A SUPERB "SPITFIRE FIGHTER ACE" (Double Gallantry) DISTINGUISHED FLYING CROSS & DISTINGUISHED FLYING MEDAL, Group of Nine. Sgt-Sqd/Ldr M.S. HARDS. R.A.F.(VR) 110, 250, 92, 601 & 111 Sqds. SCORED TEN KILLS

Royal Flying Corps MedalsDOODLEBUG-BUZZ BOMB POSTER 1944Royal Air Force Medals (1918-1939)RFC & RAF ORIGINAL AIRCREW BADGES RFC & RAF GALLANTRY MEDALS. WW1 & WW2AIRCREW CASUALTIES & P.O.W. 1939-1945RESISTANCE MEDALS (WW1 & WW2 EUROPE)R.A.F. & ARMY AIR CORPS (Other)RFC & RAF (SPECIAL GALLERY)R.A.F. MEDALS (SOLD ARCHIVE)
A SUPERB "SPITFIRE FIGHTER ACE" (Double Gallantry) DISTINGUISHED FLYING CROSS & DISTINGUISHED FLYING MEDAL, Group of Nine. Sgt-Sqd/Ldr M.S. HARDS. R.A.F.(VR) 110, 250, 92, 601 & 111 Sqds. SCORED TEN KILLS 
A SUPERB "SPITFIRE FIGHTER ACE" (Double Gallantry) DISTINGUISHED FLYING CROSS & DISTINGUISHED FLYING MEDAL, Group of Nine. Sgt-Sqd/Ldr M.S. HARDS. R.A.F.(VR) 110, 250, 92, 601 & 111 Sqds. SCORED TEN KILLS 
A SUPERB "SPITFIRE FIGHTER ACE" (Double Gallantry) DISTINGUISHED FLYING CROSS & DISTINGUISHED FLYING MEDAL, Group of Nine. Sgt-Sqd/Ldr M.S. HARDS. R.A.F.(VR) 110, 250, 92, 601 & 111 Sqds. SCORED TEN KILLS 
A SUPERB "SPITFIRE FIGHTER ACE" (Double Gallantry) DISTINGUISHED FLYING CROSS & DISTINGUISHED FLYING MEDAL, Group of Nine. Sgt-Sqd/Ldr M.S. HARDS. R.A.F.(VR) 110, 250, 92, 601 & 111 Sqds. SCORED TEN KILLS










A SUPERB "TEN KILLS" SPITFIRE FIGHTER ACE, Double Gallantry, Group of Nine.

DISTINGUISHED FLYING MEDAL (1942)
DISTINGUISHED FLYING CROSS (1943)
1939-45 Star, Aircrew Europe Star, Africa Star (North Africa 1942-43) & Italy Stars,
Defence & War Medals,
Africa General Service Medal (Kenya)
Group of Nine

To:
Sgt - Sqd/Ldr M.S. HARDS. R.A.F.(VR)

A SUPERB "SPITFIRE FIGHTER ACE" (Double Gallantry) DISTINGUISHED FLYING CROSS & DISTINGUISHED FLYING MEDAL, Group of Nine. Sgt-Sqd/Ldr M.S. HARDS. R.A.F.(VR) 110, 250, 92, 601 & 111 Sqds. SCORED TEN KILLS 
A SUPERB "SPITFIRE FIGHTER ACE" (Double Gallantry) DISTINGUISHED FLYING CROSS & DISTINGUISHED FLYING MEDAL, Group of Nine. Sgt-Sqd/Ldr M.S. HARDS. R.A.F.(VR) 110, 250, 92, 601 & 111 Sqds. SCORED TEN KILLS 
A SUPERB "SPITFIRE FIGHTER ACE" (Double Gallantry) DISTINGUISHED FLYING CROSS & DISTINGUISHED FLYING MEDAL, Group of Nine. Sgt-Sqd/Ldr M.S. HARDS. R.A.F.(VR) 110, 250, 92, 601 & 111 Sqds. SCORED TEN KILLS





With a Rare and Unusual,
Africa General Service Medal (KENYA)
Named to:
E.586. C.I.(R) M.S. HARDS D.F.C. D.F.M.




