Sold with a quantity of original documentation and artefacts, including the recipient's original R.A.A.F. Flying Log Books (2), covering the period December 1940 to December 1958, the wartime entries with superbly detailed 'unofficial' commentary; an impressive photograph album, subject matter largely relating to Pilot training days; a lucky mascot leather dog, signed by fellow Squadron members; silk wartime maps (2), and much besides.
D.F.C. London Gazette 23.2.1943. 'This Officer has taken part in many operational sorties and has destroyed three enemy aircraft in combat. During the advance into Tripoli he led the Squadron with great distinction. On one occasion, when attacking Castel Benito, he destroyed an enemy aircraft on the ground. Two days later, Flight Lieutenant Schaaf led a formation attack on five Focke Wulfe 190s, three of which were destroyed'.
Bar to D.F.C. London Gazette 25.6.1946. Recommendation states 'Flight Lieutenant Schaaf has destroyed four enemy aircraft in the air, probably destroyed four, damaged three, and has destroyed 11 enemy aircraft on the ground. While at Labuan, he has destroyed one aircraft on the ground and one motor vehicle, has shared in the destruction of one motor transport, eight large houses, seven barges, two launches, and one W.T. Station, and has shared in the damaging of one motor transport, three barges, nine launches, two luggers and one ketch. During this period, he has shown leadership, courage and operational planning ability of an exceptional type. Flight Lieutenant Schaaf planned and led the first strike by Kittyhawk aircraft on Kuching on 8 August 1945, an exceptionally long flight of 950 miles for this type of aircraft. At Kuching, his formation destroyed three enemy single-seater fighters, which were at the end of the airstrip, apparently about to take off, one with the engine running. Flight Lieutenant Schaaf has always shown exceptional operational ability, leadership and courage. His leadership is most inspiring and effective. He has completed a total of 240 sorties, including 200 strikes'.
Wing Commander Frank Ronald Schaaf, D.F.C., entered the Royal Australian Air Force soon after the commencement of hostilities and started his Pilot's Course at No. 4 Elementary Flying School at Mascot, New South Wales in December 1940. By May 1941 he had gained his 'Wings' and sailed for the U.K. where he joined No. 57 O.T.U., 'A' Flight being commanded by the famous Battle of Britain ace "Ginger" Lacey. Qualifying on Spitfires, he was posted to No. 452 Squadron at Redhill, Surrey in November, with which unit he completed a number of operational sorties, including a Squadron "Balbo" on 12.12.1941 when he was jumped by 109s 'but got away'. Then in June 1942 he joined 450 (R.A.A.F.) Squadron in Libya, a busy tour in Kittyhawks resulting in a string of successes.
On a reconnaissance of the Gambut area on 18.6.1942, he was jumped by 109s and his aircraft damaged, as evidenced by one of his 'unofficial' Flying Log Book entries: 'My port aileron damaged and three or four wires shot away. Returned their first attack by climbing up to them. Pooped until stalled and spun away. Possible hits scored. Rejoined fight in time to watch one 109 crash after being hit by Flight Sergeant Dyson'. A few days later, while providing cover for some Bostons, he attacked a 109 with better results: 'Damaged him severely but could not get confirmation of kill'. Once again, however, Schaaf's Kittyhawk felt the wrath of a 109, after a successful ground strafing operation on 5.7.1942: 'Attacked by 109 on way home who pulled away when I prepared for a head on attack. Got bullet in radiator which put cooling system u./s. and was lucky to get home'. And again, on 27.7.1942, over the vicinity of Daba, in company with Pilot Officer J. Forsyth, he was jumped by 109s, Forsyth being shot down and killed ('I got in very good bursts on the bastard who got him'). And so a relentless programme of strafing continued throughout August and September, among other successes being a surprise strike on an enemy unit 150 miles behind their lines on 2.8.1942: 'Caught Jerry Long Range Group napping. Bombing and strafing excellent - I started a fire - probably a fuel dump'. But it was not until the end of October that Schaaf gained his first confirmed victory, a 109 over Daba, but not without cost - 'My kite hit by cannon fire'. Another victim was shared with his C.O. on 25.10.1942, a Stuka over Mersa Matruh, Schaaf's fire killing the Rear-Gunner - despite a punishing five minute engagement, the unfortunate Stuka remained as unconfirmed. November witnessed further successes, Schaaf claiming a 109 after a 20 minute engagement on the 9th ('Got in beautiful shots... Used up all my ammunition') and sharing a Stuka with Pilot Officer Dickie Wynn on the 22nd, their victim being 'sent into the sea with one engine out'. Undoubtedly, however, Schaaf's greatest day was 22.1.1943: 'A helluva good show! Hit by 88mm. shell which did not explode... My first view of Tripoli... Jumped by four 109s... Got one and a half confirmed and one damaged'. He was lucky, however, to get back from his 'last flip in the Desert' at the end of the month: 'Had a crack at a truck on the coast road and in so doing got a bullet in the engine, writing off my fifth "Diamond". Made base just in time for engine to completely pack up in circuit area'. Schaaf was awarded the D.F.C. and returned to Australia for duties as a Flying Instructor.
In late May 1945, he returned to the operational scene with an appointment to 82 Squadron at Morotai, the unit shortly afterwards moving to Labuan, an island off the West Coast of Borneo. Equipped with Kittyhawks, 82 was charged with hitting Japanese ground forces in support of the A.I.F., a task which was carried out with relish and no small success, Schaaf's Flying Log Book once more providing a vivid record of the Squadron's trials and tribulations. But it was for leading a remarkable attack on an enemy airstrip near Kuching in Borneo on 8.8.1945 that he received his second D.F.C., a 950 mile return trip, the longest yet achieved by Kittyhawks in an operational role: 'Four of us destroyed on ground three Tojos [Oscars] and one M.T., badly damaged two M.T., two M. Launches, two Luggers, one Ketch, three Barges, one Radar Station. My share of destroyed: one Tojo, one M.T., one confirmed Nip'. In September Schaaf converted to Mustangs, immediate post-hostilities duties including escort work for the arrival of Lady Mountbatten in Labuan in October ('Engine cut out on take-off. Shaky do!'), and for Lord Louis when he arrived in December. Then in March 1946, as C.O. of 82 Squadron, Schaaf participated in the greatest mass flight in the history of the R.A.A.F., when over 120 aircraft flew 2500 miles to Iwakuni in Japan.
Schaaf remained in the Royal Australian Air Force until the 1960s, his post-War appointments including a stint in the U.K. in 1950 with the Central Fighter Establishment at Raynham, Norfolk, and as C.O. of 75 Squadron back in Australia soon afterwards. On 1.6.1951, he set a new Adelaide to Sydney record in a Mustang at one hour, 59 minutes and five seconds. Towards the end of his career he was attached to the 9th U.S. Air Force at Sumpter, South Carolina.