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eMedals-United Kingdom, Canada. A Tunic Group to Flight Lieut. Loftus, No. 83 Squadron Royal Air Force/RAFVR

Item: GB6868

United Kingdom, Canada. A Tunic Group to Flight Lieut. Loftus, No. 83 Squadron Royal Air Force/RAFVR

Sale Date: April 27, 2019 Hammer Price


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United Kingdom, Canada. A Tunic Group to Flight Lieut. Loftus, No. 83 Squadron Royal Air Force/RAFVR

1939-1945 Star; Defence Medal; and War Medal 1939-1945. Un-mounted, light contact, original ribbon, better than very fine. Accompanied by his Service Dress Blouse (fabricated from a grayish-blue wool, adorned with Flight Lieutenant rank shoulder straps on both shoulders. The front has two pockets, one on each breast which have decorative straps giving them a pleated-look with plastic buttons at the top. Each pocket has a fold over flap and when lifted up, exposes a reinforced buttonhole. When the buttons are fastened, they remain invisible to the eye, covered by the flaps. The front is completed by a vertical row of five black plastic buttons on the right side, facing an equal number of reinforced buttonholes on the left, similarly covered by a full-length flap, again remaining invisible to the eye. Above the left pocket there is an embroidered Navigator wing. The collar has a dual hook and eye closure, for a snug fit at the neckline, with a nickel-fabricated whistle attached to a key ring, the ring fed through the eye closure on the collar. The whistle is stamped on one side with a crown along with "A.M." (Air Ministry) above and "23/230", the other side stamped "293/14/L1795".

Along the waistline at the front is a strap on the left side, that, when attached to the buckle on the right side and fed through the belt loop, ensures snug fit at the front. Inside, there is a 70 mm wide cotton band along the waistline, with two reinforced buttonholes at the rear. The right lapel has a white manufacturer's label sewn in place, inscribed "WAR SERVICE DRESS BLOUSE, Size No. 11, Height, 5ft. 9in. to 5ft. 10in., Breast, 38 in. to 39 in., Waist, 34 in. Wm. TEMPLETON & SONS 1944" with a upward pointing British Broad Arrow insignia below. Stamped in black ink to the left of the maker stamp on the reinforcing cotton band behind the row of buttons is the British Broad Arrow insignia, with a W" to the left, a "D" to the right, an "M" above and "190" below, the blouse measuring 440 mm across the shoulders x 550 mm in length); his Service Tunic (fabricated from a grayish-blue wool-cotton blend. 

The front has five pockets, one on each breast which have decorative straps giving them a pleated-look, along with two larger ones at the waist, all four pockets with a fold over flap with brass buttons, each of which bears a crown above the RAF eagle. An additional small flap-less pocket appears between the two right side pockets. Above the left pocket, is an embroidered Navigator wing, with a Ribbon Bar immediately below (1939-1945 Star, Defence Medal, War Medal 1939-1945 and General Service Medal 1918-1962). The underside of the collar on the left side has an embroidered Radio Observer wing sewn in place. The front is completed by a vertical row of five large brass buttons on the right side, each of which bears a crown above the RAF eagle, facing an equal number of reinforced buttonholes on the left side. There are two wide grayish-blue wool-cotton blend straps on sewn in place on either side at the waist, the left strap housing a large brass dual prong buckle, the right strap with four rows of two holes each to be fed the buckle, allowing for an adjustable fit, and aided by a snap closure.

Each cuff bears the rank piping of a Flying Officer, the tunic single-vented at the rear. The inside is lined in black cotton, with a small top-entry pocket on the right breast, while the sleeves are lined in white cotton, the tunic measuring 440 mm across the shoulders x 720 mm in length); his Service Cap (fabricated from a grayish-blue wool-cotton blend, featuring the classic high peak, with two black eyelets on the underside of the cap on both sides for ventilation, along with a 40 mm wide black band around its circumference, which supports the RAF insignia at the front. The insignia is composed of a gilt metal eagle, the open-ended wreath and King's crown in silvered and gold-coloured bullion wire, maroon felt accent in the crown, along with touches of red, green and blue embroidery in the crown's base, on a padded black wool base, the insignia measuring 63 mm (w) x 61 mm (h).

