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Hornchurch Scramble by Robert Taylor. (C) - panzer-prints.com

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Hornchurch Scramble by Robert Taylor. (C)


Hornchurch Scramble by Robert Taylor. (C)

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.
Item Code : DHM1940CHornchurch Scramble by Robert Taylor. (C) - This Edition
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PRESENTATION Battle of Britain tribute edition of 10 prints, issued with an original pencil drawing.

SOLD OUT.
Paper size 33 inches x 25 inches (84cm x 64cm) Image size 26.5 inches x 17.5 inches (67cm x 44cm) Swanwick, George
Rose, Stuart Nigel
Iveson, Tony
Brown, Maurice Peter
Neil, Tom
Drake, Billy
Foster, Bob
Brown, Norman
Morewood, Roger
Barthropp, Paddy
McGowan, Roy
Parrott, Peter
Morgan, Tom Dalton
Doe, Bob
Stapleton, Basil
Millard, Jocelyn G P
Vigors, Tim
Page, Geoffrey
Barwell, Eric
Mackenzie, Ken
Deere, Alan (matted on companion print)
Leathart, James (matted on companion print)
Winskill, Archie (matted on companion print)
+ Artist : Robert Taylor
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Other editions of this item : Hornchurch Scramble by Robert Taylor.DHM1940
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PRINT Signed limited edition of 450 prints. Paper size 33 inches x 25 inches (84cm x 64cm) Image size 26.5 inches x 17.5 inches (67cm x 44cm) Swanwick, George
Rose, Stuart Nigel
Iveson, Tony
+ Artist : Robert Taylor
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Anniversary edition of 25 artist proofs.

SOLD OUT.
Paper size 33 inches x 25 inches (84cm x 64cm) Image size 26.5 inches x 17.5 inches (67cm x 44cm) Swanwick, George
Rose, Stuart Nigel
Iveson, Tony
Brown, Maurice Peter
Neil, Tom
Drake, Billy
Foster, Bob
Brown, Norman
Morewood, Roger
+ Artist : Robert Taylor
SOLD
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VIEW EDITION...
PRINT 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) Swanwick, George
Rose, Stuart Nigel
Iveson, Tony
Brown, Maurice Peter
Neil, Tom
Drake, Billy
Foster, Bob
Brown, Norman
Morewood, Roger
+ Artist : Robert Taylor
£90 Off!
Supplied with one or more  free art prints!
Now : £265.00VIEW EDITION...
Extra Details : Hornchurch Scramble by Robert Taylor. (C)
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Drawing size 20 inches x 17 inches approx (51cm x 43cm approx)

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Air Commodore Alan Deere DSO DFC* (deceased)
Top scoring New Zealand Ace with 22 victories, Deere was born in Auckland on December 12th 1917. Alan Deere would become one of the RAFs finest pilots. Joining the RAF in 1937, in September 1938 Al Deere was posted to No.54 Sqn at the time flying Gloster Gladiators, then in early 1940 the Squadron converted to Spitfires. His first brush with death happened when his oxygen failed while at altitude and ke blacked out, coming to only in time to pull his aircraft out of a dive and certain death. At the beginning of May 1940 Deere took part in the intensive air war over Dunkirk and on 23rd May 1940 Deere took part in a daring rescue operation. He and Pilot Officer Allen escorted their flight commander, James Leathart, to France where he was to land a Miles Master trainer and pick up the CO of 74 Squadron who had made a forced landing on the airfield at Calais-Marck. While the pick up was made, Alan Deere was at low level with Pilot Officer Allen at 8000 feet. As Flight Commander James Leathart prepared for take off in the Master, Pilot Offcier Allen spotted a flight o Bf109s coming their way.

