Glorious Summer by Robert Taylor. (B)
Throughout the long hot summer of 1940 the destiny of the British Isles, indeed the future of Europe, lay in the hands of a small band of young RAF fighter pilots. Against them stood the vast aerial fleets of an all-powerful Luftwaffe, gloating and confident from its victories in Poland, France and the Low Countries. Lying in wait across the Channel, anticipating an easy victory by its air force, were the armies of the most powerful tyrant the world had ever known. With Europe already succumbed to Nazi rule, Britain was alone, the last bastion among the free nations to stand against an evil empire bent upon world domination. The battle, the first ever to be fought entirely in the air, would change the course of history, whatever the outcome.
Outnumbered more than five to one at the outset, the odds were so heavily stacked against the RAF, the task looked hopeless. But as the ferocious aerial battles continued through the long summer months, the tactical skills, devotion and raw courage of the RAF's young flyers, gradually turned the tide. By September end, the battle was won and the defeated Luftwaffe retired to its plundered territories to lick its wounds.
Image shows nearest, young Pilot Officer Geoffrey Page, later to become one of the RAFs most highly decorated fighter aces, powers his Mk I Hurricane over the country lane at the edge of the airfield, as he and his fellow No 56 Squadron pilots make their third scramble of the day.
|AMAZING VALUE! - The value of the signatures on this item is in excess of the price of the print itself!|
|Item Code : DHM2464B||Glorious Summer by Robert Taylor. (B) - This Edition|
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|PRINT|| Limited edition of 250 Millennium Proof Edition Prints, supplied with companion print Hunters of the Night. |
Last print available of this edition - now sold out at the publisher.
Great value : Value of signatures exceeds price of item!
| Paper size 33 inches x 24 inches (84cm x 61cm)|| Brown, Cyril |
Crew, Edward (companion print)
Cunningham, John (companion print)
+ Artist : Robert Taylor
Signature(s) value alone : £1045
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|Other editions of this item : ||Glorious Summer by Robert Taylor||DHM2464|
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|PRINT|| Signed limited edition of 500 prints. |
Last three prints of this sold out edition available - has some of the best signatures available on any Battle of Britain print.
Great value : Value of signatures exceeds price of item!
|Paper size 33 inches x 24 inches (84cm x 61cm)|| Brothers, Peter |
+ Artist : Robert Taylor
Signature(s) value alone : £355
|£120 Off!||Now : £260.00||VIEW EDITION...|
| Limited edition of artist proofs.|
|Paper size 33 inches x 24 inches (84cm x 61cm)|| Brothers, Peter |
+ Artist : Robert Taylor
Signature(s) value alone : £355
|General descriptions of types of editions : |
|Extra Details :|
|About this edition :|
Each print in the Millennium Proof edition is supplied with a pencil print of Hunters of the Night.
|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.|
|Air Commodore Cyril Brown CBE AFC AE (deceased)|
*Signature Value : £55
|Born 17th January 1921. Joined the RAFVR in 1939, and completed pilot training to fly Hurricanes with No.245 Sqn during the Battle of Britain. He then joined No.616 Sqn in 1941, before taking a post as a test pilot. He died 1st November 2003.|
Air Commodore John Ellacombe CB DFC* (deceased)
*Signature Value : £35
|John Ellacombe joined the RAF in 1939 and was posted to 151 Squadron in July 1940, immediately converting to Hurricanes. On 24th August he shot down a He111, but a week later his Hurricane was blown up in combat and he baled out, with burns. Rejoining his squadron a few months later, in February 1941 was posted to 253 Squadron where he took part in the Dieppe operations. On 28th July, flying a Turbinlite Havoc, he probably destroyed a Do217. Converting to Mosquitos, John was posted to 487 Squadron RNZAF, and during the build up to the Normandy Invasion and after, was involved in many ground attacks on enemy held airfields, railways, and other targets of opportunity. He completed a total of 37 sorties on Mosquitos. Flying a de Havilland Mosquito XIII with a devastating set of four 20mm cannon in the nose, John Ellacombe flew deep into occupied France on the night before D-Day searching out and destroying German convoys and railway targets. As the Normandy campaign raged on, 151 Squadron intensified its interdiction sorties - including night attacks on Falaise and the Seine bridges. On August 1st Ellacombe took part in the famous attack by 23 Mosquitoes on the German bar-racks in Poitiers, led by Group Captain Wykeham Barnes. Ellacombe had first joined 151 Squadron during the Battle of Britain, direct from Flying Training School. Within weeks he had scored his first victory but also force landed in a field, having shot down a He 111, and baled out of a blazing Hurricane. He baled out a second time during the Dieppe Raid in 1942 but was picked up safely. Postwar he had a long and successful