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eMedals-A Superb DFM Group to Herbert Hunt Credited for Eleven Enemy Victories

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A Superb DFM Group to Herbert Hunt Credited for Eleven Enemy Victories

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A Superb DFM Group to Herbert Hunt Credited for Eleven Enemy Victories

A Superb DFM Group to Herbert Hunt Credited for Eleven Enemy Victories  - Distinguished Flying Medal, George V with uncrowned head (P/6434 SERGt MECH. HUNT, H.C., R.A.F.); British War Medal (317030. SGT. H.C. HUNT. R.A.F.); and Victory Medal (317030. SGT. H.C. HUNT. R.A.F.). Naming is officially impressed in large capitals on the DFM and in small capitals on the First World War Pair. Court-mounted, light contact, cleaned, near extremely fine. Accompanied by copies of his Service Records from the National Archives, Citation for the Distinguished Flying Medal, his documentation in the London Gazette (dated November 2, 1918), along with assorted letters and research papers.   Footnote: Herbert Cecil Hunt was born in 1898, the son of Digby Hunt of Luton. He enlisted with the Army (Bedford Regiment) on February 17, 1917, at the age of 18, naming his father as his next-of-kin and his occupation as that of Clerk. He was transferred to the Royal Flying Corps (P/6434) on October 5, 1917. When the Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service merged to form the Royal Air Force on April 1, 1918, he was transferred to the RAF accordingly (317030) on April 1st, where he was promoted to Sergeant (N-T) the following day, followed by a promotion to Sergeant Mechanic (Observer) on April 26th. Hunt was sent to France after training, where he joined 22 Squadron, which was a Fighting Squadron, flying Bristol Fighters with Rolls 200 H.P. Falcon engines. The Bristol Fighter was a two-seater in which the Observer sat facing the tail, with his back to his Pilot, armed with a Lewis Gun on a scarf mounting and magazines of 303 ammunition. As a member of a Fighting Squadron, he took part in offensive patrols (O.P.), in which he flew in formation at 18,000 to 20.000 feet, many miles over enemy lines, looking for enemy machines (E.A.) to engage in combat and destroy. They were not equipped with oxygen or parachutes. Each enemy aircraft that was destroyed had to be confirmed or these would not be credited to the account of the Pilot and Observer. He began flying sortis in May 1918. In an account dated May 16, 1918, Hunt was with 22 Squadron in a BF2b No. B/1217 piloted by 2nd Lieutenant B.C. Budd, attacking two balloons and ground targets, with the Pilot stating: "On returning from O.P. the leader (Lt. Bulmer) dived on several enemy balloons. I fired about 300 rounds into two balloons, one of which folded up and fell to earth. As ordinary S.A.A. was used, no balloon caught fire. All balloons in our vicinity were hauled down. I observed one observer go down by parachute. I fired about 200 rounds at enemy transport on roads E. of Merville. One lorry hit a tree. My observer (Hunt) fired several drums at balloons and transport." In another encounter onMay 28th, in a BF2b No. C4894 piloted by Lt. C.W.M. Thomson at Merville-Bassee at 11:10 hours, they sent a two-seater "out of control" (OOC), the official account stating: "Whilst on O.P. I saw nine/machines. We dived on same and engaged them in combat. My pilot dived and banked to the right and I fired one and a half magazines into one E.A. Then saw this E.A. go down in a nose-dive and then turn completely over completely out of control. I watched E.A. for some time then our fuselage covered it when I last saw it, it was completely out of control. This E.A. had no crosses on its tail but had black streaks." In a BF2b No. E4706 piloted by Lt. T.H. Newsome at Brebieres at 10:45 hours onAugust 8th, they destroyed two Fokker DVII's (DES), the official accounts stating: "Whilst returning from escorting D.H.4s, we encountered several E.A. on which we dived several times. Whilst diving on these machines I got very close to a Fokker biplane and fired two good bursts into it. I pulled out of my dive and leaned over the side to see if I could see the E.A. I immediately noticed it going down and watched it crash just outside a village where the railway forms a triangle at Brebieres." and "Whilst on escort duty over Vitry between Arras and Douai, a Pfalz scout flew parallel with our machine about 80 yds. away, I fired about 20 rds. at the E.A. and it went down in flames. I observed E.A. fired at by my pilot go down completely out of control." In an encounter on August 16th, in a BF2b No. F5824 piloted by Lt. C.E. Hurst at Fresnoy at 11:00 hours, they