941 Balloon Squadron Art Deco Presentation Table Lighter
Presentation engraved to base ‘From N.C.O’s and Airmen of 941 Squadron’. Land at Lightwood in Sheffield was requisitioned by the Air Ministry and was opened on 15 August 1939 to became home to No. 16 Balloon Centre, part of No.33 Barrage Balloon Group, RAF. The Centre comprised three Squadrons: 939 West Riding Sqn, Sheffield West, 940 West Riding Sqn, Rotherham and 941 West Riding Sqn, Sheffield Central. Each squadron had three flights comprising 8 balloons each. 941 Squadron was commanded by S/Ldr R. E. Wilson M.C., assisted by flight commanders: Fl/Lts. N. Harland, A.L. Baker, and R.G.A. Colley. In August 1940, 941 Sqn was disbanded due to a lack of volunteers, with equipment and personnel being transferred to 939 Sqn. In total, the Centre was responsible for 72 balloons for the defence of Sheffield. In 1943, the Lightwood site was renamed RAF Norton. By 1943/44, with the threat of heavy air raids diminishing, most of the balloons were transferred south for the defence of London and the site closed as a balloon centre in late 1944. The lighter is marked to the base ‘Foreign Brit. Patent 400888’.From our research this lighter was surprisingly made in Germany by Brevete S.G.D.G. and is model 111, introduced in 1937. It would therefore appear this was exported to Britain pre war and was subsequently purchased and presented to an un named member of 941 Squadron sometime between 1939 and 1941. The Battle of Britain officially ran from July 10th to 31 October 1940 and with Sheffield being the centre of steel production was a hot spot back in the summer of 1940. The lighter appears in good used condition but shows some wear to the silver plate. The mechanism and spark seem to work fine but we have not tested to see if it is fully operational and is therefore for sale a collectable item of scarce barrage balloon memorabilia. The lighter measures 4.0" x 3.5” (10 cm x 9 cm) If you have interest in Barrage Balloon memorabilia please also check out item 5440 in our ‘Miscellaneous Aviation’ section as this relates to 934 Squadron.