Lot Archive


№ 457


8 December 1994

Hammer Price:

A rare Second World War D.F.M., A.F.M. group of six awarded to Warrant Officer T.W. Donoghue, Royal Air Force

DISTINGUISHED FLYING MEDAL, G.VI.R., 1st type (620573 Sgt. R.A.F.); AIR FORCE MEDAL, G.VI.R., 1st type (620573 FISgt., R.A.F.) 1939-45 STAR; AIR CREW EUROPE STAR; DEFENCE AND WAR MEDALS, good very fine (6)

The lot is sold with the recipient's original Flying Log Book, covering the period August 1939 to August 1944.

D.F.M., London Gazette, 22 October 1940.

A.F.M., London Gazette, 8 June 1944.

Warrant Officer Thomas William Donoghue, D.F.M., A.F.M., was born in Glasgow in May 1918 and was an Accounts Clerk before joining the Royal Air Force as an A.C.2 in September 1938. Selected for aircrew duties, he trained as a Wireless Operator/Air Gunner and was posted to No. 51 'York's Own' Squadron at Linton-on-Ouse in August 1939, which unit was operating with Whitley aircraft. His operational career commenced the following month, his first sortie being a leaflet dropping exercise over Germany on 5 September. Thereafter his assignments were more regular bombing raids on largely German and Italian targets, among them one or two Bomber Command 'firsts', such as the first attack on a land target (the mine-laying seaplane base at Hornum on the island of Sylt, on the night of 19/20 March 1940), and the first attack on Italy (the Fiat works at Turin on the night of 11/12 June 1940.) By the end of June 1940 Donoghue had participated in 22 sorties and was posted to No. 78 Squadron, subsequently completing another 20 operations against Germany and occupied Belgium and France, including 5 sorties to Berlin, in addition to other heavily defended targets such as Mannheim and Munich. In October 1940 he was gazetted for a well deserved D.F.M., an award which he received at Buckingham Palace in March 1941, by which time he had been posted to No. 19 Operational Training Unit, as a Wireless Operator Instructor on Anson aircraft. He remained on similar duties until at least June 1944, when gazetted for the A.F.M., which he received from the hands of King George VI at Buckingham Palace on 31 July 1945, shortly before his release from the R.A.F. with the rank of Warrant Officer.