RAF Museum Acquires Goodman Medals

The Royal Air Force Museum recently acquired the six medals awarded to WWII Lancaster bomber pilot, Squadron Leader Lawrence Seymour ‘Benny’ Goodman, following a deal with the auctioneers, Dix Noonan Webb. Goodman died in July 2021, aged 100; a memorial service took place at St.Clement Danes, the RAF’s ceremonial church in London, on February 4th, 2022. Goodman was the last surviving RAF 617 Squadron pilot to have participated in a Tallboy attack on the German battleship Tirpitz (Operation Obviate on October 29, 1944). He had flown on 30 bombing operations by the end of the war, and was one of the few pilots to drop the 22,000lb ‘Grand Slam’ bomb, the heaviest ever dropped by the Royal Air Force.

The medals were sold with Squadron Leader Goodman’s brown leather Irvin flying jacket, five RAF Pilot’s Flying Log Books plus several photographs and images of the recipient, as well as a variety of books.


Christopher Mellor-Hill, Head of Client Liaison (Associate Director) at Dix Noonan Webb commented: “DNW are pleased to have facilitated the sale of ‘Benny’ Goodman’s medals and memorabilia to the RAF Museum by mutual agreement before the auction. They will be part of a major exhibit being planned by the museum.”

Hidden Heroes at the RAF Museum in London. Photo date: Thursday, November 15, 2018. Photo: Richard Gray

Squadron Leader Goodman’s son, Robert, also added: “I’m very pleased that my father’s medals and artifacts will be purchased by the RAF Museum with the proceeds of the sale benefitting the Royal Air Force No 617 Squadron Association. I’m sure that he would have been thrilled that his legacy will be kept alive for the nation and shared with the world at the RAF Museum while giving back to No 617 Squadron, with which he fought so valiantly during the Second World War.”


Dr. Peter Johnston (Head of Collections and Research, the RAF Museum) explained: “The Museum is delighted to have acquired this wonderful piece of history which enables us to tell a unique part of the Royal Air Force story. “Benny” Goodman had a fantastic relationship with the Museum and was featured in the Jewish ‘Hidden Heroes’ project that was launched in 2018. We are planning that his medals and logbook will go on display in the Bomber Command Hall as part of its redevelopment in 2023.”

About Dix Noonan Web: In 1991, in its first year of trading, Dix Noonan Web 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 that also auctions commemorative medals and tokens. In 2015 DNW added jewelry to its sales calendar as well as set up a stand-alone banknotes department and expanded 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 totaling over £200 million.

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