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|Signatures on this item|
H. E. Tappin (deceased)
|Started flying, as an N.C.O. pilot, with the R.A.F.V.R. at No.3 E.& R.F.T.S. run by Air Service Training, at Hamble near Southampton.in April 1937. Awarded Pilot's Flying Badge (wings) in May 1938. Moved to 26 E.& R.F.T.S. run by Marshalls Flying School at Kidlington, near Oxford in September 1938. Flying Instructor's Course, November/December 1938 Started instructing 30th December 1938. School at-Kidlington closed on outbreak of hostilities, staff moved to 22 E.F.T.S. at Carpbridge. Instructed at Cambridge until April 1941, when posted to 52 O.T.U. (Hurricane) at Debden. Commissioned December 1940. 52 O.T.U. April/May 1941. Posted to 3 Squadron (Hurricane) at Martlesham Heath 2nd June 1941, became Flight Commander in March 1942. Posted to 534 Squadron (Turbinlite) as Hurricane Flight Commander September 1942. Tutbinlite Project abandoned February 1943,,posted to 157 Squadron (Mosquito) at Castle Camps. Became Flight Commander July 1943. Posted from 157 at Predannack, March 1944 to 51 O.T.U. at Cranfield and Twinwood Farm, near Bedford, as W/Cdr Flying. January 1945 posted to Mediterranean to command 108 Squadron (Beaufighter), to learn on arrival that the Squadron was to be disbanded. I spent a short period with 334 (Special Duties) Wing at Brindisi, in Southern Italy, and in March 1945 was posted to Command 256 Squaron (Mosquito) with the Desert Air Force at Forli, iii-Northern Italy. In September 1945 the Squadron moved to Egypt,, from where I returned home in December of that year. In February 1946 1 returned to Cambridge to continue my work with Marshalls as a civilian pilot, where the work was varied and interesting, covering flying-instruction, charter work and testflying on a variety of aircraft, including the Vampire, Venom, Canberra, Valiant, Viscount and Ambassador. I left Cambridge in January 1961 to instruct at The College of Air Training at Hamble, which had been set up by B.E.A. and B.O.A.C., (taking over the Air Service Training facilities) to train new pilots ?,rom scratch, as the supply of ex-service pilots was running short. It proved to be very successful. Retired from Hamble January 1972. Service Numbers: N.C.O. 740167. Commissioned Officer 89304. D.F.C. September 1942 Bar to D.F.C. April 1944. Died 8th January 2007.|
Wing Commander Bob Doe, DSO, DFC* (deceased)
|In 1939 he joined the R.A.F. and upon completion of his training was posted to 234 squadron. During the Battle of Britain he achieved great success. He was one of the very few pilots to successfully fly both Hurricanes and Spitfires and was one of the top scorers of the Battle with 14 and two shared victories. He was awarded the DFC in October and a BAR in November. He joined 66 squadron as a Flight Commander then moving to 130 squadron in August 1943 saw him in 613 squadron flying Mustangs. October 1943 he was posted out to the Far-East, forming 10 squadron, Indian Air Force, which he led on the Burma front. Awarded the DSO in 1945. He stayed on in the R.A.F. after the war, retirement in 1966 was followed by opening a Garage business which proved successful. Sadly, we have learned of the passing of Bob Doe on 21st February 2010.|
|The Aircraft :|
|Spitfire||Royal Air Force fighter aircraft, maximum speed for mark I Supermarine Spitfire, 362mph up to The Seafire 47 with a top speed of 452mph. maximum ceiling for Mk I 34,000feet up to 44,500 for the mark XIV. Maximum range for MK I 575 miles . up to 1475 miles for the Seafire 47. Armament for the various Marks of Spitfire. for MK I, and II . eight fixed .303 browning Machine guns, for MKs V-IX and XVI two 20mm Hispano cannons and four .303 browning machine guns. and on later Marks, six to eight Rockets under the wings or a maximum bomb load of 1,000 lbs. Designed by R J Mitchell, The proto type Spitfire first flew on the 5th March 1936. and entered service with the Royal Air Force in August 1938, with 19 squadron based and RAF Duxford. by the outbreak of World war two, there were twelve squadrons with a total of 187 spitfires, with another 83 in store. Between 1939 and 1945, a large variety of modifications and developments produced a variety of MK,s from I to XVI. The mark II came into service in late 1940, and in March 1941, the Mk,V came into service. To counter the Improvements in fighters of the Luftwaffe especially the FW190, the MK,XII was introduced with its Griffin engine. The Fleet Air Arm used the Mk,I and II and were named Seafires. By the end of production in 1948 a total of 20,351 spitfires had been made and 2408 Seafires. The most produced variant was the Spitfire Mark V, with a total of 6479 spitfires produced. The Royal Air Force kept Spitfires in front line use until April 1954.|
|Me109||Willy 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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