The Historically Important C.B.E., Second War ‘Immediate’ D.S.O. and Two Bars, D.F.C. and Bar Group of Nine to Beaufighter and Mosquito Pilot, Group Captain John ‘Cat’s Eyes’ Cunningham, Royal Air Force; The Highest Scoring Night Fighter Ace of the Second World War, With 20 Confirmed Victories; An AI (Airborne Interception) Pioneer, He Commanded Both 604 Squadron and 85 Squadron Before Being Promoted Group Captain, Night Operations, HQ No. 11 Group.
Aged Just 26. A Night Fighter Ace of Almost Unrivalled Ability and a Much Loved Wartime Hero Amongst the Great British Public, He Moved Seamlessly into the World of Civil Aviation – Spending 32 Years Perfecting His Art As Chief Test Pilot at de Havilland. Breaking Both Height and Speed World Records He Also Oversaw the Development From Prototype to Production of the D.H. 106 Comet – The World’s First Jet Airliner. Cunningham Gave His Life to Aviation in Both Times of War and Peace, and Became a Legend During the Golden Years of British Aviationa) The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, 2nd type, Civil Division, Commander’s (C.B.E.) neck Badge, silver-gilt and enamel, with neck riband, in Collingwood case of issueb) Distinguished Service Order, G.VI.R., silver-gilt and enamel, obverse centre slightly loose, reverse of suspension bar officially dated ’1941′, with Second Award Bar, reverse officially dated ’1942′.
Third Award Bar, reverse officially dated ’1944′, with integral top-riband bar, in Garrard & Co. Ltd case of issue, top additionally dated, ’29.4.1941′c) Distinguished Flying Cross, G.VI.R., reverse officially dated ’1941′, with Second Award Bar, reverse officially dated ’1941′, in Royal Mint case of issue, top additionally dated, ’9.1.1941′d) 1939-1945 Star, with Battle of Britain Bare) Air Crew Europe Starf) War Medal, M.I.D. Oak Leafg) Air Efficiency Award, G.VI.R. (Act. Sqn. Ldr. J. Cunningham. A.A.F.)h) United States of America, Silver Star, in case of issuei) Russia, Soviet Union, Order of the Patriotic War, First Class, 2nd type breast badge, with screw back suspension, silver, gold, and enamel, reverse officially numbered ’53161′, generally good very finewith a large archive and associated career memorabilia, including:- The Segrave Trophy, obverse engraved ‘John Cunningham’, reverse engraved, ‘Segrave Trophy 1978, For Services to Aviation’, in leather presentation case- Royal Aero Club, Britannia Trophy, obverse engraved, ‘J. Cunningham 1948′- Royal Aero Club, Britannia Trophy, engraved, ‘John Cunningham D.S.O., O.B.E., D.F.C., D.L., 1958′.
Royal Aeronautical Society Medal For Advancement of Aeronautical Science, white metal, edge engraved in ‘G/Capt. J. Cunningham, For Outstanding Achievements as a Test Pilot, 1951′, in presentation case- The Royal Aero Club Medal, silver-gilt, reverse engraved ‘J. Cunningham D.S.O., O.B.E., D.F.C., 1955′, in presentation case- The John Derry and Anthony Richards Memorial Medal For Experimental Flying, bronze, reverse engraved, ‘John Cunningham, 1965′, in presentation case- Guild of Air Pilots and Air Navigators, Sir Barnes Wallis Medal, white metal, reverse engraved, ‘J. Cunningham, 1997′, in Royal Mint presentation box- (3) Geoffrey de Havilland Trophy Medals, white metal, reverses engraved: ’1948 John Cunningham Vampire 3′; ‘John Cunningham, D.S.O., O.B.E., D.F.C., D.L., 1957′ and ‘Group Captain John Cunningham C.B.E., D.S.O., D.F.C., 1965′, all in presentation boxes- (3) Geoffrey de Havilland Trophy Medals, bronze, all unnamed and in presentation boxes- Air League Founders’ Medal, silver-gilt, reverse engraved, ‘John Cunningham, 1979′, in Spink and Son presentation case- The Sir Peter Masefield Medal, gilt-metal, reverse engraved, ‘John Cunningham 1996′, in presentation case-.
The Daily Mail Initiative Prize Medal Awarded to the BEALINE Syndicate for the 1959 Bleriot Anniversary Air Race, white metal, reverse engraved, ‘J. Cunningham London-Paris-London 19 July 1959′, in presentation case- The Geoffrey de Havilland Flying Foundation, Seven Barrows Re-Dedication Commemorative Medal, 1986, bronze, in presentation case- Control Column Head, believed to have been salvaged from the wreckage of Cunningham’s R-Robert- A Blade from a Ghost Mk 50 Turbine Engine which powered the World’s first Jet Airliner the D.H. 106 Comet, presented to Cunningham by the de Havilland Comet Heritage Trust, mounted on a wooden base- Cufflinks (9 carat gold), engraved with 604 Squadron’s crest and motto.
