No.19 Sqn RAF
Founded : 1st September 1915
Possunt quia posse videntur - They can because they think they can
o. 19 Squadron was formed from a nucleus provided by No. 5 Reserve Squadron at Castle Bromwich on 1 September 1915. It was almost a year later that the Squadron went to France, flying contact patrols with BE12s before re-equipping with French-built Spads. These were used to strafe ground troops during the battles at Arras, Messines Ridge and Ypres. Early in 1918, Sopwith Dolphins arrived and these were used in bomber escort duties. A year after the end of the War, the Squadron was disbanded reforming on 1 April 1924 at Duxford. The Squadron remained at Duxford throughout the inter-war years with a succession of fighters: Siskins, Bulldogs and Gauntlets receiving Spitifre on the 4th August 1938 The Squadron was stationed in the UK after the outbreak of the Second World War,the Squadron fought well over the evacuation at Dunkirk where they lost 4 aircraft for the destruction of 13 E.A.'s. The Squadron destroyed 2 He 111's on the night of the 19th of June 1940, and was part of No. 12 Group RAF, RAF Fighter Command, during the Battle of Britain. 19 Squadron formed part of the Duxford Wing, 12 Group's 'Big Wing' formation. Later versions of Spitfires were flown until the arrival of Mustangs for close-support duties in early 1944. After D-Day, No. 19 briefly went across the English Channel before starting long-range escort duties from RAF Peterhead for Coastal Command off the coast of Norway. After world war two the squadron flew at first de Havilland Hornets and later a variety of jet fighter aircraft including the Hawker Hunter fighter then re-equipping with English Electric Lightning, (1962 - 1964) at that time 19 Sqdn was based at RAF Station Leconfield. The Squadron and the sister Squadron 92 were called upon as fast response interceptors during the "cold war", later being disbanded on 9 January 1992. Their final location before being disbanded was RAF Wildenrath in Germany near Geilenkirchen
No.19 Sqn RAF
Return From the Fray by Richard Taylor.
Duxford 1940 by Simon Atack.
Bitter Engagement by Robert Taylor.
Lone Warrior by Ivan Berryman.
No.19 Sqn RAF Artwork Collection
Supermarine Spitfire - Job Well Done by Graeme Lothian. (P)
Mustang Mk.III by Ivan Berryman.
Lone Warrior by Ivan Berryman.
Spitfire Country by Ivan Berryman.
Battle of Britain by Graeme Lothian.
Flt Lt Walter Lawson by Ivan Berryman.
Bitter Engagement by Robert Taylor.
Duxford 1940 by Simon Atack.
Return From the Fray by Richard Taylor.
Bristol Bulldogs by Michael Turner.
Spitfires - September 1940 by Barry Price.
Lightning Thunder by Michael Rondot.
|Aces for : No.19 Sqn RAF|
|A list of all Aces from our database who are known to have flown with this squadron. A profile page is available by clicking the pilots name.|
|Douglas Bader||23.00||The signature of Douglas Bader features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|F W Higginson||15.00||The signature of F W Higginson features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|George C Grumpy Unwin||10.00||The signature of George C Grumpy Unwin features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|Gordon Sinclair||10.00||The signature of Gordon Sinclair features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|Wallace 'Jock' Cunningham||8.00||The signature of Wallace 'Jock' Cunningham features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|Aircraft for : No.19 Sqn RAF|
|A list of all aircraft known to have been flown by No.19 Sqn RAF. A profile page including a list of all art prints for the aircraft is available by clicking the aircraft name.|
Manufacturer : Bristol
Number Built : 400
The Bristol Bulldog was a British Royal Air Force single-seat biplane fighter designed during the 1920s by The Bulldog was designed by Frank Barnwell, the Chief Designer of the Bristol company (or Bristol Aeroplane Company,) with over 400 Bulldogs produced, that arguably became the most famous aircraft during the RAF's inter-war period. The Bristol Bulldog never saw combat service with the RAF, though during the Abyssinia Crisis of 1935-36, Bristol Bulldogs were sent to the Sudan to reinforce Middle East Command. one interesting note. Douglas Bader,The second world war ace, lost both of his legs when his Bristol Bulldog crashed while he was performing unauthorised flying Aerobatics at Woodley airfield near Reading. The Bulldog was a Single-seat day and night fighter. All metal construction with fabric covering. Manufactured by Bristol Aeroplane Co. Ltd, Filton, Bristol. Her engine was a 490 hp Bristol Jupiter VIIF, with a max speed of 174mph and a ceiling of 27,000 ft. She had two synchronised Vickers 0.303in machine guns.
