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54 Sqn Battle of Britain Aviation Art Pack. - ivanberryman.co.uk

B0412. A Quick Despatch by Ivan Berryman. <p> Sqn Ldr James Leathart watches another of his victims, a Heinkel He.111, slowly roll over in its death throes above the beaches near Dunkirk on 21st May 1940, flying Spitfire Mk.1 P9389 (KL-A) of 54 Sqn, based at Hornchurch.  All but one of his many claimed victories were scored in this aircraft which was eventually lost in October 1940 whilst being flown by Plt Off C Stewart, who baled out and survived the incident relatively unscathed. <b><p>Signed by <a href=signatures.php?Signature=1236>Group Captain Byron Duckenfield AFC (deceased)</a>. <p>Limited edition of 30 giclee art prints.  <p> Image size 12 inches x 8 inches (31cm x 21cm)
DHM1866. Victory Above Dover by Ivan Berryman. <p> Adolf Galland claimed his 16th victory on the afternoon of 25th July 1940 when Spitfires of 54 Sqn were bounced by Messerschmitt Bf.109s of Gallands III/JG26.  A fierce battle ensued off Dover during which F/Lt Basil <i>Wonky</i> Way, flying R6707, found himself the subject of the great German aces attention, his stricken aircraft being observed to plunge into the sea after receiving numerous hits from the Bf.109s guns. F/Lt Way lost his life in the crash, presumed drowned. <b><p>The first few prints in this edition have been signed by <a href=signatures.php?Signature=1236>Group Captain Byron Duckenfield AFC (deceased)</a>,<br><a href=signatures.php?Signature=2065>Flight Lieutenant Alex Thom DFC</a><br>and<br><a href=signatures.php?Signature=7>Wing Commander John Freeborn DFC* (deceased)</a> and are currently available.<p>Signed limited edition of 20 giclee art prints.  <p> Image size 26 inches x 17 inches (66cm x 43cm)
DHM1940B. Hornchurch Scramble by Robert Taylor. <p> On August 12th, 1940 the Luftwaffe turned their full attention to the RAF's forward fighter bases and radar stations with the intent to obliterate them once and for all.  The outcome of the Battle of Britain hung in the balance.  It was late in the afternoon of Sunday, 18 August 1940.  The previous week had seen the hardest days of fighting in the Battle of Britain as the young pilots of the RAF Fighter Command had engaged in deadly duels with the Luftwaffe.  Bystanders gazed cautiously upwards at the weaving contrails in the clear blue skies over southern England as they anxiously awaited the outcome.  For just a moment, all was at peace:  A gentle breeze floated across the airfield at RAF Hornchurch as the exhausted young pilots of 54 Squadron could rest for a few brief minutes and reflect on their own previous two encounters with the enemy that day.  The Luftwaffe had thrown everything at them in the past few days, but today had been the toughest of them all.  And then the calm was shattered by the shrill tones of the alarm, the Luftwaffe had launched another huge raid of over 300 aircraft across the Channel, and it looked like Hornchurch was the target.  Hornchurch Scramble, portrays the moment as 54 Squadron's commanding officer, Squadron Leader James Leathart, taxis out at Hornchurch to prepare for take-off.  Quickly following, the aircraft of New Zealander Colin Gray is guided out from dispersal by his ground crew.  Gray would claim 3 Bf110s in the encounter and would eventually become the top scoring New Zealand Ace of the war. <b><p> Signed by :<br><a href=signatures.php?Signature=67>Wing Commander George W Swanwick (deceased)</a>,<br><a href=signatures.php?Signature=84>Squadron Leader Stuart Nigel Rose</a>,<br><a href=signatures.php?Signature=77>Squadron Leader Tony Iveson DFC (deceased)</a>,<br><a href=signatures.php?Signature=1294>Squadron Leader Maurice P Brown (deceased)</a>,<br><a href=signatures.php?Signature=52>Wing Commander Tom Neil DFC* AFC</a>,<br><a href=signatures.php?Signature=33>Group Captain Billy Drake DSO DFC* (deceased)</a>,<br><a href=signatures.php?Signature=46>Wing Commander Bob Foster DFC (deceased)</a>,<br><a href=signatures.php?Signature=1608>Pilot Officer Norman Brown (deceased)</a><br>and<br><a href=signatures.php?Signature=1593>Wing Commander Roger Morewood (deceased)</a>. <p> Anniversary edition of 350 prints.  <p> Paper size 33 inches x 25 inches (84cm x 64cm)  Image size 26.5 inches x 17.5 inches (67cm x 44cm)
DHM1891AP. A Day for Heroes by Ivan Berryman. <p> The afternoon of 25th July 1940 was a desperate one for the already exhausted fighter pilots of the RAF defending the South coast of England.  As convoy CW8 made its way through the English Channel, sixty JU.87 Stukas and forty JU.88 bombers launched a brutal attack on the ships below, backed up by fighter cover of over 50 Messerscmitt Bf.109s.  Eight Spitfires of 64 Sqn (Kenley) were scrambled, together with twelve Spitfires of 54 Sqn (Hornchurch) and Hurricanes of 111 Sqn from Croydon.  The British pilots found themselves massively outnumbered, but nevertheless put up a spirited fight against the teeming enemy.  This painting shows Spitfires of 54 Sqn entering the fray, the pilots scattering as they choose their targets and go after the JU.87s. To the right of this, Bf.109Es of JG.26 are roaring in to join battle, whilst Adolf Gallands aircraft engages a Hurricane of 111 Sqn. <b><p>Signed by <a href=signatures.php?Signature=1236>Group Captain Byron Duckenfield AFC (deceased)</a>,<br><a href=signatures.php?Signature=1294>Squadron Leader Maurice P Brown (deceased)</a><br>and<br><a href=signatures.php?Signature=2065>Flight Lieutenant Alex Thom DFC</a>. <p>Limited edition of 50 artist proofs.  <p> Size 25.5 inches x 10.5 inches (65cm x 26cm)

