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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.|
Raymond Baxter (deceased)
*Signature Value : £40
|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.|
|The Aircraft :|
|Spitfire||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.|
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|
|New victory claim added : He111 claimed on 26th September 1940 by Jozef Jeka of No.238 Sqn RAF|
|Updates made to Airframes database for : Wellington R1646 :|
|New victory claim added : Me109 (Probable victory) claimed on 2nd June 1940 by James Baird Coward of No.19 Sqn RAF|
|Flying Fortress Mk.F-85-BO 42-30038 of 100th Bomb Group added to the airframes database.|
|Warrant Officer Dennis Baker added to aircrew database :|
Originally a Halton Brat, Dennis qualified as a Flight Engineer serving with 75 Sqn on Stirlings. Shot down on his third operation returning from Frankfurt on 3rd December 1942, he was held as a PoW for nearly three years in camps including Stalag Luft I, Lutz VI and 357.
|349th Bomb Squadron added to the squadrons database.|
|Wellington Mk.IC T2888 of No.99 Sqn RAF added to the airframes database.|
|Updates made to Aircrew database for : Flight Lieutenant Des Curtis : Aircraft updated, Squadrons updated, Squadron service dates updated|
|Updates made to Airframes database for : Spitfire P7539 : Airframe notes updated (added 24-10-1940 : Joined No.66 Sqn. & 27-10-1940 : Shot down by an Me109 near Tunbridge Wells. Pilot Officer John Romney Mather killed.)|
|Updates made to Airframes database for : Whitley P4974 : Airframe notes updated (added 11-02-1941 : Whitley was ordered to divert course but misunderstood order and subsequently ran out of fuel, successfully abandoned. )|
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