Deere scored his first victory, as a strafing Bf109 pulled out of its dive, presenting a perfect target. Deere fired a short burst and the aircraft stalled and then crashed into the sea. Deere, climbing to help Allen, crossed the path of two 109’s, one of which turned towards him. Deere also turned, firing at the second one, which rolled over and dived away. Pursuing the first one, he caught up at treetop height and pursued him, firing off his remaining ammunition before the German headed for home. During the whole event Deere and Allen accoutned for three Bf109s shot down and three damaged. All three aircraft returned to their base at RAF Hornchurch.

During four days - 23rd to 29th May - Deere shot down three Bf109’s and three Bf110’s but his luck ran out and he was shot down over Dunkirk while attacking a Dornier Do17 and luckily managed a forced landing in Belgium where he optained a bicycle and cycled to Dunkirk where he managed to get on a destroyer and returned to Hornchurch within 30 hours of taking off. In June he was decorated with the DFC by the King at a special ceremony at Hornchurch. Alan Deere destroyed seven more enemy fighters and one bomber during the Battle of Britian and was awarded a Bar to the DFC. In January 1941 became an Operations Room Controller. He returned to operations on 7th May 1941, joining 602 Squadron in Scotland as a Flight Commander.

On August 1st 1941 Alan Deere took command of 602 Squadron and on that day destroyed a Bf109. When his second operational tour ended in January 1942 Deere went to the USA to lecture on fighter tactics. In May 1942, he took command of 403 Squadron, commanding the squadron until August before being posted to staff duties. During a temporary attachment to 611 Squadron in February 1943 Deere destroyed an Fw190. Some days later he was appointed Wing Leader at Biggin Hill. He flew 121 sorties during his six months leadership and by this time his tally was twenty-two confirmed victories, ten probables and eighteen damaged.

He was also awarded the DSO and a bar to his DFC. Alan Deere was also awarded the Croix de Guerre and the DFC (USA) and in May 1945 He was awarded an OBE. In December 1977 Air Commodore Deere retired form the Royal Air Force. Iin 1959 Air Commodore Alan Deere wrote of his experiences in his book, ’Nine Lives’. Sadly, he passed away on 21st September 1995.


Air Commodore James Leathart (deceased)
After flight training, he joined No.54 Squadron flying Gauntlets. He became the commanding officer of No.54 Squadron as they re-equipped with Spitfire MkIs. In a remarkable event, he was awarded the DSO when he rescued the stranded CO of No.74 Sqn. Commandeering a Miles Master training aircraft, he flew to France escorted by other pilots from No.54 Sqn, and rescued the CO before returning across the Channel. It was for this action that he was awarded the DSO in June 1940. Died in 1998.




Air Commodore Sir Archie Winskill KCVO CBE DFC AE (deceased)
An RAFVR pilot, Winskill flew with both 72 Squadron and 603 Squadrons during the Battle of Britain. Commissioned in August 1940 he was posted in February 1941 to 41 Squadron where he soon became a Flight Commander. Baders determination to engage the enemy at every possible opportunity is what he remembers most clearly of the period, On August 14th he was shot down over France, just five days after Bader. He managed to evade capture and, with the help of the French Resistance, made his way to Spain and then Gibraltar. He was the first pilot to use this route home. After another operational posting to North Africa, after which he was awarded a Bar to his DFC, he finished the war with four confirmed victories. Post war he stayed on in the RAF and was Captain of the Queens Flight for 14 years. He died 9th August 2005.




Group Captain Billy Drake DSO DFC* (deceased)
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.