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  Website Price: £ 500.00  

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54 Sqn Battle of Britain Aviation Art Pack.

DPK0360. 54 Sqn Battle of Britain Aviation Art Pack.

Aviation Print Pack.

Items in this pack :

Item #1 - Click to view individual item

B0412. A Quick Despatch by Ivan Berryman.

Sqn Ldr James Leathart watches another of his victims, a Heinkel He.111, slowly roll over in its death throes above the beaches near Dunkirk on 21st May 1940, flying Spitfire Mk.1 P9389 (KL-A) of 54 Sqn, based at Hornchurch. All but one of his many claimed victories were scored in this aircraft which was eventually lost in October 1940 whilst being flown by Plt Off C Stewart, who baled out and survived the incident relatively unscathed.

Signed by Group Captain Byron Duckenfield AFC (deceased).

Limited edition of 30 giclee art prints.

Image size 12 inches x 8 inches (31cm x 21cm)


Item #2 - Click to view individual item

DHM1866. Victory Above Dover by Ivan Berryman.

Adolf Galland claimed his 16th victory on the afternoon of 25th July 1940 when Spitfires of 54 Sqn were bounced by Messerschmitt Bf.109s of Gallands III/JG26. A fierce battle ensued off Dover during which F/Lt Basil Wonky Way, flying R6707, found himself the subject of the great German aces attention, his stricken aircraft being observed to plunge into the sea after receiving numerous hits from the Bf.109s guns. F/Lt Way lost his life in the crash, presumed drowned.

The first few prints in this edition have been signed by Group Captain Byron Duckenfield AFC (deceased),
Flight Lieutenant Alex Thom DFC
and
Wing Commander John Freeborn DFC* (deceased) and are currently available.

Signed limited edition of 20 giclee art prints.

Image size 26 inches x 17 inches (66cm x 43cm)


Item #3 - Click to view individual item

DHM1940B. Hornchurch Scramble by Robert Taylor.

On August 12th, 1940 the Luftwaffe turned their full attention to the RAF's forward fighter bases and radar stations with the intent to obliterate them once and for all. The outcome of the Battle of Britain hung in the balance. It was late in the afternoon of Sunday, 18 August 1940. The previous week had seen the hardest days of fighting in the Battle of Britain as the young pilots of the RAF Fighter Command had engaged in deadly duels with the Luftwaffe. Bystanders gazed cautiously upwards at the weaving contrails in the clear blue skies over southern England as they anxiously awaited the outcome. For just a moment, all was at peace: A gentle breeze floated across the airfield at RAF Hornchurch as the exhausted young pilots of 54 Squadron could rest for a few brief minutes and reflect on their own previous two encounters with the enemy that day. The Luftwaffe had thrown everything at them in the past few days, but today had been the toughest of them all. And then the calm was shattered by the shrill tones of the alarm, the Luftwaffe had launched another huge raid of over 300 aircraft across the Channel, and it looked like Hornchurch was the target. Hornchurch Scramble, portrays the moment as 54 Squadron's commanding officer, Squadron Leader James Leathart, taxis out at Hornchurch to prepare for take-off. Quickly following, the aircraft of New Zealander Colin Gray is guided out from dispersal by his ground crew. Gray would claim 3 Bf110s in the encounter and would eventually become the top scoring New Zealand Ace of the war.