career in the RAE. Air Commodore John Ellacombe, who has died aged 94, survived being shot down three times during the Second World War - twice during the Battle of Britain. On August 15th 1940 the Luftwaffe launched Adler Tag (Eagle Day), with the object of destroying Fighter Command by attacking the ground organisation and drawing the RAF's fighters into the air. Nine Hurricanes of No 151 Squadron were scrambled during the afternoon and met enemy fighters near Dover at 18,000ft. Ellacombe attacked a Messerschmitt Bf 109 and fired three bursts. The enemy fighter rolled on to its back and dived into the sea. There was heavy fighting over the next few days, and on August 24 Ellacombe engaged a Heinkel III bomber. His fire hit its engines and the bomber crash-landed in Essex . During intense fighting on August 30 he attacked a formation of Heinkels head on. He hit one, which crashed, but return fire damaged the engine of his Hurricane and he was forced to land in a field, where a farmer accosted him with a pitchfork. On the following day Ellacombe damaged two Bf 109s before attacking a Junkers 88 bomber. When the Junkers returned fire, setting his Hurricane's fuel tank ablaze, he bailed out. As he drifted to the ground, a member of the Home Guard fired on him. He was then marched to a police station where he was assaulted by a constable who thought he was German. Later in life Ellacombe remarked: In two days, a farmer had attempted to kill me, the Home Guard had shot at me and a policeman had tried to kill me â€” quite apart from the Germans. I wondered whose side I was on. He received hospital treatment for his burns, and his fighting days during the Battle of Britain were over. After several months convalescing Ellacombe returned to No 151, which had been reassigned to night fighting. Equipped with the Hurricane and the Defiant, the squadron had little contact with the enemy; but Ellacombe developed a reputation for flying at night in the worst weather, and in April 1942 he was awarded a DFC for his service in the Battle of Britain and for showing the greatest keenness to engage the enemy. Posted to No 253 Squadron as a flight commander, he found night fighting dull, and volunteered for daylight operations. He flew in support of the ill-fated raid on Dieppe, and as he attacked a gun battery his aircraft was hit by flak. Ellacombe managed to get over the sea before bailing out and being picked up by a Canadian landing craft. After a rest tour, Ellacombe converted to the Mosquito before joining No 487 (NZ) Squadron, flying low-level intruder missions over France and the Low Countries. He attacked V-1 sites in the Pas de Calais and bombed roads and railways in support of the Normandy landings. He saw constant action attacking targets in support of the Allied armies and during the breakout from the Falaise pocket. After 37 intruder bombing patrols Ellacombe was rested and awarded a Bar to his DFC. He spent the remainder of the war on training duties, but still managed occasionally to take a Mosquito on an operational sortie. The son of an English doctor who had served during the Boer War, John Lawrence Wemyss Ellacombe was born at Livingstone, Northern Rhodesia, on February 28 1920 and educated at Diocesan College (Bishops) in Cape Town. In May 1939 he went to Britain to join the RAF, trained as a pilot and in July 1940 was posted to No 151 Squadron; he had never flown a Hurricane. Post-war he remained in the RAF, most of his flying appointments being in Fighter Command. After service in Aden he led No 1 Squadron, flying Meteor jets, and he commanded the Fighter Development Unit at the Central Fighter Establishment, developing tactics for the Hunter and Lightning . He served in Washington as a liaison officer with the USAF on fighter operations before commanding the RAF flying training base at Linton-on-Ouse, near York. Ellacombe was the senior serving representative at the Defence Operational Analysis Establishment, and on promotion to air commodore in 1968 was appointed Air Commander of Air Forces, Gulf, with headquarters at Muharraq, Bahrain. The withdrawal of British forces from Aden was scheduled for the end of that year, and Muharraq became a key staging post and support airfield . Ellacombe's calm handling of affairs in Bahrain was recognised by his appointment as CB. His final appointment was in the MoD, and he retired in 1973. Ellacombe then became Director of Scientific Services at St Thomas's Hospital in London, and later administrator to the hospital's trustees. A good cricketer and rugby player in his younger days, he played golf three times a week until he was 88, and he was a keen follower of Middlesex CCC. He particularly enjoyed watching his grandchildren play cricket (some of them at county junior level, including a granddaughter who turned out for Essex Ladies). John Ellacombe's wife, Mary, whom he married in 1951 when she was serving in the WRAF, had served on Winston Churchill's staff and been appointed OBE. She died in 2007, and he is survived by their son and two daughters. Air Commodore John Ellacombe, born February 28 1920, died May 11 2014.
