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Open Assault by Robert Taylor. (D) - ivanberryman.co.uk

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Open Assault by Robert Taylor. (D)


Open Assault by Robert Taylor. (D)

The Junkers Ju87 Sturzkampfbomber, known to the British simply as the Stuka, had already acquired a deadly reputation across Europe, its siren screaming as the ungainly dive-bomber struck terror into the hearts of those below. In 1940 its pilots crossed the Channel with their grim-looking aircraft to terrorise the southern towns and ports of England. Robert Taylors painting Open Assault, depicts Hurricanes of 501 Squadron attacking a force of Ju87 Stukas as they dive-bomb naval vessels and installations in the port of Dover on 29 July 1940. High explosive bombs detonate within the sheltered anchorage as escorting Bf109s from JG51 race in to protect their lumbering charges. Four Stukas and two Me109s are despatched, for the loss of just one RAF aircraft.
AMAZING VALUE! - The value of the signatures on this item is in excess of the price of the print itself!
Item Code : DHM1753DOpen Assault by Robert Taylor. (D) - This Edition
TYPEDESCRIPTIONSIZESIGNATURESOFFERSPRICEPURCHASING
PRESENTATION Rudel Tribute Proof : signed limited edition of 10 prints.

SOLD OUT (£2100, September 2009).
Paper size 33 inches x 25 inches (83cm x 64cm) Steinhoff, Johannes
Rudorffer, Erich (companion print)
Rall, Gunther
Seeger, Gunther
Bob, Hans-Ekkehard
Kieslich, Franz (matted on companion print)
Nicholls, Doug
Rudel, Hans
Kuhlmey, Kurt (matted on companion print)
Fickel, Helmut (matted on companion print)
Stepp, Hans-Karl
Duckenfield, Byron
Pickering, Tony
Noller, Wilhelm
+ Artist : Robert Taylor


Signature(s) value alone : £815
SOLD
OUT
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Other editions of this item : Open Assault by Robert Taylor.DHM1753
TYPEDESCRIPTIONSIZESIGNATURESOFFERSPRICEPURCHASING
PRINT Signed limited edition of 400 prints. Paper size 33 inches x 25 inches (83cm x 64cm) Duckenfield, Byron
Pickering, Tony
Noller, Wilhelm
+ Artist : Robert Taylor
£70 Off!
+ Free
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Supplied with one or more free art prints!
Now : £210.00VIEW EDITION...
ARTIST
PROOF
Collectors Edition : signed limited edition of 25 artist proofs. Paper size 33 inches x 25 inches (83cm x 64cm) Rudorffer, Erich
Seeger, Gunther
Nicholls, Doug
Duckenfield, Byron
Pickering, Tony
Noller, Wilhelm
+ Artist : Robert Taylor
Free
Shipping!
£375.00VIEW EDITION...
PRINT Collectors Edition : signed limited edition of 250 prints. Paper size 33 inches x 25 inches (83cm x 64cm) Rudorffer, Erich
Seeger, Gunther
Nicholls, Doug
Duckenfield, Byron
Pickering, Tony
Noller, Wilhelm
+ Artist : Robert Taylor
Free
Shipping!
£250.00VIEW EDITION...
PRINT Generals Edition : signed limited edition of 150 prints. Paper size 33 inches x 25 inches (83cm x 64cm) Steinhoff, Johannes
Rudorffer, Erich
Rall, Gunther
Seeger, Gunther
Nicholls, Doug
Duckenfield, Byron
Pickering, Tony
Noller, Wilhelm
+ Artist : Robert Taylor
Free
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£325.00VIEW EDITION...
Extra Details : Open Assault by Robert Taylor. (D)
About this edition :

Companion print :

About all editions :

Detail Images :

