Rare uniform to Air Marshal Sir Patrick 'Paddy' Hunter Dunn KBE, CB, DFC. He was born at Dowanill, Glasgow, Scotland on 31st December 1912. He was educated at Loretto College nr. Edinburgh and Glasgow University before joining the RAF on a short service commission in March 1933. After qualifying as a pilot he attended the flying-boat and general reconnaissance course at Calshot and was posted to 201 (Flying Boat) Squadron. After a time at the Central Flying School he joined 500 (County of Kent) Squadron before returning to the CFS as a senior instructor. In 1939 Dunn was posted to HQ Middle East, and the next year took command of 80 Squadron flying Gladiator bi-planes and Hurricanes in the Western Desert. On August 8th 1940, the then Squadron Leader Patrick Dunn led an offensive patrol of 14 Gladiators against Italian CR42s that had been operating in the vicinity of El Gobi. The Italians rarely encountering notable formations of RAF aircraft and Dunn planned a trap by luring them into attacking three aircraft flying at 8,000', while the other Gladiators from the squadron flew above in formations stacked up to 14,000'. His own Gladiator was one of the 'lures'. Near Bir El Gobi, the Gladiators came across a formation of CR42s and Ro37s flying below them. As the Italians were engaged with the lower formation, the higher Gladiators took advantage of their altitude and the sun, taking them completely by surprise. Within five minutes, 10 enemy aircraft were destroyed with a further seven 'probables'. Dunn himself claimed one 'destroyed' and one 'probable'. Two weeks later he left to form 274 Squadron, the first Hurricanes to see action in the Western Desert. On 9th December 1940, Dunn was involved in two sorties near Bir Zigdin el-Hamra and Sidi el Barrani. In the first, the RAF claimed three SM79s destroyed and two damaged, with Dunn having a share in one. The second sortie ended with a huge aerial dogfight involving at least 19 Italian aircraft and two squadrons of Hurricanes (33 & 274). During this action Dunn claimed one aircraft destroyed and two more 'probables'. On 14th December Dunn led an attack on an Italian fighter escort over Sidi Aziez, claiming two destroyed. During the action his own aircraft was hit resulting in a forced landing from which he emerged unscathed. In January 1941 he added another enemy aircraft to his tally. He was subsequently awarded a DFC and posted to command Amriya airfield.
Under Dunn’s command, No 80 and No 274 accounted for 92 enemy aircraft destroyed. His own tally was six, with a share in three more and a number of 'probables.'
On 1st June 1941 he was promoted wing commander (temporary) and took command of 71 Squadron, a training unit based in the Middle East. Following staff appointments there, Dunn had a brief posting with 204 Squadron, flying Sunderlands and was then sent to London for a staff position as Aide de Campe to Air Marshal Sir Hugh Trenchard, Chief of the Air Staff (CAS). Dunn preferred flying to office-bound work and although he began training for Pathfinder Operations on Mosquitoes, was withdrawn due to his CAS position and placed in charge of anti-V2 operations at 12 Group.
Post-war he had staff appointments and was involved with instructing. He became Senior Air Staff Officer at Air HQ Malaya, in which role he used air power to combat the communist forces in the jungles on the ground during the Malayan Emergency. In 1951 he went on to be an instructor at the NATO Defence College, Manby and in 1958 was posted to Bomber Command as Air Officer Commanding, 1 Group, where he took a refresher course flying Vulcans. Dunn was appointed CB in 1956 and KBE in 1965. He retired from the RAF on 1st March 1967 and became a director of British Steel, deputy chairman of the British Eagle Airline and chairman of its successor, Eagle Aircraft Services. He died on 17th June 2004.
Here we are offering Dunn's No.1 Service Dress uniform with the rank of Air Marshal, obtained directly from the family by the previous owner. It has superb padded Queen's crown pilot wings, staybrite belt buckle and Queen's crown buttons, Air Marshall rank lace on the cuffs and medal ribbons for the KBE, CB, DFC, 1939-45 star, Africa star, France & Germany star, Defence, War, General Service & Coronation medals. The un-named tunic, tailored by R.E. City Ltd. of London, is made of an unusual smoother/lighter weight material and is in excellent condition. It comes with his 'Air Rank' service dress peaked cap by Gieves, complete with Queen's crown Air Rank badge and twin rows of bulllion leaves on the leather peak. The inner leather band of the cap is perforated with Dunn's initials 'PHD'. Everything is in very good to excellent condition although the cap has minor moth nips to the crown and yellowing of the inner crown protection 'oilcloth'. Along with the uniform we have a few biographical details and photocopy photographs. It also comes with a signed copy of 'Desert Wings - A Hurricane Pilot in the Western Desert', the story of Flight Lieutenant Arthur Weller DFC, 80 and 274 Squadrons RAF 1939-41, by Peter Holloway. The foreward to the book was written by Air Marshall Dunn, his CO at 80 Squadron. The book contains various entries and photographs that include Dunn. A great opportunity to have the uniform of a Biplane ace of the Western Desert who went on to fly V-bombers in the nuclear age. Stock code U26364/5.