The stiff visor is also in a grayish-blue wool-cotton blend, matching the rest of the cap and has a black patent leather strap with dual adjustable sliders that runs across the front between the black fabric posts on either side. The underside of the visor in a dark green moisture-resistant fabric and exhibiting cracking, the cap with a 50 mm wide black leather sweatband leather, with the two ends sewn together with red threading in an X-pattern at the rear. The sidewalls and dome are lined in light blue cotton, with a diamond-shaped manufacturer's label sewn in place in the dome inscribed "WHITEAWAY. LAIDLAW & Co., Ltd. (Incorporated in England) CALCUTTA", with an oval size "7" label affixed just above the manufacturer's label, the cap measuring 230 mm wide x 280 mm in depth x 100 mm in height); his Canteen (fabricated from clear glass, with a white ceramic stopper housing a leather liner at the mouth, the latter held in place by a metal locking system, the canteen encased in a wicker sleeve, with a long neck strap stitched in place on either side, measuring 110 mm wide x 60 mm in depth x 240 mm in height); his four Flying Log Books (Royal Canadian Air Force Flying Log Book for Aircrew other than Pilot, with entries dated from April 1943 to January 1954; two Ministry of Civil Aviation Personal Flying Log Books for Aircraft Operating Crew, with entries dated from January 1947 to June 1954 and March 1966 to September 1974 respectively; Pilot's Log Book, with entries dated from May 1974 to March 2000); his Air Training Corps Log Book as a Flight Sergeant, No. 107, "B" Flight, 282 Squadron, with entries dated from February 1941 to March 1942; an assortment of Licences (Great Britain and Northern Ireland Air Ministry Certificate of Competency and Licence to Fly Private Flying Machines (dated August 12, 1947); Great Britain and Northern Ireland Ministry of Civil Aviation Aircraft Navigator's Certificate and Licence (dated January 6, 1948); United Kingdom Ministry of Civil Aviation Student Pilot's Licence (dated May 2, 1951); United Kingdom Ministry of Civil Aviation Private Pilot's Licence for Flying Machine (dated July 16, 1951); United Kingdom Ministry of Civil Aviation Commercial Pilot's Licence (dated December 20, 1955); and Federal Republic of Germany Private Pilot Licence, along with Attachment "E" to the Private Pilot Licence and Certificate of Validation for Helicopters (dated May 6, 1984)); his Identity Card for All Ranks of the Royal Air Force, Women's Auxiliary Air Force and the Dominion Air Forces (dated June 1, 1944); his Royal Air Force Service and Release Book (dated November 17, 1946); his Royal Air Force and Auxiliary Services "Reserve Forces" Identity Card (dated March 17, 1950); his Flying Aces Club of New York City Membership Card; a Definition & Formulae for Students of Aeronautics Booklet by John Frier (published in 1941 by Sir Isaac Pitman & Sons, Limited of London); a Pilot's Notes for Mosquito Mark FII and NFXII Booklet (published in 1944 by the Air Ministry); a Role of the R.A.F. in War and the Strategical Use of Air Power Booklet (dated May 1943); a Twenty-Four Page Document Detailing the History of 89 Squadron RAF during the Second World War (covering the period from September 1941 to October 1944); a Four Page Crew Listing of Aircraft Destroyed by No. 89 Squadron in Algeria, Egypt, Western Desert, Malta and India/Burma; 89 Squadron R.A.F. First and Second Annual Re-Union Programs (signed by the attendees); assorted material regarding the Berlin Airlift of 1948-1949 (including: a Lattice Topographical Map of Central Germany (dated June 1945, featuring the area between Hamburg and Berlin); his Control Commission for Germany (British Element) Capitation Card (named to Loftus, dated February 22, 1949); a Taxi Authority Card (named to Loftus, dated April 25, 1949); a Civil Aviation Branch, Hamburg Airport Hotel Card; a British European Airways Baggage Claim Tag; along with assorted articles and research papers documenting the event); a Flight Calculator Wheel; a 21st Birthday Card and Note to Loftus from his Grandmother; eighteen Photographs (three Group: one of Cadets in front of their School with a "Stearn & Sons of Cambridge" embossed studio stamp at the lower right; one of 89 Squadron in front of a large building, with the names of those appearing, including Loftus, in handwritten blue ink on the reverse; one of 89 Squadron with a label inscribed "89 Squadron RAF Seletar Singapore, 1945" on the reverse; one of 89 Squadron Wing Commander F. Collingridge (November 1944 to July 1945); two of Supermarine Spitfire Aircraft; one of a Plaque entitled "Wing of First Hun Brought Down by "89 Sqdn" (S/Ldr. Pain & Sgt. Briggs) near Lake Timsah Egypt", with Miniature Plaques affixed to its dedicated to the crews who downed German aircraft in Egypt, Algeria, the Western Desert, Malta and India; nine of Helicopters, five of which features the Canada Coast Guard, plus four others; a single man Bannock Copter in Flight; and a Tradewind Aviation plane); a Radio Station 600 CFCF in Montreal Helicopter Postcard; along with various government issued letters, official and unofficial notes and assorted paperwork.


