Lovely combination of D.S.O. D.F.C. D.F.M. Immediate DSO 1943, immediate DFC 1941 for an attack on the Scharnhorst, D.F.M. 1940

Item type:

Product code: A8079

Item condition: G.V.F.

Our price: £16,500.00

Currently out of stock

Medal Description

D.S.O, (GV1), reverse  dated 1944, D.F.C., GV1),  reverse  dated 1941, D.F.M. (GV1),  (515083 Sgt. G. M. Brisbane, R.A.F.), 1939/45 Star, clasp Bomber Command, Air Crew Europe Star, clasp, France and Germany, War Medal,

With Royal Tournament prize medals,  silver,  reverse engraved, ‘1934 Bayonet Team Combats, Royal Air Force, First Prize, R.A.F. Cranwell, A.C. 2 G. Brisbane’, another in bronze,  reverse engraved, ‘R.A.F. Coastal Area, Bayt. Team Combats, Cranwell, A.C. 2 Brisbane, G., 1934’,

Small flake to one obverse arm of the D.S.O. 

Guy Maxwell Brisbane

With  original  recipient’s D.S.O. warrant  ‘Acting Squadron Leader G. M. Brisbane, D.F.C., D.F.M., Royal Air Force, No. 10 Squadron’, dated 22 September 1944, his Caterpillar Club membership card,  ‘Sgt. G. M. Brisbane’, U.S.A.F. Certificate of Proficiency,  ‘Sqd. Ldr. Guy W. Brisbane, 44772, R.A.F.’, dated 13 March 1953, Air Ministry retirement letter, dated 20 January 1958, wartime portrait in uniform

Also with a hardbound copy of the recipients  flying log books, 1938-1956,  the originals being held in the collection of the Imperial War Museum, together with a photocopy of the recipient’s report on ‘Operational Training in the R.A.F.’, before and during the 1939-45 War, written in early 1947.

D.S.O. L.G. 22/9/1944. Acting Squadron Leader Guy Maxwell Brisbane (Immediate)

D.F.C., D.F.M. (44772), R.A.F., 10. Sqn.In the course of two tours of operational duty
this officer has participated in attacks against many heavily defended targets. He is a navigator of high merit and has displayed a marked capacity for leadership. His consistent good work and unfailing devotion  to duty have been of the highest order.

The original recommendation for an immediate award states:

‘Acting Squadron Leader Brisbane was posted to No. 10 Squadron in October 1943, having already completed one operational tour of 31 sorties, comprising 228 operational hours.
During his second tour he has taken part in a large number of sorties against a wide range of strongly defended targets. These have included: Hanover, Frankfurt, Essen, Bremen, Dusseldorf, Kiel, Duisberg and Munster.
This officer has commanded a flight since his arrival, and has displayed a marked capacity for leadership. His energy and drive, coupled with his tactical ability, have helped raise the morale of the Squadron to a high level, and have made a notable contribution to the unit’s operational efficiency. When called upon to deputise for the Squadron Commander he has proved to be an able administrator.
Acting Squadron Leader Brisbane’s record is one of outstanding merit. I strongly recommend that his admirable work and unfailing devotion to duty be recognised by the immediate award of the Distinguished Service Order.’

His obituary notice in the Daily Telegraph, on one occasion his pilot’s oxygen supply failed over the Alps: Brisbane gave the pilot his own oxygen and blacked out - but not before providing a course home. He was awarded an immediate D.S.O.:

D.F.C. L.G. 2/9/1941:
‘The King has been graciously pleased to approve the following awards in recognition of gallantry displayed in flying operations against the enemy:

In July 1941, large-scale attacks were made on German warships at Brest and La Pallice (including the “Gneisenau”, “Scharnhorst” and “Prinz Eugen”). A smaller attack was made on Cherbourg. The operations were carried out in daylight and extremely heavy and accurate anti-aircraft fire and fighter opposition were encountered by all aircraft when approaching the targets, which at Brest was protected by a balloon barrage. The air crews engaged succeeded, nevertheless, in securing direct hits on their objectives and in inflicting very severe damage in the target area. During the combats with enemy fighters 21 hostile aircraft were destroyed and others were severely damaged. The precise timing of attack by the various formations of aircraft and their correct approach to and accurate bombing of the objectives in the face of such powerful opposition; demanded great skill and high courage. The great success of these operations was largely due to the bravery, determination and resource displayed by the following officers and airmen, who participated in various capacities as leaders and members of the aircraft crews ...’