Air Vice Marshal Edward Crew CB DSO DFC (deceased)
*Signature Value : £50
|Joining No 604 (County of Middlesex), an Auxiliary Air Force Squadron, in July 1940, Crew began to learn his trade as a night fighter pilot; among those with whom he flew at this time was John Cats' Eyes Cunningham, who himself became one of the most famous night fighter pilots of the war. It was a hard apprenticeship because Crew's Bristol Blenheim was equipped with early, and rudimentary, airborne radar, and much depended on the ability of his air gunner, Sgt Gus Guthrie, to adapt to his new calling as a radar operator. It was not until the following spring, when the squadron converted to two-engine Bristol Beaufighters, that the pair acquired a more suitable aircraft and sufficient expertise to dispatch five enemy bombers within a period of 10 weeks. This early run of success was speedily recognised with the award of the first of Crew's two DFCs. The citation stated: This officer is a pilot of outstanding ability who has shown tenacity of purpose to engage the enemy, which culminated in the destruction of two enemy aircraft in one night. Citations, by their very nature, are matter-of-fact, and do not capture the essence of their subjects. Others in the same squadron remembered Crew as a small, compact man who gave the impression of being larger than he was. He was seen as a patrician who hunted down his victims with a ferocity which was in marked contrast to his quietly spoken and always imperturbable manner. From the end of July 1941, Guthrie - Crew's eyes in combat - was posted away, and Crew was joined by Sgt Basil Duckett, with whom, in the spring of 1942, he achieved three further kills. Crew and Duckett made a brilliant team in which the radar operator's quiet persistence matched the pilot's natural hunting instincts. In early May 1942 Duckett enabled Crew to shoot down two Dornier 17 bombers on successive nights. Returning from the first of these encounters, over Portland in Dorset, Crew arrived back at base with the Dornier's trailing aerial wrapped around his Beaufighter's starboard propeller. Crew's second encounter developed into a long, drawn-out chase as he stalked the Dornier well out to sea off the Isle of Wight. As the enemy pilot twisted and turned to evade his pursuer, Crew refused to be shaken off, despite the fact that his guns were out of ammunition and Duckett was struggling to reload. Eventually, however, Crew's plane was able to deliver a burst which set the enemy bomber on fire and slowed it down as its gunner continued to return fire. At this point, the Beaufighter overshot the enemy aircraft, but Crew managed to keep it in view while Duckett again reloaded. Hunter and hunted continued to lose height until, at 2,000 ft, Crew saw the enemy crash into the sea, raising a plume of smoke and steam. Shortly afterwards Crew received a Bar to his DFC, the citation singling out his readiness to fly in all weather, his skill and ability in dealing with the enemy at night and his great example to the squadron. Edward Dixon Crew was born on December 24th 1917 at Higham Ferrers, Northamptonshire. He was brought up by his step-father, Sir Kenneth Murchison, a Tory MP, and educated at Felsted School and Downing College, Cambridge, where, in 1939, he joined the University Air Squadron. Following a sustained period of night operations with 604 Squadron, he was rested from October 1942 while commander of the Radio Development Flight; in March the following year he returned to operations in No 85, a Mosquito night fighter squadron. In June 1943 Wing Commander Crew received command of No 96 Squadron, leading its Mosquitoes against night raiders until the summer of 1944; this was when Hitler launched his so-called 'revenge weapons' against London and the South of England. Chasing pilotless V-1s - or 'chuff bombs', as Crew liked to call them - was by no means tame target practice. On June 25th he was on the tail of a V-1, travelling at high speed, when the force of the explosion as he shot it down split open his own aircraft's nose. Crew held the Mosquito steady long enough for his radar navigator, Warrant Officer W R Croysdill, to bail out over land. Then, as the Mosquito became uncontrollable, Crew himself jumped, landing safely near Worthing, in Sussex. Completing his Second World War operational career when 96 Squadron was disbanded in 1945, Crew was awarded the DSO. The citation emphasised his great skill in devising tactics to meet the menace of the flying bombs. That year he received a permanent commission and attended the RAF Staff College, before being posted in 1948 to command No 45 Beaufighter Squadron in the Far East. Operational once again, Crew led his squadron effectively against Communist insurgents aiming to destabilise Malaya. Harassing