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.
NameInfo




General Gunther Rall (deceased)
*Signature Value : £75

A young pilot with III/JG52 at the outbreak of war. He quickly demonstrated his natural ability and leadership qualities, scoring his first air victory early in the Battle of Britain, and by July 1940 was leading 8/JG52. After transfer to the Eastern Front his air victories mounted at an astonishing rate. A crash hospitalised him but within nine months he was back in the cockpit, and, when commanding III/JG52, gained the Wings 500th victory. Gunther fought throughout the war to become the 3rd highest Ace in history with 275 victories. He was awarded the Knights Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords. Gunther Rall was born on March 10, 1918 in the small Bavarian town of Gaggenau, Baden. Immersing himself in Boy Scout activities during the difficult economic times in Germany following WW 1, Rall finished school in 1936 and joined the German Army. Influenced by a friend, who was a young officer in the Luftwaffe, Rall entered pilots school in 1938. His initial posting was with JG52. He attained his first aerial victory during the Battle of France in May of 1940. During the Battle of Britain JG52 absorbed many casualties, and Rall was promoted to Squadron Commander at the young age of 22. With his fair-hair and smooth complexion the young officer looked even younger than his years. But behind this pleasant exterior was a fierce competitor with the heart of a tiger. Later, Ralls squadron would support the attack on Crete, followed by deployment to the Southern Sector on the Eastern Front. Ralls victory totals began to mount. Following his 37 th victory, GiInther was himself shot down. He was lucky to survive the crash, but with a badly broken back he would spend most of the next year in various hospitals. In Vienna at the University Hospital he would meet his future wife, Hertha. Miraculously, Rall recovered and returned to the Luftwaffe in August of 1942. By November his score exceeded 100 and he was awarded the Oak Leaves to accompany the Knights Cross he was awarded only weeks earlier. As the War progressed against Russia, Rall began to encounter ever more experienced Soviet pilots flying better performing aircraft. Despite this fact, and being shot down several more times himself, Ralls victory tally kept rising. By March of 1944 the ace had attained 273 aerial victories. With the War now going badly for Germany, Rall was transferred to the Western Front. He was able to attain only two more victories against the swarms of Allied bombers and fighter escorts which now pounded Germany every day and night. In May of 1944 Rall was shot down by a P-47. Losing his thumb in the battle he remained out of combat until later in 1944. Ralls final assignments included flying 190Ds as Kornmodore of JG300, and flying the Me-262 jet. Ralls 275 aerial victories (attained on less than 700 combat sorties) make him the third highest scoring ace of all time. If not for the down time suffered as a result of his broken back, Rall might have actually equaled or exceeded Erich Hartmanns alltime record of 352 aerial victories. Rall was not much for socializing during the War. He was a fierce competitor with a businessmans attitude about flying. He was an excellent marksman, and possibly the best deflection shot expert of the War. He continued to fly with the Bundeslufwaffe following the War, serving as its Commander-In Chief in 1970-74. Sadly Gunther Rall died on 4th October 2009.


General Johannes Steinhoff (deceased)
*Signature Value : £80

By early 1940 Macky Steinhoff was leading 4 / JG-52 during the Battle of Britain. He was then transferred to the eastern front where his success continued. In the final stages of the defence of the Reich he joined JV-44 flying the ME 262 in which he scored 6 victories before being seriously burned in a crash. He flew 939 missions scored 178 victories and was awarded the Knights Cross with Oak leaves and swords.




Group Captain Byron Duckenfield AFC (deceased)
*Signature Value : £45

Byron Duckenfield started at Flying Training School on 25th November 1935 in a Blackburn B2 at Brough. As a Sergeant, he joined No.32 Sqn at Biggin Hill on 8th August 1936 and flew Gauntlets and Hurricanes. He joined 74 Squadron at Hornchurch on 11th April 1940, flying Spitfires, and on 5th May was posted to 501 Squadron flying Hurricanes at Tangmere. On the 11th of May at Betheniville, he survived a crash in a passenger transport Bombay aircraft in an aircraft in which he was a passenger, While comin ginto land the aircraft at 200 feet the aircraft stalled and the aircrfat fell backwards just levelly out as it histhe ground. 5 of th epassengers were killed when the centre section collapsed and crushed them. Duckenfield was fortunate as he had moved position during the flight. as the two passengers sitting each side of where he was sitting had died in the crash. (it was found later that the Bombay had beeb loaded with to much weight in the aft sectiion. ) recovering in hospital in Roehampton. On 23rd July 1940, he rejoined No.501 Sqn at Middle Wallop, then moved to to Gravesend two days later, scoring his first victory, a Ju87, on the 29th of July 1940. During August and September he scored three more victories. After a spell as a test pilot from 14th September 1940, he was posted to command 66 Squadron on 20th December 1941, flying Spitfires. On 26th February 1942 he took command of 615 Squadron flying Hurricanes from Fairwood Common, taking the squadron to the Far East. In late December 1942 he was shot down in Burma and captured by the Japanese. He remained a POW until release in May 1945. After a refresher course at the Flying Training School in November 1949, he took command of No.19 Squadron flying Hornets and Meteors from Chruch Fenton. After a series of staff positions, he retired from the RAF as a Group Captain on 28th May 1969. Duckenfield would write later his details :