Signed by :
Wing Commander George W Swanwick (deceased),
Squadron Leader Stuart Nigel Rose,
Squadron Leader Tony Iveson DFC (deceased),
Squadron Leader Maurice P Brown (deceased),
Wing Commander Tom Neil DFC* AFC,
Group Captain Billy Drake DSO DFC* (deceased),
Wing Commander Bob Foster DFC (deceased),
Pilot Officer Norman Brown (deceased)
and
Wing Commander Roger Morewood (deceased).

Anniversary edition of 350 prints.

Paper size 33 inches x 25 inches (84cm x 64cm) Image size 26.5 inches x 17.5 inches (67cm x 44cm)


Item #4 - Click to view individual item

DHM1891AP. A Day for Heroes by Ivan Berryman.

The afternoon of 25th July 1940 was a desperate one for the already exhausted fighter pilots of the RAF defending the South coast of England. As convoy CW8 made its way through the English Channel, sixty JU.87 Stukas and forty JU.88 bombers launched a brutal attack on the ships below, backed up by fighter cover of over 50 Messerscmitt Bf.109s. Eight Spitfires of 64 Sqn (Kenley) were scrambled, together with twelve Spitfires of 54 Sqn (Hornchurch) and Hurricanes of 111 Sqn from Croydon. The British pilots found themselves massively outnumbered, but nevertheless put up a spirited fight against the teeming enemy. This painting shows Spitfires of 54 Sqn entering the fray, the pilots scattering as they choose their targets and go after the JU.87s. To the right of this, Bf.109Es of JG.26 are roaring in to join battle, whilst Adolf Gallands aircraft engages a Hurricane of 111 Sqn.

Signed by Group Captain Byron Duckenfield AFC (deceased),
Squadron Leader Maurice P Brown (deceased)
and
Flight Lieutenant Alex Thom DFC.

Limited edition of 50 artist proofs.

Size 25.5 inches x 10.5 inches (65cm x 26cm)


Website Price: £ 500.00  

To purchase these prints individually at their normal retail price would cost £795.00 . By buying them together in this special pack, you save £295




All prices are displayed in British Pounds Sterling

 

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




Group Captain Byron Duckenfield AFC (deceased)
*Signature Value : £40 (matted)

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.
Signatures on item 2
*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




Flight Lieutenant Alex Thom DFC
*Signature Value : £45 (matted)

Born in Perth, Scotland, Alex Thom joined the RAFVR on June 24th 1939 and flew at the weekends at 11 EARFTS Perth. At the outbreak of World War Two, Thom was called up for full time service with the Royal Air Force and was posted to 3 ITW at Hastings on October 2nd 1939, moving to 15 EFTS at Redhill on April 29th 1940 and on June 15th moved again to 15 FTS, initially at Brize Norton and later to Chipping Norton. Alex Thom went to 6 OTU on September 29th at Sutton Bridge where he converted to Hawker Hurricanes and joined 79 squadron stationed at Pembury only for a short period when he was transferred to 87 Squadron on October 6th 1940, moving with the squadron on the 31st of October to their new base at Exeter. He achieved the rank of Pilot Officer on the 3rd of December 1941. During his time at Exeter he was also based on the Scilly Isles and on one occasion after shooting down an enemy bomber the crew bailed out over the sea. Alex Thom circled the downed German crew who were in a life raft until a motor launch came and picked them up. Thom would later meet the crew and was given a flying helmet by the German pilot, an item he still has today. Alex Thom was appointed B Flight commander on 10th July 1942 and was awarded the DFC on the 14th August 1942. At this time he was credited with two enemy aircraft destroyed and a probable He111. On the 19th of August 1942 while supporting the ground forces at Dieppe, his Hurricane (LK - M) was hit by ground fire and lost oil pressure. He managed to limp back to England where he made a forced landing at East Den. Thom managed to get back to his airfield as a passenger in a Master flown by Flt Sgt Lowe and immediately took off again in Hurricane (LK - A) back to Dieppe where he proceeded to strafe enemy positions. On the 1st of October 1942 he became F/O. In November 1942, 87 Squadron was transferred to North Africa. They were transported by ship to Gibraltar where the squadron flew sorties, and then onto North Africa. Thom was posted away from the squadron to be a flying control officer at Bone. He returned to 87 Squadron which was then based at Tongley and took command on June 27th 1943. He was again posted away from the squadron on September 27th returning to the UK with the Rank of Flight Lt. Thom became an instructor with 55 OTU at Annan on November 17th moving to Kirton in Linsay on March 12th 1944 to join 53 OTU. He was appointed Flight Commander Fighter Affiliation Flight at 84 (Bomber) OTU at Husbands Bosworth on May 19th 1944 and remained there until October 10th when he went to RAF Peterhead as Adjutant. His final posting was to HQ13 Group, Inverness on May 8th 1945 as a Staff Officer and retired from the RAF on December 4th 1945 as a Flight Lt.




