Air Commodore Ronald Berry became one of the RAF’s most successful aces of the Second World War, helping to destroy some 30 aircraft. In one day alone at the age of 23, during the height of the Battle of Britain, he shot down three German fighters, one before breakfast, one after, and then one in the evening. His exploits caused him to be held in such high regard that he was one of the few airmen chosen to lead Sir Winston Churchill’s coffin at his funeral in 1965.
Having died in 2000 at the age of 83, Berry’s medals are set to go to auction for the first time and are expected to reach six-figure sums, undoubtedly because he was nicknamed one of ‘The Few’ who helped to save Britain in the battle of the skies. After the Battle of Britain, Berry was just one of eight out of the original 24 left in his squadron. Once the war had ended, he was placed in charge of the Air Fighting Development Unit in Norfolk, and was appointed OBE in 1946 and CBE in 1965.
A spokesman for London auctioneers Spink, said “Ronald Berry was very much one of The Few who stopped Operation Sea Lion, Hitler’s plan to invade Britain, from happening.” The medals will be sold in London on 24 April and will include Berry’s Flying Cross.