Spitfire Ace, Group Captain C. B. F. Kingcome of the Royal Air Force was one of the outstanding characters of the Battle of Britain and his group of seven medals including a 1942 D.S.O and 1940 D.F.C. was sold by Dix Noonan Webb
for £110,000 in their auction of Orders, Decorations, Medals and Militaria Wednesday, May 19, 2021. It was bought by an UK collector of outstanding gallantry awards.
Charles Brian Fabris Kingcome was born in Calcutta, India in 1917 and educated at Bedford School. He was one of the outstanding characters of the Battle of Britain, who, during its height, led 92 Squadron with great success from Biggin Hill. Shot down and hospitalised in October 1940, he returned to fly with the squadron until appointed to the command of 72 Squadron in February 1942, leading them as the fighter escort of Esmonde V.C.s Swordfish detachment for their ill-fated Channel Dash action. One of the youngest Group Captains in the R.A.F., aged 25, he commanded 244 (Spitfire) Wing, Desert Air Force, providing fighter support For the Eighth Army from Africa into Sicily and then through the campaign in Italy. His D.S.O. citation stating He has destroyed a total of 11 enemy aircraft, probably destroyed 5 and damaged 13. His claims are traditionally modest... [lot 4].
Following the sale, Christopher Mellor-Hill, Head of Client Liaison (Associate Director) of Dix, Noonan, Webb, commented: We are so pleased to see such an outstanding price paid to reflect Kingcome's status as was one of the exceptional Battle of Britain heroes who was also one of the leading Aces of WW2. He epitomised the Battle of Britain image of the daring, adrenalin driven young men who became One of the few in defending our country from Biggin Hill in Kent were he commanded the 92 Squadron of Spitfire before being himself wounded and later continuing to fight in Italy and France til the end of WW2.
Also of note in the sale was the exceptional Iraq Battle of Danny Boy M.C. group of six awarded to Corporal M. R. Byles, 1st Battalion, Princess of Waless Royal Regiment which sold for £55,000 to an UK collector of modern gallantry medals. Byles was awarded a Military Cross for gallantry on 14 May 2004 when he dismounted his Warrior armoured vehicle and led a full frontal assault with automatic fire, grenades and fixed bayonets to clear an enemy trench system a comrade of Johnson Beharry, whose Victoria Cross was awarded for bravery during the same extraordinarily action-packed tour, Byles is extensively mentioned in Beharrys memoir Barefoot Soldier and also in Richard Holmess compelling account of this renowned 7 month deployment Dusty Warriors [lot 17].
Christopher Mellor-Hill said: We are delighted to see such an amazing price reflecting the bravery of one of the soldiers who was involved in the Danny Boy incident in Iraq and now portrayed on TV in a new series. This British Military Cross is a testament to what these soldiers had to contend with under fire and its record price is a compliment to his soldiers story.