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|Click Here For Full Artist Print Indexes||Aviation History Archive|
Royal Air Force fighter aircraft, maximum speed for mark I Supermarine Spitfire, 362mph up to The Seafire 47 with a top speed of 452mph. maximum ceiling for Mk I 34,000feet up to 44,500 for the mark XIV. Maximum range for MK I 575 miles . up to 1475 miles for the Seafire 47. Armament for the various Marks of Spitfire. for MK I, and II . eight fixed .303 browning Machine guns, for MKs V-IX and XVI two 20mm Hispano cannons and four .303 browning machine guns. and on later Marks, six to eight Rockets under the wings or a maximum bomb load of 1,000 lbs. Designed by R J Mitchell, The proto type Spitfire first flew on the 5th March 1936. and entered service with the Royal Air Force in August 1938, with 19 squadron based and RAF Duxford. by the outbreak of World war two, there were twelve squadrons with a total of 187 spitfires, with another 83 in store. Between 1939 and 1945, a large variety of modifications and developments produced a variety of MK,s from I to XVI. The mark II came into service in late 1940, and in March 1941, the Mk,V came into service. To counter the Improvements in fighters of the Luftwaffe especially the FW190, the MK,XII was introduced with its Griffin engine. The Fleet Air Arm used the Mk,I and II and were named Seafires. By the end of production in 1948 a total of 20,351 spitfires had been made and 2408 Seafires. The most produced variant was the Spitfire Mark V, with a total of 6479 spitfires produced. The Royal Air Force kept Spitfires in front line use until April 1954.
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|Spitfire Aviation Art Prints, Paintings and Drawings|
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|Top Aces for : Spitfire|
|A list of all Aces from our database who are known to have flown this aircraft. A profile page is available by clicking the pilots name.|
|James E Johnnie Johnson||36.91||The signature of James E Johnnie Johnson features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|Adolf Gysbert Malam||35.00|
|Brendon E Paddy Finucane||32.00|
|George Frederick Beurling||31.50|
|Robert Stanford-Tuck||29.00||The signature of Robert Stanford-Tuck features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|James Harry Ginger Lacey||28.00||The signature of James Harry Ginger Lacey features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|Neville F Duke||28.00||The signature of Neville F Duke features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|Francis S Gabreski||28.00||The signature of Francis S Gabreski features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|Colin Falkland Gray||27.50|
|Eric Stanley Lock||26.50|
|Pierre H Closterman||26.00||The signature of Pierre H Closterman features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|Lance C Wade||25.00|
|Douglas Bader||23.00||The signature of Douglas Bader features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|Don E Kingaby||23.00||The signature of Don E Kingaby features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|Harbourne M Stephen||22.50||The signature of Harbourne M Stephen features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|Alan Christopher Deere||22.00||The signature of Alan Christopher Deere features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|Evan Dall Mackie||21.50|
|Archibald Ashmore Archie McKellar||21.00|
|James E Rankin||21.00|
|Raymond Hiley Harries||20.00|
|John Cunningham||20.00||The signature of John Cunningham features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|Dominic S Gentile||19.83|
|Duane W Beeson||19.33|
|James S Varnell Jr||17.00|
|W G G Duncan-Smith||17.00||The signature of W G G Duncan-Smith features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|James Francis Edwards||16.50||The signature of James Francis Edwards features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|R N Baker||16.50|
|Agorastos John Plagis||16.00|
|Brian John George Carbury||15.50|
|Donald James Mathew Blakeslee||15.50||The signature of Donald James Mathew Blakeslee features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|Ian Richard Gleed||15.00|
|Peter Malam Brothers||15.00||The signature of Peter Malam Brothers features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|Robert Francis Thomas Doe||15.00||The signature of Robert Francis Thomas Doe features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|James A Goodson||15.00||The signature of James A Goodson features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|Samuel J Brown||15.00|
|Archie Glenn Donahue||14.00||The signature of Archie Glenn Donahue features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|Robert C Curtis||14.00||The signature of Robert C Curtis features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|Tom Neil||14.00||The signature of Tom Neil features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|John Connell Freeborn||13.50||The signature of John Connell Freeborn features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|Claude Weaver III||13.50|
|Roderick Illingworth Alpine Smith||13.20||The signature of Roderick Illingworth Alpine Smith features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|John Donald Rae||13.00||The signature of John Donald Rae features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|James L Brooks||13.00||The signature of James L Brooks features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|John J Lynch||13.00|
|Tony Gaze||12.50||The signature of Tony Gaze features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|David C Fairbanks||12.50|
|Alan Geoffrey Page||12.50||The signature of Alan Geoffrey Page features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|Howard D Hively||12.00|
|Pierce W McKennon||12.00|
|James Averell Clark Jr||11.50|
|George Harman Ben Bennions||11.00||The signature of George Harman Ben Bennions features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|Hugh Spencer Leslie Dundas||11.00||The signature of Hugh Spencer Leslie Dundas features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|Charles Milton McCorkle||11.00|
|John B Lawler||11.00|
|Leland P Molland||11.00|
|Norman L McDonald||11.00|
|Robert J Goebel||11.00||The signature of Robert J Goebel features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|Bobby Gibbes||10.50||The signature of Bobby Gibbes features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|Richard Joseph Audet||10.50|
|George C Grumpy Unwin||10.00||The signature of George C Grumpy Unwin features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|Albert Ulrich Houle||10.00||The signature of Albert Ulrich Houle features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|Michael Gladych||10.00||The signature of Michael Gladych features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|Spiros N Pisanos||10.00||The signature of Spiros N Pisanos features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|Arthur G Johnson Jr||8.50|
|Carroll W McColpin||8.00||The signature of Carroll W McColpin features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|Dale E Shafer||8.00|
|James O Tyler||8.00|
|J M Ainley||8.00|
|John Bisdee||8.00||The signature of John Bisdee features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|Paul Farnes||8.00||The signature of Paul Farnes features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|Wallace 'Jock' Cunningham||8.00||The signature of Wallace 'Jock' Cunningham features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|James Douglas Lindsay||7.00||The signature of James Douglas Lindsay features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|Arnold E Vinson||7.00|
|Carl W Payne||7.00|
|Chesley G Peterson||7.00|
|Daniel J Zoerb||7.00|
|Frank A Hill||7.00|
|Gregory A Daymond||7.00|
|John Harvey Curry||7.00|
|Murry D McLaughlin||7.00|
|Reade Franklin Tilley||7.00||The signature of Reade Franklin Tilley features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|Ripley Ogden Jones||7.00|
|Bob Foster||7.00||The signature of Bob Foster features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|Wilf Sizer||7.00||The signature of Wilf Sizer features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|Richard F Hurd||6.09|
|Fred F Ohr||6.00|
|Henry L Mills||6.00|
|James Eldridge Peck||6.00|
|J D Collinsworth||6.00||The signature of J D Collinsworth features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|Lewis W Chick Jr||6.00|
|Merriwell W Vineyard||6.00|
|Raymond C Care||6.00|
|Raymond F Harmeyer||6.00|
|Roy William Evans||6.00|
|William J Dillard||6.00|
|William R Dunn||6.00|
|D M Pieri||6.00|
|Basil Gerald 'Stapme' Stapleton||6.00||The signature of Basil Gerald 'Stapme' Stapleton features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|Frederick O Trafton Jr||5.50|
|Joseph P Lynch||5.50|
|Oscar Hoffman Coen||5.50||The signature of Oscar Hoffman Coen features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|Keith Ashley Lawrence||5.00||The signature of Keith Ashley Lawrence features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|Harrison R Thyng||5.00|
|Arthur B Cleaveland||5.00|
|Charles R Fischette||5.00||The signature of Charles R Fischette features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|David C Wilhelm||5.00|
|Edward L Gimbel||5.00|
|George G Loving Jr||5.00||The signature of George G Loving Jr features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|Jackson B Mahon||5.00|
|James E Peck||5.00|
|James W Empey||5.00|
|John H White||5.00|
|Kenneth G Smith||5.00|
|Richard D Faxon||5.00|
|Richard L Alexander||5.00|
|Selden E Edner||5.00|
|Virgil C Fields Jr||5.00|
|V N Cabas||5.00|
|P G Johnson||5.00|
|H P M Zary||5.00|
|R L Burnett III||5.00|
|J N Thorne||5.00|
|J A Carey||4.50|
|R M Davenport||4.50|
|M K Fletcher||4.50|
|J E Butler||4.50|
|J A Adams||4.50|
|J Aitken Jr||4.50|
|J A Jacobs||4.50|
|V J France||4.50|
|V H Wynn||4.00|
|M G H McPharlin||3.00|
|W J Daley||2.50|
|Signatures for : Spitfire|
|A list of all signatures from our database who are associated with this aircraft. A profile page is available by clicking their name.|
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by Captain Luke Allen
| Captain Luke Allen |
Volunteering for the RAF just as the Battle of Britain was reaching its climax, Luke joined 71 Eagle Squadron, flying his first combat operation in April 1941 on Hurricanes. Converting to Spitfires the squadron had a busy period of patrols, sweeps and escorts before transferring to the USAAF as the 334th Fighter Squadron. Luke flew over 60 combat missions in Europe.
