Ministry of Defence, C1940
Dimensions: 6cm x 6cm
Materials: Metal and fabric
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This Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) medal was awarded to Wing Commander Robert ‘Bob’ Doe, who was a Battle of Britain pilot.
The medal is the second from the left in a row of nine medals that were awarded to him. The medal is an ornate silver cross, about 6cm in width and height. In the circular centre of the cross are the initials ‘RAF’, outlined by a rose. The rose is surrounded by a laurel wreath, with a crown positioned at the top. The horizontal arms of the cross to the left and right of the central RAF initials are engraved with wings, as is often traditional for RAF insignia. The medal is attached to a purple and white diagonally striped ribbon by a horizontal silver bar which is engraved with a sprig of laurel. Pinned onto the ribbon towards the top is another horizontal silver bar, which is narrower than the one at the bottom of the ribbon. This silver bar signifies that Bob Doe was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross medal twice.
The Distinguished Flying Cross was awarded to RAF officers for acts of bravery whilst flying in active service against the enemy. Wing Commander Bob Doe was awarded the DFC medal for the first time in October 1940 during the Battle of Britain, for “displaying great courage” and destroying nine enemy aircraft. He was commended for showing “outstanding dash and an eagerness to engage the enemy at close quarter”. Just five weeks later, in November 1940, he was awarded the DFC for a second time. Doe was praised for a vertical dive through enemy aircraft in order to attack two four-engined enemy aircraft directly.
Bob Doe was just 19 when he joined the RAF in 1939. He fought in the Battle of Britain, and flew both Hurricanes and Spitfires. He is recorded as being the third highest scoring Ace of the Battle of Britain.
He was injured in two separate flying accidents between October 1940 and January 1941 and had to undergo lengthy surgery before returning to operations in May 1941. Later in the war he was posted to the Far East and fought in Burma. He remained in the RAF after the end of the Second World War, before retiring in 1966.