Lot Archive


№ 741


19 April 1995

Hammer Price:

A fine Second World War George Medal group of four awarded to Corporal S. J. Cogger, Royal Air Force, for gallantry in saving life from a crashed Mosquito
George Medal, G.V1.R. (1585300 Cpl. Stephen J. Cogger, R.A.F.V.R.); 1939-45 Star; Defence and War Medals, together with R.A.F. cap badge, two identity discs and several newspaper cuttings, the group mounted as worn, good very fine (4)

G.M. London Gazette 26 February, 1946.
‘At 5.40 pm on the afternoon of 3rd July 1945, a Mosquito aircraft (No. KB 416) of 627 Squadron R.A.F. crashed in a field when on an overshoot after attempting to land at R.A.F. Station Woodhall Spa, Lincolnshire, on one engine. Cpl. S.J. Cogger, R.A.F.V.R., who was in charge of the fire party, had already observed the aircraft to be in trouble so he ordered the fire tender to stand by, starting up the section Jeep himself. By this time the aircraft had crashed, so he drove to the scene immediately and, on arrival, found the aircraft on fire, the flames spreading rapidly along the leading edge of the wings and the fuselage. F/O Finlayson, the navigator, was lying in the wreckage by the leading edge of the wing so Cpl. Cogger entered the flames immediately and tried to pull him clear but found him to be held fast by some cables around his legs, one of which was badly fractured.
He then went to the Jeep to get a hacksaw and a hand-held fire extinguisher, the duty orderly and ambulance driver and a civilian having arrived. All four entered the burning area, the civilian using the hacksaw to cut the cables holding the navigator’s legs whilst Cpl. Cogger played the extinguisher on him but, by this time, the flames had gained hold so the four men were forced to retreat.
The fire tender had now arrived and was able to subdue the flames enough to permit the four rescuers to cut the navigator free. Cpl. Cogger, in spite of burns sustained earlier, again entered the burning area to look for the pilot but could not find him. The Corporal was ultimately taken to hospital suffering from major burns to the forehead, cheeks, arms and hands. He displayed great gallantry in circumstances when, at any moment, the aircraft might have exploded.’