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RAF pilot wing  - Air Chief Marshall Sir Harry Broadhurst

RAF pilot wing  - Air Chief Marshall Sir Harry Broadhurst

Code: U245432


RAF King's crown pilot wing that belonged to the late Air Chief Marshall Sir Harry Broadhurst GCB, CBE, DSO & bar, DFC & bar, AFC.  He was born at Frimley, Surrey on October 28th 1905, educated at Portsmouth Grammar School and served with the TA but was determined to fly and joined the RAF in 1926, gaining his wings the following year.  He initially joined 11 Bomber Squadron, serving in India but was posted to 41 Fighter Squadron in 1932 on Bulldogs becoming part of the display team that flew at Hendon air pageants.  In 1939 he was appointed CO of 111 Squadron at Northolt, equipped with Hurricanes, taking part in the Battle of France.  On May 20th 1940 his fighter was badly shot up over the channel as he was attacked by four Me109s as the squadron left France for England.  With the aircraft repaired he had it painted black and his monogram 'HB' on the fuselage.  He even persuaded Rolls Royce to fit a two-stage Merlin XX engine so his Hurricane had Spitfire performance!  During the Battle of Britian he flew with No. 1 Squadron and in December 1940 took command of RAF Hornchurch.  By December 1941 he had been awarded two DSO's, the citation for the second crediting him with the destruction of four enemy aircraft with a further four 'probables'.  Broadhurst also helped plan and took part in the Dieppe raid in 1942 even though a senior officer at the time.  He added a further enemy aircraft to his tally during the sortie and was awarded a bar to his DFC.  Later that year he was posted to AHQ Western Desert as SASO to AOC, as an acting Air Vice Marshall, working closely with the 8th Army.  He was then appointed Commander of 83 Group Allied Expeditionary Air Forces as part of the 2nd Tactical Air Force.  Post WW2 he had a staff post in Fighter Command as Air Officer Administration, later he was on the staff of the British Forces of Occupation in Germany.  In 1953 he joined the 2nd TAF as Commander in Chief providing air power during the Suez Crisis.  From 1959 until his retirement from the RAF in 1961, he was Commander Allied Forces Central Europe.  Following that he worked as deputy MD of AVRO on their 'Blue Steel' missile project and later as director of the Hawker Siddley Group.  He died in August 1995.
Here we are offering a superb set of his lightly padded pilot wings embroidered in oatmeal coloured silky thread on black felt with a fine cotton backing.  They appear to be in near mint unissued condition.  The wings were sent by his widow, Lady Jane Broadhurst, in 2000,  to a collector who had previously obtained the Air Chief Marshall's uniforms from her.  They were enclosed in a Christmas card with a brief note 'I don't suppose that this be of any use to you, but will you please throw it away if it isn't'!  The wings come with the card  as shown and you can see a clear imprint where the wing has distorted the card whilst in the post.  Stock code U25432.