Burma

At first light, 12 Hurricanes IIC aircraft of 615 Squadron, myself in the lead, took off from Chittagong for central Burma to attack the Japanese air base at Magwe, 300 miles away on the banks of the River Irrawaddy. Arriving at Yenangyaung, we turned downstream at minimum height for Magwe, 30 miles to the South and jettisoned drop tanks. Just before sighting the enemy base, the squadron climbed to 1200 feet and positioned to attack from up sun. On the ramp at the base, in front of the hangers, were 10 or 12 Nakajima KI - 43 Oscars in a rough line up (not dispersed) perhaps readying for take. These aircraft and the hangars behind them were attacked in a single pass, before withdrawing westward at low level and maximum speed. A few minutes later perhaps 20 miles away form Magwe, I was following the line of a cheung (small creek), height about 250 feet, speed aboput 280 mph, when the aircraft gave a violent shudder, accompanied by a very lound, unusual noise. The cause was instantly apparent: the airscrew has disappeared completely, leaving only the spinning hub. My immediate reaction was to throttle back fully and switch off to stop the violently overspeeding engine. Further action was obvious: I was committed to staying with the aircraft because, with a high initial speed, not enough height to eject could be gained without the help of an airscrew. So I jettisoned the canopy and acknowledged gratefully the fact that I was following a creek; the banks of either side were hillocky ground, hostile to a forced landing aircraft. Flying the course of the creek, I soon found the aircraft to be near the stall (luckily, a lower than normal figure without an airscrew) extended the flaps and touched down wheels-up with minimum impact ( I have done worse landings on a smooth runway!) My luck was holding, if one can talk of luck in such a situation. December is the height of the dry season in that area and the creek had little water, it was shallow and narrow at the point where I came down: shallow enough to support the fusalage and narrow enough to support wing tips. So I released the harness, pushed the IFF Destruct switch, climed out and walked the wing ashore, dryshod. The question may occur -Why did not others in the squadron see their leader go down? - the answer is simple, the usual tatctic of withdrawal from an enemy target was to fly single at high speed and low level on parallel courses until a safe distance from target was attained. Then, the formation would climb to re-assemble. Having left the aircraft, I now faced a formidable escape problem? I was 300 miles from friendly territory: my desired route would be westward but 80% of that 300 miles was covered by steep north-south ridges impenetrably clothed in virgin jungle; these were natural impediments, there was also the enemy to consider. Having thought over my predicament, I decided the best I could do - having heard reports of mean herted plainspeope - was to get as far into the hills as possible and then find a (hopefully sympathetic) village. I suppose I may have covered about 15 miles by nightfall when I came upon this small hill village and walked into the village square. Nobody seemed surprised to see me (I suspect I had been followed for some time) I wa given a quiet welcome, seated at a table in the open and given food. Then exhaustion took over, I fell asleep in the chair and woke later to find myself tied up in it. Next day I was handed over to a Japanese sergeant and escort who took me back to Magwe and, soon after that, 2.5 years captivity in Rangoon jail.

Sadly we have learned that Byron Duckenfield passed away on 19th November 2010.


Hans Rudel (deceased)
*Signature Value : £160

Hans Rudel, born in July 1916, was the most decorated Nazi pilot. In 2,530 combat missions flying dive-bombers, mainly on the Russian front, Rudel was credited with destroying 519 tanks, 150 gun emplacements and 800 combat vehicles of various types. According to Luftwaffe records, he also sunk a Russian battleship, a cruiser, a destroyer, 70 smaller craft and numerous trains. For this he was awarded the Golden Oakleaves with Sword and Diamonds to the Knights Cross. He was the only recipient of this award. He was also the first German pilot to reach 1,000 sorties. Of his over 2530 sorties, some 400 were in the Focke-Wulf 190 fighter, in which he was credited with 11 air victories. He was so effective that Joseph Stalin himself put a price of 100,00 rubles on his head. He flew more than 600,000 km; fired over 1,000,000 machine gun rounds; dropped over 1,000,000kg of bombs; fired over 150,000 rounds of 20mm ammunition and over 5,000 rounds of 37mm ammunition. He hated to take home leave or sick leave and even after he had his leg amputated, he was back in the air within weeks. He did not limit his attacks to Russian tanks, trains, ships or aircraft. On more than one occasion when food was in short supply, he would bomb rivers and both the German airmen and Russian civilians would feast on the stunned fish that floated to the surface. Rudel was shot down several times, but escaped serious injury until April 1945, when he lost a leg in combat. Rudel flew the Ju87 B-2 Stuka dive bomber and, in all of its ugliness, the bomber was made famous by him. His accomplishments with an aircraft that was outdated and vulnerable were incredible. He was captured by Allied forces at the end of the war, and released from a POW camp in April 1946. He died 18th December 1982.