*SEE THE "NEW" SLIDESHOW FACILITY BELOW

(After WW2 Maurice Hards emigrated to KENYA and became Chief Inspector of Police (Reserve) Kenya Constabulary. He was active during the Mau Mau uprising in the 1950's )

A SUPERB "SPITFIRE FIGHTER ACE" (Double Gallantry) DISTINGUISHED FLYING CROSS & DISTINGUISHED FLYING MEDAL, Group of Nine. Sgt-Sqd/Ldr M.S. HARDS. R.A.F.(VR) 110, 250, 92, 601 & 111 Sqds. SCORED TEN KILLS 
Royal Aero Club licence picture & record card from the files.

[BIOGRAPHY]
Born on 27th July 1914, Maurice Sydney Hards was from Ringles Cross, Uckfield in Sussex & learned to fly in a DH.60 (Gypsy Moth) 85hp aircraft as a member of Eastbourne Flying Club where he was present at the official club opening by Amy Johnson in 1937.

Prior to the war Mr Hards had trained as an electrical engineer. Having learned to fly privately at Eastbourne Flying Club and with his Royal Aero Club civilian pilots license being gained on 13th September 1937 he decided to join the RAF. He enlisted in October 1938 as pilot under training. Upon receiving his coveted RAF wings he initially flew Bristol Blenheim bombers with 110 Squadron during the Battle of Britain period & amongst other important European targets he bombed the German occupied airfield at Soesterberg, Holland during the early hours of 1st August 1940.

During this daring low level raid his Blenheim Mk1 (L8780) was hit by flak & he was quite badly wounded but managed to nurse the damaged aircraft & his two fellow crewmen, Sgt S.M. CASHMAN and Sgt A.S. DUNLEAVY all the way back to the UK & he crash landed the aircraft back at base at RAF WATTISHAM. Both Cashman & Dunleavy were later killed in action with other squadrons..

A SUPERB "SPITFIRE FIGHTER ACE" (Double Gallantry) DISTINGUISHED FLYING CROSS & DISTINGUISHED FLYING MEDAL, Group of Nine. Sgt-Sqd/Ldr M.S. HARDS. R.A.F.(VR) 110, 250, 92, 601 & 111 Sqds. SCORED TEN KILLS 
[FIRST VICTORY IN THE DESERT]
After a fighter conversion course, Sgt Hards was posted to 250 Squadron (Tomahawk IIb) in the Middle East. He scored his first victory on type (AK374, LD-H) on 26th August 1941. The kill came during a protective shipping patrol of nine 250 squadron Tomahawks which was overseeing an arriving convoy into Tobruk . On the same day & shortly after this first kill he was attacked and forced down by the ME 109 of the famous "40 Kill" Decorated Luftwaffe Ace Feldwebel Gunter Steinhausen of 1/JG27 "Africa" . Hards, who was his 5th victory was obliged to force land his Tomahawk on the sands of the Mersa Matruh-Siri Barrani Road wounded in one leg. This was to be the second of three woundings he sustained in action.

A SUPERB "SPITFIRE FIGHTER ACE" (Double Gallantry) DISTINGUISHED FLYING CROSS & DISTINGUISHED FLYING MEDAL, Group of Nine. Sgt-Sqd/Ldr M.S. HARDS. R.A.F.(VR) 110, 250, 92, 601 & 111 Sqds. SCORED TEN KILLS 
[ Lt GUNTER STEINHAUSEN]
Luftwaffe Me109 Fighter Ace

Steinhausen, who forced down Sgt Hards on 26th August 1941 was himself killed in action on 6th September 1942 when he crash landed after a dog fight with another Tomahawk IIb.
He was awarded a posthumous Knights Cross & commissioned. During his short but dynamic career in the Western desert with 1/JG27 he gained a total of 40 kills while flying Me109 fighters .



A SUPERB "SPITFIRE FIGHTER ACE" (Double Gallantry) DISTINGUISHED FLYING CROSS & DISTINGUISHED FLYING MEDAL, Group of Nine. Sgt-Sqd/Ldr M.S. HARDS. R.A.F.(VR) 110, 250, 92, 601 & 111 Sqds. SCORED TEN KILLS 
A SUPERB "SPITFIRE FIGHTER ACE" (Double Gallantry) DISTINGUISHED FLYING CROSS & DISTINGUISHED FLYING MEDAL, Group of Nine. Sgt-Sqd/Ldr M.S. HARDS. R.A.F.(VR) 110, 250, 92, 601 & 111 Sqds. SCORED TEN KILLS 
Sgt Hards won his DFM in 1942 for much good operational flying with no less than SEVEN kills.