Group Captain Tom Dalton Morgan DSO, DFC*, OBE (deceased)
Tom Dalton-Morgan was born on March 23rd 1917 at Cardiff and educated at Taunton School. He was a descendant of the buccaneer Sir Henry Morgan and the Cromwellian General Sir Thomas Morgan, Thomas Frederick Dalton-Morgan. Tom Dalton-Morgan joined the RAF in 1935, serving with 22 Squadron. Flying the Wildebeeste torpedo bomber, he joined the training staff at the Air Ministry. In April 1940 he applied to return to flying, and was appointed to No.43 Squadron. In June 1940 he was posted to Tangmere as B Flight commander with 43 Squadron, flying Hurricanes, scoring his first victory on 12 July. In action over the Channel he shared in the destruction of a Heinkel bomber, but he was forced to bale out with slight wounds the following day when he destroyed another and then was hit by crossfire. With no badges of rank in evidence - he was wearing pyjamas under his flying suit - he was captured by a bobby who placed him in the cells along with the German bomber crew he had just shot down. Dalton-Morgan resumed flying and was soon back in action, accounting for four more enemy aircraft in the next three weeks. In early September, he shot down three Messerschmitt fighters. After one engagement he was wounded in the face and knee, and had to crash-land. His DFC praised him for displaying great courage when his behaviour in action has been an inspiration to his flight. After the Battle of Britain, Dalton-Morgan's primary task was to train new pilots for service with the squadrons in the south. He was also required to establish a night-fighting capability with the Hurricane, a task he achieved with great success. Few enemy night bombers fell victim to single-seat fighter pilots, but Dalton-Morgan, hunting alone, destroyed no fewer than six. Three of his victims went down in successive nights on May 6-7 1941, when the Luftwaffe embarked on a major offensive against the Clydesdale ports and Glasgow. On June 8th, Dalton-Morgan achieved a remarkable interception when he shot down a Junkers bomber, having made initial contact by spotting its shadow on the moonlit sea. After two more successes at night, he was carrying out a practice interception on July 24th with a fellow pilot when he saw another Junkers. Dalton-Morgan gave chase and intercepted it off May Island. Despite his engine failing and fumes filling the cockpit, he attacked the bomber three times. He had just watched it hit the sea when his engine stopped. Too low to bale out, he made a masterly landing on the water, but lost two front teeth when his face hit the gun sight. He clambered into his dinghy before being rescued by the Navy. In January 1942 he left the squadron to become a Controller. Promoted Wing Commander Operations with 13 Group, he then led the Ibsley Wing, consisting of 4 Spitfire, 2 Whirlwind, and 2 Mustang Squadrons. His final victory in May 1943 brought his score to 17. Briefly attached to the USAAF 4th Fighter Group, with the task of mounting long-range offensive sorties over northern France and providing scouts for the tactical bomber squadrons. After damaging an Me 109 in December, he shot down a Focke Wulf 190 fighter and damaged another during a sweep over Brest. He was awarded the DSO in May 1943, which recorded his victories at the time as 17. He flew more than 70 combat sorties with the group. Promoted group captain early in 1944, he served as operations officer with the 2nd Tactical Air Force. Dalton-Morgan engaged in planning fighter and ground attack operations in support of the campaign in Normandy, then moved to the mainland with his organisation after the invasion. Years after, his CO at the time (later Air Marshal Sir Fred Rosier) commented: It would be impossible to overstate Tom D-M's importance and influence on the conduct of fighter operations for and beyond D-Day. A month before the end of the war in Europe, Dalton-Morgan learned that his only brother, John, who also had the DFC, had been shot down and killed flying a Mosquito. Dalton-Morgan remained in Germany with 2nd Tactical Air Force after the war before attending the RAF Staff College, and becoming a senior instructor at the School of Land/Air Warfare. Later he commanded the Gutersloh Wing, flying Vampire jets, before taking command of RAF Wunsdorf. He was appointed OBE in 1945 and mentioned in dispatches in 1946, the year President Harry Truman awarded him the US Bronze Star. Group Captain Tom Dalton-Morgan, who has died in Australia aged 87, on the 18th September 2004, was one of the RAF's most distinguished Battle of Britain fighter pilots.


