Flight Against The Bismarck

Original price was: £175.00.Current price is: £140.00.

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Flight Against The Bismarck Swordfish
by Philip E. West

Approx.Overall print size 16” x 26” / 40cms x 66cms.

Flight Against The Bismarck Swordfish
The Royal Navy’s week long chase of the formidable German battleship Bismarck culminated in the foul evening weather of 26th May 1941.
Despite the deck of HMS Ark Royal pitching through 55 feet, S/Lt John Moffat was one of fifteen Swordfish pilots who took off to attack Bismarck. After 90
minutes of arduous and turbulent flying the Swordfish found their  quarry and dived through the intense anti-aircraft fire to drop their torpedoes.
One of these hit and jammed Bismarck’s rudder and condemned the battleship to sail in slow circles.
The Royal Navy’s own capital ships then closed in and pounded Bismarck into a burning wreck.
Flight Against The Bismarck Swordfish

This is only one example of heroic acts by the many Swordfish crewwho flew and fought so valiantly for their Queen and country throughoutWW2. Most of which has gone unrecognised.

Other print signatories have been involved in the Malta Campaign and one pilot who flew Swordfish from converted oil tankers in the North Atlantic on convoy protection duties against German U-Boats.

Sub.Lt. StanleyBrand RNVR (Pilot)
Lt.Cdr. Bruce Vibert (Pilot)
Lieut.Norman Gillis RNVR (Pilot) St)

Very Restricted Edition
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100 Prints in the Primary Edition £140.00

Sub Lieut (A) Stanley T. Brand RNVR (Pilot).

Sub Lieut (A) Stanley T. Brand RNVR (Pilot). Although in a reserved occupation volunteered on his 18th birthday to train as pilot in the Fleet Air Arm.
He flew open cockpit biplane Swordfish aircraft from Merchant Aircraft Carriers called “Macships”.
These were 8000 ton grain-ships or oil tankers fitted with a flight deck, carrying their usual cargo and manned by a Merchant Navy Master and crew.
They sailed in convoy back and forth across the North Atlantic in all the extreme weather conditions experienced on that ocean. The oil tankers lacked a hangar, so maintenance was carried out on open deck exposing the aircraft, ground crew and aircrew to the fury of the sea, ice and gales.
By keeping U-boats submerged instead of allowing them free range on the surface, in 24 months only two merchant ships were sunk by the enemy in convoys protected by Macships.
This was in spite of there being greater numbers and more efficient U-boats at sea in this period than at the time of our greatest losses in the Battle of the Atlantic.

Sub. Lieut. Bruce Vibert (Pilot)

Sub. Lieut. Bruce Vibert (Pilot) volunteered for the Fleet Air Arm in May 1941 and helped to form 842 Squadron, the Royal Navy’s last to be formed with the Fairey Swordfish in March 1943.
Working mainly from the escort carrier HMS Fencer during the squadron’s two-year existence, the role was anti-submarine, ranging from the occupation of the Azores to North Russia.
Protection to the Home Fleet was also given during two operations against “Tirpitz”, sheltering in Northern Norway.
The Squadron finally came under Coastal Command to work the Western Approaches and English Channel. It achieved several successes against the U-Boats.

He later served in the Pacific as a deck landing control officer before, post war, joining the RCN and there becoming a helicopter pilot.
Today he supports the RNHF as a speaker about the Swordfish.

Lieut (A) N C Gillis RNVR (Pilot)

Lieut (A) N C Gillis RNVR (Pilot) volunteered for training as a pilot in the Fleet Air Arm in 1940. After training he was posted to join HMS Indomitable and sent to the Far East.
The posting did not materialise and after some months in Sri Lanka (then Ceylon) and Nairobi, Kenya, joined 810 Squadron in HMS Illustrious.
810 was a Swordfish squadron and remained so until HMS Illustrious returned to UK.

The squadron then reformed with Barracuda aircraft and rejoined the Illustrious.
After a short spell with the Home Fleet the Illustrious was despatched to serve with the Mediterranean Fleet, subsequently returning to the Home Fleet.
810 Squadron served in the ship during this time and was retained in the ship when she returned to the Eastern Fleet and was actively engaged in the Burma campaign.
During joint operations with the US Carrier Saratoga Lt Gillis was mentioned in Despatches during the operation at Sabang in Malaysia.

Having overspent his time in an operational squadron he was returned to UK where he served as Dive-Bombing Instructor at RNAS Crail,
then converted onto twin-engine aircraft and flew in a Mosquito squadron until demobilised in 1946.
Flight Against The Bismarck Swordfish



Additional information

Weight 1 kg
Dimensions 80 × 12 × 12 cm


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