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Auction: Orders, Decorations, Medals and Militaria
was auctioned on: 17 July 2019
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Three: Warrant Officer (Pilot) H. A

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Estimate: £400 - £500
ca. US$495 - US$619
Price realised:  £300
ca. US$371
Lot number 755, Views: 27

Three: Warrant Officer (Pilot) H. A. Symmons, 295 Squadron, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, who was killed in action when his Stirling, whilst acting as a glider tug, was shot down by flak, after releasing a glider during Operation Varsity, the air drop over the Rhine, on 24 March 1945; he had previously been involved in many Special Operations Executive drops and glider tug operations, including D-Day and Operation Market at Arnhem 1939-45 Star; Air Crew Europe Star, 1 clasp, France and Germany; War Medal 1939-45, with named medal ticket, in card box of issue, addressed to ‘Mrs. M. Symmons, 4 The Crescent, Folkstone, Sandgate, Kent’, extremely fine (3) £400-£500 Three: Warrant Officer (Pilot) H. A. Symmons, 295 Squadron, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, who was killed in action when his Stirling, whilst acting as a glider tug, was shot down by flak, after releasing a glider during Operation Varsity, the air drop over the Rhine, on 24 March 1945; he had previously been involved in many Special Operations Executive drops and glider tug operations, including D-Day and Operation Market at Arnhem 1939-45 Star; Air Crew Europe Star, 1 clasp, France and Germany; War Medal 1939-45, with named medal ticket, in card box of issue, addressed to ‘Mrs. M. Symmons, 4 The Crescent, Folkstone, Sandgate, Kent’, extremely fine (3) £400-£500 Horace Albert Symmons served during the Second World War as a Pilot with 295 Squadron. The Squadron had been formed at Neatheravon on 3 August 1942 as an Airborne Forces Squadron, and specialised in leaflet dropping, glider tug work and Special Operations Executive special sorties, the resupply of French resistance, and the resupply of Norwegian resistance. From mid 1942 until January 1943 the squadron operated Armstrong Whitleys. In January 1943 they converted to Armstrong Albermarles, finally converting to Short Stirlings and Avro Halifaxes. By August 1944, 295 squadron had already 19 Stirlings and in September of that year, 33. Symmons had originally begun flying operations with 196 Squadron in September 1943, carrying out attacks against Mannheim and Frankfurt. On 15 November 1943 he and his whole crew were transferred out to 1678 Conversion Flight. It was while he was there that something seems to have happened to Symmons and at some stage he was sent to Air Crew Disposal Unit at Chessington. This Unit dealt with Air Crew who had requested to come off of flying operations. The basic approach was to rest them for two or three weeks and then give them the chance to return to flying or be marked as LMF (Lack of Moral Fibre). It appears that Symmons took the chance to return to flying and on 14th March 1944 was reposted to 196 Squadron from ACDU Chessington. On 14th April 1944 Symmons was posted to No. 295 Squadron where he continued to fly operations until being shot down in March 1945. It is a very interesting story and appears to show that he managed to fight his inner demons and return to the fray. Throughout May the squadron flew in country missions (bringing airborne troops into assembly points) and resupply missions to resistance and S.O.E. operating in France. On 6 June (D-Day) the Squadron (flying Albermarles) flew the first airborne troops of Pathfinder force into France (operation Tonga) and carried out resupply missions throughout the the day (operation Mallard). Symmons and his crew tugged a Horsa glider and troops to Normandy on the evening of D-Day as part of operation Mallard. They released a glider carrying airborne troops who were reinforcing the 6th Air Landing Brigade, holding the left flank of the invasion bridgehead. According to the O.R.B. their glider was released successfully under very intense flak. During July and August they continued to fly resupply missions to France. On 17 September 1944 the Squadron flew from Harwell to Arnhem, Holland, for Operation Market, with 25 Stirlings towing gliders (on board were troops of the 1st Airborne Division who had to be dropped at Drop

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