Manufacturer : de Havilland
Full profile not yet available.
Manufacturer : BAC
Production Began : 1959
Retired : 1988
Number Built : 278
English Electric (later BAC) Lightning. Originally designed by W F Petter (the designer of the Canberra) The first Lighting Prototype was first flown on the 4th August 1954 by Wing Commander R P Beamont at Boscombe Down. The second prototype P1A, The name of Lightning was not used until 1958) (WG763) was shown at the Farnborough show in September 1955. The Third prototype was flown in April 1957 and was the first British aircraft ever to fly at Mach 2 on the 25th November 1958 The first production aircraft made its first flight on 3rd November 1959 and entered operational service with the RAF on the 29th June 1960with |NO. 74 squadron based at Coltishall. The F1 was followed shortly after by the F1A which had been modified to carry a in-flight refueling probe. The Lightning F2 entered service in December 1962 with no 19 and 92 squadrons. a total of 44 aircraft F2 were built. The F3 came into service between 1964 and 1966 with Fighter Command squadrons, re engined with the Roll's Royce Avon 301 turbojets. The Lightning T Mk 5 was a training version Lightning a total of 22 were built between August 1964 and December 1966. The BAC Lighting F MK 6 was the last variant of the lightning, base don the F3, this was the last single seat fighter and served the |Royal Air Force for 20 years. First Flown on 17th April 1964, and a total of 55 F6 saw service with the Royal Air Force, and the last Lightning F6 was produced in August 1967. A Total of 278 lightning's of all marks were delivered. In 1974 the Phantom aircraft began replacing the aging Lightning's, but 2 F6 remained in service up to 1988 with Strike Command until finally being replaced with Tornado's. Specifications for MK1 to 4: Made by English Electrc Aviation Ltd at Preston and Samlesbury Lancashire, designated P1B, All Weather single seat Fighter. Max Speed: Mach 2.1 (1390 mph) at 36,000 feet Ceiling 55,000 feet Armament: Two 30mm Aden guns and Two Firestreak infra red AAM's. Specificaitons for MK 6: Made by English Electrc Aviation Ltd at Preston Lancashire, designated P1B, All Weather single seat Fighter. Max Speed: Mach 2.27 (1500 mph) at 40,000 feet Ceiling 55,000 feet Range: 800 miles. Armament: Two 30mm Aden guns and Two Firestreak infra red AAM's. or Two Red Top. or two retractable contain 24 spin-stabilized rockets each.
Manufacturer : Gloster
Production Began : 1944
Number Built : 3947
The Gloster Meteor was the first British jet fighter and the Allies' first operational jet. Designed by George Carter, and built by the Gloster Aircraft Company, Armstrong-Whitworth, the Meteor first flew in 1943 and commenced operations on 27 July 1944 with 616 Squadron of the Royal Air Force (RAF). The Gloster Meteor was not an aerodynamically advanced aircraft but the Gloster design team succeeded in producing an effective jet fighter that served the RAF and other air forces for decades. Meteors saw action with the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) in the Korean War and other air forces used the Meteor. The Royal Danish Air Force, The Belgian Air Force and Isreali Air Force kept the Meteor in service until the early 1970's. A Total of 3947 meteors were built and two Meteors, WL419 and WA638, remain in service with the Martin-Baker company as ejection seat testbeds.
