Battle of Britain medals estimated at $50,000 with Bonhams

paulfrasercollectibles

2015-06-26 13:38:32

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Battle of Britain medals estimated at $50,000 with Bonhams

The medals of Battle of Britain pilot Billy Drake reveal his bravery

A medal group awarded to Battle of Britain pilot Squadron Leader Billy Drake willsellat Bonhams on March 12 in London.

Billy Drake Battle of Britain medalsDrake is second only to one other pilot for the number of enemy aircraft destroyed in North Africa during the second world war

Drake (1917-2011) was an outstanding pilot who was eventually promoted to deputy commander for his efforts during the second world war. The medal group, which includes his Distinguished Service Order and Distinguished Flying Cross, has an estimate of 20,000-30,000 ($33,427-$50,136).

Billy Drake joined the Royal Air Force in 1936and was posted to France in 1939.With the"phoney war" off to a slow start, he saw little action at first but, by 1942, had already destroyed 17 aircraft, plus an additional two that were "shared".

Only Group Captain Clive "Killer" Caldwell exceeded that number in north Africa.

Drake was then promoted to wing commander and posted to HQ RAF Cairo, taking command of the spitfire wing in Malta in 1943 and providing escort to USAAF bombers attacking Sicily. Before heading home, he managed to destroy a further six aircraft.

With further promotions, Drake attacked the German V-1 sites in the Pas-de-Calais, before being sent to instruct at the RAF Fighter Leaders' School, where he continued to take part in attacks in France.

His wartime career ended with being sent to the USA on special duties in 1944. Returning to the UK, he was made deputy commander at Biggin Hill and took part in the 1945 Battle of Britain flypast.

Commenting on his experiences, Drake said: "By God, we had a good time. That's not to say we behaved the way Hollywood likes to portray Battle of Britain pilots. Of course, there were a few randy ruffians who would chase any girl. But generally we all had girlfriends, and we didn't use the war as an excuse to sleep with them. We were gentlemen".

Paul Fraser Collectibles has a great selection of militaria for sale, including signed items from Sir Winston Churchill and the personal photo album of WWII general Sir Oliver Leese.

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