Pilot Officer Norman Brown (deceased)
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 Basil Stapleton DFC (deceased)
Born in South Africa, Basil Stapleton joined the RAF in Jan 1939, being posted to 603 Sqn flying Spitfires. He first saw action off Scotland, sharing in the destruction of two bombers, before the Squadron was posted south to Hornchurch during the height of the Battle of Britain. By Nov 1940 his tally had risen to 6 and 2 shared victories and 8 probables. In March 1942 he was posted to 257 Sqn as flight commander. In August 1944 he commanded 247 Sqn flying Typhoons, taking part in the Arnhem operations. In December 1944, whilst attacking a train, debris hit his aircraft forcing him to land behind enemy lines where he was taken prisoner of war. Stapme Stapleton had scored 6 victories, plus 2 shared, 5 probable and 2 damaged. Sadly, we have learned that Basil Stapleton passed away on 13th April 2010.




Squadron Leader Jocelyn G P Millard (deceased)
Volunteering for the RAFVR in August 1939, J G Millard was called up for full time service the following month. Converting to Hurricanes, he was posted to 1 Squadron at Wittering in October 1940, and shortly after transferred to Dougla Baders 242 Squadron at Coltishall. In November he moved to 615 Squadron at Northolt. After the Battle of Britain he spent time as an instructor, going to Canada. He later became Squadron Commander of 35 SFTS. Sadly, Jocelyn Millard passed away on the 10th of May 2010.




Squadron Leader Maurice Peter Brown (deceased)
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 Roy McGowan (deceased)
Flying Hurricanes with No.46 Squadron, Roy McGowan was shot down on 15th September 1940. Sufferring from severe burns he was hospitalised and treated by the pioneering plastic surgeon Archie McIndoe, and was one of the founding members of the famous "Guinea Pig Club".




Squadron Leader Stuart Nigel Rose (deceased)
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. He died on 10th September 2017 aged 99.




Squadron Leader Tony Iveson DFC (deceased)
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 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.




Wing Commander Bob Foster DFC (deceased)
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 Eric Barwell (deceased)
Born in Suffolk in August 1913, Eric Barwell joined the RAFVR in 1938 to train as a pilot. He was commissioned into No.264 Sqn in February 1940, flying the Boulton-Paul Defiant. His squadron flew in support of the evacuation of Dunkirk, and he claimed two Me109s, two Ju87 Stukas and a Heinkel during this evacuation. However, in the combat with the Heinkel, his aircraft was damaged and he was forced to ditch, managing to put it down in the water between two British destroyers. He and his gunner were rescued by HMS Malcolm. On 24th August, while scrambling to intercept bombers, he and his wingman were attacked by five fighters, his wingman being immediately shot down. His gunner managed to shoot down one of the enemy fighters before the Defiant managed to escape, but it was clear that the aircraft was no match for the German fighters. They were withdrawn from combat and used in a night-time training role. Barwell was awarded the DFC for the six victories scored. In April 1941, he scored a night-time victory over a Heinkel, with a second also probable. He transferred to No.125 Sqn flying Beaufighters, claiming a Dornier damaged on 1st July 1942. By March 1943, No.125 Sqn were equipped with Mosquitoes. He shot down two Ju-88s in this aircraft, and also recorded his final victory, over a V-1 rocket. He was awarded the bar to his DFC and transferred to various experimental squadrons before leaving the RAF in September 1945. Sadly, Eric Barwell died on 12th December 2007.




