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16,000 GBP
0 Bid(s)
2,400 GBP
4,000 - 6,000 GBP
Live auction
Lot closed
Lot location
Cardiff, Cardiff
WING COMMANDER REX SOUTHERN SANDERS OBE (1922-2017) WWII medal group comprising DFC (Distinguished Flying Cross) engraved with date 1944, AFC (Air Force Cross) engraved with date 1953 & Bar, 1939-45 Star, Air Crew Europe Star, Burma Star, Defence medal, War Medal, GSM (General Service Medal) with Asia 1945-46 bar, with miniatures, Royal Canadian Air Force Observer's and Air Gunner's Flying Log Book commencing 12th August 1942 - 29th July 1954 detailing various operations with signed certification that F/Lt R Sanders had completed his first tour of operations consisting of 33 1/2 sorties including Berlin, Royal Air Force Pilot's Flying Log Book commencing 18th November 1941 - 23rd May 1942, Royal Air Force Flying Log Book for navigators, air bombers, air gunners, flight engineers commencing 6th August 1954 - 21st November 1962, together with Legion of Honour French order of merit, cased Bomber Command ribbon, cased medallion recognising service in early Cold War overflights 1950-56, DFC and AFC cases ETC Provenance: direct from family Obituary written by Graham Pitchfork for The Telegraph: Spy Flight’s Navigator Dies aged 94Wing Commander Rex Sanders, who has died aged 94, was the lead navigator of a select nine-man RAF team that flew USAF reconnaissance aircraft on a series of top secret, and highly risky, spy flights deep into the Soviet Union in the early 1950s.London-born Rex Sanders joined the RAF in April 1941 and trained as a navigator in Canada. After completing his training in the UK he was posted to No.78 Squadron based in Yorkshire and operating the four-engine Halifax.Within a few weeks of his arrival, Bomber Command embarked on its most intensive period of operations with the beginning of what became known as the ‘Battle of Berlin’. Sanders made a number of sorties to the ‘Big City’, which he described as ‘quite difficult’. He also attacked other major cities before the bombers were switched to targets in France in preparation for the D-Day landings.On the night of June 5, 1944 he attacked gun batteries on the Channel coast unaware that the air and sea invasion was about to begin. He recalled, “Coming back my radar showed the Channel chock-a-block with ships. I told the crew: 'This is it'.”Sanders was rested after completing thirty-three operations. In eleven months his crew were only the third in their squadron to complete a full tour of duty. Well over half had been lost. He was awarded the DFC. After the war he specialised in navigation and in 1951 he was selected for a ‘special flight’. In August three RAF crews flew to a USAF base in Louisiana to train on the North American RB-45C four-engine jet reconnaissance aircraft. The leader of the team was Squadron Leader John Crampton and Sanders was his navigator. In the following February the crews were briefed on their secret flight codenamed ‘Ju-Jitsu’. Four RB-45Cs were flown to an RAF base in north Norfolk where they were shorn of their USAF markings and repainted with RAF roundels (one aircraft was to act as a spare).After Crampton and Sanders had flown a practice flight along the Berlin Air Corridor to test the Soviet reaction – there was none – Prime Minister Winston Churchill gave approval for the top-secret flights. The three aircraft took off on April 17, 1952 and headed for Denmark where they refuelled from airborne tankers. Crampton then turned south east for Russia flying at 36,000 feet. Electronic intelligence was gathered and photographs taken of the targets and, after an uneventful flight, the aircraft landed back at Sculthorpe after a ten-hour flight.The three crews returned to normal duties but the special unit was reformed in April 1954 for another series of flights. On the 28th, Crampton and Sanders headed for Kiev; the longest of the three flights. Sanders had just taken some photographs when the RB-45 came under anti-aircraft fire. Realising that his aircraft had been identified and was being tracked by ground radars; Crampton applied full power and turned west, towards Germany, some 1,000 miles away. General Vladimir Abramov, Commander for the Kiev region, revealed in later years that he had ordered MiG fighter pilots to try and ram the spy aircraft but they were unable to reach 36,000 feet to intercept the RB-45C.This highly clandestine Cold War episode remained a closely guarded secret until 1994 when the BBC and the Daily Telegraph disclosed some details. Sanders was among retired RAF personnel interviewed on BBC's Timewatch programme a few years later. The RAF and USAF commanders considered the flights valuable and Crampton and his crews were decorated, Sanders receiving the AFC, adding a Bar for the second flight.After completing the RAF Flying College Course, when he made a hazardous flight to the North Pole in a Canberra, Sanders specialised in guided weapons before he served in charge of operations on a Thor Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile Site in Norfolk.After two years as the Air Advisor to the Pakistan Air Force he assumed command of RAF Aberporth on the Welsh coast from where air defence missiles, including the Bloodhound surface-to-air guided missile, were tested.His final appointment was a five-year tour in the MOD Operational Requirements Directorate. His secret work resulted in his appointment as OBE. He retired in December 1977.(Photograph 9 of Rex Sanders included in the obituary - not included in lot) Auctioneer's Note: Wing Commander Rex Southern Sanders DFC AFC & Bar OBE was a Royal Air Force navigator who won a DFC for his service during the Second World War and an AFC for his part in secret photographic and radar reconnaissance missions behind Soviet lines during the Cold War in the 1950's. Operation Jiu Jitsu - the cover story was that the RAF was evaluating the mid air refueling capabilities of the RB-45 when secretly vital intelligence was being gathered on the Soviet infrastructure, defences and offences. Sanders was the lead navigator of a select nine-man RAF team that flew USAF reconnaissance aircraft on a series of top secret, and highly risky, spy flights deep into the Soviet Union in the early 1950s. In August 1951, three RAF bomber crews flew to a USAF base in Louisiana to train on the North American RB-45C four-engine jet reconnaissance aircraft. The following February the crews were briefed on the operation. Four RB-45Cs were flown to an RAF base in north Norfolk, where they were shorn of their USAF markings and repainted with RAF roundels. Comments: viewing in person highly recommended
Selections & Collections, Cardiff
Venue address
Unit 17 Llandough Trading Estate
Penarth Road
Cardiff, Cardiff
CF11 8RR
United Kingdom
Selections & Collections, Cardiff

