A RARE official award (M.B.E.) for lifesaving to the R.A.F. A Member of the British Empire for GALLANTRY in an attempted rescue from a crashed aircraft in W.W.1. the original recommendation being for an ALBERT MEDAL

Price: £450.00

Add to Watchlist
Product ID: 50671
Condition: Very fine
Availability: IN STOCK

Description:

A RARE official award (M.B.E.) for lifesaving to the R.A.F. A Member of the British Empire for GALLANTRY in an attempted rescue from a crashed aircraft in W.W.1. the original recommendation being for an ALBERT MEDAL

M.B.E. 1st type Military (h/m 1918), British War Medal (2.LIEUT. P. COOMBS,R.A.F.)

M.B.E. London Gazette 18th November 1918 'For distinguished service in connection with military operations in France & Flanders: For an act of gallantry not in the face of the enemy.'

Originally recommended for the Albert Medal but awarded the M.B.E.

The Albert Medal origin & development states "In consequence of the strongly held view of the Home Secretary that the standard of gallantry required for the Albert Medal (A.M.) was the same as that required for the Victoria Cross (V.C.) it was decided that all military recommendations should be laid before the V.C. Board who would, in suitable cases, forward them to the Home Secretary" (18)

Note (18) states - As a result of refusal, a number of appointments were made to the Order of the British Empire, notably in the 1918 Birthday Honours.

Albert Medal recommendation states (H.Q. R.A.F. in the field B.E.F.)

At 5.30 a.m. on 18th June 1918, Lieutenant P.G. Stokes-Rees piloting Caudron Biplane No. 6267 with Probationary Flight Officer F.C. Densham as passenger pupil, got into a spin which for some unknown reason was carried too low and from which the machine never properly recovered and crashed to earth. The machine burst into flames as it hit the ground.

Air Mechanic Harold Arthur Clifton, who was in the immediate vicinity at the time of the accident , did not hesitate to enter the burning wreckage and by his prompt action and gallantry Dragged P.F.O. Densham - who was badly injured - and unable to extricate himself - clear of the flames.

2nd Lt. PERCYCOOMBS, R.A.F. had arrived on the scene and discovered that there was another occupant in the machine. This officer showed great coolness and presenceof mind, immediately entered the burning wreckage and with the assistance of 2nd Lieut. Robert Morris Herbert, R.A.F. rescuing Lieut. Stokes-Rees from the front seat of the machine. 2nd Lieut. Herbert showed great gallantry & rendered valuable assistance to 2nd Lieut. COOMBS.I regret to report that Lieut. Stokes-Reessuccumbed at noon the same day.' (Vendome, France).

More details (see pictures)- 2nd Lieut. PERCY COOMBS, R.A.F."Showed great coolness & presence of mind in 'taking charge' & conspicuous gallantry in rescuing the pilot from the burning machine". Note at base of page says"Albert Medal with pension".

I forward statements of eye witnesses of the act of gallantry for which 2nd LIEUT. P. COOMBS has been recommended for the Albert Medal.

Medical report by Staff Surgeon G.D. Bateman, R.N. " I have the honour to report that 2nd Lieut. PERCY COOMBS sustained the following injuries whilst rescuing Lieut. P.G. Stokes-Rees from the wreckage of a Cauldron Biplane om June 18th (1918)

Superficial burns of right hand.

Severe burns & a lacerated wound on dorsum of left hand."

Percy Coombs was born in Frome, Somerset March 1889, lived Ormiston Rd., Shepherds Bush, London W., served as a Chief Petty Officer & W.O.2., in the Royal Naval Air Service (Motor-Cyclist) until commissioned April 1918 in the R.A.F.

Also entitled to 1914 Star (POM., R.N.A.S.) & Victory.

Copies of Albert Medal recommendations, medical report, R.N.A.S. medal roll, R.A.F. Officers service & O.R.'s service papers, Lon. Gaz., etc. A rare OFFICIAL award (M.B.E.) for gallantry . V.F.