Captain Solomon Clifford Joseph of the Royal Naval Air Service and Royal Air Force is described by medals specialist Mark Quayle from the Mayfair saleoom as “a ‘gung-ho’ pilot, whose aggressive flying style and skill accounted for at least 13 aerial victories over the Western Front between May-October 1918. He was no stranger to taking risks, and was wounded in aerial combat, and nearly shot down on many occasions.”
Joseph - who was also the only ace of the conflict to hail from Birmingham - was born in 1893, the son of a fine art dealer who specialised in jade. He joined the RNAS in April 1917. Transfered to the RAF, during a two-month period in September- November 1918 he earned his DFC and bar (one of 66 recipients to be awarded such a combination in the Great War) flying a Sopwith Camel fighter.
In 210 Squadron, of which Joseph was to become a flight commander, he was initially engaged on ground-attack duties to help stop the German spring offensive. He then took part in offensive patrols and bomber escort missions over Belgium.
Joseph returned to Birmingham after the war and enjoyed a prosperous manufacturing career. He died in 1966.
The medals carry an estimate of £15,000-18,000 and are being sold by a collector.