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A unique opportunity to own a very rare piece of WWII Dambusters ' Operation Chastise ' memorabilia; ' Pinnie The Wooh ' - Dambuster Pilot David Maltby's original ' lucky mascot '. The small c1930's teddy bear of unknown make, features boot-button eyes and a horizontally stitched nose. Mounted by the vendor in a period wooden case, along with an original slip of type-written paper which reads ' Pinne (The Wooh) - Our David's 'lucky' mascot. Pinnie flew with David on every mission. He was returned to us after David's death - Etterick Maltby '. The bear measures approx; 16cm tall.
The bear was originally on display at Hydneye House School (David Maltby's father Etterick being the headmaster there), until its demolition many years ago. The vendor, an ex-pupil of Hydneye School who has great memories of Pinnie being displayed during his time there, was gifted Pinnie by the then-headmaster Gerald Brodribb shortly before the demolition work started. Other items gifted to the vendor - including a bomb release switch, items relating to Barnes Wallis and a bomb sight used during the raid have all been sold at auction in previous years.
It can be presumed that Pinnie was present during all missions with Maltby, including during Operation Chastise - the 'Dambusters' raid of 1943 - in which Maltby was the pilot for Avro Lancaster J-Johnny, flying as part of the first wave that attacked the Möhne Dam. The first three aircraft to attack the dam (Guy Gibson flying in G-George, Hopgood in M-Mother and Harold Brownlow Martin in P-Popsie) all missed the target. The next, A-Apple (flown by Dinghy Young) hit the dam and caused a small breach; but as this was not apparent from the air, J-Johnny also attacked, scored a hit, causing a large breach. Maltby then returned home and was the first Lancaster to land back at Scampton having completed the operation. According to the vendor, when he first acquired Pinnie, there was a strong smell of aviation fuel, likely from where the bear was recovered from Maltby's body after his fatal crash into the ocean during Operation Garlic just a few months after Chastise. His Lancaster JA981 crashed into the North Sea while returning to base after the mission had been cancelled due to fog over the target. It is almost certain that the cause of his death was a collision with a 139 Squadron Mosquito aircraft piloted by Flt Lt M W Colledge and navigator Flg Off G L Marshall, who were returning from an operation to Berlin, and was on a course for Wyton, Cambridgeshire. It was northeast of Cromer when it intersected Maltby's course to Coningsby. Dave Shannon, a fellow dambuster, circled the crash site for two hours whilst waiting for rescue. Maltby's body was the only one recovered and he was buried in the churchyard of St Andrew's. Church, Wickhambreaux, Kent.
An incredibly rare, humbling and important part of WWII Second World War Aviation history.
Viewing Thursday 14th November 9am - 5pm
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Ample opportunity is given for inspection. Each purchaser, by making a bid for a lot, is deemed to have knowledge of all the Conditions of Sale and to have satisfied themselves as to the physical condition and accuracy of the description of the lot, including, but not restricted to, whether the lot is damaged or has been repaired. We offer packing and shipping quotes for all items worldwide, visit eastbristol.co.uk for details and pricing. For a specific overseas quote, please contact us.
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