Group Captain Byron Duckenfield AFC (deceased)
*Signature Value : £40 (matted)

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.




Wing Commander John Freeborn DFC* (deceased)
*Signature Value : £60 (matted)

Wing Commnader John. C. Freeborn was born on the 1st of December 1919 in Middleton, Yorkshire. John left grammar school at 16 and joined the RAF in 1938, where he made 14 shillings a week and shot pheasant in his spare time. He later visited his classmates after flight school by landing his plane on a nearby cricket pitch. In March 1938 John Freeborn was commissioned in the RAFO, and on the 9th of April 1938 went to Montrose and joined 8 FTS, where he completed his training before going to 74 "Tiger" Squadron at Hornchurch on 29th October. He relinquished his RAFO commission on being granted a short service one in the RAF in January 1939. Johnie Freeborn flew Spitfires with 74 Squadron over Dunkirk, and claimed a probable Ju 88 on May 21st 1940. On the 22nd of May 1940 he destroyed a Junkers 88, and a probable Bf 109 on the 24th of May followed soon after on the 27th by a Bf 109 destroyed and another probably destroyed. On one occasion his Spitfire was badly damaged over Dunkirk and he crash-landed on the beach near Calais but managed to get a lift home in a returning aircraft. His squadron flew relentlessly during the Battle of Britain. In one eight-hour period, its pilots flew into combat four times, destroying 23 enemy aircraft (three by John Freeborn) and damaging 14 more. Five kills denoted an Ace and by the end of the Battle of Britain, John had seven to his credit and won the DFC. John claimed a Bf 109 destroyed on 10th July, shared a probable Dornier 17 on the 24th, shot down a Bf 109 on the 28th, destroyed two Bf 110s, a Bf 109 and probably another on 11th August, destroyed a Do 17 on the 13th, destroyed another on 11th September and damaged an He 111 on the 14th. Freeborn was made a Flight Commander on 28th August. He shared a Bf 109 on 17th November, shot down two Bf 109s, shared another and damaged a fourth on 5th December, and damaged a Dornier 17 on 5th February and 4th March 1941. John Freeborn had been with his squadron longer, and flown more hours, than any other Battle of Britain pilot and on the 25th of February 1941 John freeborn was awarded a Bar to the DFC. In January, 1942 John Freeborn was posted to Army Air Force Base in Selma, Alababma which was home to the South East Training Command in America. After two months as RAF liaison officer he went to Eglin Field, Florida where he helped in testing various aircraft, including the new fighters the Thunderbolt and P-51 Mustang. He returned to the UK in December 1942 and went to Harrowbear, Exeter, and then to Bolt Head as Station Commander. John Freeborn joined 602 Squadron in 1942, and commanded 118 Squadron in June 1943 at Coltishall, leading it until January 1944. In June 1944 he was promoted Wing Commander (the youngest Wing Commander in the RAF) of 286 Wing in Italy. John Freeborn scored 17 victories and left the Royal Air Force in 1946. Sadly, we have learned that John Freeborn passed away on 28th August 2010. John Freeborn was truly one of the great Fighter Pilots of world war two and his autograph is certainly a major additon to any signature collection, as he did not sign a great deal of art pieces.
Signatures on item 3
*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




Group Captain Billy Drake DSO DFC* (deceased)
*Signature Value : £45 (matted)

