An Ancaster woman has donated her cousin’s medal which he won after being seriously injured in a bombing raid and flying his plane back home in the Second World War.
Nora Hancock, 90, of Brookside, decided to donate the Distinguished Flying Cross to RAF Cranwell where it is now displayed in their collection.
Nora’s cousin, Flight Lieutenant James Fletcher, from Lincoln, was awarded the medal for gallantry during August 1944 when his Halifax bomber of 158 Squadron was hit by a shell and he was severely burned. Despite his injuries he regained control of the aircraft and brought it back to England.
Nora visited RAF Cranwell to hand over the medal to Commandant Air Commodore Chris Luck and curator Hazel Crozier. The medal was presented with the original letter signed by King George VI .
Mrs Hancock said: “They told me that it is very, very rare for anyone to donate a medal like that because they are worth quite a lot of money. They invited me to present it and they gave me a gorgeous picture of RAF Cranwell and a tour. I am overjoyed it has gone to the right home.”
Air Commodore Luck said: “I am delighted to receive such a precious object in the College collection and especially since it relates to a gallant pilot who was so local to RAF Cranwell. I am very grateful to Mrs Hancock for her donation and can assure her that it will be loved and looked after.”
Mrs Hancock said Flt Lt Fletcher was very much a ‘city’ boy and would often stay with her family who were Lincolnshire farmers.
Flt Lt Fletcher attended the City School in Lincoln and worked for a firm of solicitors before joining the RAF.