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A unique Great War air operations M.C

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Estimate: £20,000 - £25,000
ca. US$30,563 - US$38,204
Price realised:  £24,000
ca. US$36,676
Lot number 866, Views: 8

A unique Great War air operations M.C., D.C.M., Iraq 1924 D.F.C. group of seven awarded to Flight Lieutenant E. P. Roberts, Royal Air Force, late Royal Flying Corps: a long served member of No. 3 Squadron, he claimed two enemy aircraft destroyed and was twice wounded in combat - McCudden, V.C. describes in his memoir Flying Fury how he drove him to hospital on the first occasion he returned to base wounded, attributing his misfortune to the marksmanship of Max Immelmann: more certain is the fact he was the victim of Erwin Bohme on the second occasion, when his aircraft spun down from 8,000 feet and crashed near Flers Military Cross, G.V.R., unnamed as issued; Distinguished Flying Cross, G.V.R., unnamed as issued; Distinguished Conduct Medal, G.V.R. (1689 Cpl. E. P. Roberts, R.F.C.); 1914 Star, with clasp (2/A.M. E. P. Roberts, R.F.C.); British War and Victory Medals (Lieut. E. P. Roberts, R.F.C.); General Service 1918-62, 1 clasp, Kurdistan (F./L. E. P. Roberts, R.A.F.), together with an R.A.F. Fencing Championship Medal for bayonet v. bayonet, 3rd Prize, engraved ‘Flt. Lieut. E. P. Roberts, M.C., D.C.M.’, the fifth and last with minor official corrections to naming, generally good very fine (8) £20,000-25,000 Footnote M.C. London Gazette 3 May 1917: ‘For conspicuous gallantry in action, he three times dispersed an enemy working party with bombs and machine-gun fire from a height of 1,000 feet. On another occasion, he shot down an enemy machine. He has shown great determination on many occasions in taking photographs under the most difficult and trying conditions.’ The original recommendation states: ‘For conspicuous gallantry and skill. He has shown great determination on many occasions in taking photographs in spite of bad weather and interference by hostile machines. On 15 September 1916, he dispersed three times with bombs and machine-gun fire a German working party from a height of 1,000 feet. On 22 November 1916, finding weather conditions made photography impossible over the Corps area, he flew unescorted 6,000 feet over the lines and took a number of successful photographs of the counter-battery area. Later on the same day, when again attempting to photograph the Corps area, he went to the assistance of a de Havilland scout and shot down one of the attacking machines. His Observer was seriously wounded and most of the controls being shot away, the machine fell, turning over and over, from 8,000 feet, hitting the ground near Flers. In this accident he sustained a fractured leg’ (T.N.A. AIR 1/1032/204/5/1434 refers). D.F.C. London Gazette 25 May 1926: ‘For gallant and distinguished services during operations in Iraq, September to November 1924’. The original recommendation states: ‘For outstanding courage and devotion to duty throughout the operations. Flight Lieutenant Roberts displayed bold leadership and determination in opposing the crossing of the Iraq frontier by a party of enemy troops. After heavy losses had been inflicted on them, the enemy retired precipitously. This officer then reassembled his formation, carried out a very close reconnaissance over a wide area and subsequently inflicted heavy casualties on another enemy body found concealed in a wadi’ (T.N.A. AIR 30/66/3 refers). D.C.M. London Gazette 11 March 1916: ‘For consistent good work as an Observer. In September when certain photographs were urgently required, and the clouds were very low, he took the photographs under heavy fire.’ The original recommendation states: ‘Corporal Roberts has done excellent work as an Observer from 1 June to 10 October 1915. In September, when photographs of Cite St. Elie were urgently required and the clouds were very low, he took photographs at 2,000 feet under a heavy fire’ (T.N.A. AIR 1/1479/204/36/127 refers). Elmer Peter Roberts, who was born at Waldron, Sussex in March 1892, qualified for his Royal Aero Club of Great Britain Aviator’s Certificate (No. 889) on a Henry Farman Biplane at the Pashley School, Shoreham i

Informations about the auction
Auction house: Dix Noonan Webb
Title: Orders, Decorations, Medals and Militaria (7 & 8 July 2010)
Date of the auction: 7 Jul 2010 - 8 Jul 2010
Address: Dix Noonan Webb
16 Bolton St, Mayfair
W1J 8BQ London
United Kingdom
[email protected] · +44 (0)20 7016 1700 · +44 (0)20 7016 1799