Mounsdon (1918-2019) started training in the RAF on August 24, 1939 and joined 56 Squadron on June 3, 1940, in which he flew Hurricanes during the Battle of Britain, destroying at least three enemy planes and damaging another.
Shot down over Colchester on August 31, he was badly burned and spent nine months in hospital while receiving reconstructive surgery, thus becoming a member of ‘The Guinea Pig Club’ – the airmen treated at the pioneering medical unit at Queen Victoria Hospital, East Grinstead.
Mounsdon’s medal group of 1939-45 Star with Battle of Britain clasp, Air Crew Europe Star with France & Germany clasp, Defence and War Medals in Air Ministry named box of issue and transmission slip, and his dress miniature awards, were part of a lot offered at Gloucestershire saleroom Dominic Winter (20% buyer’s premium) on May 18 estimated at £3000-5000.
The lot, consigned from Mounsdon’s estate, included a large collection of related items such as original documents, letters and photographs, and a rare Guinea Pig Club membership badge presented to him for having undergone experimental plastic surgery.
After interest from four phones, two commission bids and online, the contest on sale day in South Cerney came down to a phone bidder and bidder in the room (both private collectors), the former being successful at £25,000.