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No.601 Sqn RAF - Squadron Profile.

No.601 Sqn RAF

Founded : 14th October 1925
Country : UK
Fate : Disbanded 10th March 1957
Known Aircraft Codes : UF, HT, YN

County of London (Auxiliary)

No.601 Sqn RAF

No.601 Sqn RAF Artwork Collection
Click the images below to view the fantastic artwork we have available to purchase!



Tangmere Hurricanes by Nicolas Trudgian.


Stung by the Wasp by Stan Stokes.

Aces for : No.601 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.
NameVictoriesInfo
Hugh Spencer Leslie Dundas11.00The signature of Hugh Spencer Leslie Dundas features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.
John Bisdee8.00The signature of John Bisdee features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.
Aircraft for : No.601 Sqn RAF
A list of all aircraft known to have been flown by No.601 Sqn RAF. A profile page including a list of all art prints for the aircraft is available by clicking the aircraft name.
SquadronInfo

Airacobra


Click the name above to see prints featuring Airacobra aircraft.

Manufacturer : Bell

Airacobra

In early 1937, Bell Aircraft presented a revolutionary fighter design to the USAAC, the P-39 Airacobra. Incorporating machine guns and the most powerful cannon available, the new design by Robert Woods, utilized many revolutionary design features. The all-metal, low wing, monoplane design utilized a centrally located engine in the fuselage, a feature which enhanced maneuverability. A nine foot shaft ran through the cockpit to drive the propeller. Woods design was the first fighter to incorporate a forward tricycle landing gear, which gave the P-39 pilot great visibility while on the ground. The first prototype flew in 1938. Equipped with a supercharged Allison water-cooled V-12 rated at 1,150-HP, the prototype performed admirably. It exhibited a top speed of 390-MPH, and an amazingly quick rate of climb. Unfortunately for the Airacobra, the USAAC decided to eliminate the supercharged engine from the project, a move which would relegate the Airacobra to the distinction of being Americas forgotten fighter of WW II.

Blenheim


Click the name above to see prints featuring Blenheim aircraft.

Manufacturer : Bristol

Blenheim

The Bristol Blenheim, the most plentiful aircraft in the RAFs inventory when WWII began, was designed by Frank Barnwell, and when first flown in 1936 was unique with its all metal monoplane design incorporating a retractable undercarriage, wing flaps, metal props, and supercharged engines. A typical bomb load for a Blenheim was 1,000 pounds. In the early stages of the war Blenheims were used on many daylight bombing missions. While great heroism was displayed by the air crews, tremendous losses were sustained during these missions. The Blenhiem was easy pickings at altitude for German Bf-109 fighters who quickly learned to attack from below. To protect the vulnerable bellies of the Blenheims many missions were shifted to low altitude, but this increased the aircrafts exposure to anti-aircraft fire.

Gauntlet


Click the name above to see prints featuring Gauntlet aircraft.

Manufacturer : Gloster

Gauntlet

Full profile not yet available.

Hurricane




Click the name above to see prints featuring Hurricane aircraft.

Manufacturer : Hawker
Production Began : 1936
Number Built : 14533

Hurricane

Royal Air Force Fighter, the Hawker Hurricane had a top speed of 320mph, at 18,200 feet and 340mph at 17,500, ceiling of 34,200 and a range of 935 miles. The Hurricane was armed with eight fixed wing mounted .303 browning machine guns in the Mark I and twelve .303 browning's in the MKIIB in the Hurricane MKIIC it had four 20mm cannon. All time classic fighter the Hurricane was designed in 1933-1934, the first prototype flew in June 1936 and a contract for 600 for the Royal Air Force was placed. The first production model flew ion the 12th October 1937 and 111 squadron of the Royal Air Force received the first Hurricanes in January 1938. By the outbreak of World war two the Royal Air Force had 18 operational squadrons of Hurricanes. During the Battle of Britain a total of 1715 Hurricanes took part, (which was more than the rest of the aircraft of the Royal air force put together) and almost 75% of the Victories during the Battle of Britain went to hurricane pilots. The Hawker Hurricane was used in all theatres during World war two, and in many roles. in total 14,533 Hurricanes were built.