Click the name above to see prints signed by Flight Lieutenant Peter Allen
| Flight Lieutenant Peter Allen |
Completing his pilot training at No.1 OTU in Canada, he was assigned to 54 Sqn on Spitfires which had been relocated from Britain to Darwin, Northern Australia in 1943. The squadron carried out Air Defence patrols against Japanese aircraft and high-level reconnaissance flights.
Click the name above to see prints signed by Captain Murray Anderson DFC*
| Captain Murray Anderson DFC* |
Commissioned in the Royal Tank Regiment from RMA Woolwich in 1939, Murray Anderson was seconded to the Royal Air Force in 1940. He flew Spitfires with No.1 Photo Reconnaissance Unit at RAF Benson until 1943. He then joined 161 (Special Duties) Squadron flying Lysanders, and was the most successful pick up pilot for the whole of that year even though in May 1944 he was posted to 65 Squadron 2nd Tactical Air Force, flying Mustangs. After a rest period he was posted to 52 Sqn at Dum Dum in May 1945.
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by Flight Lieutenant Alexander N R L Appleford
| Flight Lieutenant Alexander N R L Appleford |
Born in September 1921, Robin Appleford was one of the youngest pilots to take part in the Battle of Britain. He joined 66 Squadron at Duxford on 13th May 1940, flying Spitfires. He was shot down over the Thames Estuary during a dogfight on 4th September 1940, but baled out slightly wounded. After a spell as an instructor, in 1943 he flew another combat tour, this time with 274 Squadron, flying Hurricanes on coastal defence in North Africa. After a spell with the Aircraft Delivery Unit, he went to South Africa as a flying instructor. Sadly, we have learned that Alexander Appleford passed away on 17th April 2012.
Click the name above to see prints signed by Flight Lieutenant Peter Arkell
| Flight Lieutenant Peter Arkell |
For his first tour Peter flew Mustangs and Spitfires with 26 Squadron on intruder and low lever photographic sorties over France, before joining 161 Squadron as Tempsford in 1944, flying Lysanders into occupied Europe. He then accompanied the Lysanders to Burma where he flew 35 successful but hazardous missions supplying Force 136 behind the Japanese lines. He was awarded the OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 1997 for his work as chairman of the Anglo-American community relations committee at RAF Fairford. Peter Arkell passed away on 27th August 2010.
Click the name above to see prints signed by Flight Lieutenant William Tex Ash
| Flight Lieutenant William Tex Ash |
Volunteer American pilot Bill Ash joined the RCAF and flew Spitfires with 411 Squadron gaining 3 confirmed victories. Shot down in 1942 he became a POW and was sent to Stalag Luft III where he took part in The Great Escape, and later was involved in more than a dozen escape attempts from POW camps in Poland, Germany and Lithuania. A constant trouble maker to his captors, Bill Ash became a real life Cooler King after many hours spent in solitary captivity.
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by Wing Commander Peter V Ayerst DFC
| Wing Commander Peter V Ayerst DFC |
Peter Ayerst joined the RAF in 1938, and was posted to 73 Squadron in August 1939, flying Hurricanes. He went to France with the squadron, scoring his first victory in April 1940. After a spell instructing, when he shared in the destruction of a He111 with two other instructors, he had postings with both 145 and 243 Squadrons. In July 1942 he went to 33 Squadron, before promotion to flight commander with 238 Squadron, both postings with further combat success. After a period in South Africa, he returned to the UK, joining 124 Squadron flying Spitfire MkVIIs in defence of the invasion ports, where he scored his final victory; then flew Spitfire MkIXs on bomber escorts to Germany. He later became a Spitfire test pilot at Castle Bromwich. Peter finished the war not only a brilliant fighter Ace, but also one of the most highly regarded wartime instructors in the RAF. His final victory tally stood at 5 destroyed, 1 probable, 3 damaged and 2 further destroyed on the ground.
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by or with the mounted signature of Group Captain Sir Douglas Bader CBE, DSO*, DFC*
| Group Captain Sir Douglas Bader CBE, DSO*, DFC* |
One of the most famous fighter aces of World War Two, Douglas Bader joined the RAF in 1928. A fearless aerobatic flyer, his luck ran out when his aircraft crashed attempting a slow roll. He lost both legs, and his career in the RAF was, for the time being, over. At the outbreak of World War Two however, his persistence persuaded the RAF to let him fly again, this time with artificial legs. Joining 19 Squadron in February 1940, he soon scored his first victory. A brilliant fighter leader, he was given command of 242 Squadron - and led them throughout the Battle of Britain. Posted to Tangmere in 1941 Bader was one of the first Wing Leaders. Baders luck again ran out on August 9th 1941, when he was brought down over St Omer, France. Bader was taken prisoner, ending up in Colditz for the rest of the war. He scored 20 and shared 4 victories.
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by Sqdn Ldr H C Baker
| Sqdn Ldr H C Baker |
Just one month before the Battle began, Henry Butch Baker had already seen fierce fighting over Dunkirk where he shot down one German aircraft and damaged another. After surviving a car accident, he joined 41 Squadron on September 15 – viewed by many as Battle of Britain Day – when 17 squadrons fought off a major attack. Flew Spitfires and helped destroy seven Messerschmitts in the Battle.
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by Air Marshall Sir Alfred (Freddy) Ball, KCB DSO DFC
| Air Marshall Sir Alfred (Freddy) Ball, KCB DSO DFC |
Air Marshall Sir Alfred (Freddy) Ball, KCB DSO DFC attended RAF College, Cranwell in 1939 and joined 13 Squadron in France in March 1940 on Lysanders (Army Co-operation). He joined No 1 PRU Benson early in 1941 on Spitfires. He commanded 4 PRU (later 682 Sqdn) as Squadron Leader in October 1942 and flew out to North Africa for Operation Torch, the Allied landings, flying Spitfires. He was posted to the UK as CF1, 8PR, OTU Dyce, Aberdeen in September 1943 and took over 542 Sqdn Benson in March 1944 (PR Spitfire Mk XIs and Mk XIXs). In September he was promoted to Wing Commander and given command of No 540 Squadron flying Mosquito 16s and 32s. The Squadron moved to France early in 1945 to support the Allied armies. In December, Freddy was posted to Egypt to take command of No 680 PR Sqdn (later to become 13 Sqdn), flying Mosquitoes and Spitfires. He was posted to Staff AHQ East Africa in 1946 and retired from the RAF in April 1979.
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by or with the mounted signature of Squadron Leader Cyril Bam Bamberger
| Squadron Leader Cyril Bam Bamberger |
Born in Port Sunlight on May 4th 1919, Cyril Bamberger won an electrical engineering apprenticeship at Lever Brothers in 1934. He joined 610 Squadron AuxAF, in 1936 on the ground staff. Accepted for pilot training with the RAF VR in late 1938, he soloed in mid 1939. Bamberger was called up at the outbreak of war and on the 23rd October 1939 was posted to No 8 EFTS, Woodley and later went to 9 FTS, Hullavington to complete his training. He rejoined 610 (F) Squadron at Biggin Hill on July 27th but with no experience on Spitfires, he was sent to Hawarden for three weeks. Back with 610 (F) Squadron, Bamberger claimed a probable Bf109 on August 28th 1940. He was posted to 41 (F) Squadron at Hornchurch, Essex, September 17th and on October 5th he claimed a Bf109 destroyed. After volunteering for Malta, Bamberger left 41 (F) Squadron in mid-October 1940. He sailed from Glasgow on the Aircraft Carrier HMS Argus. Luckily for him, he did not fly off for Malta with the twelve Hurricanes ad two navigating Skuas which did. Only five of the fourteen aircraft reached their destination. Bamberger eventually reached Malta on November 28th on the destroyer HMS Hotspur, and on arrival he joined 261 Squadron. On January 18th 1941 he destroyed a Junkers JU87 Stuka and another the following day. 261 Squadron was dispended on May 21st 1941. Bamberger moved on the 12th to the newly formed 185 (F) Squadron at Hal Far. He was posted back to England on June 12th and was sent to Central Gunnery School at Sutton Bridge. Commissioned in February 1942, he was posted to Northern Ireland as a Gunnery Officer with the Americans who were converting to Spitfires. In March 1943 Bamberger volunteered for North Africa where he joined 93 Squadron at Hal Far, Malta in May. On July 13th operating over Sicily, he shot down a Junkers JU87 Stuka. In August Bamberger joined 243 Squadron in Sicily as a Flight Commander. He was awarded the DFC (28.09.43). On October 16th Bamberger damaged a Bf109, his first success after 243 crossed into Italy. On May 25th 1944 he claimed a Bf109 destroyed and on June 15th a Macci 202 damaged. Bamberger came off operations in July for medical reasons returning to the UK. He was sent on an instructors course and in early 1945 was posted to the Gunnery School at Catfoss. Awarded a bar to his DFC (14.11.44). Bamberger received it from the King at Buckingham Palace on July 3rd 1945. Released in 1946, Bamberger returned to Lever Brothers and rejoined 610 Squadron at Hooten Park, becoming its CO in 1950. When the Korean crisis came, he was recalled to the RAF. In February 1951 he was granted a permanent commission and in May 1952 moved to an Intelligence Unit, assessing strike capabilities of the Chinese and Koreans. Bamberger retired on January 29th 1959 as a Squadron Leader, and became managing director of a small packaging materials company – he started in 1954. On retirement he had an antique shop in Hampshire. Sadly, Cyril Bamberger passed away on 3rd February 2008.