The signatures : Hans Rudel had arranged to be interviewed by a professor of military history, who was also an author, in 1982. Many similar interviews had been conducted with other military heroes, during which the interviewee had signed various photographs, blank sheets and bookplates for use in the author's publications, although many were never published as intended. Rudel was also due to sign such items. However, the interview had been arranged to be conducted at a Luftwaffe reunion, which Rudel could not attend due to ill health. However, a friend of Rudel's, a RCAF mechanic, took the items to him to be signed, which they duly were, although Rudel died before any interview could take place. Cranston Fine Arts purchased the signatures from the original collection. All signatures on prints are therefore 'mounted' signatures, placed in a mount with the print, rather than the print itself being signed.




Leutnant Hugo Broch
*Signature Value : £50 (matted)

Vital to all fighter units are the pilots who make such superb wingmen that their leaders are loath to part with them. Hugo Broch was one such wingman. Having joined VI./JG54 in January he flew first with Horst Adameit (166 victories), and later with Bazi Sterr (130 victories), but soon demonstrated his own skill in combat. By the end of 1944 he had lifted his personal score to 71 victories. One of JG54s great Fw190 Aces, Hugo Broch saw combat on the Eastern and Baltic Fronts, and completed the war having flown 324 combat missions, and claiming 81 victories. He was awarded the Knights Cross.




Leutnant Wilhelm Noller (deceased)
*Signature Value : £50

Wilhelm Noller joined the Luftwaffe in 1939 and trained as a bomber pilot. In May 1942 he was posted to join 2./StG 2 fighting on the Eastern Front. He took part in the battles of Kursk and Stalingrad, and became one of the most successful pilots of StG 2. By early 1943 his combat mission total passed the 500 mark, rising to over 800 by the end of the year. He was awarded the Knights Cross in April 1944, a few weeks after passing the 1000 mission mark. After a period instructing, he returned to combat in February 1945, flying the Fw190 with 7./SG 10 in Czechoslovakia. Wounded in April 1945, and hospitalised in Prague, he was taken prisoner by the Soviets when they took over the city in May. Transported east by rail towards Russia, he jumped from the moving train and escaped back to Germany. During the war he had flown 1058 missions, destroyed 86 tanks, 2 armoured trains, plus many vehicles, boats and bridges. He also gained 2 victories in aerial combat. Wilhelm Noller passed away on 26th December 2011.




