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Vigo Militaria and Collectables

WW2 Fighting Knife owned by Captain Ken Barker 44 Rhodesian Squadron - 30 Missions to Europe.

Regular price £325.00 GBP
Regular price Sale price £325.00 GBP
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This personally, privately purchased fighting knife and scabbard belonged to Captain Ken Barker of 44 Rhodesian Squadron.
Captain Barker completed 30 Operational Bombing Missions during WW2 to Europe, including Berlin. Initially he Piloted Handley Page Hampden Bombers and then Avro Lancasters.
Ken survived the war and when he passed away we were offered some of his war items by his daughter, his personal fighting knife being one of them.
As she said, this knife did thirty bombing missions 'in his flight boot'.

The fighting knife is still sharp, it has a wooden handle and a brass guard, it is in good order throughout, it is engraved with his name, see pictures.
The scabbard is in good order but has come away slightly at the tip, probably from where it sat in Kens boot for all those missions.

A rare opportunity to purchase an RAF officers personal item that saw action.
Be quick.

More about Kens 44 Rhodesian Squadron

The Squadron was named No 44 (Rhodesia) Squadron in honour of the Rhodesian contribution to Britain’s war effort in 1941.  It also recognised that up to 25% of the air and ground crew were Rhodesian.  The badge is based on the seal of Lobengula, the chief of the Matebele, and the elephant symbolises heavy attacks.

The Squadron received its first Lancaster in December 1941.  It became the first squadron fully equipped with the new aircraft, flying the first Lancaster operation of the war on 3 March 1942.  The Squadron then flew in all of the major bombing campaigns of the war but notably took part in an audacious 12 aircraft low level daylight raid on the MAN diesel engine works at Augsburg on 17 April 1942.  For his outstanding skill and courage in leading this raid the then Flight Commander, Sqn Ldr J D Nettleton was awarded the Victoria Cross.

In 1943, led by the now Wg Cdr Nettleton, the Squadron moved to RAF Dunholme Lodge and finally, in Sep 1944, to RAF Spilsby.  By the end of WW11 the Squadron had suffered the third highest casualties of Bomber Command.  The total sorties and losses were:

    Handley Page Hampden – 2043 sorties (43 lost)

    Avro Lancaster – 4362 sorties (149 lost in combat, 22 in flying accidents)

In July 1945 the Squadron moved to Mepal, Cambridge as part of Tiger force, to prepare for operations in the Far East.  However, the war ended after the use of atomic weapons in August 1945, and the Squadron reverted to it’s normal role with Bomber Command.

You must be over 18 years of age to purchase this item and a copy of your proof of age (Passport, Driving licence etc) must be emailed to before we can ship the item.

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