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by or with the mounted signature of Wing Commander Paddy Barthropp DFC AFC
| Wing Commander Paddy Barthropp DFC AFC |
At the outbreak of war Paddy flew obsolete Hinds, Hectors and Lysanders in combat, but converted to Spitfires and joined 602 Squadron at Tangmere. During the Battle of Britain he flew with some of the great aces - Douglas Bader, Sailor Malan, and Bob Stanford Tuck. In 1941 he was a Flight Commander with 610 Squadron. Continuing to fly Spitfires, now with 122 Squadron based at Hornchurch, he flew fighter sweeps and escort missions. On 17th May 1942 he was shot down over St Omer. He baled out but was captured, spending the next three years as a POW. One of the RAFs best known and best loved characters, though the bane of certain senior officers, Paddy Barthropps RAF service spanned the period from bi-planes to supersonic jets. Joining the RAF in 1938, his first squadron was 613 flying Hinds, Hectors and Lysanders. In 1940 he was released to fly Spitfires with 602 Squadron where he shared in the destruction of two aircraft. He was posted to 610 Squadron, and then to 91 Squadron, shooting down two Bf 109s during summer 1941 and receiving the DFC. In August 1941 he returned to 610 Squadron as a flight commander. He was shot down three times, the third time being taken prisoner ofwar. He had by then brought his total to 9. Scraps in the air were accompanied by scrapes on the ground, and appearances in Magistrates Courts for disorderly conduct. Addicted to fast cars and lively ladies - and the sworn enemy of stuffed shirts everywhere - he was the irrepressible life and soul of any party, and a persistant thorn in the side of overweening authority as the Germans were to discover. The war over, he was posted to the Empire Test Pilots School where he flew over a hundred different types of plane in ten months. Soon, he was out in the Sudan and in serious trouble again - under arrest after taking a hippo to an upper-crust party. As a boy, he had been taught to ride by champion jockey Steve Donaghue and now, posted to Hong Kong, he rode winners on the track at Happy Valley, and seriously thought of turning professional. Then it was back to the U.K. to take up an appointment as a Fighter Station Commander, and to lead the Coronation fly-past over Buckingham Palace. He left the RAF to set up his own luxury car-hire firm. He died on 16th April 2008.
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by Raymond Baxter
| Raymond Baxter |
Spitfire pilot, and the voice of British aviation broadcasting. Raymond Baxter was born on January 25, 1922 in Ilford, Essex. In 1940 at the age of 18, Baxter joined the Royal Air Force and became a Spitfire pilot with the celebrated 602 (City of Glasgow) Squadron, rising to the rank of Flight Lieutenant and being mentioned in despatches for his part in Operation Big Ben, when six of 602s Spitfires, converted to carry small bombs, attacked the Bataafsche petrol company in Holland to try to wipe out the headquarters of the German V2 rocket forces, which were the plague of London at the time. Baxter was also twice mentioned in despatches. In 1945 Baxter joined Forces Broadcasting in Cairo. After the war he was deputy director of the British Forces Network in Hamburg and went on to the BBC. Raymond Baxter is probabaly best known for being in the Tomorrows World TV series which he was involved with since the beginning in 1965. Raymond Baxter stayed with Tomorrows World for 12 years. A regular participant in the Monte Carlo Rally — he competed in no fewer than 14 of them — he showed his professionalism in the 1954 event when the car in which he was travelling skidded into a ditch in central France. Although shaken by the incident and sustaining a cut over his eye, Baxter immediately recorded a description of what had happened. On three occasions he was a member of a winning rally team. He was also an accomplished Formula 1 commentator. Baxter would also commentate at many major historical moments, the funerals of Sir Winston Churchill and Lord Mountbatten of Burma, the 1953 Coronation and the the annual Festival of Remembrance. He also commentated at many aviation events and also is know for his commentary for Concorde's first flight. A favourite recreation was boating. He served on the management committee of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution and was vice-president from 1987 to 1997. As honorary admiral of the Association of Dunkirk Little Ships he took a prominent part in events to mark the 60th anniversary of the Dunkirk evacuation in June 2000. Baxter was appointed OBE in 2003. Sadly Raymond Baxter died on September 15, 2006, aged 84.
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by Squadron Leader Percival H. Beake DFC
| Squadron Leader Percival H. Beake DFC |
Joining the RAFVR in April 1939, Percival Beake was mobilised at the outbreak of war. Posted to 64 Squadron on Spitfires in the summer of 1940 at the height of the Battle of Britain, he flew with them until June 1941 when he was posted first to 92 Squadron at Biggin Hill, and then 601 Squadron at Duxford. After a spell instructing he returned for his second tour in December 1942, joining 193 Squadron as a Flight Commander. In May 1944 he took command of 164 Squadron at Thorney Island flying Typhoons, moving to France shortly after the Normandy Invasion. With two victories to his credit he was awarded the DFC in September 1944.
Starting with 6th August 1944 my log book records that a successful attack was carried out on an enemy strong point in a quarry and that on the following morning I flew home on a very rare 48 hour leave. For a few days after my return we had only one specific target - an enemy dump which we effectively bombarded with rockets on 11th August - so we were deployed on armed reconnaissances. After landing from one of these on 13th August my Wing Commander, Walter Dring, called me to his caravan and said - Beaky, you have just done your last op. You are not to fly again and that is an order, until returning to the UK. I am arranging for your relief as soon as possible. - I was absolutely stunned and my lasting memory of that period is not of carnage but of acute embarrassment at having been grounded. I just hated sending the squadron up without myself leading and remember making frequent calls to the met office hoping to get forecasts of filthy weather that would make operational flying impossible. In the event, my relief, Squadron Leader Ian Waddy, was shot down by flak within two or three days of taking over command, so maybe Wally Dring had some sort of premonition that prompted my grounding.
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by Squadron Leader Robert Beardsley DFC
| Squadron Leader Robert Beardsley DFC |
An RAFVR pilot, joining 610 Squadron at Biggin Hill at the peak of the Battle of Britain, in August 1940, Beardsley had three confirmed victories before the end of the Battle. Posted to 41 Squadron, Beardsley spent months with the Tangmere Wing in 1941, remembering Bader for his determination to operate the wing on every possible occasion and his calmness of the radio which compared favourably with some other Wing Leaders. Commissioned in June 1941, Beardsley remained with 41 Squadron until November. After a period instructing, he went to North Africa with 93 Squadron, covering the Allied invasion. After D-Day he went to France with 222 Squadron on Spitfires. Beardsley left the RAF in 1945 but rejoined in 1949, flying Meteors with 74 Squadron.
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by or with the mounted signature of Squadron Leader Ben Bennions DFC
| Squadron Leader Ben Bennions DFC |
Ben Bennions joined the RAF in 1929 and after pilot training he was posted to 41 Squadron. He was already a seasoned Spitfire pilot by the outbreak of World War Two. During the Battle of Britain he destroyed 12 enemy aircraft and 5 probables before being shot down on October 1st 1940. Ben baled out, and badly wounded with one eye destroyed and serious head injuries underwent plastic surgery by Archie McIndoe. He is the sole surviving Battle of Britain Spitfire pilot who is both a member of the Caterpillar Club (using silk parachutes) and a founder member of the Guinea Pig Club (those who underwent plastic surgery) Ben Bennions died 30th January 2004.
Click the name above to see prints signed by Flight Lieutenant Jack Biggs
| Flight Lieutenant Jack Biggs |
Serving with 17 Sqn on Hurricanes he then transferred to Spitfires flying on the Burma front from March 1944 until the end of September 1945 as air cover for the planned invasion on Malaya which, as a result of the Nuclear attacks on the Japanese Empire, never happened.
Click the name above to see prints signed by or with the mounted signature of Group Captain John Bisdee OBE DFC
| Group Captain John Bisdee OBE DFC |
John Derek Bisdee was born on November 20th 1915 at Weston-Super-Mare, and educated at Marlborough. He joined the RAF Voluntary Reserve, and began the war as a sergeant pilot. His combat career started while with 609 (West Riding) squadron RAAF, flying Spitfires when the squadron was moved from Edinburgh to Drem in December 1939. They participated in the air cover of the evacuation of the BEF form Dunkirk. John Bisdee destroyed six aircraft between July 1940 and July 1941, including an Me110 during an eventful day n August 1940 when they attacked a strong Luftwaffe force of 45 JU88s escorted by many Me109s and Me110s. In July 1941 he became instructor at No 61 Operational training unit. While here he had a small speaking roll in the classic wartime film The First of the Few. John Bisdee became commander of 601 (County of London) auxiliary Spitfire squadron and embarked (along with 603 (Edinburgh) Squadron) for Malta on board the US carrier Wasp. While off Algiers 47 Spitfires took of for Malta. and almost immedniatly upon arriving took part in combat. John Bisdee shot down JU88. He himself had to bail out. with a damaged parachute dangling by one leg, he had to disentangle himself as he fell, managing just in time and landing in the sea, paddling his way 6 miles in his dinghy to Malta. in June 1942 the squadron went to Egypt. In August John Bisdee became flight training officer at the Middle East Headquarters, Cairo, moving in 1943 as Wing Commander for day fighters in Tunisia. In July 1943, after the capture of the island of Lampedusa, halfway between Malta and Sicily, Bisdee was appointed its governor - the first governor in liberated Europe, as he liked to claim. Returning to North Africa, Bisdee trained Free French pilots at Bone. Later, after a brief spell in Corsica, he commanded No 322 Wing at Bone. In 322 Wing wre three Spitfire squadrons, a Beaufighter Squadron a Wellington Squadon used in anti shipping role and an Air Sea Rescue unit. Group Captain John Bisdee left the Royal Air Force in 1945 with his offcial score of 8 but it is likely there were a few others. Sadly John Bidee died at the age of 84 on the 21st October 2000. Group Captain John Bisdee was awarded the DFC in 1941 and appointed OBE in 1943.
