THE INAUGURAL MILITARY SALE - A Fresh Format For Medals and Militaria 5 June 2013 saw the UK’s newest ‘top 5’ auctioneer hold their inaugural Military Sale of Medals, Orders, Decorations and Militaria. Presenting a fresh format for militaria auctions, Baldwin’s and Drew
Flying Medal, having already completed an impressive 54 sorties and 221 operation hours as Air Gunner, his recommendation for the DFM states:
‘Flight Sergeant Andrew is a most efficient and capable Air Gunner who has shown the greatest determination when flying on operations. Many of the 54 bombing attacks against the enemy in which he has taken part have been against targets strongly defended by night fighters and Anti-Aircraft guns. It is considered that the high standard of efficiency attained by this N.C.O., together with his record of many operations successfully completed, fully merits the non-immediate award of the Distinguished Flying Medal’.
Continuing in his role as Air Gunner, he continued to take part in further important bombing raids, and was regularly used as part of the crew of the Master Bomber aircraft - the lead bomber aircraft which used high-frequency radio to co-ordinate all other bombers towards an accurate target. In total, he would go on to complete a remarkable 89 sorties and some 315 hours of operational flying against numerous German and French targets.
Completing 3 operational tours, he took part in raids on Frankfurt (thrice), Stuttgart (four times), Essen (four times), Bremen (twice), Duisburg (twice), Dortmund (thrice), Kiel (twice) and Dresden (once) - this the night of 13th and 14th of February 1945, when the resultant ‘Firestorm’ devastated an area of 1600 acres and killed tens of thousands. Andrew appears to have flown his last operational sortie on 24th of April 1945, against Neubrandenburg, and also appears to have assisted in the repatriation of POWs from Juvincourt on the 26th of May 1945. Warrant Officer Andrew’s recommendation for the CGM in May 1945 states: Since being awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal, Flight Sergeant Andrew has completed a further 35 bombing attacks against enemy targets as an Air Gunner in heavy bombers, with Path Finder Force. Many of his sorties have been carried out in the Master Bomber aircraft. He has always shown an extremely strong spirit of offence, plus skill at his job second to none. Flight Sergeant Andrew has earned for himself an excellent reputation as a Gunner in the Squadron and by his devotion to duty, has set an extremely fine example to all Aircrew. This N.C.O’s fine record of service is considered worthy of the non-immediate award of a Bar to the Conspicuous Gallantry Medal (sic - this in error)’. By the end of WWII some 109 CGMs had been awarded to operational aircrew, of which 89 were issued to Bomber Command, with 59 awarded to aircrew aboard Lancaster Bombers. However, only 11 recipients were awarded the CGM and DFM in combination. This rare group sold with copy sortie summary, copy recommendations for awards and London Gazette mentions, original Central Chancery Investiture letter (dated 23.11.1945),3 excellent original photographs, including photos of the recipient receiving of his awards at Buckingham Palace, and a photograph of the recipient and his crew with Lancaster bomber behind, and large photocopy ‘Operation Record Book’ for 35 Squadron P.F.F. from