A group of seven awarded to Battle of Britain Spitfire Ace, Squadron Leader T. S. ‘Wimpy’ Wade of the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve will be sold by Dix Noonan Webb in their auction of Orders, Decorations, Medals and Militaria on Wednesday, December 8, 2021. Estimated to fetch £50,000-70,000, it is being sold by a collector.

Described as one of ‘The Few’, Trevor Sydney Wade was born in 1920, and educated at Tonbridge School. He joined the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve in 1938, and carried out pilot training at No. 19 E. & R.F.T.S., Gatwick. Wade was called up at the outbreak of the Second World War, and commissioned in April 1940. He was posted for operational flying with 92 Squadron (Spitfires), and joined the Squadron during its recuperation after a mauling in the Battle of France and covering the evacuation from Dunkirk.

Mark Quayle, Specialist (Associate Director) Dix Noonan Webb commented: “Wade was a pilot’s pilot, and a member of what is recognised as one of the elite squadrons of the Battle of Britain. A Spitfire ‘Ace' who survived multiple dices with death during the war, but tragically succumbed to a peace time test flight.”

Wade’s ability in the air was reflected by the number of his victories, damaged, shared or otherwise, but his aggression and willingness to get close in and take risks was also reflected by the number of times he had to make a forced-landing or was shot down after a ‘dogfight’. In total - on 5 separate occasions, 3 of which occurred during the Battle - including his narrowest escape, when waiting upside down in a Spitfire which he expected to catch fire, on Lewes Race Course, having been shot down by cross-fire from a formation of Dornier 17s.... Wade was subsequently employed as Chief Test Pilot to Hawker Aircraft.

Poignantly, despite all his experience, and the promise of a comfortable retirement when the time came, Wade’s time came all to soon. He travelled to the USA on an exchange scheme, taking the opportunity to visit his old squadron friend Tony Bartley whilst out there. Having flown various American service aircraft, Wade returned to Hawker and was killed while testing a P1081, on April 3, 1951. He crashed near Ringmer, and his funeral took place at St. John’s Crematorium, Woking.  

An unpublished letter from Tony Bartley (included with the lot), written a number of years after Wade’s death, gives the following: ‘Just before Wimpy was killed he came out to Hollywood where he stayed in my home, and one evening, confessed to me that he had lost his nerve test flying. I told him to, for God sakes, quit while he was ahead. Could happen to any of us, but he obviously disregarded my advice and warning. He was one of the most skillful pilots I knew and flew with. Maybe it was his natural conceit forbade him to do this, but in any event, he was a very nice fellow I was very fond of, and a very sad and unnecessary loss in my book.’

FULL CATALOGUING IS AVAILABLE

SALES AT DNW
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 25 – BRITISH, IRISH AND WORLD BANKNOTES
WEDNESDAY & THURSDAY, DECEMBER 1 & 2 – COINS, TOKENS & HISTORICAL MEDALS 
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 8 - ORDERS, DECORATIONS, MEDALS AND MILITARIA
Free online bidding is available is 
www.dnw.co.uk
For more information, please call 020 7016 1700
DNW are on Social Media 
Instagram @dixnoonanwebb
Facebook: dixnoonanwebb
Twitter @dixnoonanwebb
NOTES TO EDITORS: 
Dix Noonan Webb – a brief history 
In 1991, its first year of trading, the company held three medal auctions and sold 1,200 lots for a total hammer price of £553,000, however 30 years later, DNW is established as the premier medal auctioneer worldwide. Two years later, in 1993, it opened a coin department which also auctions commemorative medals and tokens. In 2015 DNW added jewellery to its sales calendar as well as setting up a stand alone banknotes department and expanding into premises next door. In 2020 DNW achieved a total hammer price of £14,256,060 and the total number of lots sold across all departments was 24,400. To date the company has sold in excess of 350,000 lots totalling over £200 million.

For further press information and images please contact: 
Rachel Aked - Tel: 07790732448/ Email: 
Rachel@rachelaked.co.uk                                                                                                                                    
November 2021