Major Erich Rudorffer (deceased)
*Signature Value : £60

Erich Rudorffer was born on November 1st 1917 in the town of Zwickau in Saxony. Erich Rudorffer joined the Luftwaffes I./JG2 Richthofen in November 1939, and was soon flying combat patrols in January 1940 and was assigned to I/JG 2 Richthofen with the rank of Oberfeldwebel. He took part in the Battle of France, scoring the first of his many victories over a French Hawk 75 on May 14th, 1940. He went on to score eight additional victories during the Battle of France and the Battle of Britain. Rudorffer recalled an incident in August 1940 when he escorted a badly damaged Hurricane across the Channel - ditching in the English Channel was greatly feared by pilots on both sides. As fate often does, Rudorffer found the roles reversed two weeks later, when he was escorted by an RAF fighter after receiving battle damage. By May 1st 1941 Rudorffer had achieved 19 victories, which led to the award of the Knights Cross. In June 1941 Rodorffer became an Adjutant of II./JG2. In 1942 Rudorffer participated in Operation Cerberus (known as the Channel Dash) and flew over the Allied landings at Dieppe. Erich Rudorffer along with JG2 was transferred to North Africa in December 1942. It was in North Africa that Rudorffer showed his propensity for multiple-victory sorties. He shot down eight British aircraft in 32 minutes on February 9th 1943 and seven more in 20 minutes six days later. After scoring a total of 26 victories in Tunisia, Rudorffer returned to France in April 1943 and was posted to command II./JG54 in Russia, after Hauptmann Heinrich Jung, its Kommodore, failed to return from a mission on July 30th 1943. On August 24th 1943 he shot down 5 Russian aircraft on the first mission of the day and followed that up with three more victories on the second mission. He scored seven victories in seven minutes on October 11th but his finest achievement occurred on November 6th when in the course of 17 minutes, he shot down thirteen Russian aircraft. Rudorffer became known to Russian pilots as the fighter of Libau. On October 28th 1944 while about to land, Rudorffer spotted a large formation of Il-2 Sturmoviks. He quickly aborted the landing and moved to engage the Russian aircraft. In under ten minutes, nine of the of the II-2 Sturmoviks were shot down causing the rest to disperse. Rudorffer would later that day go on and shoot down a further two Russian aircraft. These victories took his total to 113 and he was awarded the Oak Leaves on April 11th 1944. Rudorffer would on the 26th January 1945 on his 210th victory receive the addition of the Swords. In February 1945 Rudorffer took command of I./JG7 flying the Me262. He was one of the first jet fighter aces of the war, scoring 12 victories in the Me262. He shot down ten 4-engine bombers during the "Defense of the Reich missions". He was the master of multiple scoring - achieving more multiple victories than any other pilot. Erich Rudorffer never took leave, was shot down 16 times having to bail out 9 times, and ended the war with 222 victories from over 1000 missions. He was awarded the Knights Cross, with Oak Leaves and Swords. Erich Rudorffer died on 8th April 2016.


Major Franz Kieslich (deceased)
*Signature Value : £50 (matted)

Franz Kieslich born in Bochum ion 12th March 1913 and served with 7./St.G. 77 in France in 1940, and later serving in Yugoslavia. Transferring to the Russian Front he was promoted Gruppenadjutant III./St.G. 77. And in October 1942 became Staffelkapitan 7./St.G. 77. In February 1944 he was promoted Kommandeur III./SG 77. He fought at Stalingrad, Kursk, Kiev and most of the other major engagements on the Eastern Front. In February1945 he became Kommodore erganzungs-SG148. Awarded the Knight’s Cross with Oak Leaves, he flew over 1000 combat missions, and had been shot down twenty times. His wards were awarded Ritterkreuz on 05.01.1943 as Oberleutnant and Staffelkapitän 7./StukaG 77 and ( 619 ). Eichenlaub on 10.10.1944 as Hauptmann and Kommandeur III./StukaG 77. He passed away on 31st August 2012.




Major Hans-Ekkehard Bob (deceased)
*Signature Value : £50

After success in the Battle of Britain, Hans-Ekkehard Bob took over leadership of 9./JG54 in 1940. The following year he was awarded the Knights Cross. Transferring to the Eastern Front his victories rose steadily to 50 by September 1942. His Group later transferred back to the West for a short period, where in April 1943, he rammed a B-17 Fortress. Returning to the Eastern Front as Kommander of IV./JG3, he ended the war as Adjutant of Gallands JV44 in the West. In his 700 missions he scored 60 victories.




Oberleutnant Gunther Seeger (deceased)
*Signature Value : £45

In February 1940, Gunther Seeger was an Unteroffizier with 3./JG2, scoring his first victory in the early days of the Battle of Britain. he served on the Channel Front until December 1942, including several months with the Geschwaderstabsschwarm. He transferred to the Mediterranean theatre with II./JG2 before joining 6./JG53. In February 1943 he joined 7./JG53 becoming Staffelkapitan in September 1944. Awarded the Knight's Cross, Gunther Seeger scored 56 victories.


Oberleutnant Helmut Fickel (deceased)
*Signature Value : £35 (matted)

One of the outstanding Stuka pilots of III./SG 2 “Immelmann”, Helmut fickle joined 8./St.G. 2 on the Eastern Front in February 1943. In October he became Adjutant of III./SG 2. and flew as wingman to the great Hans-Ulrich Rudel, perhaps the most successful pilot of World War II. In November 1944 Helmut was promoted Staffelkapitian of 9./SG 2, on one occasion he and his radio operator being rescued by Rudel after crash landing behind enemy lines. He led 9./SG 2 until the end of the war, completing a total of over 800 missions. He was the Knight’s Crossin June 1944. Sadly, we have learned that Helmut Fickel passed away on 6th April 2005.


