Norfolk pilot’s war medals go under the hammer

A unique collection of war medals and military documents belonging to a Norfolk pilot, believed to have flown the only RAF aircraft shot down by the Soviet Union during the Cold War, will go under the hammer tomorrow.

The items, which include a pilot flying logbook, defence and war medals, RAF Battledress blouse buttons, wings and photographs, tell the story of Flight Sergeant Peter J Dunnell who died aged 29 and whose parents lived in Deopham, near Wymondham.

The rare lot has been brought in by a private collector to Lockdales auctioneers who expect the collection to go for between �2,000 and �2,500 during a sale at the Holiday Inn, at Ransomes Europark, Ipswich.

Chris Elmy, cataloguer at Lockdales, said: 'This particular medal group is unique because it comes with a great deal of extra paperwork and personal items.'

Flt Sgt Dunnell was the pilot of an Avro Lincoln which took off from RAF Leconfield, near Beverley in East Yorkshire, to participate in a training exercise with Vampire aircraft based at RAF Celle, Germany, on March 12, 1953. Due to a navigational error, the Lincoln crossed into the Russian Occupied Zone and was attacked by two MIG fighters. All seven members of the crew were killed.

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The original logbook release letter is in the collection, which was sent from the central depository to his parents at the Half Moon Inn, Deopham.

All lots can be viewed from 9am before the auction begins at 10.30am. For details, visit

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