In September 1941 Sergeant Pilot Charlton ‘Wag’ Haw was sent with his squadron to Russia to teach the Soviets how to fly and maintain the Hawker Hurricane. Twenty three Hurricanes were flown off HMS Argus to an airfield near Murmansk and during the course of the next few weeks, in appalling weather conditions, ‘Wag’ shot down three German Messerschmitt Bf 109s and was awarded 100 roubles for each of the aircraft destroyed. More importantly, he was awarded the Order of Lenin, one of Russia’s highest awards for bravery. He was one of only four RAF pilots to receive this award.
On return from Russia in December 1941 he was commissioned and later in the war commanded two fighter squadrons including No 129, a Mustang squadron that operated around D-Day from Coolham Advanced Landing Ground, near Storrington. During the war he was also awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal and the Distinguished Flying Cross. His son Stuart and his daughter-in-law Susan have recently presented the Museum with Wag Haw’s set of miniature medals which will be displayed in our medal exhibition.
Main photo: Squadron Leader ‘Wag” Haw’s medals are presented to the Museum’s Archivist, Dr Reginald Byron.
Bottom left: Squadron Leader Charlton ‘Wag’ Haw’s medals.
Bottom right: Sergeant Pilot ‘Wag’ Haw during the Battle of Britain.