Martinet


Click the name above to see prints featuring Martinet aircraft.


Martinet

Full profile not yet available.

Oxford


Click the name above to see prints featuring Oxford aircraft.

Manufacturer : Airspeed

Oxford

Full profile not yet available.

Spitfire




Click the name above to see prints featuring Spitfire aircraft.

Manufacturer : Supermarine
Production Began : 1936
Retired : 1948
Number Built : 20351

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.
Signatures for : No.601 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.
NameInfo

Squadron Leader Percival H. Beake DFC
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by Squadron Leader Percival H. Beake DFC
Squadron Leader Percival H. Beake DFC

Joining the RAFVR in April 1939, Percival Beake was mobilised at the outbreak of war. Posted to 64 Squadron on Spitfires in the summer of 1940 at the height of the Battle of Britain, he flew with them until June 1941 when he was posted first to 92 Squadron at Biggin Hill, and then 601 Squadron at Duxford. After a spell instructing he returned for his second tour in December 1942, joining 193 Squadron as a Flight Commander. In May 1944 he took command of 164 Squadron at Thorney Island flying Typhoons, moving to France shortly after the Normandy Invasion. With two victories to his credit he was awarded the DFC in September 1944.

Starting with 6th August 1944 my log book records that a successful attack was carried out on an enemy strong point in a quarry and that on the following morning I flew home on a very rare 48 hour leave. For a few days after my return we had only one specific target - an enemy dump which we effectively bombarded with rockets on 11th August - so we were deployed on armed reconnaissances. After landing from one of these on 13th August my Wing Commander, Walter Dring, called me to his caravan and said - Beaky, you have just done your last op. You are not to fly again and that is an order, until returning to the UK. I am arranging for your relief as soon as possible. - I was absolutely stunned and my lasting memory of that period is not of carnage but of acute embarrassment at having been grounded. I just hated sending the squadron up without myself leading and remember making frequent calls to the met office hoping to get forecasts of filthy weather that would make operational flying impossible. In the event, my relief, Squadron Leader Ian Waddy, was shot down by flak within two or three days of taking over command, so maybe Wally Dring had some sort of premonition that prompted my grounding.



Group Captain John Bisdee OBE DFC
Click the name above to see prints signed by or with the mounted signature of Group Captain John Bisdee OBE DFC

21 / 10 / 2000Died : 21 / 10 / 2000
21 / 10 / 2000Ace : 8.00 Victories
Group Captain John Bisdee OBE DFC

John Derek Bisdee was born on November 20th 1915 at Weston-Super-Mare, and educated at Marlborough. He joined the RAF Voluntary Reserve, and began the war as a sergeant pilot. His combat career started while with 609 (West Riding) squadron RAAF, flying Spitfires when the squadron was moved from Edinburgh to Drem in December 1939. They participated in the air cover of the evacuation of the BEF form Dunkirk. John Bisdee destroyed six aircraft between July 1940 and July 1941, including an Me110 during an eventful day n August 1940 when they attacked a strong Luftwaffe force of 45 JU88s escorted by many Me109s and Me110s. In July 1941 he became instructor at No 61 Operational training unit. While here he had a small speaking roll in the classic wartime film The First of the Few. John Bisdee became commander of 601 (County of London) auxiliary Spitfire squadron and embarked (along with 603 (Edinburgh) Squadron) for Malta on board the US carrier Wasp. While off Algiers 47 Spitfires took of for Malta. and almost immedniatly upon arriving took part in combat. John Bisdee shot down JU88. He himself had to bail out. with a damaged parachute dangling by one leg, he had to disentangle himself as he fell, managing just in time and landing in the sea, paddling his way 6 miles in his dinghy to Malta. in June 1942 the squadron went to Egypt. In August John Bisdee became flight training officer at the Middle East Headquarters, Cairo, moving in 1943 as Wing Commander for day fighters in Tunisia. In July 1943, after the capture of the island of Lampedusa, halfway between Malta and Sicily, Bisdee was appointed its governor - the first governor in liberated Europe, as he liked to claim. Returning to North Africa, Bisdee trained Free French pilots at Bone. Later, after a brief spell in Corsica, he commanded No 322 Wing at Bone. In 322 Wing wre three Spitfire squadrons, a Beaufighter Squadron a Wellington Squadon used in anti shipping role and an Air Sea Rescue unit. Group Captain John Bisdee left the Royal Air Force in 1945 with his offcial score of 8 but it is likely there were a few others. Sadly John Bidee died at the age of 84 on the 21st October 2000. Group Captain John Bisdee was awarded the DFC in 1941 and appointed OBE in 1943.




