by Philip West.
Approx. overall print size 18½ x 27 ½” / 47cms x 68cms
Salisbury Cathedral is famous for its elegance and having the highest spire in England: 404ft high. During 1940, 609 Squadron Spitfires were based near-by at Middle Wallop, from where they fought the Battle of Britain and joined the first cross channel operations against occupied Europe. The airfield was attacked several times during the Battle of Britain, causing casualties and a number of aircraft were destroyed.
*Signed by a Spitfire pilot.
** Multi-signed, please call for details.
This Limited Edition Print is signed by the artist and the following
distinguished World War 2 Spitfire pilots.
Flight Lieutenant R G (Bob) Large, DFC, Legion d’Honneur, learned to fly in Scotland in 1940 and in 1941 joined 616 Squadron as part of the Tangmere Wing, commanded by the famous legless pilot Wing Commander Douglas Bader. The Squadron flew Fighter and Bomber sweeps over Northern France. The remains of Bob’s Spitfire lie at the bottom of the sea ten miles off Hythe (where he now lives) after being bounced by eighty plus ME 109Gs over the English Channel.
Having learned of the activities of 161 SD Squadron he was interviewed by the CO, Wing Commander Lewis Hodges, and joined the Lysander Flight. He then flew many important missions into occupied France in single, double and a memorable treble pickup when his excuse for being late at the rendezvous was that he had had a haircut “in the firm’s time” because “it grew in the firm’s time”! After D-Day he returned to Fighter Command and later flew Meteors. (Bob’s dog, Patrick, became the first dog in the Allied Forces to fly in a jet which took place in a Meteor 3 on 11th May 1946 and is now recorded in the Guinness Book of Records!)
THE ARTIST PROOFS & REMARQUES have also been signed by:
Wing Commander Peter Ayerst DFC. Few RAF pilots flew operationally from the beginning to the end of the Second World War. Fewer still can claim to have experienced action from Dunkirk and the Battle of Britain, El Alamein and the D-Day landings, to bomber escort duty in the closing days of the war in Europe. Peter Ayerst is one such man.
Peter joined the RAF in 1938 on a short service commission and was despatched to France when war broke out. After serving with legendary fighter ace Douglas Bader, Peter was posted to North Africa in 1942 where he was forced to crash-land his Hurricane in a minefield.
Peter flew Spitfires on intruder sorties over France before and during D-Day, on bomber escort duty against V-weapons sites and in support of mass daylight raids deep into Germany. Awarded the DFC in December 1944, he also flew as fighter escort to King George VI's Dakota. By the war's end, Peter had flown every mark of Spitfire and Hurricane in the RAF's inventory! This stood him in good stead after the war when he worked with famous test pilot Alex Henshaw: he was part of the flight-test crew when Henshaw rolled a Lancaster
Sqn. Ldr. M. S. Pujji DFC (Pilot) In 1940 Mahinder Singh Pujji, a qualified pilot flying for Shell in India, volunteered to join the RAF and was commissioned as Pilot Officer. Arriving in England, he was posted to 43 Squadron, and then 258 Squadron at Kenley, flying both Hurricanes and Spitfires. Later posted to the Western Desert, then to India, and finally to Burma, where he completed two tours against the Japanese.
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