The RAF Museum is in a race against time to save the Victoria Cross of a heroic World War II pilot for the nation.
Just under £100,000 remains to be raised last night to prevent Arthur ‘Pongo’ Scarf’s medal – awarded for ‘supreme heroism’ against ‘enormous odds’ – from leaving the UK, but it has only nine days left to get it. doing .
More than £75,000 has poured in since we featured Sqn Ldr Scarf’s story and attempt to save his VC on MailOnline and Mail Plus last month, but more help is needed.
Yesterday, Maggie Appleton, Managing Director of the RAF Museum, said: ‘We would like to thank the generous MailOnline and Mail Plus readers for their help so far in our call to preserve Arthur Scarf’s Victoria Cross in the UK.
“With only a few days to go, we urge once again to spread the word and donate. This historically significant and personally moving story belongs in the RAF Museum for future generations to learn from and be inspired by.’
Pilot Arthur ‘Pongo’ Scarf was the only RAF member in the Far East in World War II to receive the highest award for bravery – the Victoria Cross
The RAF Museum (pictured) races against time to save the heroic World War II pilot’s Victoria Cross for the nation
A painting of Arthur Scarf, single-handedly attacking an enemy airfield after all other aircraft in his squadron had been destroyed
Sqn Ldr Scarf was honored with the highest award for bravery for single-handedly attacking an enemy airfield after all other aircraft in his squadron had been destroyed.
Pictured: Sqd Leader Scarf VC Medal
He was the only RAF member to receive the Far East VC during the Second World War.
But his medal was bought by an overseas buyer last year for a record £660,000.
It was subsequently embargoed by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, preventing it from being taken abroad provided a UK-based buyer or institution matches the sale price by April 30.
Sqn Ldr was awarded the VC in recognition of bravery during a daylight attack on Singora, Malaya, on 9 December 1941.
At the age of 28, he attacked a Japanese air base in Thailand in his Bristol Blenheim bomber after all the other planes in his squadron were destroyed or damaged on the ground in a surprise Japanese air raid before they could take off.
His VC citation said it would have been “reasonable” for him to abandon his mission, but he decided to continue on his own because he “appreciated the moral effect it would have on the rest of the squadron, who watched helplessly how their plane was on fire. to the ground.’
Pictured (L-R): The Victoria Cross with engraved detail on the back: ‘S/Ldr. ASK Scarf. 62 Sqdn. RAF’ and ’11 June 1946.’; The Star of 1939-1945; The Pacific star; The Defense and War Medals 1939-45
Arthur Scarf depicted in his flying gear and his widow Sallie – who lost their unborn baby
More than £75,000 has poured in since we featured Sqn Ldr Scarf’s story and attempt to save his VC on MailOnline and Mail Plus last month, but more help is needed. Pictured: 62 Squadron RAF Tengah in 1940
Pictured LR: Sallie, Harley Boxall and Pat Boxall
Pictured: Sallie Hammond, Sallie’s goddaughter, Sqd Ldr Scarf’s widow
He successfully completed his mission despite constant attacks from enemy fighters and despite his injuries he returned to Malaya and managed to forcibly land his bullet-riddled plane in a paddy field near his base without injuring his two crew members – who had to help him holding on when he landed because he was so badly injured.
His pregnant wife Sallie, a base nurse, donated two liters of blood and he told her, “Don’t worry, keep smiling, chin up” as he was wheeled into the operating room. But tragically, he died a few hours later.
Traumatized and heartbroken, his wife lost their unborn baby.
The VC was awarded posthumously in 1946 and presented to his widow by George VI at Buckingham Palace.
In a letter to a friend, she later wrote of how she was “pent up” after hearing the king say, “Your late husband has done a great deed for which this country will be eternally grateful.”
Donations to save the medal include £390,000 from the National Heritage Memorial Fund.