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A rare original unique 'Irvin Parachute Company wartime award' in the form of a small gold caterpillar, the eyes set with ruby coloured stones, the reverse inscribed 'W/O. T.V.Pigot'. Very good condition, complete with original pin fittings.
Awarded to 1059795 Warrant Officer T.V. Pigot who bailed out of his Supermarine MKV Spitfire of 1435 Squadron when hit by enemy fire after ground staffing enemy troops near Cerevode, Albania, whilst attached to the Balkan Air Force.
Warrant Officer T.V. Pigot by his service number volunteered in September 1940 at Padgate. Volunteering for aircrew he was selected for Pilot Training on the Spitfire fighter aircraft. In May 1943 he was posted to 1435 Squadron operating over Sicily and later Italy as a fighter bomber squadron. In October 1943 the squadron moved to the mainland of Italy and joined the Balkan Air Force. The squadron was based in southern Italy and helped provide local air defence as well as flying ground attack missions in Albania and Yugoslavia, supporting local partisans.
On the 11th December 1943 he scrambled to investigate two aircraft heading towards Bari, these turned out to be American P38 Lightnings, one of which opened fire on Pigot’s Spitfire, resulting in him crash landing on return to his airfield. He was uninjured.
On the 2nd April 1944 whilst on patrol, he and his wingman spotted a German ME109 fighter aircraft about to land, both Spitfires attached and the 109 was seen to crash in a field. He was credited with a 1/2 share of the 'Kill'.
On the 24th June with another Spitfire he was tasked with ground staffing enemy troops near Cerevode, Albania. During the attack he was hit and his wingman reported 'W/O Pigot called out that he had been hit in the oil system and said he was going to bail out. He turned North and gained 5,500 feet and baled out landing by parachute about 4 miles west of Cerevode'. His Spitfire VC was noted lost, Pilot safe. This is the action which resulted in the award of the Irvin Parachute Caterpillar Club badge.
An official photographer visited the Squadron in early 1944 and took a photograph of pilots of the Squadron sitting on the wing of a Spitfire, Pigot (2nd Left) among them the caption quotes 'Warrant Officer T. V. Pigot of Northwich, Cheshire”
Warrant Officer Pigot is not listed as POW and is presumed to have evaded capture.
The 'Gold Caterpillar Club Award' was initiated in the early 1920's by 'Leslie Irvin' of the 'Irvin Parachute Company' to be awarded to anyone whose life was actually saved by the use of one of their parachutes.
A good original pre 1953 silver plated 'Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve badge' bearing a red enamel King's Crown, the "RAFVR" title bar inlaid with pale blue enamel. Very good condition, complete with original buttonhole fitting, no damage to the enamel.
A scarce original wartime period 'Royal Air Force shoulder title', blue silk embroidered serif letters 'CANADA' on blue grey backing. Very good used condition.
Width approx 8cm.
A scarce original early pattern 'Royal Air Force Air Training Corps circular woven bound cloth backing with blue silk embroidered eagle in a circle, worn above the Sergeant chevrons to denote Flight Sergeant, the reverse with black cotton lining. Very good used condition.
Diameter approx 45mm.
A good original Second World War period sweetheart brooch, handcrafted from a piece of salvaged perpex from a fighter aircraft and made into the form of a pilot's wing using parts from a RAF brass button to enhance the centre, possibly sold to raise funds for the war effort. Very good condition, complete with original pin fittings now a little rusty.
An exceptionally good original circa 1940's typical wartime period powder compact, square polished steel example, the front mounted with a Royal Air Force pilot's wing sweetheart, on a celluloid covered painted sky blue base, the reverse with an engine turned pattern decoration with the back edge impressed 'Made in England'. Very good clean condition, complete with perfect mirror, unused gauze powder sifter and powder puff, sound hinges and catches. An excellent example of the period.
Size 65 x 65mm.
A scarce original circa early post war period very well presented miniature ribbon bar group, bearing a '1939 -1945 Star, Air Crew Europe Star with rossette, Italy Star, Pacific Star, Defence Medal, War Medal with MID oakleaf'. Very good clean condition, pin fittings fully functioning.
