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No.256 Sqn RAF

Founded : June 1918
Country : UK
Fate : Disbanded 21st January 1959
Known Aircraft Codes : JT

Addimus vim viribus - Strength to strength

No.256 Sqn RAF


Latest Battle of Britain Artwork Releases !
For nearly a thousand years the white cliffs of southern England had taunted many a foreign army.  These fortress walls of chalk, however, were defended by the moat-like waters of the Channel, and together they had shielded the British from her enemies.  Alongside Drake they had defied the armies of Spain and her great Armada and, in 1805, had halted the march of Napoleon's <i>Grand Armée</i>.  No enemy force since that of William the Conqueror in 1066 had successfully managed to cross the Channel in anger but, in May 1940, one of the most powerful armies the world had ever seen arrived at Calais.  An invasion by Hitler's all-conquering Wehrmacht was imminent - or so it seemed.  To cross the Channel and breach the English defences, the Luftwaffe simply had to gain control of the skies, and with massively superior numbers the outcom seemed inevitable.  The fate of Britain lay in the hands of less than 3,000 young airmen from Fighter Command - Churhill's 'Few'.  By July the most famous air battle in history was underway and, over the next three months under tranquil summer skies, the 'Few' battled to defend their Scpetred Isle.  Impossibly outnumbered and flying daily to the point of exhaustion, by October these courageous young men had snatched victory from the jaws of defeat, emerging defiantly victorious.  The threat of invasion might be over but a terrible price had been paid - during that long battle for the survival of Britain 544 had been killed and 422 wounded; and of those who survived a further 814 would be killed before the end of the war.  This painting pays tribute to the valiant 'Few', portraying a fleeting moment of calm for the pilots of 74 (Tiger) Squadron during the height of the Battle of Britain.  With his commanding officer Sailor Malan (ZP-A) to his right, Acting Flight Lieutenant John Freeborn (ZP-C) takes time to reflect on another day of intense combat while passing over the white cliffs and the familiar lighthouse at Beachy Head, as the squadron cross the English coast to head for home.

This Sceptred Isle by Robert Taylor.
 A lone Spitfire of 266 Squadron is shown above the sunlit haze of London and the Thames, during the Battle of Britian. 266 Squadron was reformed on 30th October 1939 at RAF Sutton Bridge as a fighter squadron. The squadron was one of the Rhodesian gift squadrons and was named 266 (Rhodesia) Squadron in honour of the gift. Originally it was equipped with the Fairey Battle light bomber, but soon after in January 1940 it received the Supermarine Spitfire and became a fighter squadron. It was in action over Dunkirk in early June and fought in the Battle of Britain.

Guardian of Freedom by Timothy OBrien.
The Luftwaffe had done everything in its power to pummel London into submission but they failed. By the end of September 1940 their losses were mounting. For weeks since the early days of September, London had been the main target for the Luftwaffe and during that time Luftwaffe High Command had grown increasingly despondent as their losses steadily mounted. Far from being on the brink of collapse RAF Fighter Command, though vastly outnumbered, had shown an incredible resilience. The fighting had reached a dramatic climax on Sunday 15th September when, bloodied and bruised, the Luftwaffe had lost the upper hand on a day of intense combat that had culminated with a humiliating retreat. Almost every day that had passed since then had seen the Luftwaffe do everything in its power to pummel London and regain the initiative, but the daylight raids were becoming increasingly costly. On Friday 27th September, 80 days after the Battle of Britain had officially begun, the Luftwaffe came once more, this time concentrating on the fastest bombers they had - Ju88s and Bf110s. And they came in force, principally targeting London and Bristol. Anthony Saunders' superb painting depicts one of these raids, this time by bombers from KG77 as they head over the Medway Estuary, east of the City of London, in an attempt to attack the capital's warehouses and docks. Among the many units defending the capital that day was 92 Squadron from Biggin Hill and Anthony portrays the Spitfire of Pilot Officer Geoffrey Wellum in his dramatic piece. With a deft flick of the rudder Wellum banks his fighter away to port seconds after sharing in the destruction of a Ju88. It was just one of more than 50 German aircraft destroyed by the RAF during the day.
Decisive Blow by Anthony Saunders.
 Supermarine Spitfire Mk.1As of No.610 (County of Chester) Sqn RAAF, intercept incoming Heinkel 111H-16s of the 9th Staffel, Kampfgeschwader 53 Legion Condor during the big daylight raids on London of August and September 1940 - the climax of the Battle of Britain.  Spitfire N3029 (DW-K) was shot down by a Bf109 on the 5th of September 1940 and crash-landed near Gravesend, Kent, thankfully without injury to Sgt Willcocks, the pilot.  For the record, N3029 was rebuilt and, following some brief flying in the UK, was sent overseas by convoy to the Middle East.  Ironically, the ship carrying this aircraft was torpedoed en route and both ship and all its cargo were lost.

Close Encounter by Ivan Berryman. (PC)

Aces for : No.256 Sqn RAF
A list of all Aces from our database who are known to have flown with this squadron. A profile page is available by clicking the pilots name.
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Joseph Berry3.00
Aircraft for : No.256 Sqn RAF
A list of all aircraft known to have been flown by No.256 Sqn RAF. A profile page including a list of all art prints for the aircraft is available by clicking the aircraft name.
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Beaufighter



Click the name above to see prints featuring Beaufighter aircraft.

