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Last Updated: Friday, 30 April, 2004, 13:10 GMT 14:10 UK
Record price for Victoria Cross
Mr Jackson's Victoria Cross
Mr Jackson left the medal to his wife
A Victoria Cross awarded to an airman who climbed onto a Lancaster bomber's wing at 20,000ft to put out a fire has sold for a record price.

It went for 235,250 at the Spink auction house in London on Friday, smashing the old record for a VC of 178,250.

The medal belonged to Norman Jackson, from Ealing, west London, who was a warrant officer.

It was bought by a private collector and will stay in the country.

Spink's executive director Paul Barthaud said: "It is particularly rare because it is an RAF medal and it has a particularly touching history. It was Boy's Own stuff."

Mr Jackson was 25 when his crew came under fire from a German fighter on a bombing raid on the town of Schweinfurt in April 1944.

Norman Jackson
Mr Jackson survived a 20,000ft fall
He climbed out of the cockpit into a slipstream to try to put out the flames, before falling off and crashing to the ground under a burning parachute.

Despite serious injuries, he managed to crawl to a nearby German village and spent 10 months in hospital before being transferred to a prisoner of war (POW) camp.

Four surviving crew members told the story after they were released from a POW camp. Two fellow airmen died during the raid.

Michael Naxton, the agent acting on behalf of the anonymous buyer, said: "It is a Second World War VC and, in relative terms, there weren't very many awarded and very few have yet to come on the open market.

"Arguably, the RAF awards for the Second World War have a certain glamour to them and this was quite an exceptional feat."

A collection of medals owned by Group Captain Ivan Whittaker, of the Dam Busters squadron, were also sold at the auction for 14,115.

The lot included the Distinguished Flying Cross and Bar, the 1939 to 1945 Star, Air Crew Europe Star and a programme for the world premiere of the Dam Busters film, signed by members of 617 Squadron.

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26 Nov 03  |  North Yorkshire

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