signature, otherwise very good. Just three days after writing the present letter, on Nov. 11th, Rice was involved in an attack on the Antheor viaduct and later in the same month he was awarded the DFC.; [BRUCE GOWRIE] (1918-1943) Canadian Warrant Officer, wireless operator of Lancaster ED936/G AJ-H of 617 Squadron on the Dambusters Raid. Gowrie was a member of pilot Geoffrey Rice's crew. A poignant war-date A.L.S. from TOM GOWRIE, brother of Bruce Gowrie and himself serving with the Royal Canadian Air Force, 2pp. 8vo., Dishforth, Oct. 12, 1944, to Mr. F. A. Rice, the father of Geoffrey Rice, on the printed stationery of the Royal Canadian Air Force. Gowrie commences: “You will probibly [sic] know who I am by my name…Mother wrote and told me your son had written you and that he was a prisoner of war, as my brother was a member of your sons crew I am anxious to find out all I can. As we still have hope that he is still alive. Your son is about the only one who can give us the real facts... The air ministry listed my brother as killed and also gave me his grave number. I was wondering if they did the same with your son…” and concludes by stating that he would very much appreciate any news. Accompanied by the original envelope hand-addressed by Gowrie and annotated in pencil in Rice's hand “Replied 21/10/44”. On Dec. 20, 1943 Bruce Gowrie was involved in a fatal air crash while flying as a member of Geoffrey Rice's crew during an operation with 617 Squadron to attack an armaments factory in Liege, Belgium. Rice was the only survivor of his crew after having been hit by flak above Merbes-Le Chateau. The pilot was eventually captured and held in Stalag Luft III and Gowrie, along with his five colleagues, was buried in Gosselies Communal Cemetery near Hainaut in Belgium; LEN SUMPTER (1911-1993) British Flight Sergeant, bombardier of Lancaster ED929/G AJ-L of 617 Squadron on the Dambusters Raid. Sumpter was a crew member of the first aircraft to attack the Eder dam. A.L.S., 2pp. 8vo, Luton, July 9, July 1982. Sumpter states that he has been looking out for his correspondent's book, and also comments on another by John Sweetman: “…I found a lot of it pretty hard going, although some parts were interesting enough…Now we have lost our spiritual home Scampton, where we had some fine reunions, the chance of get-togethers are about non-existent now, except for the few that meet at the RAF Club in London…” He also mentions a book Cooper is writing about the Battle of Berlin, commenting: “A good subject, but after my Berlin days. My three there were in '42”; SYDNEY HOBDAY (1912-2000) British Flight Lieutenant, navigator of Lancaster ED912/G AJ-N of 617 Squadron on the Dambusters Raid. Hobday was a crew member of the third aircraft to attack the Eder Dam. A.L.S., Sydney ("Hobby" as he was known), 1p., 8vo, Heathfield, Dec. 7, 1992. Hobday thanks his correspondent for having sent him some copies of covers, adding: “…I hope that you can amend my entry of service particulars. 1. My name is Sydney with two Ys. 2. No 1 RW 1 Feb 1941. 3. Shot down - similar to E C Johnson…”; DAVE RODGER (1918-2004) Canadian Flight Lieutenant, tail gunner of Lancaster ED825/G AJ-T of 617 Squadron on the Dambusters Raid. Rodger was a crew member of the first aircraft to attack the Sorpe Dam. Interesting A.L.S., 1p. 4to., Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Jan. 18, 1977. Rodger states that he is glad to see that his correspondent is still working hard on a book and continues: “…I am enclosing a photostat [included] of the page in my log book as is from 1943. Reading down the aircraft type you will see that we had to take the spare aircraft that night. Maybe that was good luck and we needed all we could get…Sorry, I can't tell you too much about Guy [Gibson] but I was never in his social presence very much. I must say that he was a very capable young man and no one had any doubts who the leader was…” Accompanied by the photocopy of a page from Rodger's log for May 16, 1943 and his low-level attack on the Sorpe Dam. Very good. Guy Gibson (1918-1944) was the Wing Commander of 617 Squadron, awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions during Operation Chastise (The Dambusters Raid); BILL HOWARTH (1921-1990) British Flight Sergeant, nose gunner of Lancaster ED921/G AJ-W of 617 Squadron on the Dambusters Raid. A.L.S. “Bill”, 1p. 8vo., Oldham, Dec. 30, 1979, sends his correspondent some photographs (no longer present) and remarks: “…Regarding the one you say is in the Lancaster at War Vol.2. showing the Lancasters taking off from Blida, N. Africa, you had that one