Special Collections

Sold on 12 December 2012

1 part


The Collection of Second World War and Modern Gallantry Awards formed by the late William Oakley

William Raymond Oakley

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№ 628


13 December 2012

Hammer Price:

A fine Second World War D.F.C., D.F.M. group of six awarded to Flying Officer E. W. G. Rosam, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve - having been decorated for his first operational tour in Wellingtons in the Middle East, he raised his tally of sorties way beyond the 50 mark in Lancasters of No. 57 Squadron, up until his death in action over Hamburg in January 1943

Distinguished Flying Cross, G.VI.R., the reverse officially dated ‘1942’; Distinguished Flying Medal, G.VI.R. (751059 Sgt. E. W. G. Rosam, R.A.F.); 1939-45 Star; Air Crew Europe Star; Africa Star; War Medal 1939-45, M.I.D. oak leaf, good very fine and better (6) £3000-3500

D.F.C. London Gazette 18 December 1942. The original joint recommendation states:

‘In November, 1942, Squadron Leader Long and Flying Officer Rosam were Captain and Wireless Operator respectively of an aircraft which was detailed to attack Genoa. On the outward flight, shortly after crossing enemy territory, engine trouble developed. Despite this Squadron Leader Long continued his mission, reached his target and bombed it. Soon after leaving the target area, the port outer engine caught fire and ceased to function. Displaying fine airmanship and ably supported by Flying Officer Rosam whose wireless skill was of the greatest value, Squadron Leader Long flew his aircraft back to this country and effected a masterly landing in difficult circumstances. Both these officers have invariably displayed high skill and outstanding devotion to duty.’

London Gazette 8 April 1941. The original recommendation states:

‘Sergeant Rosam has completed 39 night bombing raids against the enemy. He is considered an exceptionally efficient Wireless Operator and has at all times exhibited great skill in obtaining fixes and maintaining his wireless set. This N.C.O. has on many occasions been instrumental in finding the target by making use of German beacons with his loop. He has shown the qualities of exceptional skill and courage which has set a magnificent example to the squadron. For his skill and devotion to duty during a successful operational tour, he is strongly recommended for the award of the Distinguished Flying Medal.’

Edward William George Rosam, who was born in Hythe in 1911, was employed as a sorting clerk at Folkestone and Littlehampton Post Offices prior to enlisting in the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve on the outbreak of hostilities.

Having then qualified as a Wireless Operator, he was posted to No. 38 Squadron in the Middle East towards the end of 1940, where he completed 39 anti-shipping strikes in the Squadron’s Wellingtons and won a mention in despatches (
London Gazette 24 September 1941 refers), and the D.F.M.

Subsequently commissioned, Rosam volunteered for a second tour of duty and joined No. (Cheltenham’s Own) 57 Squadron at Scampton, Lincolnshire, around September 1942, and quickly added the D.F.C. to his accolades for the above cited deeds during a sortie to Genoa that November.

Having then participated in many more outings of an operational nature, he was killed in action on 31 January 1943, when his Lancaster W. 4189 was downed during a raid on Hamburg - there were no survivors, the dead including the recently promoted Squadron Leader Donald Long, D.F.C., A.F.C.

Rosam was 31 years of age and left a widow, Ivy Gertrude of Rustington, Sussex. He is buried in Hamburg Cemetery.