The initials ‘J.C.’, in D&J Wellby Ltd box; with another pair of decorative metal cufflinks- Silver Tankard (Hallmarks for Birmingham 1937), engraved, ‘To Wing Commander John Cunningham D.S.O. and Two Bars, D.F.C. and Bar, From the Aircrew and Officers of 85 Squadron on his relinquishing Command, February 1943 to February 1944′- Presentation Salver, silver-plate, engraved, ‘Presented by Hawker Siddeley Group in appreciation of the services of J. Cunningham to Hawker Siddeley Aviation Limited’, in presentation case- Presentation Salver, silver-plate, engraved ‘Presented to Group Captain John Cunningham, C.B.E., D.S.O., D.F.C., British Aerospace Aircraft Group 1980′- a large quantity of souvenirs and presentation gifts from Cunningham’s flights around the World, including: a Silver Cigarette Case, by Mappin & Webb (Hallmarks for Birmingham 1953); several lighters, tankards and commemorative plaques and shields- a large selection of de Havilland promotional items, including: a D.H. 125 Stick Pin (9 carat gold); a Trident Stick Pin (9 carat gold); Trident Fork, silver (Hallmarks for London 1963), all by David Mappin and (2) D.H. Aircraft Tie Pins (9 carat gold)- a number of Model Aircraft representing the aeroplanes upon which Cunningham worked and flew in- Domed Flying Helmet, with visor.
Air Ministry Stop Watch; in-flight note book; (2) pairs of white Overalls, both torn in places- White Silk Flying Scarf; a number of ties and shoulder insignia- Group Captain’s R.A.F. Cap, by Millhouse & Co., New Bond St., named inside rim ‘J. Cunningham’; with (7) other Caps from various airlines with which he flew, including B.E.A. and M.E.A.- (5) Airline Pilot’s jackets including M.E.A. and B.E.A., the latter with medal ribands attached, and a B.E.A. Long Coat- (4) R.A.F. Pilot’s Flying Log Books (27.10.1935-29.12.1939; 1.1.1940-30.7.1943; 1.8.1943-11.6.1952 and 13.6.1952-11.2.1963)- (4) Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation Flying Log Books (20.4.1938-23.8.1939; 11.2.1963-29.11.1968; 2.12.1968-5.3.1969 and one unused)- (14) Note books listing Cunningham’s World flights, including delivery flights, crew training flights etc, with annotated notes and encompassing the period December 1960-October 1978- Royal Aeronautical Society Certificate electing John Cunningham as an Honorary Fellow of the Society, dated 8.9.1997, glazed and framed- Royal Aeronautical Society Certificate electing John Cunningham as a Fellow if the Society, dated 17.3.1970- The Guild of Air Pilots and Air Navigators of the British Empire Certificate electing John Cunningham as a Full Member of the Guild, dated 8.4.1948; Copy of Freedom of the City of London- L’Academie Nationale de L’Air et de L’Espace Certificate electing John Cunningham a Honorary Member, dated 21.9.1983 (5) Pilot’s Licences and Royal Aero Club Competitor’s Licence- a large quantity of photographs, mostly official relating to de Havilland.
Cunningham’s career with the company, and the aircraft which he flew- a leather-bound presentation photograph album annotated, ‘John Cunningham This Album of Photographs is presented to you by the Members of the Directors and Executive Mess as a Cheerful Memento of over 45 years of association with Hatfield people and aeroplanes, September 1980′- a painting of a D.H. Comet, in oils, signed ‘Edmund Miller, 1980′, framed- a signed print of a D.H. Trident with BEA Markings, by Edmund Miller, annotated, ‘Presented by the Members of the Directors and Executive Mess to John Cunningham on his retirement after over 45 years with de Havilland, Hawker Siddeley and British Aerospace, September 1980′, with additional signatures of the Mess Members and employees, framed and glazed; (5) aircraft limited edition prints, all framed and glazed- a set of four glazed and framed portrait prints of Cunningham, Learoyd, Bader and Lacey, produced to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of the R.A.F. Benevolent Fund, all numbered 4 out of a limited edition of 950- approximately 150 books on military and civil aircraft, with a number of titles relating to personnel
A huge wealth of memorablila is up for auction, pages and pages of prized collectables and history. All in aid of The Bentley Priory Battle of Britain Trust Appeal Charity Auction.