Joined the R.A.F. in 1936. His first posting was to 1 squadron flying Furies then Hurricanes and first saw action over France in the Spring of 1940 and was awarded his first DFC by the end of the year. As a Squadron Leader he was sent to West Africa to command 128 Squadron. 1942 saw his commanding 112 squadron in North Africa, in July saw an immediate BAR to his DFC and in December an immediate DSO. Posted to Malta as Wing Commander he won a US DFC in 1943. Back in the UK he now was flying Typhoons in the lead up to D-Day. With Pete Brothers he was sent to the States to attend the US Staff School at Fort Leavenworth. After the war he continued in the R.A.F. serving in Japan, Malaya, Singapore, Switzerland and his final posting as Group Captain RAF Chivenor, Devon. Retired in July 1963. Going to Portugal where he ran a Bar and Restaurant and dealing in Real Estate. In his flying career he accounted for more than 24 enemy aircraft. Sadly, Billy Drake passed away on 28th August 2011.


Pilot Officer Norman Brown (deceased)
*Signature Value : £40 (matted)

Norman McHardy Brown was born in Edinburgh on 27 July, 1919, and went to South Morningside Primary before George Heriot's School. He volunteered for the Royal Air Force Voluntary Reserve (RAFVR) as an airman u/t pilot (under training) a few days after his 20th birthday and was called up on 1st September, 1939 as war loomed. He was posted to 3 ITW (Initial Training Wings) in Hastings, moving in April 1940 to EFTS (Elementary Flying Training School) at RAF Burnaston near Derby. He was commissioned as Pilot Officer on 7 September, 1940 – with the service number 84958 – trained in Spitfires at 7 OTU (Operational Training Unit), RAF Hawarden, Chester, and was posted to 611 Squadron at RAF Digby, Lincolnshire, immediately engaging in the Battle of Britain. Norman Brown was one of 'The Few', those who took part in the Battle of Britain in the autumn of 1940 in the skies above England and the Channel. He was never shot down. On 12 October, 1940, Brown – nicknamed Sneezy by his comrades – was transferred to No.41 Squadron at Hornchurch and continued to hunt down German fighter planes. As the RAF gained the upper hand in the Battle of Britain, Brown's Spitfire was returning to Hornchurch on 1 November, 1940 when, in poor visibility, it overshot the RAF base and strayed into London's Barrage Balloon defence area. He struck a cable. The weather was still quite thick … my starboard wing struck a cable – not a pleasant discovery, he wrote many years later in a an article for the Scottish Saltire Branch of the Aircrew Association (ACA). My first instinct was to bale out, but I couldn't for two reasons; I was fully occupied holding the Spitfire straight as it tried to spin round the cable and secondly I could see I was over houses. If I had tried, I would almost certainly have killed myself. As it was I struggled hard with the controls and literally flew down the cable with the airspeed falling dramatically. Finally, the aircraft stalled and did what I can only describe as a violent flick roll. At this point the cable, I think, broke and tore away part of the wing, and I went into a steep dive. On trying to pull out, the Spit turned over on it's back at about 1,000ft and I thought all was over and I momentarily experienced the most unusual sense of complete tranquillity…He went on to describe how he spotted a small housing development site just beyond a railway line and decided to try and land there. He aimed to hit the fence to reduce the plane's speed, as the site was not very big and there were houses at the far end. I don't recall much about the impact except that it was very much more violent than a normal 'wheels up' forced landing, which I had previously experienced. I was very confused and found myself in almost complete darkness and realised that the Spit was upside down and there was only a little light through the windscreen as it was buried in soil through into which it had ploughed. He recalled the stench of petrol and thought he was about to be barbecued. The canopy had slammed shut but two men who had been working nearby came to his rescue. A hob-nailed boot smashed the canopy. I was never so pleased to see a hob-nailed boot and I was pulled out after I released my straps.Brown was believed to be the last survivor of No.41 Squadron, based at RAF Hornchurch, Essex, which lost 16 pilots in action during the three-month Battle of Britain but claimed more than 100 'kills' of enemy planes. In a separate article for the Scottish Saltire branch of the ACA, Brown wrote: The autumn of 1940, what memories! So very hectic, exhausting and frightening. The dangers, fears, excitement, the sadness and the fun, shared with some of the best people one could ever hope to meet. Waiting! Time is passed dozing, reading, listening to music or playing cards. The telephone rings: '41 Squadron scramble!' A dash for the dispersed Spits. Climbing at maximum rate, oxygen on at about 13,000ft, getting colder – probably about minus 30 degrees Centigrade … a gaggle of Messerschmitt Me109s dive on us out of the sun, their trails concealed by a drift of high cloud … gun button on to 'fire' … violent turns to meet the attack head on …chin pressed down on to chest and vision …darkening as G force increases … orange streaks of cannon fire pass too close … aircraft everywhere … a glimpse of an enemy fighter … a quick burst … more tight turns … a Spitfire dives past on fire and below, an Me109 with a Spitfire on its tail disintegrates … more evasive action, dive and tight turns and then level off. Back on base, we thankfully retire to the local hostelry for the odd pint … there is no mention of absentees. So ends another day. Having left the RAF in 1941, Brown returned to Scotland and forestry. As a result, he volunteered after the war to assist RAF 317 Squadron, on the ground in the western-controlled zone of Germany, in Operation Woodpecker, a reparations scheme to get badly-needed timber to the UK where wood had been rationed for civilians during the war in favour of the military effort. In 1947, the operation also provided timber and peat for heating to Germans civilians, who had survived the war only to face displacement and freezing temperatures. Norman Brown died in the Borders General Hospital in Melrose on the 17th December 2013 aged 94.