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by Flying Officer Arthur Bishop RCAF
| Flying Officer Arthur Bishop RCAF |
Arthur Bishop is the son of Billy Bishop VC, perhaps the most famous of all the First World War Canadian Aces. Arthur joined the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1941. Arriving in England he joined 401 Squadron RCAF flying Spitfires as part of 83 Group in the then recently formed 2nd TAF. After D-Day the Squadron was based in France, where he continued intensive flying. After the war he became a distinguished Canadian author, whose books include The Splendid Hundred - the story of Canadians who flew in the Battle of Britain.
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by Flight Lieutenant John Bisley
| Flight Lieutenant John Bisley |
Fl Lt John Bisley DFC Royal Australian Air Force, fighter pilot joined the RAAF in 1940 and was posted to England where he joined 122 Sqn RAF. On 29 March 1942 he flew a Spitfire off HMS Eagle and landed at Malta as part of operation Picket II. On 5 April 1942 Plt Off John Bisley was flying one of three Mk VB Spitfires of 126 Sqn RAF who intercepted 100 German aircraft attacking Malta. He was then attacked by 12 Me109s from JG-53 who took it in turns to attack two at a time to try and shoot him down and he was hit by 55 cannon shells. Fl Lt John Bisley DFC said I would flick the aircraft over, standing it on its wingtip just 5 or 10 feet above the water and pulll into a tight turn go part way then flick back the other way. He then made a wheels up landing at Ta Kali and watched from a slit trench as two of the 109s then strafed what was left of his Spitfire. This was the intense aerial air battles over Valetta in April 1942. Between the summer of 1940 and the end of 1942, Malta became one of the most bombed places on earth. The RAFs desperate fight to retain control of the diminutive Mediterranean island, and the defiant courage of the people of Malta, is one of the epic stories of World War Two. Bisley was awareded the DFC on the 7th July 1942. From April to early July, Bisley shot down a Junkers Ju88, a Ju87, two Me109s a Macchi MC202 and a half share in a Savoia-Marchetti SM.84. He returned back the England and then to Australia in August 1942 joinming 452 Sqn in Darwin flying Spitfire MKVs. On 20 June 1943, Flight Lieutenant John Henry Eric Bisley (402720) shot down a Nakajima KI-49 (Helen) (Squadron Leader R. S. MacDonald, and Flight Lieutenant D. Evans also each shot down a Japanese Helen or Sally.) John Bisley became a test and ferry pilot from 1944 and then a instructor at the Central Flying School. He left the Ryal Australian Air Force in August 1945 and after the war established an import export business.
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by Squadron Leader Ian Blair DFM
| Squadron Leader Ian Blair DFM |
Ian Blair joined 113 Squadron in 1938 as a AC1/Armourer AG. on Hawker Hind and later Blenheim Mk 1s. He took part in the heavy fighting of the first Lybian campaign. He was forced to take control and fly the Blenheim airceaft after his pilot was killed following an attack by an Italian Fiat CR 42. Remarkably he managed not only to evade the enemy aircraft, but fly to fly the Blenheim 350 miles back to his base where he made a succesful textbook landing. This extraordinary action earned him the award of an immediate DFM. The experience led him to train as a pilot at No 4 SFTS RAF Habbaniya, where the No 6 War Course were heavily engaged in operations to raize the siege of the base from the Iraqi Army. He was finally awarded his wings in May 1941. On return to the UK he served with 501 Squadron on combat duties on Spitfire Mk V's until injured as a result of enemy action. On return to flying duties he was posted to 602 Squadron flying MkV's and MkIX's until June 1944. In February 1944, he claimed a high altitude victory by destroying a Me.109 F at an altitude of 35,000 feet, flying a Spitfire Mk.VII H.F.
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by or with the mounted signature of Colonel Don Blakeslee
| Colonel Don Blakeslee |
Joining the RAF in 1940 Don Blakeslee flew Spitfires with 401 Squadron. When the Eagle Squadron were formed he transferred as an experienced flight commander with several victories to his credit. An aggressive and fearless fighter pilot, Blakeslee was promoted to lead 133 Squadron, and was described as the best fighter leader the war produced. Already an Ace, he transferred to the USAAF 4th Fighter Group. By the war end he had over four years of continuous combat flying, and 14.5 air victories to his credit. Colonel Don Blakeslee sadly passed away on 3rd September 2008.
Click the name above to see prints signed by Squadron Leader Peter Booth-Jones DFC
| Squadron Leader Peter Booth-Jones DFC |
Joined the RAAF in January 1941. After initial training in Australia, gained his wings and graduated as a Pilot Officer in Canada. Peter was posted to 58 OTU in the UK and converted to Spitfires, then posted to 118 Sqn at Ibsley until March 1942. He then returned to Australia and joined 75 Sqn in Juner 1942. Flying Kittyhawks Peter took part in the Battle of Milne Bay and on 27th August, he and Flt Lt Bruce Watson attacked 3 Val Dive Bombers over the Bay. They were credited with sharing 1 destroyed, 1 probable and 1 damaged. On 27th November he flew S A29-133 on a scramble from Cairns and again on 1st December. He was posted as an instructor to 2 OTU Mildura until September 1944. Sqn Ldr Jones was posted as CO to 76 Sqn based at Noemfoor, then Morotai, Sanga Sanga and Labuan until the end of the war.
Click the name above to see prints signed by Flying Officer Arthur H Brace
| Flying Officer Arthur H Brace |
Flying Officer Arthur H Brace joined the RAF in 1941. After pre-elementary training he went to Canada for flying training, in Neepawa and Moosejaw, gaining his wings in Oct 1942. Arthur then went on to General Reconnaissance School on Prince Edward Island. On return to the UK he completed an Operational Training course at Dyce, Scotland, and was posted to Benson in Sept 1943, where, whilst awaiting posting to a PR squadron, he joined No 309 FT & ADU which was concerned with supplying the latest marks of PR Spitfires to our overseas Squadrons; during this time Arthur ferried aircraft to Italy and India. He joined No 542 PR Squadron in August 1944 and remained with it until August 1945. He then spent a short time with Meteological Squadron no 519 before being posted to No 16 Squadron, BAFO, stationed at Celle, Germany where injuries incurred in a road accident in March 1946 put paid to any further flying. he left the RAF in August 1946.
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by Lieutenant John Bradshaw
| Lieutenant John Bradshaw |
Volunteering to fly with the RAF, John Bradshaw flew Spitfires with 41 Squadron. An experienced pilot, he transferred to the USAAF in 1943 and was immediately posted to the 56th Fighter Group, flying with the 63rd Fighter Squadron. He flew a total of 126 combat missions, flew on D-Dat, belly-landed twice in Holland, and downed 1.5 enemy aircraft.
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by Captain Richard Braley
| Captain Richard Braley |
Richard Braley joined the Royal Air Force as a volunteer in March, 1942. He flew Spitfires with 64 Squadron before being personally recruited by by General McColpin to join 133 Squadron - the third Eagle squadron to be formed by the RAF. On September 12, 1942, the Eagle Squadrons were transferred to the USAAF and activated as the 4th Figher Group. Richard Braley was one of the squadron P-51 strafing experts - attacking and destroying numerous trains, a bridge and an electrical plant. He flew over 210 combat missions, first in Spitfires, then in P-47s and P-51s - including 3 missions as Flight Commander of 336 Squadron on D-Day.
Click the name above to see prints signed by Flt. Lt. Peter G Brearley DFC
| Flt. Lt. Peter G Brearley DFC |
Flt. Lt. Peter G Brearley DFC joined the RAF in 1941 from Cambridge University Air Sqn. He obtained his Wings in 1942, and then completed a navigation course at 3 School of General Reconnaissance and after OTU in Novembe 1942 Peter G Brearley was posted to 140 Squadron, Army Co-op Command, later Fighter Command, then Tactical Air Force. At first equipped with P.R Spitfires then P.R Mosquitoes. A Photographic Reconnaissance unit dedicated to the Army Intelligence, making a revising maps for the coming invasion, beach gradients for troop landings and photo targets relevant to that operation. Also coverage of flying bomb sites to enable No. 2 Group (Boston & Mitchell medium bombers), stationed on the same airfield to carry out bombing raids to minimise the V1 threat. V2s were launched from mobile lorries so we attacked when seen by fighter-bombers. At first Peter flew Spitfires and later Mosquitoes with F/O Leslie W Preston GM as navigator Flt. Lt Peter G Brearley was awarded the D.F.C in August 1944, presented by H.M. George VI at Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh: - Citation - This Officer has shown great keenness and ability and can always be relied upon to complete his allocated task. He has made a great number of high level photographic sorties, often through most adverse weather, but his results have always been of the highest order. His Squadron started at Mount Farm, near Benson, Oxon, then moved to Hartford Bridge, Hants, re-named Blackbushe, and finally to Northolt after which he left in May 1944. Flt. Lt. Peter G Brearley DFC finished his RAF service as a flying instructor on Mosquitoes when he was sent as a flying instructor to 132 O.T.U, RAF East Fortune, East Lothian. They were the vanguard in converting the Beaufighter squadrons operating from RAF Banff on the Mosquito. As Beaufighters were phased out the O.T.U used Mosquitos entirely. The unit moved to RAF Brawdy for three months in 1945 during which time VE-Day came. Flt. Lt. Peter G Brearley DFC unit then moved back to RAF East Fortune awaiting demob. He had a short spell March to April 1946 at RAF Tain with Coastal Command Instructors School until it closed, after which he was sent back to East Fortune. Flt. Lt. Peter G Brearley DFC was demobbed in August 1946.
