A Second War Air Force Cross to Wing Commander Sikes
A Second War Air Force Cross to Wing Commander Sikes - Air Force Cross, GVIR (S/SDR. R.S. SIKES. R.A.F 1942"); Defence Medal (W/CDR. R.S. SIKES. R.A.F.); and War Medal 1939-1945 (W/CDR. R.S. SIKES. R.A.F.). Naming is impressed and the "1942" is engraved on the AFC; naming is privately impressed on the DM and WM. Original ribbons, extremely fine. Accompanied by four Records of Service (one bearing an Air Ministry stamp, dated September 22, 1942); Royal Air Force Reserve Letter Authorizing Sikes to Wear the Pilot's Flying Badge (dated September 29, 1930, stamped H.Q. RAFR Hendon on October 2, 1930); Air Ministry Letter marked "SECRET" (stating that the Air Force Reserve had been called out on Permanent Service by Proclamation, dated September 21, 1939); Air Ministry Letter (informing Sikes of the relinquishing of his commission with the RAF Reserve of Officers effective February 10, 1954 and giving him permission to retain the rank of Wing Commander, dated July 16, 1954); Personnel Occurrence Report, Officers (dated December 6, 1941); Air Ministry Orders (naming Sikes on page 3, dated November 14, 1940); Royal Air Force Station Letter marked "CONFIDENTIAL" (informing Sikes of the impending abandonment of Ipswich in favour of Wattisham, dated March 13, 1942, with accompanying letter indicating the inability to find a suitable replacement for Squadron LeaderSikes ); seven Congratulatory Telegrams and Letters on Awarding of His Air Force Cross; Letter to Sikes from the Ministry of Aircraft Production, Millbank (dated August 14, 1943, stating "I have not yet had an opportunity to discuss G.C.A. with Sir Stafford Cripps but I don't want this weekend to pass without lettering you know how very much I appreciate the extremely kind and efficient hospitality with which you greeted me at Elsham Wolds. I found it a most valuable and interesting experience and am very much in your debt. Yours sincerely, Campbell Secord"); Number of Safety Reports (including one written by Sikes while employed by the Mediterranean Allied Air Force (MAAF) in Italy in February 1944, totalling twenty-three pages, with a colour map of Western Europe and magazine clipping photo illustrating the moving of a 1,000 lb. bomb in Italy, marked "Visit to Forward Landings Strips in Italy, February 1944" on the file folder cover); Three Page Draft Letter from Sikes to the Editor of The Times, London (while on Bucks County Council, in regards to Wet Gravel Pits, report of the Royal Commission on Common Land, undated); Newspaper Clipping (documenting the awarding of 250 Pounds for the Codex, with Sikes listed under Master of Arts Section); four Newspaper Clippings and One Magazine Clipping Reporting on his Success as a Motorcyclist in Assorted Competitions in the 1930s; Christmas Card (with "Vigilant" insignia on the cover, signed "Robert. Cairo." and inscribed "(A trip I was on to Palestine and Transjordan)"); twenty-three black and white photographs (documenting his life: beginning with Sikes as a child, followed by his days at Cambridge, his racing days at the Junior Amateur T.T. Race (1929), his tenure with the RAF (most of which were taken and dated in the 1940s), and later adult life, including his time on Bucks County Council, three of which are press photos (two stamped "The Windsor Slough & Eton Express", the other stamped "The Northern Press Photo Agency, Altringham"), plus a photo of Alfred Walter Sikes c.1915); His brother, Howard Lecky Somerville Sikes' Royal Air Force Certificate of Proficiency (dated January 1, 1932); Cambridge University Air Squadron List of Members (naming his brother, H.L.S. Sikesunder Trinity College, identified Lent Term, 1933); Great Britain Air Ministry Private Pilot's Certificate and License (numbered "3871", issued August 18, 1931 to his brother, Howard Lecky Somerville Sikes, born December 12, 1910 at Langley Bucks, who was killed in an airplane accident in 1932, as noted on the reverse of Alfred Walter Sikes' photo); Morning Post Newspaper Clipping Letter to the Editor ("of importance to Inter-Continental Air Communications", signed by his brother, H.L.S. Sikes, Cambridge University Air Squadron, tagged and dated September 19, 1932); and Small Watercolour (signed by his brother, H.L.S. Sikes on the reverse). Footnote: Richard Somerville Sikes was born on May 28, 1907. He completed his education at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he joined the University's Air Squadron and was later appointed a Pilot Officer on probation GD Branch, Royal Air Force's Reserve of Officers, on June 24, 1929. He advanced to the rank of Flying Officer on December 24, 1930. Two and half years later, Sikes was transferred on June 5, 1933 to Class C (non-flying duties), possibly to pursue his other abiding interest, motorcycling. He was an accomplished motorcycle racer, as evidenced by the accompanying newspaper clippings indicating his participation in the pre-war Isle of Man TT (Tourist Trophy) Races. He is documented as having been on the staff of Forced Induction Limited, "fitting the Square Four he was going to ride in the TT with one of their vane-type Zoller superchargers." His race results from the Isle of Man TT indicate he was in the Junior Division aboard a Velocette in 1930 with a 22nd Place Finish, and in 1931 aboard a Velocette with a 19th Place Finish. It also notes that he was in the Lightweight Division aboard an OK-Supreme in 1930 with a DNF, and in the Senior Division aboard an Ariel in 1931 with a DNF (DNF = Did Not Finish). His younger brother, Howard Lecky Somerville Sikes, born December 12, 1910, three years his junior, was also a pilot and was killed in an airplane accident in 1932. Five of his items are included here as part of Richard Somerville Sikes' group. R.S. Sikes was transferred back to Class AA (flying duties), on August 14, 1939 and was called up to the Active List upon the outbreak of hostilities the following month, on September 25, 1939. Sikes attended the Central Flying School in July 1940 and was posted to No. 2 Service Flying Training School at Brize Norton as an instructor in August 1940, where he also fulfilled the duties of O.C., Fire Section. He was named Acting Flight Lieutenant on January 12, 1941, advanced to Flight Lieutenant (W.S.) six months later, on July 8, 1941 and was removed to No. 17 Blind Approach Training School at Ipswich as Chief Flying Instructor that October, where he advanced to the acting rank of Squadron Leader. He was named Temporary Wing Commander on June 12, 1942 on transfer to the Air Safety Department at the Air Ministry. He gained advancement to War Substantive Squadron Leader in October 1943. In 1944, with the Italian theatre in full combat, Sikes went to Italy, to improve the safety of assorted types of airstrips being used by the Mediterranean Allied Air Force (MAAF), but not in time to qualify for the Italy Star. Sykes eventually relinquished his commission in the RAF Reserve on February 10, 1954, and was permitted to retain the rank of Wing Commander. He was cited three times in the London Gazette (1: 4645 on July 25, 1930, under Reserve of Air Force Officers, "The undermentioned Pilot Officers on probation are confirmed in rank, Richard Somerville Sikes 24th June 1930"; 2: 6505 on September 26, 1939, "Flying Officer Richard Somerville SIKES is transferred from Class C to class AA. 14th Aug. 1939."; 3: 2515 on June 11, 1942 for the awarding of his Air Force Cross).