Dambuster's 'wings' under the hammer

A set of RAF officer's wings thought to have belonged to second world war hero Guy Gibson went under the hammer for £260 on Saturday.

A set of RAF officer's wings thought to have belonged to second world war hero Guy Gibson went under the hammer for £260 on Saturday.

They were part of an impressive collection of military memorabilia which was the lifetime's collection of a Gorleston man.

The framed set of wings came with the inscription: “Pilot's wings belonging to W/Cmdr Guy Gibson, VC, and presented to Barnes Wallis, the inventor of the bouncing bomb, after the dams raid.”

Wing Cmdr Gibson commanded the squadron which carried out the famous Dambuster raids in 1943, destroying dams in the Ruhr area of Germany by using bombs which bounced along the water.

But there was no paperwork to prove the wings were genuine, which meant the price stayed relatively low.

They sold to a man from Buckinghamshire who had placed a commission bid beforehand.

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Henry Horner-Glister, from the auction house, said: “It made about what we would have thought really. It is just an unknown thing. If we had the paperwork with it, it could have made thousands, but with no paperwork it is nothing more than a cloth badge in a frame.”

The daughter of the seller, who did not want her father to be named, said: “He was an avid collector all his life. He picked up all sorts of bits and pieces along the way. His passion was all things military.”

She said she did not know how long her father, who was never in the armed forces, had had the wings or where he had bought them from.

Other items from his collection included a second world war Sten gun, which went for £200, a Japanese prayer flag which made £110 and a bag of British shoulder titles which sold for £120.

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