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by or with the mounted signature of Captain Jim Brooks
| Captain Jim Brooks |
Jim Brooks joined the 31st Fighter Group in Italy in early 1944, flying the P51 against Me109s, Fw190s, and the Italian Macchi Mc202. He scored his first victory on a mission to Ploesti. Later, leading the 307th Fighter Squadron on a Russian shuttle mission, they engaged a large formation of Ju87 Stukas, shooting down 27 enemy aircraft, Jim Brooks accounting for three of them. He ended his tour with 280 combat hours, and 13 confirmed victories.
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by or with the mounted signature of Air Commodore Peter Brothers CBE, DSO, DFC*
| Air Commodore Peter Brothers CBE, DSO, DFC* |
Learnt to fly at the age of 16 and joined the RAF two years later in 1936. He first saw action in 1940 when as a Flight Commander in 32 Squadron, based at Biggin Hill, he flew his Hurricane against the fighters and bombers of the Luftwaffe. He recalls this as an intensely busy period, during which he shot down an Me109 - his first enemy aircraft; by the end of August that same year his tally of enemy aircraft shot down increased to eight. Awarded the DFC, he was transferred to 257 Squadron where he joined Bob-Stanford Tuck as a Flight Commander. Promoted in 1941 to Squadron Leader, Pete Brothers then took command of 457 Squadron RAAF, equipped with Spitfires. A year later when 457 Squadron returned to Australia, Pete took command of 602 Squadron. In the early autumn of 1942 he went on to become Wing Leader of the Tangmere Wing, succeeding his old friend, Douglas Bader. By the end of the war Pete Brothers had amassed 875 operational hours over a 44-month period. He was credited with having personally shot down 16 enemy aircraft and damaged many more. He later went on to command 57 Squadron during the Malaya campaign. Upon return to the UK Pete Brothers joined the V-Force, flying Valiant-4 jet bombers. He retired in 1973. Sadly, Pete Brothers died 18th December 2008.
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by Flight Lieutenant Bernard W Brown
| Flight Lieutenant Bernard W Brown |
Flight Lieutenant Bernard Walter Brown was accepted for a short service commission in 1938, and after being accepted arrived in England in September, training at 5 E&RFTS, Hanworth and in late January 1939 he was posted to 5FTS, Sealand. He then went to No 1 School of Army Co-Operation at Old Sarum for a course on Lysanders in August 1939, and soon after joined 613 Squadron. Bernard Walker Brown was flying one of six Hectors detailed to dive-bomb gun emplacements near Calais. On the way to the target, he test-fired his forward gun but a fault caused the muzzle attachment to fly off, penetrate the fuselage and hole the main fuel tank. He jettisoned his bombs and turned back and make a forced-landing. In August 1940 he volunteered for Fighter Command, converting to Spitfires. He joined 610 Squadron at Biggin Hill. In late September he went to 72 Squadron, but on the 23rd was shot down by a Bf 109. He bailed out of the aircraft, badly wounded. Returning to active duty in November 1940, he was posted to 8FTS, Montrose for an instructor's course, after which he went to Rhodesia, subsequently instructing at Cumalo. In 1943, he trained with Transport Command, becoming a ferry pilot. He flew between the United Kingdom and the Middle East. He transferred to the RNZAF in January 1944 and by the end of the year was flying Halifaxes. He was released in 1945 to fly Dakotas with BOAC and later joined BEA, flying with the airline until his retirement in 1972.
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by Squadron Leader Maurice P Brown
| Squadron Leader Maurice P Brown |
Maurice Peter Brown (known as Peter) was born in London on 17th June 1919. On leaving school he qualified for entry in the civil service with an appointment in the Air Ministry. But in April 1938 he left to join the Royal Air Force with a short service commission. In September 1939 he was posted to 611 West Lancashire Squadron with Spitfires in 12 Group, initially at Duxford and then Digby. His initiation into battle was over Dunkirk. He was at readiness throughout the Battle of Britain, including with the controversial Ducford Big Wing on 15th September, when the Luftwaffe's morale was broken, and then in late September with 41 Squadron at Hornchurch where the fiercest fighting with highest casualties had taken place. It was a quantum leap. In June 1941, after serving as a flight commander in the squadron, Peter was posted as an instructor to 61 Operational Training Unit at Heston and other OTUs and then at AFUs as a Squadron Leader Flying. He left the RAF with the rank of Squadron Leader and was awarded the Air Force Cross. In his flying career, Maurice Peter Brown flew Spitfire Mk.I, Mk.II and Mk.V. We have learned the sad news that Maurice Peter Brown passed away on 20th January 2011.
Cranston Fine Arts would like to extend our many thanks to Squadron Leader Maurice Peter Brown for spending a day (17/2/2010) with us signing a number of our art prints.
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by Pilot Officer Norman Brown
| Pilot Officer Norman Brown |
Served on Spitfires with 611 and 41 Squadrons. On 1st November 1940 Norman was part of a flight of Spitfires that overshot Hornchurch due to poor visibility and soon found themselves in the London Balloon Barrage area. These balloons were tethered with metal cables and upon striking one; Browns aircraft was seriously damaged, forcing him to land in the built-up area of Dagenham. He left the squadron in February 1941 and left the RAF that April, working in the timber industry for the rest of the war.
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by Squadron Leader Peter Brown AFC
| Squadron Leader Peter Brown AFC |
A short service commission pilot, Brown joined 611 Squadron at Duxford in September 1939 and served with them through the Battle of Britain, including the period the Squadron was part of the Duxford Wing. Over Dunkirk on June 2, the Squadrons first major action was with a large formation of Bf 109s. Browns Spitfire was damaged and he landed at Southend with a burst tyre. He shared in the destruction of a Do 17 on August 21 and on the 15th he destroyed an He 111 and shared a probable Do 17. On September 28 1940, Brown moved to 41 Squadron where he increased his score. On October 20th he shot down a Bf 109 and the pilot baled out near Ashford. Brown landed at West Malling and collected the pilots life jacket as confirmation of his victory! His final score was three confirmed victories. After promotion to Flight Commander he was posted on June 28 1942 to a training role at 61 Sqn OTU.
Click the name above to see prints signed by Flying Officer John Byrne
| Flying Officer John Byrne |
With the RAF since 1938, Byrne flew Hurricanes, Spitfires, P-47s, Tempests and Typhoons during WWII. Upon joining 197 Sqn in March 1944 he flew Typhoons during one the squadrons most hectic periods in the run up to D-Day and throughout the subsequent Allied invasion, mostly on low-level bombing missions. In total Byrne completed over 150 combat operations and finally left the RAF in 1946.
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by Flight Lieutenant John Cambell
| Flight Lieutenant John Cambell |
John Cambell flew Spitfires with 234 Squadron, before joining 121 Eagle Squadron. After the transfer of the Eagles to the USAAF, John chose to remain with the RAF and was posted to 258 Squadron for the final defence of Singapore, and then to 605 Squadron defending Java. With four victories in the Far East to his credit, in March 1942 the squadron was over-run by the Japanese, and John became a POW in a harsh prison camp in Java for the next 3 and a half years.