Group Captain Sir Hugh Dundas CBE DSO DFC DI
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by or with the mounted signature of Group Captain Sir Hugh Dundas CBE DSO DFC DI

10 / 7 / 1995Died : 10 / 7 / 1995
10 / 7 / 1995Ace : 11.00 Victories
Group Captain Sir Hugh Dundas CBE DSO DFC DI

Hugh Dundas was born on the 2nd of July 1920 in Doncaster. Hugh Dundas, like his elder brother John, became fascinated by the idea of flying from childhood, and straight after leaving Stowe School in 1938 joined the Auxiliary Air Force. As a pre-war member of the Royal Auxiliary Air Force, Hugh Dundas was called up early in the war, serving with 616 Squadron. After a promising start as a fighter pilot, Dundas was shot down on 22nd August and wounded during the Battle of Britian, but returned to his squadron in September 1940. His brother John, a 12 victory ace with No.609 Squadron, was killed in action in November 1940 after shooting down the top—scoring German Luftwaffe ace at the time, Helmut Wick. In early 1941 he was at Tangmere and came under the command of Wing Commander Douglas Bader. Dundas became one of the leading members of that Wing and frequently flew with Bader, gradually building his reputation as a fighter pilot and tactician. After receiving the DFC, Dundas became Flight Commander in 610 Squadron. December 1941 brought another promotion as commanding officer of 56 Squadron, the first in the RAF to be converted to Typhoons. Posted to the Mediterranean in 1943, he led 244 Spitfire Wing from Malta and later Italy. In 1944, Dundas was awarded the DSO and became one of the youngest Group Captains in the RAF. For some years after the war, Dundas served once more with the RAuxAF during which time he became CO of 601 Squadron. His war time score was 4 destroyed, 6 shared destroyed, 2 shared probables, and 2 and 1 shared damaged. After the war had ended Dundas served with the RAuxAF as CO of No.601 Squadron and was the air correspondent for the Daily Express newspaper. In 1961 he joined Rediffusion ltd becoming a Director in 1966, and Chairman of Thames Television unitl 1987, when he was knighted. In 1989 he served as High Sheriff of Surrey. Sir Hugh Dundas died on 10th July 1995 at the age of 74.



Wing Commander Peter Dunning-White DFC
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by Wing Commander Peter Dunning-White DFC

27 / 12 / 2008Died : 27 / 12 / 2008
Wing Commander Peter Dunning-White DFC

Joining 601 Squadron in 1938, Peter Dunning-White was called up to full-time service in August 1939, being posted to 29 Squadron in May 1940, then a few weeks later to 145 Squadron at Westhampnett, flying Hurricanes. He was soon in action over the Channel, sharing in the destruction of an HeIll on 18 July. Transferring to 615 Squadron in March 1941, on 15 April his victory over an Me109 confirmed him as an Ace. In 1942 he was attached to 409 Squadron RCAF, and then to 255 Squadron on Beaufighters. He went to North West Africa with this squadron, being made Flight Commander in March 1943. In July 1944 he was posted to 100 Group, Bomber Command. Sadly, he died on 27th December 2008.