Wing Commander Geoffrey Page DSO OBE DFC (deceased)
Geoffrey Page was born in Boxmoor on 16th May 1920. Geoffrey Page developed an early interest in aviation, which is not surprising as he had an uncle who flew during the Great War and another uncle was Sir Frederick Handley Page, the great aircraft manufacturer. Page went to Dean Close School in Cheltenham, Glouscestershire, and later went to the Imperial College to study engineering. It was at college he joined the University Air Squadron at Northolt. Two weeks after the outbreak of the Second World War, Geoffrey Page received his call-up papers and joined the RAF with the rank of Acting Pilot Officer and went to Cranwell for advanced training. In May 1940 after a short period of instructing, Page was posted to 66 Squadron, flying Supermarine Spitfires but was almost immediately re-assigned to 56 Squadron where he was to fly the Hawker Hurricane. Whilst as a pilot officer with 56 squadron he took part in the Battles of France and Britain, and had accounted for three kills by the time he was shot down on the 12th August 1940 during the Battle of Britain. Flying behind his commanding officer, who was attacking a large formation of Dornier Do17 bombers, his Hurricane was hit and caught fire. Burning high-octane fuel sprayed into the cockpit, covering Page, resulting in very bad burns to his face and hands. Page parachuted out and his Hurricane crashed into the sea. After being picked up from the sea he was taken to the burns unit at Queen Victoria Hospital in East Grinstead, where he was treated by Sir Archibald MacIndoe, a pioneering plastic surgeon. He spent the next two years in hospital undergoing numerous plastic surgery operations. Both of his hands were burnt down to the bone, and his head had swollen to three times its normal size. Page had also received gunshot wounds to his legs. Page became a founding member of the Guinea Pig Club, where Sir Archibald MacIndoe was elected life time president and Geoffrey Page was its first chairman. In late 1942 he re-joined operations again as a Flight Lieutenant. He joined No.132 Squadron as a supernumerary Flight Lieutenant, before volunteering for service in North Africa, but returned to the UK as the desert heat caused problems on his skin grafts. In July 1943 he won his first DFC. Later in the year he joined 122 Squadron as a Flight Commander, before re-joining No.132 Squadron in January 1944 as Commanding Officer. On 29th April 1944 Page led his squadron to strafe Deelen airfield in Holland, and attacked a Bf110 night fighter that was landing. Despite the odds, the Bf110 shot down two Spitfires, before Page forced the aircraft down and destroyed it. The pilot of the Bf110 was the famous Major Hans-Joachim Jabs, who survived. Page was later promoted Wing Leader of 125 wing, and after another DFC he won the DSO at the end of 1944. Page had achieved his goal of 15 victories (10 solo, 5 shared, and 3 damaged). After the war on a tour of the United States met his wife to be, the daughter of a British Hollywood actor. He left the R.A.F. in 1948 joining Vickers Armstrong. In retirement, Page remained the driving force of the Guinea Pig Club, and also founded the Battle of Britain Trust. This raised more than one million pounds, with which the Battle of Britain memorial was erected overlooking the Straits of Dover. In 1995 he was created an Officer of the Order of the British Empire. Sadly Alan Geoffrey Page DSO, OBE, DFC and Bar died 3rd August 2000.




Wing Commander George W Swanwick (deceased)
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 Paddy Barthropp DFC AFC (deceased)
At the outbreak of war Paddy flew obsolete Hinds, Hectors and Lysanders in combat, but converted to Spitfires and joined 602 Squadron at Tangmere. During the Battle of Britain he flew with some of the great aces - Douglas Bader, Sailor Malan, and Bob Stanford Tuck. In 1941 he was a Flight Commander with 610 Squadron. Continuing to fly Spitfires, now with 122 Squadron based at Hornchurch, he flew fighter sweeps and escort missions. On 17th May 1942 he was shot down over St Omer. He baled out but was captured, spending the next three years as a POW. One of the RAFs best known and best loved characters, though the bane of certain senior officers, Paddy Barthropps RAF service spanned the period from bi-planes to supersonic jets. Joining the RAF in 1938, his first squadron was 613 flying Hinds, Hectors and Lysanders. In 1940 he was released to fly Spitfires with 602 Squadron where he shared in the destruction of two aircraft. He was posted to 610 Squadron, and then to 91 Squadron, shooting down two Bf 109s during summer 1941 and receiving the DFC. In August 1941 he returned to 610 Squadron as a flight commander. He was shot down three times, the third time being taken prisoner ofwar. He had by then brought his total to 9. Scraps in the air were accompanied by scrapes on the ground, and appearances in Magistrates Courts for disorderly conduct. Addicted to fast cars and lively ladies - and the sworn enemy of stuffed shirts everywhere - he was the irrepressible life and soul of any party, and a persistant thorn in the side of overweening authority as the Germans were to discover. The war over, he was posted to the Empire Test Pilots School where he flew over a hundred different types of plane in ten months. Soon, he was out in the Sudan and in serious trouble again - under arrest after taking a hippo to an upper-crust party. As a boy, he had been taught to ride by champion jockey Steve Donaghue and now, posted to Hong Kong, he rode winners on the track at Happy Valley, and seriously thought of turning professional. Then it was back to the U.K. to take up an appointment as a Fighter Station Commander, and to lead the Coronation fly-past over Buckingham Palace. He left the RAF to set up his own luxury car-hire firm. He died on 16th April 2008.