Oberst Kurt Kuhlmey (deceased)
*Signature Value : £45 (matted)

One of the most outstanding Stuka leaders of World War II, Kurt Kuhlmey was Staffelkapitan of 1./St.G.1 at the outbreak of war, serving in the Polish, Norwegian and French campaigns, before being transferred to the attack on Malta. He took part in successful strikes against HMS Illustrious, and the Malta convoys of 1941. He fought in North Africa, becoming Kommandeur of II./St.G.3 in April 1942. A year later he was promoted Kommodore of SG3. In March 1945 he was Kommodore of SG2 “Immelmann”, and in the last weeks of the war was with the staff of the General der Schalchtflieger. He flew over 500 combat missions, and was awarded the Knight’s Cross. Died 30th April 1993.


Oberstleutnant Hans-Karl Stepp (deceased)
*Signature Value : £30

Lieutenant Colonel Hans-Karl Stepp was born on 2nd September 1914 in Gießen as son to a University professor. Stepp studied eight semesters of law in Tubingen, Breslau and Munich before joining the Luftwaffe as Fahnenjunker in 1936. He first flew the Ju87 Stuka in 1938 and was one of the few who survived the Neuhammer disaster when 13 Stuka crews died in a crash on 15th August 1939, due to ground fog, in a demonstration training attack. He took part in the Polish and Western Campaigns, and also the Balkan and Crete campaigns. Karl Stepp was awarded the Iron Cross in 1939 ans the Iron Cross 1st class on the 15th June 1940. In 1941 he joined SG.2 Immelmann in Russia, leading a squadron by the end of the year by which time he had flown over 300 missions. He was awarded German Cross in Gold on the 15th of October 1941 as Gruppen and Geschwaderadjutant of Sturzkampfgeschwader 2. Hans Karl Stepp was also awarded the Knights Cross on 4 February 1942 as Oberleutnant and Staffelkapitan of the 7./StG 2 Immelmann after 418 combat missions and 462nd Oak Leaves on 27th April 1944 as Oberstleutnant and Geschwaderkommodore of SG 2 Immelmann after over 800 combat missions. He was Group Commander of I/SG.5 from June 1942 to June 1943 during its successful campaign in the extreme North and Eastern Fronts, in hard conditions. In June 1943 he became First Commander and Air Commodore of II/SG.2. This SG.2 ‘Immelmann’ was led by him with great success on the Eastern Front until September 1944, after which he was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and joined the staff of the Luftwaffe where he served until the end of the war. He also served in the Reichsluftwaffenministerium in Berlin. Hans-Karl Stepp flew over 900 missions. After the war he became a lawyer and sadly died in Leipzig on the 12th December 2006.




Squadron Leader Doug Nicholls DFC (deceased)
*Signature Value : £45

A pre-war RAFVR pilot, in June 1940 Nicholls converted to Hurricanes at 7 OTU, Hawarden. Nicholls flew during the Battle of Britain with 85 and 242 and in September joined 151 Squadron.at Digby On September 30, 1940, he shared in the destruction of a Ju 88 and returned to Digby with his Hurricane P 5182 severely damaged by return fire. Nicholls spent only a brief time with 242 but Bader made a considerable impression. After a hard day Nicholls remembers Bader taking off his legs and dressing the stumps with lotion and talcum powder. Few people realise, Nicholls feels, just how much strain combat flying with artificial legs must have been. Later in the war Nicholls flew Hurricanes with 258 Squadron in the Far East to Seletar airfield, Singapore and flew their first operation on January 31 1942. On February 10 1942 the three surviving Hurricanes of 258 were withdrawn to Palembang with the fifteen surviving pilots, six remained behind to fly with 605 Squadron, with Nicholls being one of the nine evacuated from Java to Ceylon. 258 Squadron was reformed at Ratmalana on March 1 1942 and Nicholls rejoined it. Awarded the DFC (19.5.44) he remained with 258 until August 1944, when he was posted to HQ 224 Group, Burma, as Squadron Leader Tactics. Squadron Leader Doug Nicholls, who has died aged 95, flew Hurricanes in the Battle of Britain, avoided capture in Java and earned the DFC flying ground attack missions in Burma. Nicholls and his fellow pilots of No 258 Squadron had just arrived in the Middle East as reinforcements in 1941 when Japan attacked Pearl Harbour. It was decided to rush the squadron to Singapore and it embarked on the aircraft carrier Indomitable before sailing for the Far East. On January 28 1942, 22 Hurricanes took off from the carrier and departed on the three-hour flight to Batavia. After refuelling, Nicholls headed for Palembang in the south of Sumatra. During the hazardous crossings, the squadron had lost a quarter of its aircraft before facing the Japanese. Two pilots were soon lost in combat. On February 6, the airfield at Palembang was attacked. Nicholls managed to damage a Japanese bomber but he was attacked by a Zero fighter and was forced to bail out over the jungle 30 miles from his airfield. Nicholls started walking and eventually commandeered a car, but found that his squadron had been forced to evacuate Palembang. When the car ran out of petrol he traded it for a railway ticket to a nearby port where he escaped to Batavia to rejoin his depleted squadron. It was soon decided to withdraw the squadron and leave six pilots to fly the only remaining Hurricanes. Three volunteered to stay and the remainder cut cards, the three drawing the lowest to remain. Nicholls cut a jack, which was high enough for him to join the party to be evacuated. On February 28, just six of the 22 pilots who had arrived a few weeks earlier sailed for Ceylon on an overcrowded boat. Those left behind were either killed or became PoWs for the next three years.




