322 (Dutch) Squadron 1939-1945 Certificate of Appreciation
No. 322 Squadron of the Royal Air Force was formed from mainly Dutch personnel on 12th June 1943 at RAF Woodvale. It served at a variety of fighter stations during the Second World War, operating Spitfires. In 1944 it was tasked with intercepting the V-1 Flying bombs and in total claimed 108 1/2 destroyed. On 7th October 1945, the squadron disbanded at Wunstorf in Germany, but was subsequently reformed as No. 322 Squadron RNLAF, keeping its Dutch motto 'Niet praten maar doen' or translated "Don't prattle, act" and its mascot "Polly Grey" the parrot.
This original certificate was presented by Colonel I. A. Aler on behalf of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Frank Lawrence Boutcher, who served with 322 Squadron as a flight mechanic and later transferred to Bomber Command and promoted to Fitter, servicing Stirling and Halifax heavy Bombers. Whilst working on the latter an engine caught fire and he beat the flames with his hat! Subsequently he was posted to the Air Sea Rescue Training Centre and eventually going to Calshot in Hampshire to work on rescue boats. Interestingly he was interviewed for the Bomber Command Digital Archive in 2018 that can be accessed via this link, that tells his wartime story in his own words.
https://ibccdigitalarchive. lincoln. ac. uk/omeka/collections/document/10115
The certificate has been more recently framed using anti glare Perspex acrylic, that has minor scratching to the surface but does not detract. The certificate remains in good condition with minor creasing, but now protected by the framing. An unusual piece of 322 (Dutch) Squadron ephemera, dedicated to a man who made an important but previously unsung contribution to both his Squadron and to the War effort. Measures 15" x 12" (39 cm x 31 cm)