The medals of a hero Battle of Britain Spitfire ace who survived a bullet whizzing through his helmet and later married movie star Deborah Kerr are being sold at auction by his family for £140,000.

Squadron Leader Anthony Bolshie Bartley (who married ‘The King an I actress’ in 1947) claimed at most 12 victories during World War Two.

At the time, he was just 20 years old when he shot down two German aircraft over Dunkirk. This occurred while 330,000 British Expeditionary Force soldiers were being evacuated to shores in May 1940.

After the dogfight, his aircraft was plagued with bullet holes. A Spitfire pilot walked up to him and said that he looked like a sieve.

One of the founding members of 92 Squadron was Sq. Ldr Bartley. He had an amazing escape after he was taken down by a Dornier Do 17 on September 20, 1940.

Squadron Leader Anthony 'Bolshie' Bartley, left, married actress Deborah Kerr, right, and moved to Hollywood following the end of the Second World War

Squadron leader Anthony “Bolshie” Bartley (left), married actress Deborah Kerr and moved to Hollywood after the Second World War.

Squadron Leader Bartley, left, pictured with two colleagues, survived being shot down during the Battle of Britain

Squadron leader Bartley (left), pictured with his two fellow colleagues after being captured during the Battle of Britain

Bartley, left, became friends with the likes of Hollywood star Clark Gable, right, who was also a WWII airman

Bartley, from left, made friends with Clark Gable (right), a Hollywood star who was also a WWII Airman.

The fighter ace's family are selling his WWII medals in an auction next month. The medals are expected to sell for something in the region of £140,000

His family is selling the WWII medals of the fighter-ace in an auction that will take place next month. The medals are expected to sell for something in the region of £140,000

He was hit by a cannon ball behind the seat. A bullet entered his helmet and struck his top. It grazed his forehead and broke his gun sight. Others punctured his oil tanks.

Although he considered bailing out, he was afraid he’d be hit in the parachute. So he went back to his cockpit and shot some random shots just for fun.

The circling Messerschmidt109 fled, and Sq. Ldr Bartley headed home. He prayed.

The engine of his car exploded 100ft high above the ground. He was then blinded and crashed into a field.

He was miraculously thrown into a haystack, and escaped unscathed.

He moved to Hollywood after the war with his wife, a celebrity. There he became a producer and also became close friends with Clark Gable.

The medals of Sql Ldr Bartley, which include a prestigious Distinguished Flying Cross & Bar, will be auctioned alongside log books and photos from London-based bidding house Dix NoonanWebb.

Mark Quayle of Dix NoonanWebb said that Bartley lived an extraordinary life, in which he became involved in many iconic events. These are all documented in his log books, autobiography, and a complete who’s who on stage, screen, and in the sky.

Mark Quayle, specialist at Dix Noonan Webb, said: 'Bartley's was a life of extraordinary adventure, during which he was involved in a number of iconic incidents, all of which are reflected in his log books and autobiography - a veritable who's who of stars of the stage, screen and sky'

Mark Quayle is a specialist in Dix NoonanWebb and said that Bartley lived an extraordinary life, in which he became involved in many iconic events. These are all documented in his log books, autobiography, and log books – which include a who’s who on stage, screen, and in the sky.

‘From Winston Churchill to Clark Gable, Noël Coward to Laurence Olivier, and Bob Stanford Tuck to ‘Sailor’ Malan – all ultimately leading to his marriage to the film star Deborah Kerr, of The King and I fame.’

Bartley Sql Ldr was born in Bengal (India) in 1919.

He began his career as an apprentice with a London-based chartered accountants, before joining the RAF May 1939 when conflict was looming.

He wrote in his log book that he was almost killed on September 18, 1940. Jumped while shooting down Do 17 – Abortive parachute – Jump attempt caused by Pursuing109 – Crashed At Appledore. Do 17 confirmed in sea.

Later, he added to the frightening incident in his autobiography. “I heard an explosion behind my armor-plated seat back. A bullet flew through my helmet and grazed the top of mine. Others punctured both my oil and glycol tanks.

The flashing lights of the ‘A109 appeared. Fumes began to build up in my cockpit. I was certain that it had hit me so I opened my hood and unfastened my straps. I started climbing over the sides.

“As my body was ready to fight, I saw my enemy prepare for another attack. I realized it would be suicide to join him.

“Escape airmen from their territory are fair game” according to some combatants’ log books. A friend had also been killed in his parachute while trying to escape them.

“So I decided to play it safe and climbed back in my plane, then turned against my attacker.

Air Chief Marshall Sir Hugh Dowding, pictured centre in a suit met with several Battle of Britain heroes. Bartley finished the war claiming at least 12 victories

Sir Hugh Dowding was Air Chief Marshal of the Air. He is pictured in the centre wearing a suit that was shared with many Battle of Britain heroes. Bartley won at least twelve victories during the war.

“My trick worked. He didn’t realize how much he had hit me. But he knew that a Spitfire can turn inside a Messerschmitt. I gave him a random blast to remind him. Then he ran for his life.

I felt too low at this point to leap, so I headed out into the field. I prayed.

“At 100 feet, my engine blew out, and I became blinded from oil.

“I hit the ground, was thrown out and fell in a haystack.

“I struck the buckle on my parachute to let it go. As it dropped to the ground, it burst open, spewing out the silk that had been broken by cannon shell shards.

“I had to pray a hasty prayer in order for the first rescue team to reach me,”

Also a pilot test pilot during the war, Sql Ldr Bartley made a friend with Laurence Olivier who was in the Fleet Air Arm.

He met Leslie Howard through him and performed aerobatics in his 1942 movie The First of the Few.

En August 1942, Squad Ldr Bartley assumed command of 111 Squadron.

His DFC was enhanced with a Bar, which he earned in the Battle of Britain for his effort.

As a liaison officer to the 70th Fighter Wing, the US Air Force’s 70th Fighter Wing for part of the war effort, Sqlr Bartley was in America.

Clark Gable met him in Beverly Hills.

Kerr was, according to legend, his flatmate from Patricia Bartley in Brussels. He met Kerr in the beginning of 1945.

He was instantly in love with her and enlisted the assistance of David Niven, an actor from Britain, to send her a proposal telegram. The couple were married in 1947.

In Hollywood, Sq Ldr Bartley produced and wrote movies for Douglas Fairbanks Presents, MCA, Fireside Theatre and Fireside Theatre.

Kerr was his wife from 1947 to 1959 and they had two kids together.

Sq Ldr Bartley divorced them in 1959. In 1965, Victoria Mann married him again. They had two daughters together.

Smoke Trails in the Sky is his autobiography. In 1984, he was published.

Kerr died in 2007, after being nominated for Best Actress six times at the Academy Awards, but she never won.

This medal group includes: the Distinguished Flying Cross; 1939–45 Star; Air Crew Europe Star. Africa Star. Pacific Star. Defence and War Medals 1939–45.

This sale will take place December 8.