THE RAF Museum is calling on Sun readers to help raise £185,000 to save a Victoria Cross awarded for one of World War Two’s bravest acts.
Hero pilot Arthur Scarf, 28, single-handedly attacked an enemy airfield in Burma in 1941 after every other plane in his squadron was destroyed.
The TimesThe RAF Museum is calling on Sun readers to help raise £185,000 to save a Victoria Cross awarded to hero WW2 pilot t Arthur Scarf, 28[/caption]
Hero pilot Arthur Scarf single-handedly attacked an enemy airfield in Burma in 1941 after every other plane in his squadron was destroyedRichard Pohle – The TimesArthur’s pregnant wife Sally, a nurse at the base, donated two pints of blood as medics were forced to amputate his arm, before the heroic airman tragically died a few hours later
Japanese aircraft strafed the Squadron Leader’s Bristol Blenheim bomber with machine gun fire as he returned to base.
Bullets slammed into his back and arms leaving him so badly injured that his two crewmates had to hold him up as he crash-landed safely in a paddy field.
His pregnant wife Sally, a nurse at the base, donated two pints of blood as medics were forced to amputate his arm.
Arthur told her: “Don’t worry, keep smiling, chin up.” He tragically died a few hours later.
His bravery was honoured in 1946 when he was posthumously awarded the VC. His citation read: “Sqn Ldr Scarf displayed supreme heroism in the face of tremendous odds and his splendid example of self-sacrifice will long be remembered.” The medal was sold by his descendants at auction last year to a foreign buyer for £682,000.
But it was embargoed by the Government because of its national importance. If a UK-based buyer can match the price, it will stay here.
The RAF Museum in North London launched an appeal and has until the end of April to raise the outstanding £185,000.
Head of Collections, Dr Harry Raffal, said of the VC: “It is part of our nation’s heritage and a significant element to a decisive moment in British history. There is an imminent risk of it leaving the UK, but we are hopeful that, with support from the public, including from Sun readers, we can prevent this.”
Only 22 VCs were awarded to the RAF in the war and Arthur’s was the only one for the Far East. Born in Wimbledon, South West London, he was posted to Singapore with No62 Squadron in 1939.
On December 9, 1941 — two days after Pearl Harbour — he was about to lead an attack on a Japanese-occupied airfield in Burma when the enemy dive-bombed the British planes still on the ground.
Arthur continued on his own, and released his bombs before succumbing to fatal injuries. Sally, traumatised and heartbroken, lost their unborn baby. She remarried and died in 1985. Arthur is buried in Taiping Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery in Malaysia.
Military author Richard Pursehouse, 60, said: “Arthur’s story is an incredible one from start to finish. It would be devastating if the medal were to leave these shores — and Sun readers can do their bit to save it.”