*** RESERVED *** To mark the Centenary of the formation of the R.A.F. in April 1918, War & Son are offering for sale the medals of the iconic Red Baron's 12th recorded victim; a pilot Captain who scored 3 victories himself before being downed by the Red Baron in a dog fight, wounded seriously and being made Prisoner of War. Consists: WWI War Medal to Capt. B.P.G. Hunt, R.A.F.; Victory Medal to Capt. B.P.G. Hunt, R.A.F., mounted in velvet-lined leather case with R.F.C. and Shropshire Yeomanry badges and enamel JG 71 von Richthofen enamel badge.

Benedict Philip Gerald Hunt was born at Fort Augustus, Inverness-shire on 6 Dec 1894, the son of Rowland Hunt, of Boreatton Park, Salop, Shropshire and Georgiana Davidson of Tulloch Castle in Dingwall, Ross and Cromarty. His father served with Lord Lovat’s Scouts in the Boer war and was an MP for Shropshire and member of the Liberal and Unionist Party until 1918.
B.P.G. Hunt was commissioned Second Lieutenant in the Shropshire Yeomanry on 22 Oct 1914 and remained and transferred to the Royal Flying Corps gaining his pilot’s Royal Aero Club Aviators Certificate on 14 Dec 1915 and appointed Flying Officer on 21 Mar 1916, joining 32 Squadron in France at the end of May 1916. 32 Squadron’s commanding officer, Lt-Col. Lionel Wilmot Brabazon Rees, was awarded the Victoria Cross in July 1916 and Hunt himself was credited with 3 air victories during the year.

32 Squadron pilot Gwilym H Lewis, D.F.C. details Hunt’s first victory on 15 Oct 1916 in his book ‘Wings over the Somme’:
“Hunt managed to creep off by doing a spinning nose dive, and on the way down shot the Hun off Maremontemboult’s tail as he was endeavouring to creep to our side of the lines. This is not the first time Hunt has shown great judgment in combating two very clever Hun scouts, both in superior positions and on better machines. It takes a bit of doing, and it is in such times that one’s presence of mind is tested, and some of us find it lacking, alas!”
Hunt’s second victory followed shortly after on 16 Nov 1916:

‘An offensive patrol of 32 Sqd. dived onto an H.A. over Grandcourt. The Obs. ceased firing & the machine commenced to fall O.O.C. When last seen, it was 1000ft over Bois Loupart. It was undoubtedly badly damaged & the Obs. either killed or wounded. Lieut. Hunt & Capt. Jones of the same patrol, drove down one machine O.O.C.’
Hi third and final victory was scored on 23 Nov 1916:

‘An offensive patrol of 32 Sqd. observed 2 H.A. single-seater scouts attacking a B.E.2c north of Pys. The patrol attacked & one of the Germans, at which Lieut. Hunt opened fire at close range, fell O.O.C. & with the centre section on fire. The destruction of this machine is confirmed by the 3rd Battery R.M.A.’

Hunt's flying career was to end abruptly at the gloved hands of The Red Baron himself. On 11 Dec 1916 Hunt was flying his DH2 fighter as part of an eight-man patrol escorting 6 x FE2b's bombing dumps at Morchies. He was engaged over Arras by an Albatros D11 aircraft of Jasta 2 being flown by Baron Manfred von Richthofen, later known as ‘The Red Baron’. Hunt was to become von Richthofen's 12th victim of 80.
Manfred von Richthofen’s own Combat Report states:

“About 11.45 I attacked with Leut. Wortmann at 2800 metres & South of Arras, enemy one-seater Vickers Sqd. of 8 machines. I singled out one machine & after a short curve fight I ruined the adversary's motor & forced him to land behind our lines near Mercatel. Occupant Lieutenant Hund (sic) made prisoner, wounded, Vickers one seater No. 5986”

Hunt’s aircraft had been badly damaged and fell behind German lines, with Hunt himself being badly shot through and suffering internal injuries, including to the liver. Hunt’s tail rudder with its number of 5986 is mounted on the Baron's trophy walls (pictured below). In later years, Hunt told his family that Von Richthofen came to visit him personally in hospital and saw to it that he had the best medical attention possible. After hospitalisation he was made a prisoner of war and held in a German POW camp until the 9 April 1918 when, in view of his serious injuries, he was exchanged to Holland where he was interned for the rest of the war and repatriated on 18th November 1918. Only 18 pilots of The Red Baron’s 80 victims survived to tell the tale. After the war, Hunt relinquished his commission on 30 Sep 1921, and later became a chicken farmer and market gardener in Hampshire which is where his wife's family had moved to from Shropshire. He was not considered fit for combat duty in the Second World war but joined the Royal Army Service Corps as a Major and died on 7 Oct 1958.



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