Nelson flying ace boosts efforts for Battle of Britain museum
8:00am Sunday 9th September 2012 in News
A FLYING ace’s medals haul has provided a better-than-expected boost for efforts to open the country’s first Battle of Britain Museum.
Honours presented to Nelson-born Flight Lieutenant Ewart Preston, including the Distinguished Flying Medal (DFM), have fetched £9,000 at auction in London, surpassing pre-sale estimates.
Preston, who took part in Lancaster Bomber raids during the Second World War over Trondheim, Cologne, Essen and Bremen, was an air gunner and wireless operator, originally as a flight sergeant.
Later he was retained as a flight instructor, training the next generation of pilots, for which he was presented with the Air Force Medal.
Only 17 pairs of DFM and AFM honours were ever given out to RAF personnel during the conflict.
A spokesman for auctioneers Spinks said: “All proceeds from the sale will go towards the creation of a Battle of Britain museum in London.”
The medals collection lot also included Preston’s 1939-1945 Star, Air Crew Europe Star, Defence Medal, 1939-1945 War Medal, and General Service Medal (Malaya Clasp).
He served with the 97 Squadron, having enlisted in 1940.
In his DFM citation it was noted: “Flight Sergeant Preston’s coolness and courage have been an inspiration to all.”
Post-war Preston remained in the RAF and saw action in Malaya, undertaking anti-terrorist and supply drop missions. He retired in 1963 to live in Morecambe and died in 1992.