The Victoria Cross and other medals of a World War I fighter ace, Maj. Edward "Mick" Mannock, sold for a record price of $236,280 on Saturday, Sotheby's said.
Mannock was officially credited with destroying 73 German aircraft, more than any other fighter pilot in both world wars, before he was shot down and killed by ground fire in France in 1918.The auction house said an anonymous British collector made the successful bid by telephone.
The Victoria Cross is Britain's highest decoration for battlefield valor. Mannock also was awarded the Distinguished Service Order three times and the Military Cross twice. The sales lot also included Mannock's identity tags, sent to England by the unknown German who buried him.
The medals were sold by an elderly niece of Mannock.
The previous high price for a Victoria Cross group of medals was paid in September 1990, for the decorations of Lt. W.B. Rhodes Moorehouse, who died after bringing home his crippled bomber in World War I.