Squadron Leader Maurice Peter Brown (deceased)
*Signature Value : £45 (matted)

Maurice Peter Brown (known as Peter) was born in London on 17th June 1919. On leaving school he qualified for entry in the civil service with an appointment in the Air Ministry. But in April 1938 he left to join the Royal Air Force with a short service commission. In September 1939 he was posted to 611 West Lancashire Squadron with Spitfires in 12 Group, initially at Duxford and then Digby. His initiation into battle was over Dunkirk. He was at readiness throughout the Battle of Britain, including with the controversial Ducford Big Wing on 15th September, when the Luftwaffe's morale was broken, and then in late September with 41 Squadron at Hornchurch where the fiercest fighting with highest casualties had taken place. It was a quantum leap. In June 1941, after serving as a flight commander in the squadron, Peter was posted as an instructor to 61 Operational Training Unit at Heston and other OTUs and then at AFUs as a Squadron Leader Flying. He left the RAF with the rank of Squadron Leader and was awarded the Air Force Cross. In his flying career, Maurice Peter Brown flew Spitfire Mk.I, Mk.II and Mk.V. We have learned the sad news that Maurice Peter Brown passed away on 20th January 2011.


Squadron Leader Stuart Nigel Rose
*Signature Value : £45 (matted)

Originally from Elswick in the north east of England, Rose moved south to join the RAFVR in March 1939, called up at the outbreak of war he was commissioned in June 1940 joining No.602 Sqn in June 1940 flying Spitfires and serving with the unit throughout the Battle of Britain, claiming three victories. Squadron Leader Nigel Rose was then posted to 54 Sqn at Hornchurch in September 1941 before becoming an instructor in 1942, and also serving in the Middle East. Afterwards he moved to No.54 Sqn before taking on positions in training units.




Squadron Leader Tony Iveson DFC (deceased)
*Signature Value : £35 (matted)

Tony Iveson fought in the Battle of Britain with RAF Fighter Command, as a Sergeant pilot, joining 616 Squadron at Kenley flying Spitfires on 2 September 1940. On the 16th of September, he was forced to ditch into the sea after running out of fuel following a pursuit of a Ju88 bomber. His Spitfire L1036 ditched 20 miles off Cromer in Norfolk, and he was picked up by an MTB. He joined No.92 Sqn the following month. Commissioned in 1942, Tony undertook his second tour transferring to RAF Bomber Command, where he was selected to join the famous 617 Squadron, flying Lancasters. He took part in most of 617 Squadrons high precision operations, including all three sorties against the German battleship Tirpitz, and went on to become one of the most respected pilots in the squadron.