Manufacturer : North American
The ubiquitous North American P-51 Mustang, which many consider to be the best all-around fighter of WW II, owes its origins to the British Air Ministry. Following Britains entry into WW II in 1939, the RAF was interested in purchasing additional fighter aircraft from American sources, particularly the Curtiss P-40. Curtiss, which was busy, was unable to guarantee timely delivery so the British approached North American Aviation as a possible second source for the P-40. North American chose to propose its own fighter design which would use the same Allison engine as the P-40. Utilizing new laminar flow wings, the North American fighter was expected to have performance better than the P-40. Developed in record time the new aircraft was designated as a Mustang I by the Brits, whereas the USAAF ordered two for evaluation which were designated XP-51 Apaches. Intrigued with the possibility of using this aircraft also as a dive bomber, North American proposed this to the USAAF which decided to order 500 of the P-51 aircraft to be modified for dive bombing use. Designated as the A-36 Invader, this version of the Mustang utilized dive flaps, and bomb racks under each wing. Some reinforcing of the structural members was also required because of the G-forces to be encountered in dive bombing. A-36s entered combat service with the USAAF prior to any P-51s. In early 1943 the 86th and 27th Fighter Bomber Groups of the 12th Air Force began flying A-36s out of Northern Africa. Despite some early problems with instability caused by the dive flaps, the A-36 was effective in light bombing and strafing roles. It was not, however, capable of dog fighting with German fighters, especially at higher altitudes. Despite these drawbacks one USAAF pilot, Captain Michael T. Russo, who served with the 16th Bomb Squadron of the 27th Fighter Bomber Group, was credited with five confirmed aerial victories in the A-36, thereby becoming the first mustang ace.
Manufacturer : McDonnell Douglas
Production Began : 1960
Retired : 1992
Number Built : 5195
The McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II is a tandem two-seat, twin-engined, all-weather, long-range supersonic jet interceptor fighter/fighter-bomber produced for the U.S. Navy by Mcdonnell Douglas. It became a major part of the United States Navy, Marine Corps and American Air Force. The Phantom F-4 saw service with all American forces during the Vietnam war serving as a fighter and ground attack aircraft. The Phantom first saw service in 1960 but continued in service until the 1980’s (being replaced by the F-15 and F-16 ) The last Phantoms saw service during the Gulf war in 1991 being used for reconnaissance. Other nations also used the Phantom to great success. The Israeli Air Force used them during various Arab-Israeli wars and the Phantom also saw service in the Iranian Air Force during the Iran Iraq War. Phantom production ran from 1958 to 1981, with a total of 5,195 built. The Royal Air Force and the Fleet Air Arm of the Royal Navy flew versions based on the F-4. The British Phantoms were powered by Rolls Royce Spey engines and also received British avionics, under the names pf Phantom FG.1 and Phantom FGR.2. The last British Phantoms served with 74 Squadron until they were dispanded in 1992.
Manufacturer : Supermarine
Production Began : 1936
Retired : 1948
Number Built : 20351
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.
|Signatures for : No.19 Sqn RAF|
|A list of all signatures from our database who are associated with this squadron. A profile page is available by clicking their name.|
Group Captain Sir Douglas Bader CBE, DSO*, DFC*
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by or with the mounted signature of Group Captain Sir Douglas Bader CBE, DSO*, DFC*
| Group Captain Sir Douglas Bader CBE, DSO*, DFC* |
One of the most famous fighter aces of World War Two, Douglas Bader joined the RAF in 1928. A fearless aerobatic flyer, his luck ran out when his aircraft crashed attempting a slow roll. He lost both legs, and his career in the RAF was, for the time being, over. At the outbreak of World War Two however, his persistence persuaded the RAF to let him fly again, this time with artificial legs. Joining 19 Squadron in February 1940, he soon scored his first victory. A brilliant fighter leader, he was given command of 242 Squadron - and led them throughout the Battle of Britain. Posted to Tangmere in 1941 Bader was one of the first Wing Leaders. Baders luck again ran out on August 9th 1941, when he was brought down over St Omer, France. Bader was taken prisoner, ending up in Colditz for the rest of the war. He scored 20 and shared 4 victories.
Wing Commander David Cox DFC
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by Wing Commander David Cox DFC
| Wing Commander David Cox DFC |
Ending the war with seven confirmed victories and as Wing Leader of 909 Spitfire Wing in Burma, Cox remembers an acerbic encounter with Bader as a young Sergeant Pilot. Bader made it very clear that the battle damage to his Spitfire was not excused by his having shot down the Bf 109 that caused it! Above all, however, he remembers Baders calmness on the radio when leading the Wing - it calmed evervone else. Cox, from Cambridge, an RAFVR pilot, originally failed the RAF medical, working for some months in Billingsgate market to build up his strength. He joined 19 Squadron at Duxford in 1940. He scored several victories during the Battle of Britain, but was shot down on September 27 1940 and wounded. Cox took part in many fighter sweeps with 19 Squadron in 1941 and was commissioned in July. After a spell instructing, Cox joined 72 Squadron in May 1942, accompanying it to North Affica where lie increased his score to a total of seven confirmed victories. On April 5 1945 he was posted to Burma. David Cox died 20th January 2004.