Click the name above to see prints signed by Hoagy Carmichael
| Hoagy Carmichael |
Commander Peter (Hoagy )Carmichael was born on the 11th of August 1923. In 1942 Peter Carmichael joined the Royal Navy and began pilot training in the US and South Africa, and went on to fly the Spitfire and F4U Corsairs during the final days of the Second World War. After the war, Carmichael flew the Blackburn Firebrand. In June 1948 Carmichael converted to fly the Hawker Sea Fury. In 1952 Hoagy Carmichael, was deployed to Korea with 802 Squadron. The squadron was on board HMS Theseus and travelled to Malta. This was followed by a two month break for an intensive work-up at RNAS Hal Far on Malta, before the squadron sailed to Korea aboard HMS Ocean in April, with a four day stop over in Hong Kong where addtional aircraft arrived. On 9th August 1952 Carmichael, flying his regular Sea Fury (WJ232), was leading a four aircraft formation to attack railway facilities in North Korea between Manchon and Pyongyang. While flying over Chinnampo they came under attack from MiG 15's diving down on them. Hoagy Carmichael later stated: Eight MiGs came at us out of the sun. I did not see them at first, and my No. 4, 'Smoo' Ellis, gave a break when he noticed tracer streaming past his fuselage. We all turned towards the MiGs and commenced a 'scissors'. It soon became apparent that four MiGs were after each section of two Furies, but by continuing our break turns, we presented impossible targets. They made no attempt to bracket us. One MiG came at me head on. I saw his heavy tracer shells. I fired a burst, then he flashed past me. I believe Carl got some hits on him too. This aircraft then broke away, and went head on to my Nos 3 and 4, Lieutenant Pete Davies and 'Smoo' Ellis. They were seen to get good hits on one who broke away with smoke coming from him. Hoagy Carmichael in his Sea Fury became one of the few prop-driven aircraft to down a jet fighter and was the only British Pilot in a British aircraft to do so. For this action he was awarded the DSC. Commander Peter (Hoagy )Carmichael was CO of 806 Naval Air Squadron at Lossiemouth, the last Royal Navy unit flying Sea Hawks. Carmichael later went on to serve as Commanding Officer of T.S. Prince of Wales, Holyhead Sea Cadets until his retired in 1984. Sadly, Hoagy Carmichael died on the 25th of July 1997
Click the name above to see prints signed by Flt. Lt. John (Chips) Carpenter DFC
| Flt. Lt. John (Chips) Carpenter DFC |
Flt. Lt. John Chips Carpenter DFC was born on 9 April 1921. He began elementary flying instruction at Redhill and later on Harvards at Turnhill with the RAF in February 1939 and on completion of his training he joined 263 Squadron at Filton in November. On 21 April 1940 the squadron embarked on HMS ‘Glorious’ for Norway, flying off three days later to land on a frozen lake. By the 26th all the Gladiators were either destroyed or unserviceable, so 263 Squadron re-embarked for the UK. In May another attempt was made. From the 21st until it re-embarked on HMS ‘Glorious’ on 6 June the squadron gave a good account of itself, covering the evacuation of the Army and flying offensive patrols. The carrier was sunk by enemy action soon after sailing and nearly all 263’s pilots were lost. Carpenter had not flown on to the carrier and returned to the UK by another ship. He joined 222 Squadron on Spitfires at Hornchurch in late June 1940 in time for the evacuation of Dunkirk. On 31 August he claimed a probable Bf109, on 1 September he destroyed another Bf109, on the 3rd a Bf110 and on the 4th a further Bf109. Soon afterwards he was shot down and wounded and returned to the squadron in October. Carpenter stayed with 222 Sqn. until April 1941, when he was posted to 46 Squadron, just as it prepared to go to the Middle East. The squadron embarked on HMS ‘Argus’, before transferring to the ‘Ark Royal’, from which they flew off to Hal Far, Malta on 6 June. 46 Squadron was kept in Malta and re-numbered 126 Squadron. On 30 June Carpenter shot down a Mc200, on 4 September he claimed another, on 8 November a Mc202, on the 12th another Mc202 and on 27 December he shot a Ju88 down into the sea. Carpenter, who had been a Flight Commander since early October, was awarded the DFC (2.1.42) and posted to 92 Squadron in the Western Desert. In May 1942 he covered the invasion of Sicily and Italy and was given command of 72 Squadron at Anzio. After a rest Carpenter was given command of 72 Squadron at Lago, Italy in January 1944. On 11 April he was posted away, received a Bar to the DFC (7.7.44) and returned to the UK. He went to Hawker’s as a production test pilot. Carpenter was granted a Permanent Commission in September 1945 and he retired on 31 December 1959, as a Flight Lieutenant, retaining the rank of Squadron Leader. Post war he served as CO in Kai Tek, Hong Kong. He died 11th February 2005.
Click the name above to see prints signed by Squadron Leader A M Charlesworth DFC
| Squadron Leader A M Charlesworth DFC |
Joined the RAF straight from school just before his 18th birthday in the summer of 1940 with the sole purpose of becoming a fighter pilot. After training, at age just 18, he was posted to RAF Ibsley, Hampshire, to 118 Sqdn, flying Spitfire 2Bs. Here he took part in his first scramble. After a month he was posted where the action was thickest, to a 11 Group Station, RAF Kenley, where he joined 602 Sqdn. His Squadron Commander was Al Deere, by this time a highly decorated ace; Al was 23 then and had already been shot down nine times. 602 Squadron was equipped with the more advanced Spitfire VBs which had two 20mm cannons, firing at 1200 rounds a minute, plus four very useful Browning 50mm machine guns firing at an even higher rate per minute. Al Deere was eventually posted to another squadron and Paddy Finucane took over - possibly the finest fighter pilot 1 came across, Max. Charlesworth continues, I remember him trying to get his 21st victory before his birthday and I often flew No. 2 to him. These were twitchy and tiring days when three sweeps a over occupied France day were the norm, to be met each time by several hundred Me 109s and Focke Wolf 190s, at our maximum range, where hectic dog fights ensued. We were normally outnumbered and a day could last from an early morning call at 3.30am to the last landing at 10.30pm in the semi-dark of the long summer of 1941. The average age of the approximately 30 pilots on the squadron was always about 19. During this period they were scrambled to search for and attack the German battleships Scharnhorst and Gneisenau (although they did not know it at the time) which, with escorting vessels had slipped up the Channel from Brest. The weather was awful and Max flew straight across the German battle cruiser Hipper thinking it was a Royal Navy cruiser. The Hipper opened up at Max with guns blazing but he was fortunate to escape with just a hole in one wing. In April 1942 Max was posted to a secret unit called MSFU (Merchant Service Fighter Unit) where he flew Hurricanes from catapults on merchant ships attached to convoys of anything up to fifty merchant men a time. The ships were mainly bringing supplies from America and taking them to Murmansk and Archangel, the hard-pressed Soviets and Gibraltar. Max recalls this as a highly physical and uncomfortable task, apart from also being very scary. The ships were constantly attacked by U Boat packs and aircraft. When they were in range of the latter, if they launched the Hurricane they knew they would ultimately have to bail out and hope to be picked up by either a friendly escort vessel or a sunken ships lifeboat. The North Atlantic route to Canada, north of Iceland and down the Greenland coast at an average sped of six knots in appalling seas was not our idea of a holiday cruise, Max vividly recalls. Having survived this posting Max was then moved to 124 Sq. at West Malting, Near Maidstone, Kent. The squadron was equipped with the much more powerful Spitfire IXs. Their task here was mainly escorting USAF and RAF bombing raids into Europe. With longrange tanks fitted they were able to reach Hamburg and Ludwigshafen; later on they were able to refuel from liberated bases in France. These ops. required them to fly as Top Cover at over 30,000 feet for up to three hours, where it was so cold the pilots returned to base hardly able to climb out of their cockpits. On February 9th 1945 Max was the Senior Flight Commander on 124 Squadron during their move to Cottishall. Here they adapted the Spitfire Ks to dive-bombing. The Spitfires carried either a 500lb. bomb under the fuselage and two 250lbs. under each wing or, a 90-gallon fuel tank under the fuselage and a 250lb. bomb under each wing. Their mission was to destroy V2 sites in Holland - mainly situated in small parks near the centre of the Hague. These V2 sites were launching rockets on London in ever increasing numbers. As well as attacking the V2 sites they were to destroy railway lines used by the Germans to transport V2s into the area. These were dangerous times as the V2s sites were heavily defended by 88mm guns down to 20mm. The flak was horrendous and we lost many recalls Max. As Senior Flight Commander, Max often led the squadron, though identifying targets from 12,000 feet was difficult. After the war Max was one of the first pilots to convert to the Meteor twin-engined jet, later to move on to Vampires and Canberras. His flying career was completed in June 1961 when he was posted to Warsaw, Poland as the Assistant Air Attache. He finally retired from the RAF in 1966.
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by Colonel Hubert M. Childress
| Colonel Hubert M. Childress |
Hubert Childress was posted to England, joining the 27th Photo Recon Squadron, 7th Photographic Group flying the F5 - a specially adapted photo-recon version of the P38 with cameras and no guns. Hubert flew his first combat mission on New Year's Eve 1943, and was heavily involved in many reconnaissance missions prior to D-Day. He also flew the Spitfire MkIXs on several operations. He flew 58 combat missions and later commanded the 7th Photographic Group (R)
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by or with the mounted signature of Squadron Leader Douglas G Clift
| Squadron Leader Douglas G Clift |
Squadron Leader Douglas G Clift was born in 1919 and joined the RAF in January 1939. Douglas Clift arrived at 11 Group Pool, St Athan on 24 October 1939 and after converting to Hurricanes, he joined 79 Squadron at Biggin Hill on November 17. On 15 August 1940 Clift claimed a Bf 110 destroyed and on 30 August he shared in the destruction of a He 111. In July 1941 he was posted to the Central Flying School at Upavon for an instructor's course. Clift later volunteered for the Merchant Ship Fighter Unit (MSFU) and served with it until October 1942. He remained on flying duties for the rest of the war, finishing up in South-East Asia with the Royal Indian Air Force (RIAF). After the war Clift served with 34 Squadron flying photo-reconnaissance Spitfires until its disbandment in August 1947. later he became a radar specialist, sadly Squadron Leader Douglas G Clift passed away on the 31st December 2008 aged 89.
