Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Scottish VC for auction - got a spare quarter of a million pounds?

From the BBC News website:

A Victoria Cross given to a 25-year-old World War II bomber pilot from Broughty Ferry is expected to fetch more than £200,000 at auction this month.

The VC was awarded posthumously to Wing Commander Hugh Gordon Malcolm in 1943 for his part in a daring raid over the Chougui airfield in Tunisia.

He led 10 Blenheim bombers on the mission in 1942 despite knowing it would "court almost certain disaster".

The medal is to be auctioned at Spink's London saleroom on 22 April.

Wing commander Malcolm had decided to complete the sortie on 4 December 1942 after receiving an urgent request for help despite not having a fighter escort.

Ball of flames

After taking off with 18 Squadron, they were at first able to attack the airfield unhindered.

However, a short time later the squadron was met with an overwhelming force of Luftwaffe fighters.

During the onslaught, Malcolm attempted to maintain his attack formation, but one by one his aircraft were shot down until only his bomber remained.

Eventually his plane was also hit, crashing in a ball of flames.

The medal, which is the highest honour for gallantry in the armed forces, was first awarded by Queen Victoria in 1854.

The sale follows that of another Victoria Cross awarded to World War II bomber pilot Bill Reid, from Crieff.

It fetched £335,000 at auction in November 2009.

More information can be found on the Spinks website here.

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