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RAF fighter ace's medals to cross the block

Medals awarded to RAF fighter ace James Rankin will sell at Sworders



A collection of medals presented to a second world war RAF fighter ace is to cross the block at Sworders in London on December 6.

The lot, described as "the most important Spitfire Ace group to come to auction in recent years", includes a Distinguished Service Order and a Distinguished Flying Cross.

Spitfire medal group
After the war James Rankin was appointed commander of RAF Biggin Hill

It looks set to make around £60,000-80,000 ($73,098-97,464).

The set was awarded to Air Commodore James Rankin, one of the greatest British fighter pilots of the war.

He shot down 17 enemy aircraft solo, one a legendary German ace, and almost double that number with the help of his comrades.

Ivan Macquisten, former editor of Antiques Trade Gazette, said: "This group is worthy of joining the Imperial War Museum's collection.

"I can't think of anything as important in this area that has come up for sale since 2012, when the Battle of Britain fighter ace 'Cat's Eyes' Cunningham's triple DSO took nearly £400,000 [$487,320] at auction."

John Black, director of Sworders, comments: "Exceptional and outstanding are two overused words, but not here.

"Rankin was not just an Ace in the true sense of the word, but an inspirational leader who gave his all when it meant the most."

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Images: Sworders

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Last updated: 12 October 2016