Wing Commander Bob Foster DFC (deceased)
*Signature Value : £30 (matted)

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-Elysées. 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 George W Swanwick (deceased)
*Signature Value : £40 (matted)

George Swanwick was born on 10th November 1915 and was an air-gunner on Wallaces and Hinds with 504 squadron at RAF Hucknall during the 1930s. In May 1936, 504 became part of the Auxiliary Air Force, and in October 1938 converted to a fighter unit, equipped with Gauntlets. In 1938 George re-trained as a pilot, and was promoted to Sergeant Pilot in August 1939. In May 1940 George Swanwick joined 7 BGS, and on 7th September was posted to 54 Squadron at Catterick flying Spitfires. He then went to 41 Squadron at Hornchurch. Commissioned in late 1941, he was posted to 222 Squadron at North Weald in April 1942 as a Flight Commander. In July George Swanwick joined 603 Squadron in Malta and in September 1942, George was posted to 7 OTU at Port Sudan as Flight Commander. In July 1943, he joined 81 Squadron in Malta as a supernumerary. George was invalided back to the UK and following his discharge from hospital in 1944, George held various staff appointments until the end of the war. George Swanwick was granted a Permament Commission in 1949 and retired on 30th April 1970, as a Wing Commander. Sadly, George Swanwick passed away on 4th January 2011.


Wing Commander Roger Morewood (deceased)
*Signature Value : £40 (matted)

An uncle suggested to Roger Morewood that he should join the RAF so Roger did at the age of 17. Roger said : I was going be a pilot, that was the only reason to join. Roger trained to fly in a Tiger Moth biplane before joining 56 Squadron - regarded within the RAF as an elite unit - flying open cockpit Gauntlet fighters. The squadron were then re-equipped with Gloster Gladiators - the last RAF biplane - then the Hawker Hurricanes that would join Spitfires in fighting off Hitlers Luftwaffe in the Battle of Britain. While serving with 56 Squadron Roger Morewood was assigned the dangerous role of long-range fighter sweeps over the coast of occupied France and Holland but left to help form 248 Sqn at Hendon with whom he served throughout the Battle of Britain flying Blenheims. Roger said: We had a few panic station alerts when we were scrambled. We wouldd be leaping into our aircraft with flying suits over our pyjamas as we tried to get into the air in a minute and a half. In July 1942 Morewood went to 9 OTU and later HQ Transport Command. After a long post-war career in the RAF he retired in 1957. Roger Morewood once said of his squadron: It was damned dodgy. We had a high loss rate on operations. And on one sortie - then aged 21 - he nearly met his maker : I flew across to Den Helder (Northern Holland) in a long-nosed Blenheim to look after this battleship at the entrance to the Zuiderzee. We flew round this thing and sure enough I saw some aircraft coming up. They were twin-engine bombers naturally - Messerschmitt 110s. That was a bit hairy. My two blokes (other pilots) shoved off in a hurry into a cloud, and there was me popping away until I ran out of ammunition. There was just me left. I realised there was no point chasing - I was not going to knock his wings off. So I started flying home. After making hardly any noise all flight the chap (navigator) in the back said you haveve got somebody on your tail now - you had better move swiftly. So I moved to left and right. We got a pretty hefty clobbering. His turret disappeared at the back. My poor navigator wore a tin hat and I dont blame him. He got a bullet half way through his armour. He was alright. I had a dreadful wound. If I shook my hand really hard I could get blood out of one finger. I was hit all over the place. We took dozens of bullets. The aircraft was ruined. That is all there was to it. We were still going home - even with the North Sea to go across. So I trundled off back and ditched the damn thing. Thank God it didnt blow up. We literally got away with it. It was the hairiest trip I ever did. On another occasion, Roger intercepted a German weather forecasting flying boat called Weary Willy : I was in a Beaufighter at this time. I flew upwind and had a shot at him downwind. Then all the guns jammed. So I pulled alongside him - not too close - and waved him good luck lad. Anyway he sank when he got back to Norway. That was that one finished. Flying from Shetland, his squadron attacked German shipping off Norway. Roger was rested and spent two years training new Beaufighter pilots but still managed to go on some operations, mainly attacking convoys off the coast of Holland. Roger Morewood said: job was to attack the flak ships, floating anti-aircraft batteries, so other Beaufighters could attack the cargo ships. It could be pretty hairy as 12 Beaufighters lined up to have a crack at the target. You wouldd see tracer shells from your mates plane whizzing over your head or underneath you. They were a bigger danger than the Germans Wing Commander Roger Morwood was posted to the Mediterranean where he contracted TB. He recalled: "In hospital, they treated you with whisky in milk and a pint of Guinness for breakfast, very primitive stuff." When the war ended and the RAF were scaled down, Roger continued to serve in various postings around the UK until 1947. after leaving the RAF Roger was recalled again as an instructor at the Central Flying School, but with the rank of flight lieutenant. He was posted to Edinburgh and then Glasgow University squadrons. finnaly leaving service in 1957. Wing Commander Roger Morewood notched up more than 5000 flying hours in 32 different types of aircraft. Roger Morewood died in early December 2014.




