Lot Archive


№ 747


25 February 1998

Hammer Price:

A fine South African fighter pilot’s D.F.C. group of six awarded to Major P. D. Bryant, No. 2 (S.A.A.F.) Squadron, South African Air Force

Distinguished Flying Cross, G.VI.R., the reverse officially dated ‘1944’, with its Royal Mint case of issue; 1939-45 Star; Africa Star, clasp, N. Africa 1942-43; Italy Star; War Medal; Africa Service Medal, these last five all officially named (103354 P. D. Bryant), together with S.A.A.F. cap badge and cloth wings, No. 2 Squadron lapel badge, M.O.T.H. badge, Private Pilot’s Licence dated 6 June 1940, Release Certificate 1946, news cuttings and a quantity of photographs, the group mounted as worn, good very fine (6) £800-1000

D.F.C.: ‘Captain Phillip Daniel Bryant, South African Air Force, No. 2 (S.A.A.F.) Squadron. In November, 1943, this officer took part in a low-level attack on an enemy landing ground in Yugoslavia. Much success was achieved and Captain Bryant, who led his flight with rare skill and dash in the face of intense opposing fire from the ground defences, destroyed 1 and damaged another Junkers 87. This officer has completed a very large number of sorties and has displayed a high degree of skill and courage. In air combat he has destroyed 2 Messerschmitt 109’s.’

Phillip Daniel ‘P.D.’ Bryant was born in East London, South Africa, on 16 February 1916. He attested for the S.A.A.F. at Voortrekker Hoogte on 20 June 1940, and commenced training as a pupil pilot with No. 2 Air School at Randfontein. He qualified as a fighter pilot in May 1941 when he was posted to No 43 Squadron. In January 1942 he was posted to No. 2 Squadron in North Africa. He quickly proved to be an able leader and rose rapidly from section leader to Flight Commander, and later to Squadron Leader of No. 4 Squadron in Italy. He claimed several kills and on 14 October, 1942, shot down Obfw. Rosenberg of III/JG27, who had 12 victories, and baled out, breaking both legs on the tail-plane. Sold with further research including copies of his service records which show that he was wounded in action on 16 June 1942.