Wing Commander Peter Parrott DFC AFC (deceased)
Born 28th of June 1920, Peter Parrott joined the RAF in 1938, completing his fighter pilot training before joining No.607 Sqn in early 1940. On the 10th of May 1940, he destroyed two He111s and damaged a further two, sharing in another the next day. He was then posted to No.145 Sqn, damaging a Bf110 on May the 22nd and an He111 four days later, an action which saw his aircraft sufficiently damaged to force him to crash land in Kent. During the Battle of Britain, Peter Parrott destroyed a Me109, Ju87, Ju88 and damaged an He111, before being posted to No.605 Sqn in September. After baling out of his damaged Hurricane in December 1940 and remaining with 605 Sqn until summer 1941, he became an instructor. From July 1943 he joined a number of Squadrons in Italy, returning to Britain after the war to become a test pilot. He died 27th August 2003.


Wing Commander Roger Morewood (deceased)
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 Tim Vigors DFC (deceased)
Born 22nd March 1921. He joined No. 222 Sqn in February 1940 flying Spitfires. By the end of September 1940, he had downed 6 enemy aircraft with a further 6 probables, while being forced to crash land his Spitfire on two occasions. He claimed a further two Me109s in October. He was posted to Singapore, joining No.243 Sqn and then 453 Sqn RAAF, the Fleet Defence Squadron for Force Z when the Royal Navy lost the battleships Repulse and Prince of Wales to Japanese aircraft. Moving the squadron to Malaya, he was forced to bale out of his Buffalo after a skirmish with a large number of Japanese aircraft, being evacuated to India, retirning from the RAF after the war. He died 14th November 2003.




Wing Commander Tom Neil DFC* AFC
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.




Wng Cmdr Ken Mackenzie (deceased)
Ken Mackenzie flew 2 ops on Hurricanes with No.43 Sqn before joining No.501 Sqn based at Kenley during the Battle of Britain, again on Hurricanes. During his time with No.501 Sqn, he claimed 7 victories, with a further 4 shared and 3 damaged. In the most remarkable of these, Ken was following what he thought was a damaged Me109 down to sea level. Realising the aircraft was not damaged, he deliberately struck the tailplane of the enemy aircraft with the wing of his Hurricane (V6799), forcing his opponent to crash. He was subsequently awarded the DFC on 25th October 1940. After this, he joined No.247 Sqn flying night fighter Hurricanes shooting down 10 aircraft in one year. He was shot down on the 29th of September 1941 after claiming an He111 bomber in a night attack planned to target Lannion airfield in Brittany. Ken was engaged by heavy flak from ground defences and completed this sortie by ditching in the sea. He paddled to shore in his dinghy and was subsequently captured and taken prisoner. Ken MacKenzie was posted to various camps before ending up in Stalag Luft 111, Sagan, and was finally repatriated to the UK in October 1944. He was posted to 53 OTU, Kirton-In-Lindsey on 19th December 1945 as an instructor and on 17th June 1945, posted to 61 OTU, Keevil, as a Flight Commander. After the war on the 1st January 1953, Ken was awarded the Air Force Cross. Retired from the RAF on 1st July 1967 with the rank of Wing Commander. Sadly, Wing Commander Ken Mackenzie died on 4th June 2009

The Aircraft :
NameInfo
SpitfireRoyal 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.

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