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We Salute You – Avro Lancaster (Artist Proof Edition)

£180.00

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Description

We Salute You – Lancaster

 A Tribute to Bomber Command
We Salute You – Lancaster
by Philip E. West

Print measurements approx. 20” x 27½ / 51 x 70cms.

As night falls Lancaster bombers head out over Lincoln Cathedral on yet another highly dangerous mission over enemy territory.
Lancaster aircraft first entered service in 1941, normally with a crew of seven whose average age was 22. With a top speed of 287mph and ability to carry a massive bomb load of 22,000lbs,
Lancasters proved a formidable as well as reliable aircraft, one held in the highest regard by its young, though highly motivated crews.
Despite increasingly capable aircraft like the Lancaster, a great deal was asked of Bomber Command crews and their aircraft, resulting in substantial losses. Of the 7373 Lancasters built 3677 were lost.
From the over 125,000 involved in Bomber Command during the war 55,573 were killed, 8,000 wounded and 10,000 became prisoners of war.
To all these brave men we owe a great debt of gratitude for their bravery.
The main aircraft passing over Lincoln Cathedral is the now famous “Phantom of the Ruhr”, which went on to complete an amazing 120 ops. Ron Clark was the pilot on 25 of the 33 ops. he completed,
logging 165 hours in the aircraft, 147 on night operations. Mr. L Easby was his Wireless Operator.

40 Prints in the A/Proof edition £180.00

Ronald Clark DFC (Pilot) volunteered for flying duties in 1941 and after interviews completed initial training in Paignton. A flying grading course followed at Kingstown near Carlisle surprisingly near my family, before being sent as “Ambassadors” for Britain across the Atlantic to be trained by the USAAF. After more initial training to learn the American way, not a bad way,
we embarked on the flying training and after receiving the silver wings, the next port of call was Bournemouth in a hotel which shortly afterwards was demolished by the Luftwaffe.

Several courses preceded our arrival at Lindholme heavy conversion unit before joining the “Battle of the Ruhr” with No 100 Squadron based at Waltham near Grimsby.
We Salute You – Lancaster

My crew and I were assigned a brand new Lancaster III EE139 which we almost did for on our twenty-fourth trip with her to Manheim,
but she went on to complete 120 operations before being unceremoniously scrapped. Little did we think that over 60 years later she would be “recalled to life” by the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.

After a period of instructing I was then posted to No 7 Sqdn for deployment to the Far East, which was stymied by the dropping of the atomic bomb,
I did a lot more instructing before applying for a secondment to BOAC.
We Salute You – Lancaster

Lishman Y. Easby (Wireless Operator) joined the RAF in 1941 after service in the Home Guard.
He was selected for training as a Wireless Operator/Air Gunner but after training as a W/Op he was posted to Coastal Command 159Gp HQ, Liverpool, and served in 1942 as a ground wireless operator.
Later in the year he was called for training as a W/op (air) which was followed by an air-gunner course.
Following this he was posted to an Operational Training Unit and joined Ron Clark and his crew as a W/op (on 4 engined aircraft – the two jobs were separate).
The crew were later posted for further training, first on Halifax and then on Lancasters; then posted to 100 Sqn, Waltham,
near Grimsby, where they were given a brand new Lancaster which they named the “Phantom of the Ruhr”. Their Flight Engineer, Harold Bennett DFM painted its name and insignia on the nose of the aircraft. The same name today adorns the Lancaster which flies as part of the “Battle of Britain Memorial Flight”.

In the Phantom they completed 21 ops to Germany and two to Italy, after which the Phantom was taken in for extensive repairs due to enemy damage.
The crew completed a further four ops which then completed their tour.
For their 27th op the crew were transferred to 625 Sqn Kelstern (Lincs) which turned out to be their final operation and they were then disbanded.
Lishman Easby was then posted to OTU near Shrewsbury to help with the training of new crews. Later he was posted to 298 Sqn Transport Command with another pilot (Ian Forbes) and crew where they received training in towing Horsa Gliders in preparation for an airborne attack on Singapore. However,
the war ended suddenly and the Sqn was posted to India and eventually to Burma to take part in “Operation Hunger”. This entailed dropping sacks of rice on isolated villages thus saving them from famine. This ended his service and he was released from service in 1946. He agreed to his name being held in reserve as a “Minute Man” until aged 45.
During this time he could be called back in an emergency for immediate service. However, this never happened.
We Salute You – Lancaster

Flt. Lt. Joe Petrie-Andrews DFC DFM (Pilot) joined the RAF at “about 14 or 15 years of age.” Rejecting the opportunity to become a bomb-aimer,
Joe was determined to pester the RAF until they would accept him on a pilot’s training course. Flying mainly Lancaster and Halifax aircraft, Joe joined 158 and 35 Squadron’s,
and later became part of the Pathfinder Force. During an operation to bomb Cannes in southern France on 11th November 1943, Joe’s (aged only 19) Halifax was badly shot up,
forcing him to ditch the aircraft in the Mediterranean, where he and the crew spent three days in a dingy before being rescued; for this operation Joe was awarded an ‘immediate’ DFC.
He completed 68 operations, 60 before his 20th birthday on 11/7/1944.
We Salute You – Lancaster

Sqn. Ldr. Lawrence “Benny” Goodman (Pilot. 617 Sqn) volunteered for aircrew at 18 years of age and was called up in 1940.
After basic training he went to RAF Abingdon – a Whitley O.T.U – for what he was told would be ‘straight through’ training. This did not materialise and he found himself in the role of a Ground Gunner.
In 1941, a posting eventually came through to the Initial Training Wing followed by Elementary Flying School at Peterborough and an instructor’s course at Woodley, Reading; then to Clyffe Pyparde,
a holding unit. A sea journey to Canada followed and Service Flying Training School on Ansons. On completion he was posted to Kingston,
Ontario, to instruct Acting Leading Naval Airmen on the Royal Navy tactics of the time. e.g. jinking after take off, dive bombing etc. “However, I had to learn everything first,
so I was just about one step ahead of the students! said Benny.

Eventually returning to the UK and O.T.U. on Wellingtons at Silverstone and Heavy Conversion Bomber Unit at Swinderby on Stirlings. Then a short course at the Lancaster Conversion Unit.
After an interview Benny and his crew were surprised and delighted to find they had been selected for 617 Squadron.
This was in 1944 and they stayed together as a crew on 617 Squadron until the war in Europe ended.
He completed 30 missions – all with William “Jock” Burnett as his flight engineer. Notable raids Benny took part in were on the Tirpitz (29/10/44),
dropping the Grand Slam 22,000 bomb on the Arnsberg Viaduct (19/03/45) and the attack on Berchtesgarten ‘Eagles nest’ (25/05/45).
We Salute You – Lancaster

 

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