A poignant letter written by an RAF pilot to the grieving mother of a fellow comrade who lost his life during a WWII bombing raid has surfaced, set to be auctioned along with the pilot’s medals.
The touching handwritten letter was penned by Flight Officer Paul Bunn and addressed to the mother of Sergeant Douglas Timms, a flight engineer who tragically perished when their Lancaster Bomber was shot down over Germany in January 1945.
Flight Officer Bunn recounted the harrowing details of the incident in the letter.
He described how their plane was hit in the fuel tanks, causing an immediate blaze that led to the aircraft’s catastrophic explosion over the German town of Goppingen.
While he, the navigator, and the bomb aimer were thrown clear of the plane by the force of the explosion, Sergeant Timms, who had been seated next to Flight Officer Bunn, collapsed and slid into the nose of the aircraft.
This marked the last time Flight Officer Bunn saw his comrade.
The letter goes on to describe the efforts to ascertain the fate of the crew.
Flight Officer Bunn revealed that he sought information from the Germans, who confirmed that four of the crew members had been killed.
He offered reassurance to Sergeant Timms’ mother, stating that none of the boys would have suffered and that they were killed outright.
Flight Officer Bunn expressed his sympathy and offered assistance to the grieving mother in any way he could.
Sergeant Timms, along with wireless operator Sergeant Jack Ernest and air gunners Sergeant William Cook and Sergeant Ronald Poulsom, perished in the tragic incident.
The auction lot includes Flight Officer Bunn’s letter, Sergeant Timms’s war medals, log book, flying jacket, a photograph of him, a photo of his grave, and the initial telegram notifying his mother of his death.
The collection is anticipated to fetch a price of up to £600.
The auction is set to take place over two days, beginning on August 29, organized by Charterhouse Auctioneers and Valuers. The items have been consigned by a distant family relation of Sergeant Timms.
The letter and accompanying artifacts provide a touching glimpse into the sacrifices and emotional toll of wartime experiences, honoring the memory of those who gave their lives for their country.