The original recommendation for an immediate awards states:
‘Flying Officer Brisbane was Navigator and Bomb Aimer in the leading aircraft of a formation of Halifaxes which made a daylight attack on the “Scharnhorst” at La Pallice on 24 July 1941.
This officer had spent most of the previous night and the morning in perfecting navigation arrangements, and brought the section to the target within one minute of the estimated time.
During the run-up to the target the aircraft was repeatedly hit by flak, but despite this, he directed the section with unhurried calm and meticulous care, and carried on the run until photographs of the results were complete.
The success of the sortie was to a great extent due to his coolness and precision and his unhurried directions were a fine inspiration and example to his crew.
I strongly recommend that his fine effort be recognised by the immediate award of the D.F.C.’

D.F.M. London Gazette 22 October 1940. The original recommendation states:
‘This N.C.O. Observer has contributed in a very large measure to many very excellent shows. He has always been a very good example to his juniors and has been of great assistance in passing on his operational knowledge to others.’
Covering remarks of the A.O.C., No. 4 Group:
‘A keen and capable Observer who has now completed 29 operational flights over enemy territory. His determination and courage have been an example to others of his squadron. Strongly recommended for the award of the D.F.M.’

Guy Maxwell Brisbane B. Londo, 1911  educ. at Southgate Grammar School. After a few years, he left to enlist in the Royal Air Force. Due to astigmatism in one eye he was unable to undertake pilot training but qualified instead as an Air Observer in June 1939. As a  Sergeant, he served in 104 Squadron, (Blenheims) based at R.A.F. Bicester. A few weeks later, however, he transferred to No. 51 Squadron, (Whitleys). 

Having then qualified in Astro Navigation at St. Athan in March 1940, he flew his first sortie with No. 51 on 11 April, an anti-shipping mission to Norway. Later in the same month he and his crew attacked Stavanger.
On 2 May, with Squadron Leader Marvin at the helm, they attacked an enemy airfield in Norway but, owing to fuel shortage, skipper and crew were forced to abandon their Whitley by parachute. After the war, Brisbane submitted a secret report on R.A.F. training, in which he quotes this incident in respect of parachute usage:
‘On one occasion in early 1940, I had to abandon a Whitley aircraft by parachute, due to petrol shortage and bad weather over England. Nobody in the crew had jumped before. We had all heard the correct method of abandoning an aircraft was to dive out head first. Apart from the extreme physical reluctance one felt towards leaving the aircraft head first, it was found - when the order came to jump - that it was practically a physical impossibility to leave the Whitley escape hatch in this fashion. I, being the first to jump, wasted a good deal of time trying to find the best way of getting out. I eventually found the only practicable way was to go through the hatch feet first, facing aft. The rest of the crew followed this example and we all left the aircraft safely. Unfortunately, one member of the crew landed so heavily that he died of his injuries. When this experience is considered it really is astounding that R.A.F. crews, who relied on parachutes, knew so little about the correct method of using them.’
Less than a fortnight later, Brisbane was back on operations, taking part in several bombing attacks on the Ruhr, in addition to a precision strike on a bridge on the Meuse. His flying log books notes shrapnel damage in a sortie to Essen in this period. 
in September Brisbane attended another navigation course. He was awarded the D.F.M. and appointed the Squadron’s Navigating Officer and Bombing Leader, and remained similarly employed until posted to No. 76 Squadron, a Halifax unit operating out of Middleton St. George, in June 1941. Whilst with 10 Sqdn. he earned his immediate D.F.C. for an attack on the Scharnhorst.

Following a period of rest In December 1942, he returned to operations with 7 Squadron, a Stirling unit operating out of Oakington, and flew his first sortie - a strike on Turin - on the night of the 11th-12th.

He flew further strikes against Munster and Le Creusot in June, the same month in which he transferred to No. 10 (Lancaster) Squadron. By now a Flight Commander with overall responsibility for 10’s navigational skills, and sometimes deputising as Squadron C.O., Brisbane commenced a final period of operational activity with one of his first targets was Hamburg, at the commencement of the famous ‘firestorm’ raids in late July 1943.

Brisbane ended the war as a staff officer with 222 Group in Ceylon and afterwards served as a weapons specialist. From 1950 to 1953, he was attached to the U.S.A.F. as a senior weapons officer at Wright Field, Dayton, Ohio. Having then held staff appointments back in the U.K., he was placed on the Retired List as a Wing Commander in 1958 and settled in Norfolk.

A superb combination of awards


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