Lot Archive

Lot

№ 344

.

27 July 1995

Hammer Price:
£1,350

Eight: Group Captain Frank Bowen-Easley, O.B.E., Royal Air Force, Fighter Pilot, attached to No. 77 Squadron, Royal Australian Air Force
The Order of the British Empire, O.B.E. (Military) 2nd type; 1939-45 Star; France and Germany Star; Defence and War Medals; Korea 1950-53 (Flt.Lt., R.A.F.); U.N. Korea; U.S.A., Air Medal, nearly extremely fine and rare (8)

This lot was sold as part of a special collection, Medals Relating to the Korean War 1950-53.

View Medals Relating to the Korean War 1950-53

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Collection

O.B.E. London Gazette 8 June, 1963.
U.S. Air Medal
London Gazette 30 October, 1953.
Francis Easley joined the Royal Air Force in 1940 as AC2 No. 967817, trained as a pilot being commissioned from LAC to P/O in March 1943, and confirmed as Flying Officer in September 1943. He spent many years as a flying instructor, and was one of the first to be converted to jet aircraft, flying the early Meteor in North West Europe in the closing stages of the Second World War.
He was posted to Korea when the Royal Australian Air Force was converting from piston aircraft to Meteor 8 jets, and attached to No. 77 Squadron, R.A.A.F., as a pilot/instructor.
He took part in around 30 ground attack sorties in Korea with No. 77 Squadron and was awarded the U.S. Air Medal, one of four R.A.F. pilots serving with the squadron to receive this award.
The following extract is taken from
Across the Parallel, the history of 77 Squadron in Korea:- ‘On 1st March, 1951, two Londoners, F/Lt Joseph Blyth and F/Lt Frank Easley, came to the Squadron. They were two of four Royal Air Force pilots who had been sent to No. 77 Squadron to teach the Australians to fly Meteor jets.
Blyth and Easley were an adventurous pair, bursting with enthusiasm and energy, and quickly talked the commanding officer into letting them fly the Mustangs in combat over Korea.... Because, at the time, there was a shortage of Australian Mustang pilots, and a lot of close air support work was called for from the “ground pounders”, they managed to get in a lot of missions.’
During the Korean war 21 Royal Air Force pilots served with various U.S.A.F. fighter squadrons and a further 29 with 77 Squadron R.A.A.F. Frank Easley changed his name, by Deed Poll, on 27 June, 1955, to Bowen-Easley. Sold with several photographs and further research.