On May 19, a DSO and bar and DFC awarded to RAF Group Captain Brian Kingcome (1917-94) soared to £110,000 at London saleroom Dix Noonan Webb (24% buyer’s premium) against an estimate of £30,000- 40,000. The lot was bought by a UK collector of outstanding gallantry awards.
A day later, Gloucestershire saleroom Dominic Winter (20% buyer’s premium) offered honours including CBE, DSO, DFC and Bar (and logbooks) awarded to Air Commodore Peter Malam ‘Pete’ Brothers (1917-2008). Guided at £120,000-160,000, they took £155,000.
Two of The Few
Christopher Mellor-Hill, head of client liaison (associate director) of DNW, said: “The outstanding price paid reflects Kingcome’s status as was one of the exceptional Battle of Britain heroes.
“He epitomised the Battle of Britain image of the daring, adrenaline-driven young men who became ‘One of The Few’ in defending our country from Biggin Hill in Kent where he commanded the 92 Squadron of Spitfire before being himself wounded and later continuing to fight in Italy and France until the end of the Second World War.”
He destroyed a total of 11 enemy aircraft, probably destroyed a further five and damaged 13.
Brothers flew 875 operational hours and is credited with 16 aerial victories, 10 of which he achieved during the Battle of Britain with 32 Squadron.
He had a relatively long career as a combat pilot, achieving his first two kills in May 1940 during the Battle of France and his last in August 1944 when he shot down a Focke Wulf 190 over the Loire. After rejoining the RAF, Brothers even flew operations during the Malayan Emergency of the 1950s.