DISTINGUISHED FLYING MEDAL: Officially Engraved.
To: 742199. Sgt. M.S. HARDS. R.A.F.

He later flew Supermarine Spitfire Mk5's & MkVIII's with 92 Squadron in the desert campaign. He scored no less than TEN KILLS in the Western Desert while supporting the 8th Army at El Alamein and during the Italian Campaign during which time he was further twice wounded. He was rested from ops' as a Sgt, then commissioned with a posting to 601 Squadron, moving in July 1943 as a flight commander to 92 Squadron. He then took command of 111 Squadron on 19th December 1943 until 7th April 1944.


He was awarded the DFC with citation in 1943.

A SUPERB "SPITFIRE FIGHTER ACE" (Double Gallantry) DISTINGUISHED FLYING CROSS & DISTINGUISHED FLYING MEDAL, Group of Nine. Sgt-Sqd/Ldr M.S. HARDS. R.A.F.(VR) 110, 250, 92, 601 & 111 Sqds. SCORED TEN KILLS 
A SUPERB "SPITFIRE FIGHTER ACE" (Double Gallantry) DISTINGUISHED FLYING CROSS & DISTINGUISHED FLYING MEDAL, Group of Nine. Sgt-Sqd/Ldr M.S. HARDS. R.A.F.(VR) 110, 250, 92, 601 & 111 Sqds. SCORED TEN KILLS 
London Gazette 1st October 1943


[DISTINGUISHED FLYING CROSS. (1943]

Acting Flt/Lt Maurice Sydney Hards. D.F.M.(122062) R.A.F (VR) 92 Sqd.

"This officer has been engaged on operational flying since the beginning of the war. He is a skilful flight commander who's example of keenness and devotion to duty has proved most inspiring. Flt/Lt Hards has destroyed ten enemy aircraft".

[IN ACTION]
In December 1941 while on patrol with three other aircraft, he observed a force of 24 enemy bombers and 10 fighters. Despite the superior number of fighters the section attacked the bombers and Sgt HARDS destroyed one of the bombers and also an enemy fighter. On a subsequent occasion when his squadron was acting as escort to a force of our bombers the formation was attacked by some 15 Me110's. During the engagement several enemy aircraft were shot down, one of which Sgt Hards destroyed, besides damaging a further two.

Maurice Hards took part in some seriously dangerous and very challenging combat flying, but luckily survived the war. He later joined the Kenya police and rose to the rank of Chief Inspector (Reserve) with the Kenya Constabulary. He served during the Mau Mau troubles in the early 1950's. He is seen on the 1st class passenger list of SS Kenya arriving in London from Mombasa in 1960. He died in Natal South Africa on 30th December 1983 at the age of only 69.

A SUPERB "SPITFIRE FIGHTER ACE" (Double Gallantry) DISTINGUISHED FLYING CROSS & DISTINGUISHED FLYING MEDAL, Group of Nine. Sgt-Sqd/Ldr M.S. HARDS. R.A.F.(VR) 110, 250, 92, 601 & 111 Sqds. SCORED TEN KILLS 
A SUPERB "SPITFIRE FIGHTER ACE" (Double Gallantry) DISTINGUISHED FLYING CROSS & DISTINGUISHED FLYING MEDAL, Group of Nine. Sgt-Sqd/Ldr M.S. HARDS. R.A.F.(VR) 110, 250, 92, 601 & 111 Sqds. SCORED TEN KILLS 
THE FORCED LANDED TOMAHAWK IIb
(AK374, LD-H)

of Sgt M.J. HARDS

Seen here on 26th August 1941 after his dog fight with Gunter Steinheusan. Hards is standing (left man without cap) on the starboard wing after his forced landing in the desert near Sidi-Barrani. A few minutes earlier he had scored his first Me109 kill which was one of Steinheusan's fellow pilots of 1/JG27