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by Colonel Pierre Clostermann CDLL L&H MM CdeG DFC*
| Colonel Pierre Clostermann CDLL L&H MM CdeG DFC* |
One of the RAFs best known fighter pilots, with more than 20 victories, Clostermann was a Free French officer and later the author of a classic book about World War Two flying, The Big Show. Clostermann came to Britain via the United States and was first in action with 341 (Alsace) Squadron on Spitfires in 1943. By D-Day he was with 602 Squadron, also on Spitfires, and flew a patrol over the beaches late in the afternoon of June 6th. On June 14th he became the first French pilot to land in liberated France. Rested in July 1944, Clostermann returned to action in January 1945 and from 4th March was flying Tempests with 274 Squadron. His first Tempest score was a Bf 109 on his second day during a cannon test. In the middle of March 1945 he was posted as a Flight commander to No 56 Squadron. With this unit he destroyed a Bf109 in the air. On 8th April he was transferred to No 3 Squadron as A Flight commander where he on 20th April scored two Fw190D-9s. Clostermanns final score in Tempest is at least 12 destroyed, 6 shared and 2 probables. He was awarded the DSO and DFC and Bar in addition to French, Belgian and American decorations. Post war he achieved world-wide fame with The Big Show, and other books, and enjoyed a substantial career in politics and the aviation industry. Pierre Clostermann passed away on 22nd March 2006.
Click the name above to see prints signed by Flying Officer Ken Cockram
| Flying Officer Ken Cockram |
After training in Rhodesia and a spell with 73 OTU in Egypt, Ken Cockram flew Hurricanes and Spitfires in late 1944 and early 1945 with 26 AA Cooperation Unit based in Egypt. He also flew Curtiss Kittyhawks with 112 Squadron on anti-shipping and fighter patrols, once crashing his aircraft on take-off during a dust storm. He completed a total of 198 operations.
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by Colonel Oscar Coen
| Colonel Oscar Coen |
Oscar Coen was born at Hannaford, N.D., on May 11, 1917, to Archie and Mary Coen. He grew up in Pound, Wis., and received his bachelor of science degree at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Enlisting in 1940 into the RCAF, Oscar Coen transferred to the RAF in 1941, joining 71 Squadron RAF. In a daring raid over France he destroyed a complete ammunition train with a pass so low that exploding debris hit his Spitfire. Managing to bail out safely he was smuggled to Spain by the French Resistance, and eventually back to England. With several victories and a DFC to his credit he transferred to the USAAF in 1942 as a Squadron Commander, completing the war as an Ace with 5 victories and flying over 250 combat missions. Oscar Hoffman Coen, 87, of Baker City, died June 23, 2004, at the Idaho State Veterans Home in Boise.
Click the name above to see prints signed by Flight Lieutenant Stan Colley
| Flight Lieutenant Stan Colley |
Joining the RAF in 1941, Stan undertook his flight training in Canada in Tiger moths. He returned to the UK in 1944 training Glider pilots prior to D-Day. He learnt to fly Spitfires with 73 OTU prior to working in Egypt towards the end of the War.
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by J Collinsworth
| J Collinsworth |
RAF fighter ace with 6 victories. Born in Dublin, Texas, he is one of the few Americans to become an ace flying the Supermarine Spitfire. March 1942 saw him in England flying in the 31st. F.G., 307th Squadron. This was the first Yank fighter unit in the country since WWI. On August 19, 1942, he received his baptism of fire above the ill-fated commando raid on the coast of France. Later, Collinsworth helped spearhead Operation Torch landings in Oran, Algeria, still flying Spitfires. He covered the landings at southern Sicily, flying from Maltas sister island Gozo. In 125 combat sorties, he shot down 6 Axis aircraft, 1 probable and 1 damaged. He finished his military career as a Colonel. His Spitfire is seen low left in Defiance at Dieppe. Awards include D.F.C. with 1 O.L.C., Air Medal with 17 O.L.C.s, the Purple Heart and Army Commendation Medal.
Click the name above to see prints signed by Flight Lieutenant Bryan Colston
| Flight Lieutenant Bryan Colston |
Bryan Colston was born in Buckinghamshire on 27 May 1921 and was educated at St Pauls School. He joined the RAFVR in 1940, training on Tiger Moths, Oxfords and Lysanders, becoming a fighter reconnaissance pilot with 225 Squadron in 1941. He served with 225 Sqn until July 1943 and became a Flight Commander in 1942. He flew Lysanders, Tomahawks, Hurricanes, Mustangs and Spitfires serving throughout the Tunisian campaign and flying over a hundred operational sorties. He contracted typhoid fever at the end of the campaign and was invalided back to the UK, where, after periods of instructing at 61 OTU and some staff appointments, he commanded 695 Squadron flying Spitfire XVIs.
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by Flight Lieutenant William J. Corbin DFC
| Flight Lieutenant William J. Corbin DFC |
Already a member of the RAFVR, William Corbin was called up for active duty in September 1939. Following training and conversion to spitfires, in august 1940 he was posted as a Sergeant Pilot to join 6 Squadron at Coltishall. With the exception of a few weeks spent with 610 Squadron he remained with 66 Squadron until September 1941. Commissioned in June 1942, he returned to combat flying in September, joining 72 Squadron with whom he went to North Africa. Here he shared in a probable Me109 and damaged another, and in August 1943 was awarded the DFC.
Click the name above to see prints signed by Wing Commander Hank Costain MBE
| Wing Commander Hank Costain MBE |
Hank Costain was born in Horton on the Gower Coast and was educated at Christ College Brecon. He joined the RAFVR for pilot training in September 1940. He trained in the USA in Arizona at Thunderbird Field and Falcon Field, returning to the UK in 1941 to complete operational training at 53 OTU on Spitfire Mk1s. He flew with No 154 Squadron (Motor Industries Squadron) Spitfire Vbs in the Hornchurch Wing. The Squadron was withdrawn from 11 Group to prepare for the invasion of North Africa, operation Torch. He flew with the Squadron throughout the North African campaign and moved with the Squadron to Malta to prepare for the invasion of Sicily, operation Husky. After moving to Lentini East in Sicily his tour was completed and he was posted back to The Canal Zone 73 OTU Abu Sueir as an instructor. Having completed his instructors tour the Far East were calling for experienced Spitfire pilots and he found himself en route to No 615 Squadron (County of Surrey) R.Aux.A.F. in Burma. He baled out of a Spitfire MkVIII while operating with 615 Squadron and spent several months in hospital in Calcutta before being invalided home. Fit again he became an instructor at 61 OTU Keevil on Spitfires and Mustangs. The next tour was with 245 Squadron at Horsham St Faith flying Meteor 3s. This tour was cut short, as there was a call for the two Spitfire Squadrons in Japan to be reinforced. At the end of 1946 he found himself on No 11 Squadron at Miho in Japan as part of the BCAIR element of BCOF (British Commonwealth Occupation Force). Returning from Japan in 1948 he spent a period ferrying with No 20 Maintenance Unit followed be an appointment as Unit Test Pilot at No9 MU. He completed the CFS Course in 1952 and became Training Officer of No602 (City of Glasgow) Squadron R.Aux.A.F. Promoted to Squadron Leader in 1953, a tour as Chief Ground Instructor and OC Gunnery Squadron at 226 OCU was completed. When 226 OCU was disbanded he took command of No608 (NR) Squadron R.Aux.A.F. at Thornaby on Tees, flying Vampires. He completed his RAF career in Guided Weapons. A tour of Woomera evaluating the Bloodhound Mk2 SAM missile. Then CO of No 33 (SAM) Squadron at Butterworth in Malaysia followed by appointment as CO of No 25 (SAM) Squadron at North Coates and RAF Germany.
Click the name above to see prints signed by Flight Lieutenant Raife J Cowan
| Flight Lieutenant Raife J Cowan |
Joined the RAAF in May 1940 and attended EFTS in Australia and gained his wings in Canada. Early in 1941, Raife sailed to the UK and converted to Spitfires at 57 OTU Hawarden. In April 1942 he joined 452 Sqn RAAF being formed at Kirton in Lindsay, Lincolnshire. On 16th June 1941 he was hospitalised after a night flying prang until re-joining the squadron at Kenley during September. Raife flew operations with 452 Sqn until the squadron was posted to Australia for the defence of Darwin. On 24th June he joined 75 Sqn which was re-forming at Kingaroy after their epic forty four day Battle at Port Moresby. Cowan flew to New Guinea in July and participated in the Battle of Milne Bay during August and September, then withdrew to Australia with the squadron. In February 1943 Raife was posted to 2 OTU Mildura as an instructor on Spitfires, Kittyhawks and Wirraways. On 3rd August 1945 Raife Cowan was posted as CO to 78 Sqn at Tarakan until the end of the war.
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by Wing Commander David Cox DFC
| Wing Commander David Cox DFC |
Ending the war with seven confirmed victories and as Wing Leader of 909 Spitfire Wing in Burma, Cox remembers an acerbic encounter with Bader as a young Sergeant Pilot. Bader made it very clear that the battle damage to his Spitfire was not excused by his having shot down the Bf 109 that caused it! Above all, however, he remembers Baders calmness on the radio when leading the Wing - it calmed evervone else. Cox, from Cambridge, an RAFVR pilot, originally failed the RAF medical, working for some months in Billingsgate market to build up his strength. He joined 19 Squadron at Duxford in 1940. He scored several victories during the Battle of Britain, but was shot down on September 27 1940 and wounded. Cox took part in many fighter sweeps with 19 Squadron in 1941 and was commissioned in July. After a spell instructing, Cox joined 72 Squadron in May 1942, accompanying it to North Affica where lie increased his score to a total of seven confirmed victories. On April 5 1945 he was posted to Burma. David Cox died 20th January 2004.