the jungle-based enemy in 100 night attacks, he consistently drove the terrorists into the hands of the security forces, for which he received a Bar to his DSO. The Air Ministry stated that Crew had displayed an almost uncanny knack in locating the target and attacking it on the first run in. From 1952 Crew served in Canada, where he commanded an operational training unit and introduced the Avro Canada CF100 all-weather fighter. After two years there he returned to command the all-weather development squadron at the Central Flying Establishment, with particular emphasis on trials of the Javelin. Later he commanded RAF Bruggen in Germany, before returning to the Far East in charge of the air task force in Borneo from 1965; his role here was dealing with the Indonesian Confrontation of the mid-1960s. Subsequently Crew commanded the Central Reconnaissance Establishment; he also served at the Ministry of Defence as Director of Operations (air defence and overseas), and was Deputy Air Controller of National Air Traffic Services. He retired as an air vice-marshal in 1973, when he joined the planning inspectorate of the Department of the Environment. Serving there until 1987, Crew was appointed CB in 1973 and elected a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society in 1972. Air Vice Marshal Edward Crew CB DSO DFC died on the 18th August 2002 at the age of 84.|
Captain Tommy Thompson DFC JP BOAC/BA (deceased)
*Signature Value : £40
|Anthony Robert Fletcher Thompson - Tommy Thompson was born on October 14th 1920. He joined the RAF VF about July 1939 as an airman under training pilot. Called up on September 1st, he completed his training at 15 EFTS and 5 FTS Sealand and arrived at 6 OTU on September 10th 1940. After converting to Hurricanes, he joined 85 (F) Squadron at Church Fenton on the 29th and moved to 249 (F) Squadron at North Weald in Essex on October 17th 1940. Thompson shared in the destruction of a Junkers Ju88 on October 28th and destroyed a Bf109 on the 30th. In May 1941 249 Squadron went to Malta and flew off of HMS Ark Royal in two groups on the 21st. On August 5th Tommy Thompson joined the Malta Night Fighting Defence Unit then formed at Ta Kali. He damaged an Italian Br20 at night on November 11th. The unit became 1435 (Night Fighter) Flight on December 23rd 1941. Thompson was posted to 71 OTU Gordons Tree, Sudan on March 3rd 1942. He returned to operations on October 1st joining 73 (F) Squadron in the Western Desert. In mid-November he was appointed A Flight Commander. At the end of December Thompson was posted to Cairo and in February he went to 206 Group as a test Pilot. He was awarded the DFC (23.03.43). On March 10th 1944 Thompson was seconded to BOAC and he took his release in Cairo on January 26th 1946 holding the rank of Flight Lieutenant. The following day he signed a contract with BOAC as a Captain. He retired from British Airways on October 14th 1975. Tommy Thompson passed away on 9th March 2008.|
Flight Lieutenant Peter Hairs MBE (deceased)
*Signature Value : £15
|Peter Hairs joined the RAFVR in 1937, and was called up at the outbreak of war in September 1939 to complete his training. After being commissioned he converted to Hurricanes, joining 501 Squadron at Tangmere in January 1940. He went to France with the squadron in May, claiming a share in a Dornier Do17 a few days after arriving. 501 covered the evacuation of the BEF from Cherbourg before re-assembling in England. On the 3 June he was shot down, but fortunately not seriously hurt and two days later he rejoined the squadron at Le Mans. On the 5th of September he downed an Me109, Peter Hairs was posted to 15 FTS, Kidlington on October 13 1940 as an instructor. He went to 2 CFS, Cranwell for an instructors course on February 23 1941. after which he taught at 11 FTS, Shawbury and 10 EFTS, Weston-Super-Mare before being posted to Canada in June as a EFTS flying instructor and then assistant CFI (EFTS). In December 1943 he was posted to join 276 Squadron to 19 OTU. He finished the was in India, receiving a mention in dispatches. He died in 2014.|
Group Captain John Cunningham CBE DSO DFC AE DL FRAeS (deceased)
*Signature Value : £70
