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|Signatures on this item|
|*The value given for each signature has been calculated by us based on the historical significance and rarity of the signature. Values of many pilot signatures have risen in recent years and will likely continue to rise as they become more and more rare.|
Group Captain Leonard Cheshire VC OM DSO** DFC* (deceased)
*Signature Value : £75
|One of the most courageous and determined bomber leaders of World War II, Leonard Cheshire flew four operational tours, starting in June 1940 with 102 Squadron on Whitley bombers at RAF Driffield. In November 1940, he was awarded the DSO for getting his badly damaged aircraft back to base. He completed his first tour in January 1941, but immediately volunteered for a second tour, this time flying Halifaxes with 35 Squadron. He became Squadron Leader in 1942, and was appointed commanding officer of 76 Squadron later that year. Leonard Cheshire ordered that non-essential weight be removed from the Halifax bombers in a bid to increase speed and altitude, hoping to reduce the high casualty rates for this squadron. Mid-upper and nose turrets were removed, and exhaust covers taken off, successfully reducing the loss rate. In July 1943 he took command of 617 Squadron. During this time he led the squadron personally on every occasion. In September he was awarded the Victoria Cross for four and a half years of sustained bravery during a total of 102 operations, leading his crews with careful planning, brilliant execution and contempt for danger, which gained him a reputation second to none in Bomber Command. Sadly, Leonard Cheshire died of motor neuron disease on 31st July 1992, aged 74.|
Some other related items available from this site, matching the aircraft, squadron or signatures of this item.
A Moments Peace by Ivan Berryman. (APB)
The Jericho Boys by Ivan Berryman. (GS)
Trainbusters by Nicolas Trudgian (AP)
Home Again by Ivan Berryman. (B)
|The Aircraft :|
|Mosquito||Used as a night fighter, fighter bomber, bomber and Photo-reconnaissance, with a crew of two, Maximum speed was 425 mph, at 30,300 feet, 380mph at 17,000ft. and a ceiling of 36,000feet, maximum range 3,500 miles. the Mosquito was armed with four 20mm Hospano cannon in belly and four .303 inch browning machine guns in nose. Coastal strike aircraft had eight 3-inch Rockets under the wings, and one 57mm shell gun in belly. The Mossie at it was known made its first flight on 25th November 1940, and the mosquito made its first operational flight for the Royal Air Force as a reconnaissance unit based at Benson. In early 1942, a modified version (mark II) operated as a night fighter with 157 and 23 squadron's. In April 1943 the first De Haviland Mosquito saw service in the Far east and in 1944 The Mosquito was used at Coastal Command in its strike wings. Bomber Commands offensive against Germany saw many Mosquitos, used as photo Reconnaissance aircraft, Fighter Escorts, and Path Finders. The Mosquito stayed in service with the Royal Air Force until 1955. and a total of 7781 mosquito's were built.|
See our aviation history timeline for all today's historical aviation events - air victories, aircraft losses and pilot details.
|RECENT UPDATES TO OUR AVIATION HISTORY DATABASES|
|Updates made to Aircrew database for : Wing Commander Branse Burbridge : Rank updated (now Wing Commander)|
|Hampden Mk.I AD827 of No.61 Sqn RAF added to the airframes database.|
|New victory claim added : He111 (Damaged.) claimed on 22nd December 1939 by John Evelyn Scoular of No.73 Sqn RAF|
|Updates made to Airframes database for : Blenheim L9270 : Airframe notes updated (added 04-04-1941 : Blenheim was on patrol off the Dutch coast before it was lost without trace. )|
|Updates made to Aircrew database for : Ludwig Meister : Date of death updated, Deceased updated, Squadron service dates updated|
|Updates made to Airframes database for : Hampden AD899 : Aircrew updated (added Pilot Officer J. G. Curley)|
|New victory claim added : Me110 claimed on 23rd April 1940 by John Evelyn Scoular of No.73 Sqn RAF|
|Lieutenant Colonel Thomas E Stanton added to aircrew database :|
387th Fighter Squadron Hell Hawks P-47 pilot.
|Updates made to Aircrew database for : Squadron Leader John Leslie Munro : Date of death updated, Deceased updated|
|Updates made to Airframes database for : Anson K6296 : Aircrew updated (added J. Stransky), Airframe notes updated (added 01-04-1941 : Anson crash-landed at Honington following the loss of the starboard aileron.)|
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