A Second War Air Gunner’s D.F.M. group of (4) awarded to Flight Sergeant R. V. Pooley, 50 and 617 (Dambusters) Squadrons, Royal Air Force
Distinguished Flying Medal, G.VI.R. (1267844 F/Sgt. R. V. Pooley, R.A.F.); 1939-45 Star; Air Crew Europe Star; War Medal 1939-45, edge bruise, otherwise good very fine (4)
Provenance: Dix Noonan Webb, February 2016.
D.F.M. London Gazette 11 February 1944.
The original Recommendation, dated 16 December 1943, states: ‘Flight Sergeant Pooley is one of the best Air Gunners in the Squadron. He has completed 19 operational sorties, principally against German targets. During these sorties he has, on no fewer than seven occasions, opened fire of enemy aircraft, and on 23-24 August 1943, when attacking Berlin, he opened fire on a Ju.88 which closed in on his aircraft. The enemy aircraft was subsequently seen falling in flames. His thorough search from his turret has prevented his aircraft from surprise attacks and on most occasions he has opened the combat with the enemy. This determination to engage the enemy at every opportunity is a fine example to the Air Gunners on the squadron. For his determination, skill, and courage in the face of the enemy, his is strongly recommended for the award of the Distinguished Flying Medal.’
Ronald Victor Pooley enlisted in the Royal Air Force and began flying in December 1942. He was posted from 1660 Conversion Unit to 50 Squadron (Lancasters), R.A.F. Skellingthorpe, on 13 July 1943, and flew his first Operational Sortie on 2 August, a raid on Milan. Further operational targets over the next few months included Manheim (3), Milan, Berlin (8), Munchen-Gladbach, Munich, Hannover (2), Bochum, Kassel (2), Frankfurt, Leipzig, and Dusseldorf. In addition to the Ju.88 that Pooley shot down over Berlin on 23-24 August mentioned in the D.F.M. Recommendation, he is also recorded as having shot down a Ju.88 on 27 September 1943, during a raid on Hannover, and damaged another on 20 October 1943, during a raid on Leipzig. He continued with 50 Squadron until mid-February 1944, before transferring to 617 Squadron where he was awarded the medal in March , and completed his first tour with the Dambusters in April 1944.
Sold with a Guy Gibson First Day Cover, dated 1 January 1999; and copied research.