|John Cunningham joined the RAF in 1935 with 604 Squadron. At the outbreak of World War Two he was based at North Weald flying Blenheims on day escort and night fighter operations. In September 1940 he converted onto Beaufighters equipped with radar, the first aircraft that made night fighting really possible. In November he had the Squadrons first successful night combat. He took command of 604 Squadron in August 1941. After a period at HQ81 Group, he was posted on his second tour to command 85 Squadron equipped with Mosquitoes. In March 1944 with 19 night and 1 day victory he was posted to HQ11 Group to look after night operations. The most famous Allied night fighter Ace of WWII - 20 victories. He died 21st July 2002. Born in 1917, Group Captain John Cunningham was the top-scoring night fighter ace of the Royal Air Force. Cunningham joined the RAF in 1935 as a Pilot Officer. He learned to fly in the Avro 504N and was awarded his wings in 1936. While assigned to the Middlesex Squadron Auxiliary based at Hendon, Cunningham received instruction in the Hawker Hart prior to moving on the Hawker Demon. The Demon was a two-seat day and night fighter. Cunningharns squadron was mobilized in 1938 following the Czechoslovak crisis. His No. 604 unit was moved to North Weald. Later in 1938 his unit returned to Hendon and was reequipped with the more modern Blenheim 1 fighter. In August of 1939 the unit was again mobilized and returned to North Weald. The Squadron was primarily utilized to provide daylight air cover for convoys. Lacking radar the Blenheim was relatively useless as a night fighter. In September of 1940 the unit was moved to Middle Wallop and the first Bristol Beaufighters arrived. The Beatifighter had a modestly effective, although often unreliable radar. It was an excellent aircraft with reliable air-cooled engines and four 20mm cannons. Cunningham attained the units first night victory in the Beaufighter, and his tally rose steadily. He was promoted to Wing Commander of 604 Squadron in August of 1941. Cunningham completed his first combat tour of duty in mid-1942 with a total of 15 victories. He was then posted to H.Q. 81 Group, which was an operational training group under the Fighter Command. In January of 1943 Cunningham was transferred to command of No. 85 Squadron which was equipped with the Mosquito. With the higher speed of the Mosquito, Cunningham was successful at downing Fw-190s, something impossible in the slower Beaufighter. Cunningham completed his second tour in 1944 with a total of nineteen victories at night and one by day. He was promoted to Group Captain at that time, and was assigned to H.Q. 11 Group. Cunninghams radar operator Sqd. Ldr. Jimmy Rawnsley participated in most of Cunninghams victories. The 604 Squadron was disbanded in 1945, but in 1946 Cunningham was given the honor of reforming the Squadron at Hendon - flying the Spitfire. Cunningham left the RAF in 1946 and joined the De Havilland Aircraft Co. at Hatfield as its Chief Test Pilot. Cunningham had a long and distinguished career in the British aviation industry, retiring from British Aerospace in 1980. Cunningham was appointed OBE in 1951 and CBE in 1963. He was awarded the DSO in 1941 and Bars in 1942 and 1944; the DFC and Bar in 1941, also the Air Efficiency Award (AE). He also held the Soviet Order of Patriotic War 1st Class and the US Silver Star. Group Capt John Cunningham died at the age of 84 on the 21st July 2002.|
Group Captain John Peel DFC DSO (deceased)
*Signature Value : £65
|Born 17th October 1911. John Peel is credited with having fired the first shots of the Battle of Britain. In July 1940, he commanded No.145 Sqn destroying one and sharing in the destruction of three German bombers. During the battle of Britain, he damaged or destroyed three enemy aircraft, and was himself shot down, crash landing on the Isle of Wight. After the Battle of Britain he served as a Wing Leader, once more being shot down - this time over the Channel, until in January 1943 he took a job in the Air Ministry, where he served until the end of the war. He died 7th January 2004.|
Group Captian Alan Murray DFC (deceased)
*Signature Value : £45
|Alan Duncan Murray was born on 10th July 1915 and joined the RAF on a short service commission in January 1934. He was posted to 3 FTS Grantham on 3rd April and with his training completed joined 18 Squadron at Upper Heyford on 4th March 1935, flying Hawker Hart light bombers. In late 1935 Murray went to Leuchars for catapult training, then Calshot for floatplane training and finally Gosport for deck-landing and torpedo training. He was detached to HMS Malaya in the Mediterranean, to be on Swordfish catapult duty. On 30th May 1936 Murray was posted to 812 (Fleet Torpedo-Bomber) Squadron, based at Hal Far, Malta and on HMS Glorious. In early 1939 he went to the A&AEE Martlesham Heath. The Establishment moved to Boscombe Down on 5th September 1939. Murray did a refresher course and converted to Hurricanes at 6 OTU Sutton Bridge in early June 1940 and was detached from there to RAF Wittering on 12th June for Ops Room duties. He joined 46 Squadron at Digby on the 18th, as OC 'B' Flight. He returned to Boscombe Down on 22nd July for flying duties. He was attached to 501 Squadron at Kenley from 16th to 25th September to gain operational experience. Whilst with 501 Murray flew six operational sorties, four on the 18th and two on the 20th. He