Flight Lieutenant Wallace Cunningham DFC
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by Flight Lieutenant Wallace Cunningham DFC
| Flight Lieutenant Wallace Cunningham DFC |
Wallace Cunningham, known as Jock during his time in the RAF, was born in Glasgow on December 4th 1916. He studied Engineering part-time at the Royal Technical College (later to become the University of Strathclyde) and joined the RAFVR in 1938, learning to fly at Prestwick. When war was declared he was commissioned. He did his flying training at 11 FTS, Shawbury. After converting to Spitfires at 5 OTU, Aston Down, he was posted to 19 Squadron in July 1940. Flew Spitfire Mk.I P8439. On 16th August 1940 he destroyed a Bf110. On September 7th the Duxford Wing of three squadrons flew its first offensive patrol under the leadership of Douglas Bader. The controversial Big Wing took off in the late afternoon to head towards London. A large force of enemy bombers, with their fighter escort, was intercepted and Cunningham shot down a Heinkel 111 bomber over Ramsgate and damaged a second. His next success came two days later when the Big Wing scrambled in the afternoon. After attacking a bomber force, Cunningham found a stray Messerschmitt Bf109, which he shot down. September 15th saw the most intensive fighting and the turning point of the Battle, with all fighter squadrons in the south of England scrambled. Cunningham shared in the destruction of a Bf110 and destroyed a second fighter over the Thames Estuary. Before the battle was over at the end of October, he shared in the destruction of two more enemy aircraft. In October he was awarded the DFC for great personal gallantry and splendid skill in action. After the Battle of Britain, Flight Lieutenant Cunningham remained with No.19 Sqn as a flight commander. In July 1941 he damaged a Bf109 but on August 28th, while escorting a force of Blenheim bombers, he was shot down by flak near Rotterdam and taken prisoner. Flight Lieutenant Cunningham was initially sent to Oflag XC at Lubeck before joining a large RAF contingent at Oflag VIB at Warburg. He was soon involved in escape activities. The tunnelling fraternity he joined was almost ready to break out when its efforts were discovered. Within weeks he was on the digging team of another tunnel and was one of 35 PoWs selected for the escape. But when the tunnel broke the surface on April 18 1942 it was well short of the intended spot. Only five prisoners were able to escape before the tunnel was discovered next morning. Later in the year Cunningham was transferred to Stalag Luft III. At the end of January 1945, the camp was evacuated and the PoWs were forced to march westwards in atrocious winter weather. In late April, British forces liberated the prisoners and Cunningham was flown back to England. He was released from the RAF in 1946. Sadly Wallace Cunningham passed away on October 4th 2011.
Group Captain Byron Duckenfield AFC
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by or with the mounted signature of Group Captain Byron Duckenfield AFC
| Group Captain Byron Duckenfield AFC |
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 :
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 Taffy Higginson
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| Wing Commander Taffy Higginson |
Frederick William Higginson was born into a Welsh-speaking family at Gorseinon, near Swansea, where his father was a policeman. He attended Gorseinon Grammar School until beginning his apprenticeship with the RAF. Enlisting in 1929 at the age of 16, Taffy Higginson served as a fitter and air gunner with No.7 Sqn until 1935, when he was accepted for flight training. After qualifying as a pilot, he initially flew with No.19 Sqn before transferring to No.56 Sqn on Hurricanes. By June 1941 he had tallied a score of 12 victories. On June 17th, 1941, he was shot down by anti-aircraft fire over Dunkirk while escorting bombers returning from an operation over Lille. With considerable height in hand, he was able to bale out safely and guide his parachute to land in a wood near a railway. Having a map, he established that he was about 12 miles northwest of Fauquembergues but he had lost one of his boots in ejecting from his Hurricane. Limping along, he was overtaken by two German soldiers on a motorcycle combination sent out to find him. His capture appeared certain but the abrupt appearance of a low-flying Luftwaffe aircraft distracted the soldier driving the motorcycle, enabling Higginson to wrench over the handlebars, crash the machine into a ditch and make off in the confusion. He hid in the wood until after dark and then made his way to a hut on the edge, where he sought assistance from the owner. Confident of his