The outstanding Second World War No. 617 (Dambuster) Squadron Special Duties 1944 D.S.O., 1943 Pathfinders D.F.C., 1943 D.F.M. group of nine awarded to Wellington, Lancaster and Mosquito Pilot, Squadron Leader R. S. D. Terry Kearns, Royal New Zealand Air Force A veteran of at least 87 Ops, he flew 30 of them with the famous "Dam Busters"; Kearns shared in the first Thousand-Bomber Raids and became a "Tallboy" specialist Arguably his finest hour came when he scored a direct hit, with the "Earthquake" Bomb, on the entrance of the Saumur Tunnel on 8 June 1944; having obliterated Leonard Cheshires marking Flare he caused the Squadron Commander to remark "...hold on chaps, Ill have to mark it again."
After a brief flirtation with Vampire Jets over the Malayan Jungle - in which he flew on nearly 50 strikes - Kearns returned to Bomber Command to take part in Operations during the Suez Crisis in November 1956 Distinguished Service Order, G.VI.R., silver-gilt and enamel, reverse of suspension bar officially dated 1944, with integral top-riband bar, this adapted for mounting; Distinguished Flying Cross, G.VI.R., reverse officially dated 1943; Distinguished Flying Medal, G.VI.R. (NZ. 405572 Sgt. R.S.D. Kearns. R.N.Z.A.F.), suspension a little slack; 1939-45 Star; Air Crew Europe Star, clasp, France and Germany; Defence and War Medals 1939-45; New Zealand War Service Medal 1939-45; General Service 1918-62, 2 clasps, Malaya, Near East (Flt. Lt. R.S.D. Kearns. R.A.F.), mounted court-style for wear, light contact marks throughout, very fine (9)