in batch you recently sent back to me…” Together with two signed Christmas greetings cards by Howarth (both signed in full and also on behalf of his wife) and one with an additional A.N.S. in Howarth's hand: “Managed to trace our old Flight Engineer Frank Appleby after 20 years. Bill”; GEORGE EDWARD “CHIEFY” POWELL (1911-1986) British Flight Sergeant, Disciplinary NCO of 617 Squadron 1943-45. A.L.S., with his initials “G E P”, 1p. sm. 4to., Eastbourne, Dec. 8, 1981. Powell states that he is sorry that he cannot help his correspondent with an identification: “…I am sure it's one of our crew, I know some of the ground crew but can't remember their names…I was sorry to hear Geoff Rice had died. He was with me in 57 Sqdn…” with a photocopy of Powell's obituary. [WILLIAM MAYNARD]: (1923-1943) English Sergeant, nose gunner of Lancaster ED936/G AJ-H of 617 Squadron on the Dambusters Raid. Maynard was killed in action on 20th December 1943 as a result of his aircraft, piloted by Geoffrey Rice, being shot down above Merbes-Le Chateau in Belgium. A.L.S. by his mother Janet Maynard, 1p. small 4to., Wandsworth, Oct. 8, 1950, to Mrs. Burns, mother of STEPHEN BURNS (1921-1943) who was killed in the same crash. Maynard states that she visited the cemetery at Gosselies in Belgium last month and writes: “…The wooden crosses have been replaced by iron ones painted white, the shape of the graves has been done away with and they are laid out as a rose garden. The roses (pink ones) were in bloom when we were there. The garden was very nicely kept. Indeed I feel a lot happier and comforted since I went... The rose I enclose came from the tree by your son's cross. I thought you would like it…”; and ; [GIBSON GUY] (1918-1944) British Wing Commander of 617 Squadron, Victoria Cross winner for his actions The Dambusters Raid. Small selection of A.Ls.S. by various relatives of, or other individuals associated with, Guy Gibson, comprising Joan Stiles (1916-1993, sister of Gibson) A.L.S., 1989, apologizing for her delay in replying to an author’s letter and stating “I would like to help with your book on Guy's childhood, although owing to boarding school, we had very little time together after the age of 10”; Joan Civil (1921-2001, cousin of Gibson) A.L.S., 1989, to thanking the same author for his letter requesting information about Guy Gibson and commenting “We left Porthleven when I was three years old, and after that although I know the families did meet occasionally on holiday in Cornwall, I have no memories of actual contact with Guy. The fact that, being a year or two younger, I wore some of his baby clothes, is of interest to no-one but me! As a small boy Guy had a reputation for being naughty. Presumably the discipline of school and the R.A.F. channeled his adventurous spirit into better ways. I do remember one incident when the family were staying with us before we left Porthleven. He was in trouble about something, locked himself in the bathroom, and threw the key out of the window!” and a second A.L.S., Joan E. Civil, 1989, enclosing two photographs and explaining: “The wedding photograph [of Gibson's parents] was taken on the front steps of Parc-au-Cairn, my grandparent's house in Porthleven”; Margaret Hill (Driver at RAF Scampton during the time Gibson was based there) A.L.S., n.d., to the same author, briefly reporting on some confusion with letters and envelopes. Also including five modern reproduction photographs, two being the ones referred to by Civil in her letter, most showing Gibson as a very young boy, accompanied by his siblings in India. All of the post-war letters described here were written to Alan Cooper, an aviation historian and writer whose works include “The Men Who Breached the Dams: 617 Squadron The Dambusters” (1982). In all, 28 pieces. “Operation Chastise” was an attack on German dams carried out on 16–17 May 1943 by Royal Air Force No. 617 Squadron, later called the “Dam Busters”, using a purpose-built "bouncing bomb" developed by Barnes Wallis. The Möhne and Edersee Dams were breached, causing catastrophic flooding of the Ruhr valley and of villages in the Eder valley; the Sorpe Dam sustained only minor damage. Two hydroelectric power stations were destroyed and several more damaged. Factories and mines were also damaged and destroyed.
Current Bidding (Reserve Not Met)
Minimum Bid: $750.00
Final Bid:
Estimate: $1,500 - $2,500
Auction closed on Wednesday, July 31, 2019.
Email A Friend
Ask a Question
Have One To Sell

Auction Notepad


You may add/edit a note for this item or view the notepad:  

Submit    Delete     View all notepad items