Footnote: William "Bill" Charles Edwin Loftus was born on June 24, 1924. He was issued service number 1803843 and held the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve Badge number 78279, as of March 11, 1942. He is documented as having been a Flight Sergeant from February 1941 to March 1942. Loftus qualified as a Navigator with No. 1 Central Navigation School effective August 20, 1943 and attended No. 33 Navigator (Radio) Course with No. 62 Operational Training Unit (OTU), from November 11, 1943 to December 22, 1943, qualifying as a Navigator/Radio Operator. He was posted to No. 54 Operational Training Unit in April 1944, then posted to No. 304 Ferry Training Unit (FTU) in September 1944, until March 1945, when he arrived at No. 83 Squardon. He trained on various aircraft, including: Anson, Beau II, Oxford, Mosquito, among others.

Loftus would go on to serve with No. 83 Squadron, Royal Air Force in the United Kingdom, Egypt, India, Malaya, Singapore, Italy, Greece and Malta. No. 83 Squadron was originally a First World War unit that was disbanded in July 1918 and re-formed on September 25, 1941 at RAF Colerne, equipped with Bristol Beaufighter night fighters. The squadron moved out to the Middle East to defend the Nile delta and the Suez Canal. On March 3, 1942 the squadron scored its first victory when it shot down a German Luftwaffe Heinkel He 111. The squadron was active in the Mediterranean area, sending aircraft to Malta and Algiers, and in 1943 sought targets over Crete and later Sicily. With the withdrawal further north of the German night fighter units, the squadron moved first to Ceylon, then in the summer of 1944 to Burma on intruder missions. The aircraft withdrew from operations to convert to the de Havilland Mosquito. Loftus was in the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, General Duties Branch, when he was promoted from Pilot Officer to Flying Officer, effective September 16, 1945, the announcement appearing in the Third Supplement to the London Gazette 37304 of Tuesday, October 9, 1945, on Friday, October 12, 1945, page 5022.

He arrived in Singapore in 1945 and apart from leaflet dropping in the city, there was little for the squadron to do, so it was disbanded on May 1, 1946. Post-war, his service number changed from 1803843 to 197928. Loftus would continue his Air Force service, participating in the Berlin Airlift of 1948-1949. Loftus was on appointment to the re-constituted Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, retaining his rank of Flying Officer (197928), effective August 3, 1949, the announcement appearing in the Second Supplement to the London Gazette 38743 of Friday, October 21, 1949, on Tuesday, October 25, 1949, page 5076. He was issued his Royal Air Force and Auxiliary Services "Reserve Forces" Identity Card on March 17, 1950. Loftus was promoted from Flying Officer to Flight Lieutenant, effective July 16, 1953, the announcement appearing in the Second Supplement to the London Gazette 40024 of Friday, November 20, 1953, on Tuesday, November 24, 1953, page 6377. In the rank of Flight Lieutenant with the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, his service was extended by five years from August 3, 1954, the announcement appearing in the Supplement to the London Gazette 40595 of Tuesday, September 27, 1955, on Friday, September 30, 1955, page 5481. Flight Lieutenant Loftus' service in the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve expired on August 2, 1959.

On his civilian life, he is documented as having been employed by Flight Refuelling Limited at RAF Tarrant Rushton Airport at Blandford, Dorset in 1948 and by Autair Air Limited in 1956. Loftus' Restricted Radiotelephone Certificate, issued on March 7, 1957, was validated on October 3, 1962 under the International Telecommunication Convention at Geneva. He would later immigrate to Canada, settling in Manotick, Ontario, near Ottawa, attaining a Canadian Commercial Pilot Licence No. C-6995. Loftus would continue his flying career in Canada, and its was here that he became an accomplished helicopter pilot. He underwent Conversion Courses on a Hughes 269 aircraft (helicopter) on June 1, 1967 and a Hughes 500 aircraft (helicopter) on October 29, 1969, both conducted at Helisolair Limited at Montreal International Airport, Dorval, Quebec.

He was issued a certificate by Gary E. Lineberry at Southland Helicopters of Long Beach, California, dated February 2, 1970, stating "This is to certify that Mr. W.C.E. Loftus has completed a factory transition in the Hughes 500 helicopter. Mr. Loftus demonstrated excellent proficiency in all maneuvers including full autorotations." He underwent a conversion course on the BO-105 Helicopter on May 10, 1974, at the Boeing Vertal Company of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and successfully completed a course of ground and flight instruction in the BO-105 LS A-1 Helicopter at MBB Helicopter Corporation of West Chester, Pennsylvania on October 1, 1985. Loftus was in his sixties when he authored a book entitled "Flying the Rotors: Handling Techniques for Helicopters", published in 1986 and is acknowledged in the Emergency Preparedness Canada Digest of 1994 as having had an article entitled "Regional Use of Helicopters" in the July-August 1976 edition of the Digest.

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