D.F.M. An exceptional immediate award. During a raid on Essen March, 1942, his Wellington being hit by a shell, he beat out a spreading fire in the ammunition locker with his bare hands and feet

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Product code: A8307

Item condition: E.F.

Our price: £2,800.00

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Medal Description

Distinguished Flying Medal, (GVI)
 
Sgt. D. Everett, R.A.F.
 
Original ribbon and wearing pin.
 
D.F.M. London Gazette 7 April 1942.
 
' Sergeant Jack Everett, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, No. 207 Squadron. One night in March, 1942, this airman was the first wireless operator of an aircraft which participated in an attack on 'Essen. After the target had been bombed, the aircraft was hit and the starboard ammunition box smashed. The charges from broken
bullets of a spare belt of ammunition caught fire. Despite the danger from the remaining ammunition which the heat was causing to explode, Sergeant Everett attempted to beat out the flames with his hands and by stamping on them. Having gained control of the flames, he obtained a fire extinguisher and completed the task. By his promptitude and disregard to danger, Sergeant Everett retrieved what may have proved a disastrous situation'.
 
The original recommendation expands
 
‘On the night of 8th/9th March, 1942, Sergeant Everett was the First Wireless Operator on an aircraft detailed to attack a target in Essen. Shortly after the bombs were dropped, the aircraft received what appeared to be a direct hit from a shell. The shell did not explode but, on its passage through the fuselage, it went through the starboard ammunition box. There was a spare belt of ammunition in the box which became broken up through the force of the impact and the charges from the broken bullets caught fire. The fire which commenced to spread was reported by the Air Gunner in the mid-upper turret. Although there was danger from the remaining ammunition in the box which the heat was causing to explode, Sergeant Everett went straight to the fire and proceeded to put it out with his hands and feet. Having gained immediate control of it, he then collected a fire extinguisher and put out the fire completely. By this Sergeant’s quick action and complete disregard for his personal safety, the fire was dealt with effectively before it came out of control and the aircraft and crew landed safely back at Base.’
 
Jack Everett , b. Brighton, East Sussex, 1921. He worked in Brighton as a manufacturing chemist at Arthur H. Cox & Co. before enlisting in in May 1939 as Wireless Operator and Air Gunner.
 
He  received his Medal at Buckingham Palace on 29 September 1942.
 
He later died in a mid-air collision on 13 July 1944 between two Wellington aircraft of No. 14 O.T.U. (Market Harborough). Unusually, owing to the non-operational nature of the flight, each aircraft only had 2 airmen on board, a Staff (Instructor) Pilot and a Staff Wireless Operator. Both Everett and his Pilot, Flight Lieutenant Alfred Cecil Shilleto, were lost aboard Wellington XLN509 which crashed into the North Sea.
 
Sold with copied research and the following original documentation:
 
1. An original portrait and full-length photograph of Sergeant Everett, together with 3 postcard photographs of his Avro Manchester twin-engine medium bomber, including the interior of his aircraft following the on-board fire.
 
2. An original Postagram from Air Marshal Sir Arthur Travers ‘Bomber’ Harris, signed in ink and dated 17 March 1942:
‘My warmest congratulations on the award of your Distinguished Flying Medal’.
 
3.  Two further letters of congratulations from H.Q., No. 5 Group, including one from Air Commodore H. A. Haines, acting as S.A.S.O., Headquarters, No. 5 Group:
‘The Air Officer Commanding, who is absent on 48 hours leave, wishes me to send you his congratulations on your well-deserved award of the Distinguished Flying Medal.
He further added to the typed letter, ‘May I add my best wishes for the “Bar.”’
 
4. Original Buckingham Palace Investiture ticket, No. 4589, stamped 29 September 1942.
 
5. Various newspaper cuttings regarding the award. Example states
 
'SERGEANT SAVES BLAZING PLANE.
 
D.F.M. for bare handed hero.
 
It is night time over Essen , and the British bomber, having dropped it's load, is ready to turn when suddenly a crack rocks the machine, and tells the crew that they have been hit.
 
Things look bad. The starboard ammunition box  is smashed. Worse, charges from broken bullets of a spare belt are on fire.
 
It looks like  "curtain" . But Sergt. Jack Everett, of 207 Squadron, is wireless operator of that plane, and Sergeant does not even stop to think about danger.
 
He goes straight into the flaming ammunition, beating the fire with his bare hands and stamping on the heated bullets until he has the lames under control. That is why he now gets the D.F.M.'
 
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