You may have seen one of the many obituaries recently about Ray Holmes - “the pilot who saved Buckingham Palace”. Here’s AP’s.
I’ve read a number of his obits, as well as several pieces which were published on the occasion of the excavation of his crashed Hurricane last year. Here’s an example of the latter.
I am struck by the fact that in none of the many articles is mention made of Holmes receiving a medal. I must assume, then, that he did not receive a medal for his heroism. How can that be? There was a man who unhesitatingly was willing to give his life for the Palace. Is that not valorous? Is that not worthy of a medal?
In addition to my rhetorical questions above, my factual question is to ask if there may have been a specific reason that his bravery went unrecognized (at least in terms of a medal). Is it possible that a medal wasn’t awarded since, to do so, would imply that it took unusual heroism to save Buckingham Palace (and possibly the King), whereas there was an expectation that any soldier, sailor, or airman had a duty to give his life for the “Royals”? If Holmes had performed the same feat to prevent the bombing of, say, a school would he have received the DFC, or possibly the VC?