A good original King George VI period die-stamped brass other ranks 'Royal Air Force cap badge'; Crowned laurel wreath bearing 'RAF' monogram to the centre; the reverse retaining original two loop fittings (these slightly bent) and split pin. Very good condition, minimal service wear.
A rare original Second World War period official pattern 'RAF Pathfinder badge'; gilded brass eagle wing nicely toned and retaining the correct original tube joint pin fitting and flat rolled catch with straight edge. Very good condition.
The RAF pathfinder badge was worn above left breast pocket. It was strictly forbidden for aircrew to actually wear this badge when on operations in case they fell into German hands, taken prisoner and identified.
A scarce original wartime circa 1941 to 1945 short lived period 'Royal Air Force pilots wing silver badge', miniature crown blue enamel disc bearing 'RAF' crest with 'Ferry Command' scroll below and flanked by neat feathered wings, the reverse impressed 'STERLING S' and with maker's details 'BIRKS'. Very good uncleaned condition, complete with single screw post and retaining nut, no damage to the enamel.
A good original circa pre-war period 'French Army of the Air pilot's lapel badge', miniature die-stamped silver plated laurel wreath surmounted by a gilt star and pilot's wing spread across the centre, the reverse complete with original single pin for wearing in a cravat or on a lapel. Good condition.
Height of badge 16mm.
Overall height with pin 53mm.
A scarce original Second World War period 'RAF / WAAF LAC PRINTED sleeve badges' matched pair as worn, each displaying a two blade propellor denoting the rank of Leading Aircraftman RAF or Leading aircraftwoman WAAF. Very good condition, evidence of having been removed from uniform.
A scarce original wartime period 'RAF Bomb Aimers padded brevet badge' with the unusual feature of black lines between the feathers of the wing, the reverse with black hession lining. Very good clean condition, evidence of having been removed from uniform.
Height approx 54mm.
A scarce original Second World War period unmarked silver 'Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve badge', made by the Royal Mint and impressed with official Air Ministry issue number '90401'. Very good condition, complete with original buttonhole fitting.
A scarce original circa 1918 period 'RAF officer’s sleeve badge' fine quality gilt crown and eagle, made in two parts and worn on the lower cuff of the RAF khaki service dress uniform introduced to the newly formed RAF on the 1st April 1918. This example, slightly curved to accommodate the cuff and with with three thin screw posts and nuts again indicating an early issue. Very good condition, complete with original backing plate, matching pair nuts old replacements, gilt finish remains bright.
Width of wing without plate 54mm.
A good original early Queen Elizabeth II period 'RAF warrant officer cap badge', gilded metal example with red velvet inset to crown. Very good condition, complete with original two loop fittings to reverse, minor service wear.
A good original pair of wartime composition ID tags impressed '1726760 MUNDAY R.A.F. C E'. Very good condition, photographs show glue marks which have since been removed revealing no damage.
'Edward Ernest Munday' who enlisted into the RAF sometime after September 1941. He was born in 1924 and died at Tadley Hampshire in 2004'.
A scarce original circa 1940's period 'Balloon Barrage badge', well defined substantial silver plated example in the form of a barrage balloon with embossed 'RAF' letters below inlaid with sky blue enamelling, the reverse complete with original pin fittings, pin in steel and typical of the period. Very good condition, enamel intact, minimal wear.
A scarce original possibly pre war 'Balloon Barrage badge', small chromium plated example depicting a barrage balloon and eagle emerging from a crowned blue enamel title circlet, all this applied to a slender bar. Very good condition, complete with original pin fittings, no damage to the enamel.
A good original circa 1955 period 'RAF silver prize spoon', the finial depicting the 'Royal Air Force' George VI crowned circlet bearing the motto 'Per Ardva Ad Astra' with large central eagle spanning the sides, the reverse of the bowl impressed with London silver hallmarks for 1955, maker's details 'HP' (H Phillips Aldershot, Hampshire.) and inscibed 'RAF Nettball Association 1955 - 56 Inter Station Winner'. Very good condition, points of wings a little sharp.
Length approx 11.5cm.
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