then joined 73 Squadron at Castle Camps on 26th September and assumed command on the 27th. Murray took the squadron from Debden to Birkenhead, for service in the Middle East, on 9th November. After arriving the pilots began operating in the Western Desert in December, attached to 274 Squadron. On 1st January 1941 the squadron began operating as a unit and on the 3rd Murray shared in destroying eight enemy aircraft on a landing ground. On the 21st he shot down a Fiat G50 over Tobruk, on 1st February destroyed a Caproni Ghibli on Apollonia airfield, on the 5th shared in destroying eight enemy bombers on the ground at Benina and on the 20th damaged a Ju88. Murray was awarded the DFC (gazetted 28th March 1941) and in April was posted to Cairo, as Controller at Heliopolis. He later had the job of locating possible new airfields in the desert, then went to Group HQ Cairo and was afterwards posted to command the Fighter Sector at Abadan, Iran. Murray returned to the UK in March 1944 and took command of a unit at Hurn, servicing fighters for France. He later moved with it to Tangmere. From September 1944 until September 1945 Murray commanded RAF Manston, as an Acting Group Captain. He retired from the RAF on 15th January 1958 as a Wing Commander, retaining the rank of Group Captain. Murray died in March 2001. |
|Squadron Leader Arthur Bill Pond AFC|
*Signature Value : £45
|Pilot of No.601 Sqn.|
Squadron Leader Christopher Riddle (deceased)
*Signature Value : £60
|Christopher John Henry Riddle, known throughout his life as Jack, was born in Buckinghamshire on 4th April 1914. He attended Harrow School from 1928 to 1931. He joined 601 Squadron, Auxiliary Air Force in early 1938 and was called to full-time service in October 1939. When 601 was formed in the early Thirties as part of the bolstering of Britains air defences its founder, Lord Edward Grosvenor, stipulated that all the pilots should be members of the London club Whites (as he was). With war looming this tradition could not be allowed to inhibit the induction of suitable candidates but Jack did have to run the gauntlet of dinner with Sir Philip Sassoon, who held a senior position in the Air Ministry and was Honorary head of 601. Presumably he reported favourably on Jack. In the early stages of the Battle of Britain, 601 were required to mount early-morning standing patrols over convoys in the Channel. If there was no enemy activity these could be extremely tedious. As the time approached for the patrol to return to Tangmere each pilot would radio in turn his requirements for breakfast - egg, sausage, bacon....etc etc.... This practice came to the attention of a senior officer who forbade this frivolous use of official channels. Jack said that it was rumoured that Churchill had heard of this for permission to continue the habit arrived, this supposedly gave German eavesdroppers the impression that our airmen were well fed and ready to do battle. Over Dunkirk, on 27th May 1940, Riddle probably destroyed a Me110. He shared a Me110 on 11th July and a Do17 on 4th September. In January 1941 Riddle was posted to HQ 10 Group as a Sector Controller. Later in the war he was in the Far East at HQ Air Command South East Asia, in Ceylon and later Singapore. Riddle was released from the RAF in 1946 as a Squadron Leader. He was later with an international trading group and his main work was buying Baltic timber for the Australian market. Riddle later had his own textile company. Jack Riddle passed away on 8th August 2009, aged 95.
|Squadron Leader Percy Morfill DFM|
*Signature Value : £40
|Pilot with No.501 Sqn RAF.|
Warrant Officer Peter Fox (deceased)
*Signature Value : £40
|Peter Hutton Fox was born in Bridlington on 23rd January 1921 and educated at Warwick Public School. He joined the RAFVR in June 1939 and began training at 26 E&RFTS, Kidlington. Called up on 1st September he was posted to 13 EFTS Fairoaks on 28th March 1940 and then moved to 10 EFTS, Yatesbury on 28th May. Advanced training was carried out by Fox at 8 FTS, Montrose after which he went to 5 OTU, Aston Down to convert to Hurricanes and then joined 56 Squadron at Boscombe Down on 17th September 1940. Fox was shot down in combat with Do17s and Me110s over the Portland area on 30th September. Peter Fox was wounded in the leg and was forced to bale out over the Portland area. His Hurricane, N2434, crashed at Okeford Fitzpaine. On 16th November Fox and Pilot Officer MR Ingle-Finch were flying to Kidlington in a Magister, when they crashed near Tidworth. Both were injured and admitted to Tidworth Hospital. On 28th June 1941 Fox joined 234 Squadron at Warmwell. He was shot down over France on 20th October 1941 and captured. Freed on 16th April 1945, Fox left the RAF in 1946 as a Warrant Officer. He sadly passed away on 10th June 2005.