limited French, he ordered a glass of beer, paid for it with money provided by the French farmer and hitched a lift with a lorry driver who took him to a local garage whose owner had contacts with an escape line for British airmen. After a series of adventures, Higginson crossed into Vichy- controlled France and made contact with the MI9 escape line run by the Belgian doctor Albert-Marie Guérisse, alias “Pat O’Leary”. While attempting to cross into Spain with an Australian escaped prisoner of war, he was stopped and arrested by Vichy French frontier guards and interned in Fort de la Revère near Nice. Thanks to the efforts of Guérisse, he escaped from there and was eventually taken off the French Mediterranean coast by a Polish-manned trawler operating out of Gibraltar under the auspices of the Special Operations Executive. He was landed at Greenock on October 5, 1942, and rejoined No 56 Squadron shortly afterwards. He was awarded the DFC in 1943. After the war he served with Headquarters 11 Group, attended the RAF Staff course at Bracknell and also graduated from the Army Staff College, Camberley. He resigned from the RAF in 1956 to join the Bristol aircraft manufacturers at Filton, where the company was developing the ground-to-air rocket-powered defensive system, Bloodhound. In 1963 he joined the board of Bristol and was appointed OBE for services to industry that year. Sadly Frederick William Higginson passed away on 12th February 2003, aged 89.
Flight Lieutenant Richard L Jones
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by Flight Lieutenant Richard L Jones
| Flight Lieutenant Richard L Jones |
Richard Jones was born in 1918 and in July 1940 Richard Jones was posted to 64 Squadron at Kenley, flying Spitfires. He was involved in heavy fighting over the Channel during the Battle of Britain, with the squadron suffering many losses during July and August. Towards the end of the Battle of Britain, in October, he moved to 19 Squadron flying Spitfires from Fowlmere, and was heavily involved in the fighter sweeps taking place at that time. Near the end of the Battle of Britain, Pilot Officer Richard Jones was shot down during a dogfight over Kent with Me 109s. Jones crash landed his Spitfire in a field, colliding with a flock of sheep - he would go on to write in his log book Crashed into a load of sheep. What a bloody mess!After the Battle of Britain, Richard Jones became a test pilot for De Havilland at Witney in Oxfordshire, and test flew thousands of Hawker Hurricanes and other types, including civil types. After the war Richard Jones joined the RAFVR and started a long career in the motor industry. Sadly Richard Jones passed away on 7th March 2012.
Flight Lieutenant Colin Parkinson DFC
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by or with the mounted signature of Flight Lieutenant Colin Parkinson DFC
| Flight Lieutenant Colin Parkinson DFC |
Australian Colin Parkinson joined the RAAF in 1940, arriving in England to join 19 Squadron flyin Spitfires. In March 1942 he shot down a Do217. In May he was posted to Malta, flying his Spitfire off HMS Eagle on 9th June, with 602 Squadron. After scoring several victories he flew to Gibraltar to lead in further Spitfires, taking off from HMS Furious to the island on 17th August. Commissioned, he now flew with 229 Squadron. On 9th October with Winco Donaldson and Screwball Beurling, he performed a low level beat up and acrobatics over the presentation of the George Cross to the people of Malta. He ended his tour of Malta in November 1942 with the DFC and 10.5 victories, plus probably 2 more. Colin Parkinson passed away aged 89 on 31st March 2006.
Wing Commander Gordon Sinclair OBE DFC
Click the name above to see prints signed by Wing Commander Gordon Sinclair OBE DFC
| Wing Commander Gordon Sinclair OBE DFC |
A short service commission officer, Sinclair joined 19 Squadron as early as 1937 and was still with the Squadron in 1940. Over Dunkirk he destroyed a Bf 109 and probably another, and then on June 1 he destroyed two Bf 110s and on a later patrol the same day he claimed a He 111 and a Do 17 destroyed. He was awarded the DFC. He knew Bader well during his stay with 19 Squadron when Bader often flew as his No 2. Sinclair remembers his forceful personality, but also that he was great fun. They often played golf and squash together. In June 1940 Sinclair was posted as Flight Commander to 310 Squadron at Drixford and was soon to fly with that Squadron as part of the Duxford Wing, led by Douglas Bader. His final score was 10 confirmed victories. He later commanded 56 Squadron on Typhoons before promotion to Wing Commander and a post on the staff of HO 84 Group. Sinclair retired from the RAF in 1957. He died on 26th June 2005.