Wing Commander Tom Neil DFC* AFC
*Signature Value : £45 (matted)

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.
Signatures on item 4
*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




Flight Lieutenant Alex Thom DFC
*Signature Value : £45 (matted)

Born in Perth, Scotland, Alex Thom joined the RAFVR on June 24th 1939 and flew at the weekends at 11 EARFTS Perth. At the outbreak of World War Two, Thom was called up for full time service with the Royal Air Force and was posted to 3 ITW at Hastings on October 2nd 1939, moving to 15 EFTS at Redhill on April 29th 1940 and on June 15th moved again to 15 FTS, initially at Brize Norton and later to Chipping Norton. Alex Thom went to 6 OTU on September 29th at Sutton Bridge where he converted to Hawker Hurricanes and joined 79 squadron stationed at Pembury only for a short period when he was transferred to 87 Squadron on October 6th 1940, moving with the squadron on the 31st of October to their new base at Exeter. He achieved the rank of Pilot Officer on the 3rd of December 1941. During his time at Exeter he was also based on the Scilly Isles and on one occasion after shooting down an enemy bomber the crew bailed out over the sea. Alex Thom circled the downed German crew who were in a life raft until a motor launch came and picked them up. Thom would later meet the crew and was given a flying helmet by the German pilot, an item he still has today. Alex Thom was appointed B Flight commander on 10th July 1942 and was awarded the DFC on the 14th August 1942. At this time he was credited with two enemy aircraft destroyed and a probable He111. On the 19th of August 1942 while supporting the ground forces at Dieppe, his Hurricane (LK - M) was hit by ground fire and lost oil pressure. He managed to limp back to England where he made a forced landing at East Den. Thom managed to get back to his airfield as a passenger in a Master flown by Flt Sgt Lowe and immediately took off again in Hurricane (LK - A) back to Dieppe where he proceeded to strafe enemy positions. On the 1st of October 1942 he became F/O. In November 1942, 87 Squadron was transferred to North Africa. They were transported by ship to Gibraltar where the squadron flew sorties, and then onto North Africa. Thom was posted away from the squadron to be a flying control officer at Bone. He returned to 87 Squadron which was then based at Tongley and took command on June 27th 1943. He was again posted away from the squadron on September 27th returning to the UK with the Rank of Flight Lt. Thom became an instructor with 55 OTU at Annan on November 17th moving to Kirton in Linsay on March 12th 1944 to join 53 OTU. He was appointed Flight Commander Fighter Affiliation Flight at 84 (Bomber) OTU at Husbands Bosworth on May 19th 1944 and remained there until October 10th when he went to RAF Peterhead as Adjutant. His final posting was to HQ13 Group, Inverness on May 8th 1945 as a Staff Officer and retired from the RAF on December 4th 1945 as a Flight Lt.




Group Captain Byron Duckenfield AFC (deceased)
*Signature Value : £40 (matted)

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.




Squadron Leader Maurice Peter Brown (deceased)
*Signature Value : £45 (matted)

Maurice Peter Brown (known as Peter) was born in London on 17th June 1919. On leaving school he qualified for entry in the civil service with an appointment in the Air Ministry. But in April 1938 he left to join the Royal Air Force with a short service commission. In September 1939 he was posted to 611 West Lancashire Squadron with Spitfires in 12 Group, initially at Duxford and then Digby. His initiation into battle was over Dunkirk. He was at readiness throughout the Battle of Britain, including with the controversial Ducford Big Wing on 15th September, when the Luftwaffe's morale was broken, and then in late September with 41 Squadron at Hornchurch where the fiercest fighting with highest casualties had taken place. It was a quantum leap. In June 1941, after serving as a flight commander in the squadron, Peter was posted as an instructor to 61 Operational Training Unit at Heston and other OTUs and then at AFUs as a Squadron Leader Flying. He left the RAF with the rank of Squadron Leader and was awarded the Air Force Cross. In his flying career, Maurice Peter Brown flew Spitfire Mk.I, Mk.II and Mk.V. We have learned the sad news that Maurice Peter Brown passed away on 20th January 2011.

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