A SUPERB "SPITFIRE FIGHTER ACE" (Double Gallantry) DISTINGUISHED FLYING CROSS & DISTINGUISHED FLYING MEDAL, Group of Nine. Sgt-Sqd/Ldr M.S. HARDS. R.A.F.(VR) 110, 250, 92, 601 & 111 Sqds. SCORED TEN KILLS 
A SUPERB "SPITFIRE FIGHTER ACE" (Double Gallantry) DISTINGUISHED FLYING CROSS & DISTINGUISHED FLYING MEDAL, Group of Nine. Sgt-Sqd/Ldr M.S. HARDS. R.A.F.(VR) 110, 250, 92, 601 & 111 Sqds. SCORED TEN KILLS 
A SUPERB "SPITFIRE FIGHTER ACE" (Double Gallantry) DISTINGUISHED FLYING CROSS & DISTINGUISHED FLYING MEDAL, Group of Nine. Sgt-Sqd/Ldr M.S. HARDS. R.A.F.(VR) 110, 250, 92, 601 & 111 Sqds. SCORED TEN KILLS





A magnificent "Spitfire Double Gallantry (10 Kill) Ace" group of Nine .


[COMBAT RECORD]

1941 (250 Squadron)

26th August. Me109....Tomahawk IIb (AK374) 10nm Sidi-Barrani.

*Sgt Hards was shot down and wounded just a few minutes later by Gunter Steinheusan of 1/JG27

20th November Me109.

23rd November (2) Me109's Tobruk

23rd November Me109 (Probable)

23rd November (2) Me109's (Damaged)

11th December JU88 of 1/LG1. Gazala

11th December Me109.

22nd December Me110 Near Magram Airfield

22nd December (2) Me110's. (Damaged)

1943 (92 Squadron)

16th December Me109 (Probable). Spitfire VIII.

(*Sources indicate that his final score was:
10 Destroyed, 4 Probables & 8 Damaged )


A True R.A.F. "FIGHTER COMMAND" Classic.

Offered in the R.A.F's 100th ANNIVERSARY YEAR. 1918-2018.

A SUPERB "SPITFIRE FIGHTER ACE" (Double Gallantry) DISTINGUISHED FLYING CROSS & DISTINGUISHED FLYING MEDAL, Group of Nine. Sgt-Sqd/Ldr M.S. HARDS. R.A.F.(VR) 110, 250, 92, 601 & 111 Sqds. SCORED TEN KILLS 
The vast vast majority (95%-98%) of all DFC / DFM double gallantry groups were awarded to Bomber Command crews for their gallantry during the air war over Europe. But such groups to Fighter Pilots are excessively rare and over the past ten years very very few decent groups have ever appeared at auction. The ones that have appeared have been eagerly bought up at seriously astounding prices. One such Battle of Britain DFC / DFM group brought £90,000 TEN years ago at the DNW auction of 25th September 2008. The currently available group to Sgt-Sqd/Ldr M.J Hards has never been offered for sale before and is totally fresh to the market.

A wonderful "Desert Fighter Ace" classic in it's own right to an exceptional man with Ten Kills & Several Damaged.


A SUPERB "SPITFIRE FIGHTER ACE" (Double Gallantry) DISTINGUISHED FLYING CROSS & DISTINGUISHED FLYING MEDAL, Group of Nine. Sgt-Sqd/Ldr M.S. HARDS. R.A.F.(VR) 110, 250, 92, 601 & 111 Sqds. SCORED TEN KILLS 
Maurice HARDS is further listed in the famous fighter pilot work "ACES HIGH"

A SUPERB "SPITFIRE FIGHTER ACE" (Double Gallantry) DISTINGUISHED FLYING CROSS & DISTINGUISHED FLYING MEDAL, Group of Nine. Sgt-Sqd/Ldr M.S. HARDS. R.A.F.(VR) 110, 250, 92, 601 & 111 Sqds. SCORED TEN KILLS 
Conservatively priced at £25,500


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A SUPERB

A SUPERB "SPITFIRE FIGHTER ACE" (Double Gallantry) DISTINGUISHED FLYING CROSS & DISTINGUISHED FLYING MEDAL, Group of Nine. Sgt-Sqd/Ldr M.S. HARDS. R.A.F.(VR) 110, 250, 92, 601 & 111 Sqds. SCORED TEN KILLS
£25,500

A SUPERB "SPITFIRE FIGHTER ACE" (Double Gallantry) DISTINGUISHED FLYING CROSS & DISTINGUISHED FLYING MEDAL, Group of Nine. Sgt - Sqd/Ldr M.S. HARDS. R.A.F.(VR) 110, 250, 92, 601 & 111 Squadrons. SCORED TEN KILLS