Wing Commander Bob Foster DFC (deceased)
*Signature Value : £35
|Wing Commander Bob Foster, who has died aged 94, flew Hurricane fighters during the Battle of Britain, when he was credited with destroying and damaging a number of enemy aircraft; later in the war he destroyed at least five Japanese aircraft while flying from airfields in northern Australia. For much of the Battle of Britain, Foster was serving with No 605 Squadron in Scotland; but in September, 605 moved to Croydon to join the main action over the south-east of England. It was soon heavily engaged, but it was not until September 27 that Foster achieved his first success, when he damaged a Messerschmitt Bf 110 fighter over Surrey. During this encounter his Hurricane was hit by return fire, and he was forced to make an emergency landing on Gatwick airfield. On October 7 he shot down a Messerschmitt Bf 109 near Lingfield racecourse, and on the following day he shared in the destruction of a Junkers 88 bomber. By the end of the month he is thought to have destroyed another Bf 109 and damaged a third. In 1941 No 605 moved to Suffolk, from where on one occasion Foster chased a lone German Heinkel bomber well out to sea. His gunfire knocked pieces off the enemy aircraft, but it escaped into cloud before Foster could follow up with a second attack. In September 1941 he was transferred to a fighter training unit as an instructor. Robert William Foster was born on May 14 1920 at Battersea, south-west London. After leaving school he worked for the joint petroleum marketing venture Shell-Mex and BP, and in March 1939 - six months before the outbreak of war - he joined the RAF Volunteer Reserve to train as a pilot. He was called up in August to complete his training before joining No 605. Foster's spell as an instructor lasted six months, and in April 1942 he was posted as a flight commander to No 54 Squadron. Within weeks of his joining, it was sent to Australia to join two other Spitfire squadrons to form No 1 Fighter Wing of the Royal Australian Air Force. The Wing was ready for action by the beginning of 1943, and moved to airfields in the Darwin area to counter Japanese bombing raids mounted from captured airfields in the Dutch East Indies and Timor. On February 26 Foster intercepted a Mitsubishi Dinah reconnaissance aircraft (all Japanese wartime aircraft types were given British names) and shot it down. It was the squadron's first success in Australia, and the first time a Spitfire had shot down a Japanese aircraft. Enemy bombing raids against Darwin continued, and on March 15 Foster was engaged in a fierce fight during which he downed a Mitsubishi Betty bomber and damaged a second. The three squadrons of No 1 Wing were in constant action throughout the spring of 1943, but Foster had to wait until June 20 for his next success. This came when he was leading No 54 Squadron as his formation intercepted a raid by 18 Betty bombers which were accompanied by a fighter escort. Foster attacked the leading bomber and sent it crashing into the sea. A Japanese Zero fighter broke towards him, and in the ensuing encounter Foster damaged the enemy aircraft. In June, the raids on Darwin became even more intense, and on June 30 Foster claimed another Betty destroyed as well as a probable. A week later he achieved his final successes when 30 bombers were reported to be heading for the city from the west. Foster led his formation to intercept the force, and he shot down a Betty and damaged a second near Peron Island, west of Darwin. He was the third pilot to claim five successes over Australia (earning him the title of ace) and a few weeks later he was awarded a DFC. After returning to Britain in early 1944, Foster joined the Air Information Unit with the role of escorting war correspondents. He arrived in Normandy soon after the Allied landings, and was one of the first RAF officers to enter Paris, joining General de Gaulle's triumphant procession down the Champs-ElysÃ©es. Foster spent the final months of the war at HQ Fighter Command and as the adjutant of a fighter base in Suffolk. In 1946 he left the RAF, but joined the Auxiliary Air Force on its re-formation in late 1947. He served with No 3613 Fighter Control Unit until its disbandment in March 1957, by which time he was a wing commander commanding the unit. He received the Air Efficiency Award. After the war Foster had rejoined Shell-Mex and BP, where he worked as a marketing executive until his retirement in 1975. In 2004 he was reunited with the Hurricane he had flown during the Battle of Britain. The aircraft, R 4118, had been rescued as a wreck in India by the printer and publisher of academic journals Peter Vacher, who brought it back to Britain in 2002 and had it restored to full flying condition. The aircraft now flies regularly as the only surviving Battle of Britain Hurricane and is the subject of a book by Vacher, Hurricane R 4118. Foster was a keen supporter of the Battle of Britain Fighter Association, becoming its chairman in 2009. He was a life vice-president of the Battle of Britain Memorial Trust, and a dedicated supporter of its initiative to erect The Wing, a new building at the National Memorial to The Few at Capel-le-Ferne, on the Kent coast. Designed in the shape of a Spitfire wing, the museum and educational facility will tell the story of what the Battle of Britain pilots achieved in the summer of 1940. Foster took the controls of the mechanical digger to turn the first turf and start the work. In recent years he had accompanied some of the tours, organised by the Trust, of Battle of Britain sites in east Kent. Wing Commander Bob Foster, born May 14 1920, died July 30 2014.|
Wing Commander Peter Parrott DFC AFC (deceased)
*Signature Value : £45
