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[CHESHIRE LEONARD]: (1917-1992) British Group Captain,

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[CHESHIRE LEONARD]: (1917-1992) British Group Captain,

Lot 0214 Details

Description
[CHESHIRE LEONARD]: (1917-1992) British Group Captain, Commanding Officer of 617 Squadron, 10th November 1943 - 12th July 1944. Victoria Cross winner for his flying operations during World War II. T.L., unsigned, one page, 4to, RAF Coningsby, Lincoln, 21st December 1943, to Mrs. S. Burns. The letter is a contemporary war date copy of Cheshire's letter to the mother of Stephen Burns, informing her of the fate of her son, in part, 'It is with the very deepest regret that I have to confirm the news that your son, F/Sgt. S. Burns, failed to return from an operational sortie last night. While on the way back his aircraft was attacked and shot down by an enemy fighter over Northern France. It was flying very high at the time and it was a few minutes before the aeroplane finally fell out of control, so that I have high hopes that the crew were able to abandon the aircraft by parachute. You son has had a very distinguished and gallant operational record. His work has at all times been of the very highest order and as a rear gunner, has been of the very greatest importance….I can assure you that his loss has been received by everyone here with the greatest sorrow and I would like to send you on behalf of the whole Squadron my most heartfelt sympathy in the anxious days of waiting which now lie ahead….' Some light overall creasing and a few minor, small holes and splits at the folds, only very slightly affecting a few words of text, about G
On 20th December 1943, eight 617 Squadron crews, led by Cheshire, were sent on an operation to attack an armaments factory in Liege, Belgium. Geoffrey Rice and his Dams Raid crew, including Burns, were amongst them. On reaching their intended target, the Lancasters encountered poor visibility and Cheshire ordered them to return with their bombs. On the return journey Rice and his Lancaster came under attack and were hit by flak 14,000 feet above Merbes-Le Chateau. With his aircraft in severe trouble, Rice gave the order for his crew to bale out, but there wasn't time and the Lancaster exploded. Amazingly, Rice was somehow thrown clear, protected by the pilot's armoured seat and with his parachute deployed, and was the only survivor. Rice was eventually captured and made a Prisoner of War in Stalag Luft III. All of his colleagues, including Burns, lost their lives and were buried in Gosselies Communal Cemetery near Hainaut in Belgium.

Dorothy Mundon, the sister of Stephen Burns, was later to recall in a letter (a copy of which is included in the present lot) 'I met Leonard Cheshire VC twice....Leonard wrote 2 yrs before his death on the most unusual fact of the pilot Geoff Rice being the only survivor. Geoff died in 1987. I wish he had visited the familys (sic) of his crew. Mum and Dad thought when he was repatriated from a P.O.W. camp he would give them all the facts that he could recall after the Lanc was hit. He never came.'


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[CHESHIRE LEONARD]: (1917-1992) British Group Captain,

Estimate
£80
-
£100
Apr 29, 2017
Starting Price
£80
1 bidder watching this item
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Ships fromNottingham, United Kingdom
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0214: [CHESHIRE LEONARD]: (1917-1992) British Group Captain,

Sold for
£70
1 Bid
Est.
£80
-
£100
Starting Price
£80
Autograph Auction
Sat, Apr 29, 2017 08:00 AM
Buyer's Premium 22.5%

Lot 0214 Details

Description
...
[CHESHIRE LEONARD]: (1917-1992) British Group Captain, Commanding Officer of 617 Squadron, 10th November 1943 - 12th July 1944. Victoria Cross winner for his flying operations during World War II. T.L., unsigned, one page, 4to, RAF Coningsby, Lincoln, 21st December 1943, to Mrs. S. Burns. The letter is a contemporary war date copy of Cheshire's letter to the mother of Stephen Burns, informing her of the fate of her son, in part, 'It is with the very deepest regret that I have to confirm the news that your son, F/Sgt. S. Burns, failed to return from an operational sortie last night. While on the way back his aircraft was attacked and shot down by an enemy fighter over Northern France. It was flying very high at the time and it was a few minutes before the aeroplane finally fell out of control, so that I have high hopes that the crew were able to abandon the aircraft by parachute. You son has had a very distinguished and gallant operational record. His work has at all times been of the very highest order and as a rear gunner, has been of the very greatest importance….I can assure you that his loss has been received by everyone here with the greatest sorrow and I would like to send you on behalf of the whole Squadron my most heartfelt sympathy in the anxious days of waiting which now lie ahead….' Some light overall creasing and a few minor, small holes and splits at the folds, only very slightly affecting a few words of text, about G
On 20th December 1943, eight 617 Squadron crews, led by Cheshire, were sent on an operation to attack an armaments factory in Liege, Belgium. Geoffrey Rice and his Dams Raid crew, including Burns, were amongst them. On reaching their intended target, the Lancasters encountered poor visibility and Cheshire ordered them to return with their bombs. On the return journey Rice and his Lancaster came under attack and were hit by flak 14,000 feet above Merbes-Le Chateau. With his aircraft in severe trouble, Rice gave the order for his crew to bale out, but there wasn't time and the Lancaster exploded. Amazingly, Rice was somehow thrown clear, protected by the pilot's armoured seat and with his parachute deployed, and was the only survivor. Rice was eventually captured and made a Prisoner of War in Stalag Luft III. All of his colleagues, including Burns, lost their lives and were buried in Gosselies Communal Cemetery near Hainaut in Belgium.

Dorothy Mundon, the sister of Stephen Burns, was later to recall in a letter (a copy of which is included in the present lot) 'I met Leonard Cheshire VC twice....Leonard wrote 2 yrs before his death on the most unusual fact of the pilot Geoff Rice being the only survivor. Geoff died in 1987. I wish he had visited the familys (sic) of his crew. Mum and Dad thought when he was repatriated from a P.O.W. camp he would give them all the facts that he could recall after the Lanc was hit. He never came.'


Contacts

International Autograph Auctions Europe S.L.
951894600
Urbanizacion El Real del Campanario, Esc. 12, Bajo B
Urbanizacion El Real del Campanario, Esc. 12, Bajo B
Marbella (Malaga), 29688
Spain
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