Rare antique log book signed by ‘legendary’ World War Two pilot Guy Gibson discovered in Northamptonshire

The log book has been valued at £3,000 - £5,000

Tuesday, 9th November 2021, 2:14 pm
Updated Tuesday, 9th November 2021, 2:16 pm
Hansons’ valuer Oliver Thomas with the flying log book.
Hansons’ valuer Oliver Thomas with the flying log book.

A rare World War Two Air Gunner’s Flying Log Book - signed by a ‘legendary’ RAF bomber pilot - has been discovered in Northamptonshire.

Air Gunner Sgt Douglas Pate’s log book was discovered at a free valuation’s day at Kelmarsh Hall, held by auctioneers.

The book includes a flying times page signed off by Wing Commander Guy Gibson in December 1942 and a reference to Pate’s involvement in an ‘Operations Berlin’ raid on the German city.

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Guy Gibson signature in flying record.

Gibson was a distinguished World War Two RAF bomber pilot. He was the first Commanding Officer of No. 617 Squadron, which he led in the Dam Busters raid in 1943, resulting in the breaching of two large dams in the Ruhr area of Germany.

The pilot was also awarded the Victoria Cross, the highest award for gallantry, for his efforts and became the most highly decorated British serviceman at that time. He also completed more than 170 war operations before dying in action at the age of 26.

The log book has now been valued at £3,000 - £5,000 and is now set to go under the hammer.

Oliver Thomas, militaria valuer at Hansons’ Staffordshire saleroom, said: “It’s a fascinating find to emerge shortly before Remembrance Day on November 11.

Portrait of Wing Commander Guy Gibson VC.

“As well as Gibson’s signature, the log book records Pate as flying in ‘Operations Berlin’ on January 16, 1943.

“That particular record stands out from the page as it’s written in red ink.

“Pate survived the war. His log book runs from June 1942 and details flights up to May 16, 1946.

“Hisgrand total of flying hours came to a total of 1,462.58.”

The flying log book will be offered in Hansons Auctioneers’ Country Pursuits and Militaria Auction at Bishton Hall, Staffordshire, on November 23 - 24.

To find out more, or to arrange a free militaria valuation, email [email protected]

TV personality Charles Hansen will also visit Kelmarsh Hall later this month to offer free valuations.