Manufacturer : Bristol
Production Began : 1940
Number Built : 5564

Beaufighter

BRISTOL BEAUFIGHTER The Bristol Beaufighter was a Torpedo Bomber and had a crew of two. with a maximum speed of 330mph and a ceiling of 29,000 feet. maximum normal range of 1500 miles but could be extended to 1750 miles. The Bristol Beaufighter carried four 20mm cannon in the belly of the aircraft and upto six .303in browning machine guns in the wings. it could also carry eight 3 -inch rockets, 1605 lb torpedo or a bomb load of 1,000 lb. The Bristol Beaufighter first flew in July 1939 and with some modifications entered service with the Royal Air Force in July 1940. In the winter of 1940 - 1941 the Beaufighter was used as a night fighter. and in March 1941 the aircraft was used at Coastal Command as a long range strike aircraft. and in 1941, the Beaufighter arrived in North Africa and used as a forward ground attack aircraft. The Bristol Beaufighter was used also in India, Burma and Australia. A total of 5,564 Beaufighters were built until production in Britain finished in 1945, but a further 364 were built in Australia for the Australian Air Force

Defiant



Click the name above to see prints featuring Defiant aircraft.

Manufacturer : Boulton Paul
Production Began : 1939
Number Built : 1075

Defiant

BOULTON PAUL DEFIANT Built as a fighter, with a crew of two. Maximum speed of 304 mph, and a ceiling of 30,350 feet. armament on the defiant was four .303 browing machine guns in the Boulton Paul Turret. Designed as a intercepter fighter, the Defiant first flew in August 1937. and entered service with the Royal Air Force in October 1939 with no 264 squadron. and first flew in operations in march 1940 the Boulton Paul Defiant was certainly no match for the German Fighters, due to their lack of fire power as the defiant had no wing mounted machine guns. Heavy losses. The aircraft was re deployed as a night -Fighter in the autumn of 1940. This role also being taken over by Bristol Beaufighters in 1941, leaving the defiant for training, target tug, and air-sea rescue roles. A Total of 1075 Boulton Paul Defiant's were built

Mosquito



Click the name above to see prints featuring Mosquito aircraft.

Manufacturer : De Havilland
Production Began : 1940
Retired : 1955
Number Built : 7781

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.
Signatures for : No.256 Sqn RAF
A list of all signatures from our database who are associated with this squadron. A profile page is available by clicking their name.
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H. E. Tappin
Click the name above to see prints signed by or with the mounted signature of H. E. Tappin

8 / 1 / 2007Died : 8 / 1 / 2007
H. E. Tappin

Started flying, as an N.C.O. pilot, with the R.A.F.V.R. at No.3 E.& R.F.T.S. run by Air Service Training, at Hamble near Southampton.in April 1937. Awarded Pilot's Flying Badge (wings) in May 1938. Moved to 26 E.& R.F.T.S. run by Marshalls Flying School at Kidlington, near Oxford in September 1938. Flying Instructor's Course, November/December 1938 Started instructing 30th December 1938. School at-Kidlington closed on outbreak of hostilities, staff moved to 22 E.F.T.S. at Carpbridge. Instructed at Cambridge until April 1941, when posted to 52 O.T.U. (Hurricane) at Debden. Commissioned December 1940. 52 O.T.U. April/May 1941. Posted to 3 Squadron (Hurricane) at Martlesham Heath 2nd June 1941, became Flight Commander in March 1942. Posted to 534 Squadron (Turbinlite) as Hurricane Flight Commander September 1942. Tutbinlite Project abandoned February 1943,,posted to 157 Squadron (Mosquito) at Castle Camps. Became Flight Commander July 1943. Posted from 157 at Predannack, March 1944 to 51 O.T.U. at Cranfield and Twinwood Farm, near Bedford, as W/Cdr Flying. January 1945 posted to Mediterranean to command 108 Squadron (Beaufighter), to learn on arrival that the Squadron was to be disbanded. I spent a short period with 334 (Special Duties) Wing at Brindisi, in Southern Italy, and in March 1945 was posted to Command 256 Squaron (Mosquito) with the Desert Air Force at Forli, iii-Northern Italy. In September 1945 the Squadron moved to Egypt,, from where I returned home in December of that year. In February 1946 1 returned to Cambridge to continue my work with Marshalls as a civilian pilot, where the work was varied and interesting, covering flying-instruction, charter work and testflying on a variety of aircraft, including the Vampire, Venom, Canberra, Valiant, Viscount and Ambassador. I left Cambridge in January 1961 to instruct at The College of Air Training at Hamble, which had been set up by B.E.A. and B.O.A.C., (taking over the Air Service Training facilities) to train new pilots ?,rom scratch, as the supply of ex-service pilots was running short. It proved to be very successful. Retired from Hamble January 1972. Service Numbers: N.C.O. 740167. Commissioned Officer 89304. D.F.C. September 1942 Bar to D.F.C. April 1944. Died 8th January 2007.

H E Tappin signing the print - High Patrol - by Graeme Lothian

H E Tappin signing the print - Fighter Pilot of the RAF - by Graeme Lothian


Battle of Britain Timeline of Related Info : 20th November
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