destroyed a two seater (DES), the official account stating: "During O.P. over Douai two machines (two-seaters with yellow elivators) followed us from Douai towards the line under out tail. I fired about a drum and a half at one and it went down and I saw it crash near Fresnoy.", with pilot Hurst adding "I dived on a two-seater which was following us back to the line but had to pull out owing to gun trouble. My observer continued to fire at E.A. which dived down and seemed to crash." August 25th was to prove to be the "high score" day, as three enemy machines were downed, including two Pfalz DIII and a Fokker DrI, in a BF2b No. C1035 piloted by Lt. T.H. Newsome, destroying a Pfalz DIII at W. Peronne at 18:30 hours (DES), destroying the Fokker DrI at Maricourt at 18:35 hours (DES) and sending the other Pfalz III "out of control" at W. Maricourt at 18:35 hours (OOC), the official account stating: "Whilst on escort with D.H.4s to Peronne at a height of 16,000 ft. the formation was attacked by about 30 to 40 scouts, including Pfalz Fokker and Triplanes. I fired approximately a drum at a Pfalz which went down in a spin and I saw E.A. crash W. of Peronne. A triplane then dived on us. I fired a burst at about 200 yds. range, E.A. went down in a dive and crashed near Maricourt. I also fired at another Pfalz Sct. which went down in an irregular spin but I was unable to see E.A. crash as other E.A. were on my tail at the time." That encounter was followed six days later by another combat in the air, on August 31st, when Hunt was in a BF2b No. F5824 piloted by Lt. T.H. Newsome at S.E. Vitry at 17:10 hours, sending a Fokker DVIII "out of control " (OOC), the official account unavailable. Over the course of these five days of air battles, Hunt was credited with downing a total of eight machines (five aircraft destroyed and three sent out of control). Sergeant Mechanic (Observer) Hunt, 10th (Army) Wing, No. 22 Squadron, Royal Air Force, was recommended for the Distinguished Flying Medal by Brigadier General D. le C. Pitcher, Commanding 1st Brigade, Royal Air Force, C.M.G. In his report, dated August 29, 1918, he cited Hunt "For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. He was taken part in numerous offensive Patrols, Escorts, etc., and on all occasions has shown keenness and the real offensive spirit. By his skill and tenacity he has given confidence to his pilot and has set a fine example to other observers in his Squadron. He has personally accounted accounted for enemy aircraft as follows:- On 26-8-18, when escorting a bomb raid to Peronne, about 40 enemy scouts attacked the formation. He fired a burst into a Pfalz Scout which spun down and was seen to crash west of Peronne. A triplane then attacked the Bristol and he fired a a good burst into it. The enemy machine went down in a dive and was seen to crash near Maricourt. On 16-8-18, when on Offensive Patrol, two enemy two-seaters were attacked in the vicinity of Douai. He fired about a drum and a half into one which fell out of control and crashed near Fresnoy. This was confirmed by the Pilot. On 8-8-18, when escorting D.H.4s over Vitry, several enemy scouts were encountered. He fired about 20 rounds into a Pfalz Scout at 80 yards range. The enemy machine burst into flames and went down. On 28-5-18, when on Offensive Patrol between Merville and La Bassee, 9 small enemy two-seaters were attacked. He fired 1 1/2 drums into one E.A., which nose-dived, turned over and fell completely out of control." In the Second Supplement to the London Gazette 30989 of November 1, 1918, dated Saturday, November 2, 1918, page 12977, the citation for P/6434 Sergeant Mechanic (Observer) Herbert C. Hunt (late of the Bedford Regiment) was published, stating: "A keen and skilful Observer, on whose courage and resource Pilots place absolute reliance. He has personally shot down and destroyed five enemy machines, two of which he accounted for during one patrol." The same citation appeared in Flight Magazine on November 7, 1918, page 1253. Over the course of the war, he was credited with nine enemy machines and two enemy observation balloons. He later developed a case of "Neurasthemies" (an ill-defined medical condition characterized by lassitude, fatigue, headache, and irritability, associated chiefly with emotional disturbance), which was caused by his combat experiences. After a brief hospitalization in France, he was invalided to England, where he was transferred to Summerdown Convalescent Hospital at Eastbourne on October 18, 1918. Three months later, Hunt was discharged on January 26, 1919, designated "No longer physically fit for War Service". (C:)      
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