NO BIDDING IN ROOM, SORRY. Closed on auction day.

Auction dates
Nov 06, 2021 04:30 PM GMT
Auction currency
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Shipping can be arranged for all purchased lots FREE OF CHARGE between our two salerooms in Colwyn Bay and Cardiff for items which are practical to do so (please enquire prior to auction). Postage and Packing can be done for specific items in Colwyn Bay sales (please enquire as to whether your item qualifies before bidding).

The Cardiff venue does not offer 'in-house' P&P service as there are various competitive options for an outsourced service in the locality. Again, please enquire prior to bidding.



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If the work of a living artist has a hammer price of 1,000 euros or more (British Sterling equivalent), an additional 4% will be levied on the hammer price.  This is known as Droit de Suite and is an obligatory levy which is passed on to the living artist.







1. The forename(s) (or asterisks where not known) and surname of the artist indicate in our opinion the work of the artist.


2. The initial(s) of the forename(s) and the surname of the artist indicate in our opinion a work of the period of the artist which may be wholly or, in part, his work.


3. A picture catalogued as “ATTRIBUTED TO” is in our opinion probably a work by that artist.


4. A picture catalogued as “FOLLOWER OF” is in our opinion a work by a painter working in that artist’s style.


5. A picture catalogues as “SCHOOL” accompanied by the name of a place or country and a date means that in our opinion the picture was executed at that time and in that location.


6. A picture bearing the word “AFTER” is in our opinion a copy of any date after a work by that artist.


7. The term “BEARS A SIGNATURE” means that in our opinion the artist’s name has been added by another hand.


8. Dimensions are given height before width, are at approximate and to the nearest half an inch.


9. “ANTIQUE” – The word antique is intended to define a TYPE of auction and NOT NECESSARILY the age of the items in it.  Our Antique Auctions may contain items up to present-day age.

Buyer’s Premium

24% + VAT (28.8%) on all lots up to a hammer price of £39,999
16% + VAT (19.2%) on all lots of a hammer price £40,000 and over
12% + VAT (14.4%) on all lots of a hammer price £50,000 and over
8% + VAT (9.6%) on all lots of a hammer price £60,000 and over

Other Charges
-surcharge for registering and bidding on but not through Rogers Jones Live which is accessed via bidding with Rogers Jones Live is FREE

-Droite de Suite / Artist’s Resale Right charge of 4% on original artwork by EEA based artists on hammer prices of 1000 euros or over (GBP equivalent)

The percentages are as follows:
4%          up to €50,000
3%          between €50,000.01 and 200,000
1%          between €200,000.01 and 350,000
0.5%       between €350,000.01 and 500,000
0.25%     in excess of €500,000 

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Condition Reports
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No room bidding in this auction
Please note: office and saleroom are closed on auction day, phone calls will not be answered on auction day. Urgent auction day contact by email online ( but please make contact prior to auction day.

Telephone Bidding - by return of form supplied by us only. Return required by 1pm, 5 November. Telephone lines limited and first come first served.
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Payment by bank transfer only to be settled within 3 working days. We do not accept payment in person at the saleroom. Payment can be taken from debit cards registered on the saleroom.


Collection is by appointment only as of Monday, 8 November. After payment, please call the office 02920 708125. Unfortunately, we cannot permit collections on auction days.

Collection arrangements must be made by Friday, 12 November, storage charges will apply following this date.


Packing & Shipping
Please note we do not offer an ‘in-house’ P&P service in our Cardiff saleroom; however we are able to post small items in jiffy type bags only – this is done at the purchaser’s risk and cost with no insurance liability on the sender’s part (please enquire prior to placing bids).

We suggest contacting our local Mailboxes / 02921 322157 for insured carriage. Successful bidders will be offered the services of Auction Logistics. Further information on the delivery service provided by Auction Logistics is available via the following link : 

Please note, Auction Logistics is the shipping partner of The Saleroom and not associated with Rogers Jones & Co. 


Transport to Colwyn Bay Saleroom
We can deliver purchased items to our Colwyn Bay auction-rooms free of charge ON ONE OCCASION and only for items which have been paid for fully prior to delivery. For the date of this ONE OFF delivery please enquire on 02920 708125.

We can also deliver purchased items to our Carmarthen office free of charge. For larger lots, there may be a small carriage chair (please enquire prior to placing bids).