The Second World War D.S.O., D.F.C. and bar group of nine to Squadron Leader B.L.Duigan, Royal Air Force,
Lot 256
The Second World War D.S.O., D.F.C. and bar group of nine to Squadron Leader B.L.Duigan, Royal Air Force,
Sold for AU$ 19,200 (US$ 18,014) inc. premium
Lot Details
The Second World War D.S.O., D.F.C. and bar group of nine to Squadron Leader B.L.Duigan, Royal Air Force,
Distinguished Service Order, G.VI.R. in silver-gilt and enamel, dated 1943; Distinguished Flying Cross, G.VI.R., dated 1941, with second award bar dated 1942; 1939-1945 Star; Air Crew Europe Star with France and Germany bar, Africa Star; Defence Medal; War Medal with MID Oakleaf; General Service Medal 1918-62, three bars, Palestine 1945-48, Near East, Malaya (Sqn Ldr B.L.Duigan. R.A.F.); Malaysia, General Service Medal. Court Mounted as worn, with corresponding miniature medals. Generally good very fine. $ 16,000- 20,000.

D.S.O. London Gazette. 9.7.1943.
After completing his first tour of operational duty in 1940, this officer volunteered for duty in the Middle East, where he completed numerous outstanding missions. In particular, he played an important part in the capture of Habbaniyah in May 1941. Since his return to this country he has taken part in many bombing raids. In April 1943, he participiated in the attack on the Italian Naval base of Spezia when he bombed the target accurately and effectively in spite of the fact that a hurricane was blowing through the cabin from the jammed escape hatch. During one of his sorties, Squadron Leader Duigan has displayed the greatest courage and devotion to duty in the face of heavy ground defences and fighters.

D.F.C. London Gazete 5.8.1941.
One night in July 1941, this officer was captain of an aircraft which made a successful dive-bombing attack on shipping in Benghazi harbour, in the face of intense and accurate anti-aircraft fire. After dropping his bombs he silenced several of the light batteries with machine-gun fire. On the return journey he caused damage with machine-gun fire to an army encampment. On another night Pilot Officer Duigan attacked aircraft on Nasrulla aerodrome. On the fourth run over the target he was attacked vigorously from all directions by three enemy fighters. Severe damage was caused to his aircraft but, in spite of this, he manoeuvred it so as to afford his gunners the best possible firing positions, and then gave them cool encouragement over the damaged inter-communication gear. Despite lack of instruments Pilot Officer Duigan brought the aircraft through the mountains to the sea. Preferring to make for base where much needed supplies were stored, he refused to land on a flare-path at Lydda. Unfortunately he was unaware of his low air speed due to excessive drag, and was compelled to make a forced landing. He has shown great coolness, resource and tenacity of purpose.

D.F.C. London Gazette 7.4.1942.
Since being awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, this officer has carried out a further 20 sorties the majority of which have been made from a low altitude to ensure accurate bombing. After a rest Flying Officer Duigan was recalled from leave and immediately carried out 10 sorties. On 3 successive nights he made double sorties. This officer has displayed great dash and determination and has rendered much valuable service. He has now applied to be transferred to aircraft of a heavier type.

M.I.D. London Gazette 1.1.1942.
Brian Lawless Duigan was born on the 15th November 1914 at Heathcote, Victoria. He was the son of Reginald and Phyllis Duigan, and nephew of John Robertson Duigan. He was educated at Colac High School and Geelong College Queensland and in 1933 travelled to South Africa where he worked as a mining engineer in Johannesburg. In 1937 he moved to Northern Rhodesia to work on the Hoan Antelope copper mine.

In 1938 he sensed that war was imminent and made an incredible 4000 mile motorcycle journey across Africa and made it to England in June 1939. In August he joined the Royal Air Force and gained his wings as a Commissioned Officer and was assigned to Bomber Command as a pilot on Wellingtons. After his first tour he volunteered for a second tour rather than return to Australia and flew in North Africa and the Middle East. He won his first DFC in 1941, shortly followed by the bar to it in early 1942. He returned to the UK in June 1942 and was promoted to Acting Flight Lieutenant in July 1942 and Acting Squadron Leader in November 1942.

Whilst back in the U.K. he spent six moths as a test pilot and upon completion of this was promoted to Acting Wing Commander on 10.5.1943 and was posted to a Lancaster Squadron, taking part in many of the famous raids on Cologne and Essen among others.

After the war he remained with the RAF and flew jets in Asia and the Middle East and even taught the Shah of Iran to fly. He was promoted to Wing Commander on 1.1.1952. He returned to Australia flying one of the new English Electric Canberra Bombers, and retired from the RAF on 6.6.1961.
He married in 1943 and had two children, his son John became a well known filmmaker and helped lead the revival of Australian film in the 1970s. He eventually settled in Woodend, Victoria and died aged 58 in 1972.

The lot comes with various research and articles from the time.
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