A letter from a Commanding Officer to Hartley’s parents
Their epic story of survival has come to light after the family of FO Hartley sold the Distinguished Flying Cross he was awarded for more than £3,000.
A black and white picture of the airmen in the dingy at the time they were rescued was also included in the lot.
Simon Nuttall, of Wright Marshall, said: “It is the most remarkable collection that tells an extraordinary story of heroism and survival.
“The logbooks, diary, letters and telegrams cover almost every emotion imaginable.
“One can’t even begin to imagine the feeling of hopelessness and despair the men felt as day after day went by with no sign of rescue and with no food or water.
“That must have given way to sheer relief after they were rescued.”
On board were pilot FO Hartley, co-pilot Captain Roger Mead, navigator Sgt T Bach, engineer Sgt George Robertson, mid-upper gunner Sgt Ken Ladds, wireless operator Sgt A Fox, rear gunner Sgt Robert Triggol and front gunner Sgt Maldwyn Griffiths.