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WWII GEORGE MEDAL GROUP OF 5 MEDALS TO SGT. H. WEBSTER, R.A.F.V.R.

*** RESERVED *** The gallant and selfless 88 Squadron Wireless Operator's George Medal group for risking his life at the scene of a crashed Wellington to rescue airmen, found both dead and alive with their uniforms ablaze whilst bombs and ammunition were exploding all around him. Consisting of: Geroge Medal group for George Medal George VI to 1063270 Sgt. Henry Webster, R.A.F.V.R.; 1939-45 Star; Air Crew Europe Star; WWI Defence Medal; WWII War Medal.
Description

George Medal Gazetted 14 Mar 1944: "On Sep 13th, 1943, this N.C.O., in company with Flight Sergeant A. McGinnis, was in the vicinity of Hartford Bridge aerodrome on combatant training, when an aircraft passed overhead with the starboard engine and main-plane on fire, and disappeared from view behind some trees. With Flight Sergeant McGinnis he commandeered a passing motor car and instructed the driver to proceed to a spot whence he saw a black column of smoke rising. On arrival he found that the aircraft had crashed and was burning furiously. A number of soldiers were standing nearby and these warned him not to approach the aircraft as there were bombs and ammunition on board. Although he could hear the ammunition exploding and actually saw three bombs in the burning wreckage, he made a search for survivors. He found Sergeant J.W. Swann, the Wireless Operator/Air Gunner in the rear part of the aircraft, extricated him with the help of Flight Sergeant McGinnis, and beat out his burning clothing. He then searched for further survivors and found the under-gunner, who was unfortunately already dead, lying in the wreckage. He moved him away and also extinguished his clothing. Sergeant Webster, aided by Flight Sergeant McGinnis then carried Sergeant Swann out of the immediate danger area and was rendering him first-aid when one of the bombs exploded throwing him to the ground. He was hit by pieces of falling shrapnel, but in spite of this and the immediate danger of the remaining bombs going off, he carried Sergeant Swann further away, laid him in a ditch and remained with him until the arrival of an ambulance. This N.C.O., without the slightest hesitation, placed himself in a position of the greatest danger to save the lives of his comrades, and even after the warning of the explosion of the first bomb, continued to do all that was possible for the man he had rescued."

Sadly, the Wireless Operator, John William Swann, succumbed to his wounds and died just 2 days later. Their aircraft had been returning from a mission to bomb gun positions at Dunkirk. Having sustained flak damage,  Pilot Sgt G.E. Nicholls returned and was personally unhurt after one of the plane's engines caught fire and the wing hit a tree in a forced landing and the aircraft overturned. Flt. Lt. T.D.B. Blake, F/O. F.W. Easton and Sgt. A.H. Lacey were killed. Webster served as operational aircrew in Boston IIIAs as a Wireless Operator and Air Gunner. Webster crash-landed himself at the same airfield barely a month later on 25 Nov 1943. 88 Squadron's Aircraft 'G' No. BZ. 278 crashed in a meadow adjacent to the Fleet Road about 2 miles away. The aircraft was completely burnt out, but Wesbter, his crew, and pilot Sgt. G.W. Lock, escaped with minor injuries. Webster was commissioned from Flight Sergeant on 27 June 1944 and renumbered 176244, before being promoted to Flying Officer on 10 Nov 1944.

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