A Set of Miniature Medals, The Hague Gestapo Bombing Raid, April 1944

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Lot 48
A Set of Miniature Medals, The Hague Gestapo Bombing Raid, April 1944

US$ 1,800 - 2,500
£ 1,300 - 1,900
A Set of Miniature Medals, The Hague Gestapo Bombing Raid, April 1944
A collection of five medals awarded to F/Lt. J. Hepworth: The Distinguished Flying Cross, The 1939-1945 Star, The Air Crew Europe Star with clasp, The Defense Medal 1939–1945 and the 1939–1945 War Medal.
Provenance: Private Collection of the Former Assistant Secretary of the Battle of Britain Association; The War Museum.

This set of medals was awarded to a participant in the RAF bombing raid on the Gestapo's Dutch Population Registry Office in the Hague on 11th April, 1944. Previously, the Dutch Resistance movement had learned of an impending German crackdown on forged identity papers by shot-down Allied airmen by checking any papers on arrested people against the records in the Central Registry. With the US Army Air Force and Britain's Bomber Command unable to guarantee the destruction of the Registry Office without significant collateral damage amongst the civilian population, the task fell to the DH.98 Mosquito light bombers of the RAF's 2nd Tactical Air Force's 613 Squadron. Flying in at rooftop level, the Mosquitos first cracked open the Registry Office with half-minute delayed action bombs then dropped incendiaries through the breach to ensure the records were burned up. The raid was a complete success, causing minimal Dutch casualties and earning its participants multiple DFCs and one Distinguished Service Order. This set of miniature medals would have been worn outside of the most formal circumstances due to the weight and value of the full-size originals. A museum-level piece of military history with a connection to a daring and dramatic episode in World War II.
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