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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.|
Flight Lieutenant Geoffrey Perks DFC
*Signature Value : £40
|Joining the RAF in July 1941 he trained as a pilot in the USA and was posted to 420 Sqn as part of no 6 Group (RCAF) initially flying Wellingtons. The unit then converted to Halifaxes and he moved firstly to 427 Squadron and then 434 Sqn still flying this aircraft. In November 1944 he joined OTU as an instructor on Halifaxes, converting to Mosquitoes in January 1945. He then joined 571 Sqn as part of the Light Night Strike Force, flying the B Mk XVI and dropping 4000lb cookie bombs over Germany. He left the RAF in 1946 but rejoined, finally leaving in 1958|
Wing Commander Branse Burbridge DSO* DFC* (deceased)
*Signature Value : £50
|Posted to 85 Squadron on night-fighters in October 1941, Branse Burbridge flew Havocs on his first tour, scoring just a single claim, but when he returned to 85 Squadron for a second tour - this time on Mosquitos, he was far more successful. His first enemy kill was in Febraury 1944 when he shot down a Messerschmitt 410 fighter plane off the Sussex coast. On the night of March 24, 1944 he became embroiled in a life-or-death dogfight with a Dornier 217 bomber over the Channel. His Mosquito chased the aircraft from 19,000ft to just 3,000ft before it crashed into the sea, with Wg Cmdr Burbridge pulling up with just 1,000ft to spare. During the period of the build up to the invasion of Normandy, and after, together with his radar navigator, Bill Skelton, They flew 30 sorties over Germany to provide escort cover to RAF bombers. His greatest achievement came on November 4, 1944 during a bombing raid over Bonn. He shot down three Junkers 88 bombers and a Me 110, firing just 200 rounds in the process. In total they claimed 21 victories in a ten month spell. In the days after D-Day, he shot down a Junkers 88 bomber on the France/Belgium border that was piloted by Major Herget, who was credited with 72 aerial victories. In June 1944 he also shot down three V-1s. With his final air victory, in January 1945, he passed the total set by John Cats Eyes Cunningham to become the highest scoring RAF night fighter Ace of the war. Following the war Wg Cmdr Burbridge studied theology at Oxford before becoming a lay preacher for the Scripture Union. He now lives in care in Chorleywood, Herts.|
|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|
|Flying Fortress Mk.F-85-BO 42-30040 of 337th Bomb Squadron added to the airframes database.|
|Updates made to Aircrew database for : G. Targett : Squadrons updated (added No.83 Sqn RAF), Squadron service dates updated|
|New victory claim added : He111 claimed on 19th August 1942 by Stanislaw Brzeski of No.317 Sqn RAF|
|Updates made to Airframes database for : Wellington R1084 : Airframe notes updated (added 10-02-1941 : Wellington was damaged by a night-fighter and crash-landed at Narborough in Norfolk.)|
|Updates made to Aircrew database for : T. J. Thurling : Squadrons updated (added No.58 Sqn RAF), Squadron service dates updated|
|Updates made to Airframes database for : Flying Fortress 42-3166 : Squadrons updated (added 301st Bomb Group)|
|Updates made to Aircrew database for : D. C. Beddow : Squadrons updated (added No.51 Sqn RAF), Squadron service dates updated|
|Flight Lieutenant Roy Pengilley added to aircrew database :|
A pilot with 625 Sqn before being chosen for Pathfinders on Lancasters, joining 582 Sqn and completing 59 operations. Roy was wounded on a daylight operation spending two months in hospital, finally completing his tour in March 1945.
|Updates made to Aircrew database for : Squadron Leader John Pemberton : Victories updated, Squadron service dates updated|
|Updates made to Airframes database for : Blenheim P4903 :|
|SEARCH OUR AVIATION HISTORY DATABASES|
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