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Auction: Orders, Decorations, Medals and Militaria
was auctioned on: 17 July 2019
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Three: Flight Sergeant (Air Gunner) H

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Estimate: £400 - £500
ca. US$495 - US$619
Price realised:  £550
ca. US$681
Lot number 719, Views: 36

Three: Flight Sergeant (Air Gunner) H. G. Martins, 161 (Special Services) Squadron, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, who was killed in action when his Halifax was shot own by a night-fighter during a re-supply drop to Special Operations Executive Agents in France, Operation Kreb, 15-16 January 1943 1939-45 Star; Air Crew Europe Star; War Medal 1939-45, with named Air Council enclosure, in card box of issue, addressed to ‘D. H. Martins, Esq., 23 Victoria Road, Louth, Lincs.’, nearly extremely fine (3) £400-£500 Three: Flight Sergeant (Air Gunner) H. G. Martins, 161 (Special Services) Squadron, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, who was killed in action when his Halifax was shot own by a night-fighter during a re-supply drop to Special Operations Executive Agents in France, Operation Kreb, 15-16 January 1943 1939-45 Star; Air Crew Europe Star; War Medal 1939-45, with named Air Council enclosure, in card box of issue, addressed to ‘D. H. Martins, Esq., 23 Victoria Road, Louth, Lincs.’, nearly extremely fine (3) £400-£500 Hedley Geoffrey Martins served during the Second World War as an Air Gunner with 161 (Special Services) Squadron, which had been reformed at Newmarket in February 1942 from a nucleus supplied by No. 138 Squadron and the King's Flight. It joined with No. 138 Squadron in dropping supplies and agents over occupied Europe and took over the landing and pick-up operations for which it used Lysanders, Havocs and Hudsons. Martins’ crew had joined 161 Squadron from 19 O.T.U. on 3 April 1942 and first flew in Whitleys on a mixture of bombing and supply drop operations to targets including the second and third Thousand Bomber Raids on Essen on 1-2 June 1942; and Bremen on 25-26 June 1942; and raids on St Nazaire, Duisberg, and Nuremberg. They also carried out Special Operations Executive agent drops and resupply missions over France and Holland on 16 different sorties. This was a highly experienced crew. Martins was killed in action when Halifax DG285, piloted by Pilot Officer Readhead, on his first operation of the year, was shot down by 13 Division Flak-Abterlieng 852 South of Rennes. All the crew were killed. According to Flights of the Forgotten by K. A. Merrick: ‘The missing Halifax had set out from Tempsford on the night of 15-16 January with a load of four containers, one parcel and twenty pigeons; its burnt out remains with seven bodies on board were found four miles South of Rennes. It was never established if the aircraft had been shot down by flak or night fighters, but the time of the crash was logged at 22:30.’ The crew were on a mission to drop a parcel of supplies for S.I.S. operation Kreb just South of a village called Sion-les-Mines (Loire Atlantique), some 16km west of Chateaubriant in Northern France. They were also tasked to drop a Crab 6 supply container. It was the French Resistance who found the burned out wreck of the aircraft with the seven bodies still inside. Martins is buried alongside his crew in Rennes Eastern Communal Cemetery, France. His medals were sent to his father, D. H. Martins. Sold with copied research.

Informations about the auction
Auction house: Dix Noonan Webb
Title: Orders, Decorations, Medals and Militaria
Date of the auction: 17 Jul 2019 - 18 Jul 2019
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