1939-45 Star, Aircrew Europe Star, War Medal, Sergeant (Observer) Lawrence Dudley Norman, 78th Squadron Royal Air Force (Volunteer Reserve), shot down over Holland on 9th January 1941 by German Ace Reinhold Eckhardt, his first Night Victory of an eventual 22.
755448 Sgt Lawrence Dudley Norman RAFVR, was the son of Percy Wilfird and Amy Ethel Norman, of Banstead Surrey.
He was only 19 in 1941 when he was on operation flying with 78 Squadron, engaged in bombing runs over Holland.
He was the observer aboard Whitley Bomber T4203 on January 9th 1941, sent out on Operation Gelsenkirchen taking off from RAF Dishforth.
Nine Squadron aircraft were on the line for the 9th/10th, the target being the synthetic oil plants at Gelsenkirchen. One aircraft aborted due to its wireless becoming unserviceable, but the rest reached the target, although only two bombed the primary and five alternate targets.
Whitley Bomber T4203 was not to arrive home that night.
23 Year Old Oberleutnant Reinhold Eckardt of II./NJG1 (6th Staffel) was to gain his first victory as a Night Fighter Pilot, having gained 3 victories in 1940, including shooting down 2 Spitfires over England during the Battle of Britain.
On the 9th January he went out to intercept the British Bombers, he engaged with Whitley T4203 and shot down the plane, the aircraft crashed through the ice-encrusted floodwater between Millingen and Kekerdom (Gelderland), Holland at 23.18 Hrs.
Pilot Sgt C.A. Smith, 2nd Pilot Sgt S.H. Burley, Observer L.D. Norman, Wireless Operator A.W. Astle & Rear Gunner V. Tarrant were all killed and buried in Mook War Cemetery, the Netherlands.
Reinhold Eckardt would go on to down 22 British planes in a span of 2 years, before being shot down, his parachute caught the end of his plane after he was forced to bail out having earned his final victory.
The medals are still in their wax packets of issue, with unworn ribbons, including the original box sent to his Father, P.W. Norman as well as Condolence Slip, medal entitlement slip & name slip.