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by Lieutenant Steve Crowe
| Lieutenant Steve Crowe |
Steve Crowe flew Hurricanes with 257 Squadron RAF. and undertook his first combat operation in November 1941. Along with other Americans he was then posted to join 133 Eagle Squadron, flying Spitfires, transferring to the USAAF in September 1942 as the 336th Fighter Squadron. He flew over 70 combat missions in both the European and Mediterranean theatres of operations.
Click the name above to see prints signed by Flight Lieutenant W R Cundy DFC DFM MID
| Flight Lieutenant W R Cundy DFC DFM MID |
Ron Cundy commenced flying with 135 Sqn before being posted to the Middle East with 260 Sqn flying Hurricanes and later Kittyhawks. Returning back to Australia he flew Spitfires in defence of Darwin with 452 Sqn RAAF. In North Africa he survived an encounter with Marseille, and ended the war with 5 confirmed victories.
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by or with the mounted signature of Group Captain John Cunningham CBE DSO DFC AE DL FRAeS
| Group Captain John Cunningham CBE DSO DFC AE DL FRAeS |
John Cunningham joined the RAF in 1935 with 604 Squadron. At the outbreak of World War Two he was based at North Weald flying Blenheims on day escort and night fighter operations. In September 1940 he converted onto Beaufighters equipped with radar, the first aircraft that made night fighting really possible. In November he had the Squadrons first successful night combat. He took command of 604 Squadron in August 1941. After a period at HQ81 Group, he was posted on his second tour to command 85 Squadron equipped with Mosquitoes. In March 1944 with 19 night and 1 day victory he was posted to HQ11 Group to look after night operations. The most famous Allied night fighter Ace of WWII - 20 victories. He died 21st July 2002. Born in 1917, Group Captain John Cunningham was the top-scoring night fighter ace of the Royal Air Force. Cunningham joined the RAF in 1935 as a Pilot Officer. He learned to fly in the Avro 504N and was awarded his wings in 1936. While assigned to the Middlesex Squadron Auxiliary based at Hendon, Cunningham received instruction in the Hawker Hart prior to moving on the Hawker Demon. The Demon was a two-seat day and night fighter. Cunningharns squadron was mobilized in 1938 following the Czechoslovak crisis. His No. 604 unit was moved to North Weald. Later in 1938 his unit returned to Hendon and was reequipped with the more modern Blenheim 1 fighter. In August of 1939 the unit was again mobilized and returned to North Weald. The Squadron was primarily utilized to provide daylight air cover for convoys. Lacking radar the Blenheim was relatively useless as a night fighter. In September of 1940 the unit was moved to Middle Wallop and the first Bristol Beaufighters arrived. The Beatifighter had a modestly effective, although often unreliable radar. It was an excellent aircraft with reliable air-cooled engines and four 20mm cannons. Cunningham attained the units first night victory in the Beaufighter, and his tally rose steadily. He was promoted to Wing Commander of 604 Squadron in August of 1941. Cunningham completed his first combat tour of duty in mid-1942 with a total of 15 victories. He was then posted to H.Q. 81 Group, which was an operational training group under the Fighter Command. In January of 1943 Cunningham was transferred to command of No. 85 Squadron which was equipped with the Mosquito. With the higher speed of the Mosquito, Cunningham was successful at downing Fw-190s, something impossible in the slower Beaufighter. Cunningham completed his second tour in 1944 with a total of nineteen victories at night and one by day. He was promoted to Group Captain at that time, and was assigned to H.Q. 11 Group. Cunninghams radar operator Sqd. Ldr. Jimmy Rawnsley participated in most of Cunninghams victories. The 604 Squadron was disbanded in 1945, but in 1946 Cunningham was given the honor of reforming the Squadron at Hendon - flying the Spitfire. Cunningham left the RAF in 1946 and joined the De Havilland Aircraft Co. at Hatfield as its Chief Test Pilot. Cunningham had a long and distinguished career in the British aviation industry, retiring from British Aerospace in 1980. Cunningham was appointed OBE in 1951 and CBE in 1963. He was awarded the DSO in 1941 and Bars in 1942 and 1944; the DFC and Bar in 1941, also the Air Efficiency Award (AE). He also held the Soviet Order of Patriotic War 1st Class and the US Silver Star. Group Capt John Cunningham died at the age of 84 on the 21st July 2002.
Click the name above to see prints signed by Peter Cunningham
| Peter Cunningham |
Battle of Britain Spitfire Pilot. Passed away 2007. Like so many pilots, Peter began his flying career in the USA on Stearmans, staying as an instructor after qualifying. The death of a close friend in action prompted him to request posting to an active fighter squadron and after a short conversion spell on Hurricanes in England, Peter found himself flying Spitfire Mk.IXs over Italy in 1943. One incident he recalled was the occasion when he was obliged to put his Spitfire, which had been damaged by ground fire, into the sea off the coast of Anzio and the resulting difficulty he had in extricating himself from the rapidly sinking fighter! Following his tour of operations Peter was sent to the Middle?East as a test pilot and it was here that he met Vera, the WAAF who would become his wife. With flying now truly engrained in his blood, Peter went on after the war to become one of the worlds most respected civil airline pilots, flying the classic aircraft of the day and witnessing amazing sights as his adventure?filled career took him across Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle?East.
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by Flight Lieutenant Wallace Cunningham DFC
| Flight Lieutenant Wallace Cunningham DFC |
Wallace Cunningham, known as Jock during his time in the RAF, was born in Glasgow on December 4th 1916. He studied Engineering part-time at the Royal Technical College (later to become the University of Strathclyde) and joined the RAFVR in 1938, learning to fly at Prestwick. When war was declared he was commissioned. He did his flying training at 11 FTS, Shawbury. After converting to Spitfires at 5 OTU, Aston Down, he was posted to 19 Squadron in July 1940. Flew Spitfire Mk.I P8439. On 16th August 1940 he destroyed a Bf110. On September 7th the Duxford Wing of three squadrons flew its first offensive patrol under the leadership of Douglas Bader. The controversial Big Wing took off in the late afternoon to head towards London. A large force of enemy bombers, with their fighter escort, was intercepted and Cunningham shot down a Heinkel 111 bomber over Ramsgate and damaged a second. His next success came two days later when the Big Wing scrambled in the afternoon. After attacking a bomber force, Cunningham found a stray Messerschmitt Bf109, which he shot down. September 15th saw the most intensive fighting and the turning point of the Battle, with all fighter squadrons in the south of England scrambled. Cunningham shared in the destruction of a Bf110 and destroyed a second fighter over the Thames Estuary. Before the battle was over at the end of October, he shared in the destruction of two more enemy aircraft. In October he was awarded the DFC for great personal gallantry and splendid skill in action. After the Battle of Britain, Flight Lieutenant Cunningham remained with No.19 Sqn as a flight commander. In July 1941 he damaged a Bf109 but on August 28th, while escorting a force of Blenheim bombers, he was shot down by flak near Rotterdam and taken prisoner. Flight Lieutenant Cunningham was initially sent to Oflag XC at Lubeck before joining a large RAF contingent at Oflag VIB at Warburg. He was soon involved in escape activities. The tunnelling fraternity he joined was almost ready to break out when its efforts were discovered. Within weeks he was on the digging team of another tunnel and was one of 35 PoWs selected for the escape. But when the tunnel broke the surface on April 18 1942 it was well short of the intended spot. Only five prisoners were able to escape before the tunnel was discovered next morning. Later in the year Cunningham was transferred to Stalag Luft III. At the end of January 1945, the camp was evacuated and the PoWs were forced to march westwards in atrocious winter weather. In late April, British forces liberated the prisoners and Cunningham was flown back to England. He was released from the RAF in 1946. Sadly Wallace Cunningham passed away on October 4th 2011.
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by or with the mounted signature of Lt Col Bob Curtis
| Lt Col Bob Curtis |
Bob Curtis arrived in North Africa in 1943, moving to Sicily soon after, flying Spitfires with the 52nd Fighter Group. He scored his first air victory over an Me109 flying his Spitfire, and later survived a bail out when his fighter was badly damaged after a building he strafed exploded beneath him. Moving across to the 15th Air Force, the 52nd Fighter Group re-equipped with the P-51 and Bob Curtis became a Squadron Commander. He added 13 more to his score flying the P-51, ending his war with 14 victories.
Click the name above to see prints signed by Miss Lettice Curtis
| Miss Lettice Curtis |
Joined the Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA) in July 1940 having been taken on to ferry Tiger Moths. Although we were later allowed to ferry other training types such as Oxfords and Masters, it was not until the autumn of 1941 that women were allowed to fly operational aircraft types. I flew my first Hurricane in August 1941 and my first Spitfire a couple of weeks later. After a brief course on a Blenheim I was cleared to fly without any further training, twin-engine bombers up to the Wellington. In November 1943 I was sent on a Halifax course, which due to unserviceability and bad weather closed, restarting in February 1943 at Pocklington where I was cleared for ferrying Halifaxes. After that without further training, I ferried Lancasters and over 100 Stirlings. In November 1945 I ferried 14 Liberators.
Click the name above to see prints signed by Flight Lieutenant Roy Daines DFM
| Flight Lieutenant Roy Daines DFM |
Roy Daines joined the RAF as soon as he was able, and after completing his hurried training as a pilot, was posted to join 247 Squadron in the autumn of 1940. Here he flew Gladiators and Hurricanes on coastal patrols, 247 being the only squadron to fly Gladiators during the Battle of Britain, before converting to nightfighting Hurricanes. Later, in 1943, he flew Typhoons with 247 before b