RARE medals of an RAF hero who flew a staggering 350 missions in the Second World War are expected to fetch thousands of pounds in auction.

The collection of memorabilia consists of at least five medals, a flying logbook and press cuttings detailing the local man’s extensive war services.

But the item which has caused the most excitement is an extremely rare Distinguished Flying Medal with the significant addition of a silver bar on the ribbon.

Bill Tag, a war medal expert, said: “The little silver bar with a crown on it shows that he won the DFM not once but twice – a fact that even his family was not aware of, and a rare achievement given that the average life expectancy of bomber crews was eight weeks.”

The St Helens gunner took part in 350 missions in total over Germany and Italy, from 1940 to 1945.

Bill, the owner of Liverpool Militaria in the city centre, said: “Quite a few DFMs were issued to the brave men that fought in the Second World War, but there would have been very few bars ordered.

“I’ve only seen one or two sold in the north west over the past 20 years because they are so personal and valuable to the families.”

Also in the collection is a rare Air Crew Europe Star – the six-pointed campaign medal, which was awarded to aircrew flying over Europe during the Second World War.

The identity of the now deceased RAF gunner from St Helens has yet to be made public, as his family who are selling the collection do not wish to be named.

Visitors will be able to view the brave man’s name engraved on the medal when the items go for auction on May 19, with Cato Crane Auctioneers on Stanhope Street, Liverpool.

Information in his log book will also be available for viewing before the auction. The items are estimated to fetch between £2,000 and £3,000, with collectors and investors likely to place bids.

Bill, 64, said: “If this RAF serviceman had tried to sell his medals when he was alive, he would probably have only got £300 for the collection. But over the last 20 years or so, the price of such items has gone up tenfold.”

n Do you know who the RAF hero was? Contact the Star by emailing news@sthelensstar or write to Dear Star.