|Born 28th of June 1920, Peter Parrott joined the RAF in 1938, completing his fighter pilot training before joining No.607 Sqn in early 1940. On the 10th of May 1940, he destroyed two He111s and damaged a further two, sharing in another the next day. He was then posted to No.145 Sqn, damaging a Bf110 on May the 22nd and an He111 four days later, an action which saw his aircraft sufficiently damaged to force him to crash land in Kent. During the Battle of Britain, Peter Parrott destroyed a Me109, Ju87, Ju88 and damaged an He111, before being posted to No.605 Sqn in September. After baling out of his damaged Hurricane in December 1940 and remaining with 605 Sqn until summer 1941, he became an instructor. From July 1943 he joined a number of Squadrons in Italy, returning to Britain after the war to become a test pilot. He died 27th August 2003.|
Wing Commander Tom Neil DFC* AFC
*Signature Value : £50
|Tom Neil was born on 14th July 1920 in Bootle, Lancashire. Tom Neil (also to become known in the RAF as 'Ginger') joined the RAFVR in October 1938 and began his flying training at 17 E and RFTS, Barton, Manchester. Tom Neil was called up on the 2nd os September 1939 being sent to 4 ITW, Bexhill in early November. On 1st December 1939, he was posted to 8 FTS and on completion of the course he was commissioned and posted to 249 Squadron in May 1940 flying Hurricanes just before the start of the Battle of Britain flying from North Weald. On 7th September 1940, Tom Neil encountered and claimed a Bf109 destroyed. On the 11th an He111, on the 15th two Bf109s and a Do17 destroyed and another Do17 shared, on the 18th an He111 damaged and on the 27th a Bf110 and a Ju88 destroyed, a Bf110 probably destroyed and a Ju88 shared. On 6th October Tom Neil shared a Do17, on the 25th claimed a Bf109 destroyed, on the 27th a Do17 probably destroyed, on the 28th a Ju88 shared and on 7th November a Ju87 and two Bf109s destroyed. He was awarded a DFC on 8 October, but on 7 November, after claiming 3 victories over the North Sea off the Essex coast, he collided in mid-air with Wing Commander Francis Beamish and his aircraft lost its tail. He baled out of his Hurricane unhurt, Beamish force-landing unscathed. Tom received a Bar to his DFC on 26 November, and on 13 December was promoted flight Commander. The squadron was posted to Malta in May 1941, flying off HMS Ark Royal on the 21st. During a summer of frequent scrambles, he claimed one further victory in June, while on 7th October he led a fighter-bomber attack on Gela station, Sicily. He departed the island in December 1941, returning to the UK via the Middle East, South and West Africa, and Canada, finally arriving in March 1942, when he became tactics officer with 81 Group. A spell as an instructor at 56 OTU, before being posted as a flying liaison officer with the 100th Fighter Wing of the US 9th Air Force in January 1944. He managed to get some flying in over France with this unit, claiming a share in 6 aircraft destroyed on the ground before D-Day, and a dozen or so more later, plus a number of other ground targets. In January 1945 he was sent to the school of Land/Air Warfare as an instructor. In March 1945 he was posted out to Burma, where he undertook some operations with 1 Wing, Indian Air Force, to gain experience of the operations in this area. Returning to the UK in April, he resumed instructing at the school until the end of the year. In January 1946 he attended the Empire Test Pilots School, undertaking No.4 short course and No.5 course, a total of 18 months. Posted briefly to Farnborough, he sought a move to Boscombe Down, where he stayed for some 3 years. In 1948 in went to Wright-Patterson AFB, Dayton, Ohio, to take part in the first high altitude pressure suit experiments, as a precursor to the aerospace programme. 1950-51 he was a staff officer at HQ, Fighter Command, while in 1952 he attended the staff college at Bracknell. He was then given command of 208 Squadron in Egypt, which he led until 1956, leaving just before the Suez operation. He returned to the UK to become W/Cdr Operations, Metropolitan sector, until 1958, when he attended the flying college at Manby. He went to the British Embassy in Washington for 3 years from 1959, returning to the Ministry of Defence but retiring from the service as a Wing Commander in 1964. Meanwhile he had added the US Bronze Star to his decorations in august 1947, and an AFC in January 1956.|
|The Aircraft :|
|Hurricane||Royal Air Force Fighter, the Hawker Hurricane had a top speed of 320mph, at 18,200 feet and 340mph at 17,500, ceiling of 34,200 and a range of 935 miles. The Hurricane was armed with eight fixed wing mounted .303 browning machine guns in the Mark I and twelve .303 browning's in the MKIIB in the Hurricane MKIIC it had four 20mm cannon. All time classic fighter the Hurricane was designed in 1933-1934, the first prototype flew in June 1936 and a contract for 600 for the Royal Air Force was placed. The first production model flew ion the 12th October 1937 and 111 squadron of the Royal Air Force received the first Hurricanes in January 1938. By the outbreak of World war two the Royal Air Force had 18 operational squadrons of Hurricanes. During the Battle of Britain a total of 1715 Hurricanes took part, (which was more than the rest of the aircraft of the Royal air force put together) and almost 75% of the Victories during the Battle of Britain went to hurricane pilots. The Hawker Hurricane was used in all theatres during World war two, and in many roles. in total 14,533 Hurricanes were built. |
|Battle of Britain Timeline of Related Info : 19th April|
|19||April||1941||Former New Zealand Battle of Britain pilot, P/O E. W. G. Churches of 74 Squadron, was Killed.|
|19||April||1970||Former British Battle of Britain pilot, S/Ldr. D. O. Finlay of 41 & 54 Squadrons, Passed away.|