A museum is appealing for help from the public to keep a Victoria Cross medal belonging to a Second World War hero in the UK.
The RAF Museum is trying to purchase a VC medal which was awarded to Squadron Leader Arthur Scarf for his bravery in 1941, where he led a successful attack on a Japanese airfield, and then ensured the survival of his crewmates at the cost of his own life.
The medal was previously sold at auction and could be at risk of being taken out of the country, but the museum has a chance to fundraise, match the sale price and buy it.
Dr Harry Raffal, RAF Museum historian and head of collections, said: "Not only does Sqn Ldr Scarf's Victoria Cross represent his outstanding devotion to duty and supreme act of bravery, it is also a powerful reminder of the sacrifices made by all the British and Commonwealth service personnel fighting in the Far East, and the role of the RAF within this context.
"This unique medal is part of our nation's heritage, and a significant element to a decisive moment in British history."
This will allow the Royal Air Force Museum to display the medal and share Arthur's amazing story as one of the 22 RAF servicemen to receive the award in the Second World War.
Arthur joined the RAF in 1936 when he was 23 and began training as a pilot. He later became a squadron leader.
In 1941, he was stationed in Singapore with No 62 squadron and began serving in the Far East against the Japanese.
On 9 December, he led a formation of Bristol Blenheim aircraft in a daylight attack on Japanese forces occupying airfields in Burma – modern-day Thailand.
As he became airborne, a formation of Japanese bombers swept over their airfield, destroying every British aircraft on the ground.
Regardless, Arthur's aircraft continued with the mission on its own and, despite being outnumbered and outgunned, he was able to release his bombs on the target.
Arthur evaded several attacks by Japanese fighters and, while escaping, he was forced to fly at tree-top height.
His aircraft took heavy damage, and he was mortally wounded before he could land. Despite his injuries, he was able to land his aircraft, saving his crew, but he later died from his wounds.
In 1948, the Victoria Cross was awarded posthumously to him and was presented to his widow, Elizabeth, by King George VI at Buckingham Palace.
Arthur Scarf was the recipient of the only Victoria Cross awarded to the Royal Air Force for services in the Far East during the Second World War.
Dr Raffal added: "There is an imminent risk of it leaving the UK, but we're hopeful that with public support we can prevent this from happening, and for the medal to remain on our shores.
"If we're successful, the medal will be displayed at the museum, in the heart of our collection, helping us to share the stories of all those RAF personnel who fought, lived, and died in the conflict."
The museum aims to raise £250,000 to buy the medal and keep it in the UK.
Details of how to support the museum can be found at Save the Scarf VC GoFundMe page.