Tony Pickering AFC (deceased)
*Signature Value : £45

With the RAFVR just before the war commenced, Tony Pickering joined 32 Squadron at Biggin Hill in July 1940, flying Hurricanes, and in August 1940 to 501 Squadron at Gravesend. In September he was shot down in Hurricane P5200, but unhurt in a duel with an Me109, destroying another 109 a few weeks later. In December he joined 601 Squadron at Northolt. After a spell instructing, he joined 131 as a Flight Commander in February 1943, and later served as a Squadron Commander in the Middle East. Tony Pickering died on 24th March 2016.

The Aircraft :
NameInfo
HurricaneRoyal 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.
Me109Willy Messerschmitt designed the BF109 during the early 1930s. The Bf109 was one of the first all metal monocoque construction fighters with a closed canopy and retractable undercarriage. The engine of the Me109 was a V12 aero engine which was liquid-cooled. The Bf109 first saw operational service during the Spanish Civil War and flew to the end of World War II, during which time it was the backbone of the Luftwaffe fighter squadrons. During the Battle of Britian the Bf109 was used in the role of an escort fighter, a role for which it was not designed for, and it was also used as a fighter bomber. During the last days of May 1940 Robert Stanford-Tuck, the RAF ace, got the chance to fly an Me109 which they had rebuilt after it had crash landed. Stanford-Tuck found out that the Me109 was a wonderful little plane, it was slightly faster than the Spitfire, but lacked the Spitfire manoeuvrability. By testing the Me109, Tuck could put himself inside the Me109 when fighting them, knowing its weak and strong points. With the introduction of the improved Bf109F in the spring of 1941, the type again proved to be an effective fighter during the invasion of Yugoslavia and during the Battle of Crete and the invasion of Russia and it was used during the Siege of the Mediteranean island of Malta. The Bf109 was the main fighter for the Luftwaffe until 1942 when the Fw190 entered service and shared this position, and was partially replaced in Western Europe, but the Me109 continued to serve on the Eastern Front and during the defence of the Reich against the allied bombers. It was also used to good effect in the Mediterranean and North Africa in support of The Africa Korps. The Me109 was also supplied to several German allies, including Finland, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia, and Slovakia. The Bf109 scored more kills than any other fighter of any country during the war and was built in greater numbers with a total of over 31,000 aircraft being built. The Bf109 was flown by the three top German aces of the war war. Erich Hartmann with 352 victories, Gerhard Barkhorn with 301 victories and Gunther Rall with 275 kills. Bf109 pilots were credited with the destruction of 100 or more enemy aircraft. Thirteen Luftwaffe Aces scored more than 200 kills. Altogether this group of pilots were credited with a total of nearly 15,000 kills, of which the Messerschmitt Bf109 was credited with over 10,000 of these victories. The Bf109 was the most produced warplane during World War II, with 30,573 examples built during the war, and the most produced fighter aircraft in history, with a total of 33,984 units produced up to April 1945. Bf109s remained in foreign service for many years after World War II. The Swiss used their Bf109Gs well into the 1950s. The Finnish Air Force did not retire their Bf109Gs until March 1954. Romania used its Bf109s until 1955. The Spanish Hispanos flew even longer. Some were still in service in the late 1960s.

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