John Spencer CBE AFC
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| John Spencer CBE AFC |
Commanded No 11 Squadron and was last Commander of Royal Air Force Binbrook. Also served on No 74, 23, 92, 19 Squadrons and the Lightning OCU at RAF Coltishall
Flt Lt Pete Underwood
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| Flt Lt Pete Underwood |
Pete Underwood joined the RAF Officer Training College Cranwell in 1980. His first operational tour was from 1984 to 1986 on the Phantom FGR2, 19 Squadron, RAF Wildenrath in Germany. He was detached to No.23 Sqn for a 6-month duty in the Falkland Islands during this tour. His second operational tour was from 1986 to 1989 on the Phantom FG1, 111 Sqn, RAF Leuchars. After this tour he was posted to RAF Brawdy as a Tactics and Weapons Instructor on the Hawk TMk1. When RAF Brawdy closed he moved on to RAF Chivenor as OC Weapons Instruction Flight on the Hawk TMk1. He now flies as Captain on the Airbus A320/321 with Monarch Airlines Ltd.
Wing Commander George Grumpy Unwin, DSO, DFM*
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| Wing Commander George Grumpy Unwin, DSO, DFM* |
George Unwin joined the RAF in 1929, and in 1936 was posted to Duxford with 19 Squadron as a Sergeant Pilot. He was one of the first pilots in the RAF to fly the Spitfire. With the outbreak of war 19 Squadron moved to Hornchurch and George, now one of the Squadrons most experienced pilots, took part in the great air battles over France and Dunkirk, scoring 3 and a half victories. He flew with 19 Squadron continuously during the whole of the Battle of Britain. He was commissioned in 1941. After a period instructing, he resumed operations, flying Mosquitoes with 16 Squadron. George finished the war with 13 victories, 2 shared, 2 unconfirmed, and 2 probables. He died 28th June 2006.
Air Marshal Sir William Wratten KBE, CB, AFC, FRAeS
Click the name above to see prints signed by Air Marshal Sir William Wratten KBE, CB, AFC, FRAeS
| Air Marshal Sir William Wratten KBE, CB, AFC, FRAeS |
Air Marshal Wratten joined the RAF as a Cranwell Cadet, graduating in December 1960. He completed the CFS course the following year and went on to instruct as a first-tour QFI on Vampire T11s at Oakington and Swinderby. The Air Marshal converted onto Lightning at Middleton-St-George in 1963 before serving on 19 Squadron from 1964 to 1968, first at Leconfield and later Gutersloh. In 1968 Air Marshal Wratten converted to Phantoms at Davis-Monthan AFB, USA, and then instructed on 288 (Phantom) OCU from 1968 to 1970. He was posted in 1971 as Flight Commander on 17 Squadron at RAF Bruggen, operating the Phantom in the Strike / Attack role. Returning to the UK in 1973, he joined the staff on HQ 38 Group before attending the RAF Staff College in 1974. He then joined the OR staff at the Minstry of Defence for a brief spell before being promoted to Wing Commander and, in 1975 taking command of 23 Squadron with the Phantom in AD role. On completing his tour as Officer Commanding 23 Squadron, Air Marshal Wratten was posted to the Air Secretarys staff at Barnwood before being promoted to Group Captain in 1980 and taking command of RAF Coningsby. In June 1982 he moved to the Falkland Islands to form and command RAF Stanley. After attending RCDS in 1983, the Air Marshal became one of the two Directors OR (Air) being concerned with future RAF aircraft (except Nimrod AEW) and offensive weapons systems. In September 1986 he was appointed SASO HQ 1 Group, a post he held until becoming AOC 11 Group on 17th March 1989. Between 14th November 1990 and 22nd March 1991, Air Marshal Wratten was detached to HQ British Forces Middle East in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, where he held the appointments of Air Commander and Deputy British Forces Commander Middle East during the Gulf conflict. In recognition of this service he received a Knighthood in the Operation GRANBY Honours List. On 19th September 1991, Sir William was promoted to Air Marshal prior to taking up his appointment as Director General Saudi Armed Forces Project.
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