Flt Lt Archibald McInnes
Click the name above to see prints signed by Flt Lt Archibald McInnes
Flt Lt Archibald McInnes

Commissioned as a Pilot in 1940 with 601 Sqn and later moved to 238 Sqn, completing his service with this Squadron.



Flight Lieutenant Eric Moore AE
Click the name above to see prints signed by Flight Lieutenant Eric Moore AE
Flight Lieutenant Eric Moore AE

Originally serving in the Army, he was involved in the Battle of Dunkirk before volunteering for the RAF in 1941 and joining 501 Sqn on Spitfires. Spending time in the Middle East and West Africa, he also spent time with 601 Sqn




Sqn Ldr Hugh Parry
Click the name above to see prints signed by Sqn Ldr Hugh Parry
Sqn Ldr Hugh Parry

Hugh Parry joined the RAF from Northern Rhodesia in December 1939, and after training in England was posted in February 1941 to join 260 Squadron flying Hurricanes. In April he transferred to 266 Squadron flying first Spitfires and then Typhoons. In March 1943 he went to Malta with 601 Squadron on the USS Wasp, flying the Spitfire Vc, where he remained until July. After a spell as a test pilot, he returned to combat with 41 Squadron flying Spitfire MkXIIs. On 24th September 1943 he was shot down near Beauvais and managed to evade capture for the next five months until he was eventually captured by the Gestapo in Paris. After a month in prison he was sent to Stalag Luft III until the end of the war.




Tony Pickering AFC
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by Tony Pickering AFC
Tony Pickering AFC

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



Squadron Leader Arthur Bill Pond AFC
Click the name above to see prints signed by Squadron Leader Arthur Bill Pond AFC
Squadron Leader Arthur Bill Pond AFC

Pilot of No.601 Sqn.



Squadron Leader Christopher Riddle
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by Squadron Leader Christopher Riddle

8 / 8 / 2009Died : 8 / 8 / 2009
Squadron Leader Christopher Riddle

Christopher John Henry Riddle, known throughout his life as Jack, was born in Buckinghamshire on 4th April 1914. He attended Harrow School from 1928 to 1931. He joined 601 Squadron, Auxiliary Air Force in early 1938 and was called to full-time service in October 1939. When 601 was formed in the early Thirties as part of the bolstering of Britains air defences its founder, Lord Edward Grosvenor, stipulated that all the pilots should be members of the London club Whites (as he was). With war looming this tradition could not be allowed to inhibit the induction of suitable candidates but Jack did have to run the gauntlet of dinner with Sir Philip Sassoon, who held a senior position in the Air Ministry and was Honorary head of 601. Presumably he reported favourably on Jack. In the early stages of the Battle of Britain, 601 were required to mount early-morning standing patrols over convoys in the Channel. If there was no enemy activity these could be extremely tedious. As the time approached for the patrol to return to Tangmere each pilot would radio in turn his requirements for breakfast - egg, sausage, bacon....etc etc.... This practice came to the attention of a senior officer who forbade this frivolous use of official channels. Jack said that it was rumoured that Churchill had heard of this for permission to continue the habit arrived, this supposedly gave German eavesdroppers the impression that our airmen were well fed and ready to do battle. Over Dunkirk, on 27th May 1940, Riddle probably destroyed a Me110. He shared a Me110 on 11th July and a Do17 on 4th September. In January 1941 Riddle was posted to HQ 10 Group as a Sector Controller. Later in the war he was in the Far East at HQ Air Command South East Asia, in Ceylon and later Singapore. Riddle was released from the RAF in 1946 as a Squadron Leader. He was later with an international trading group and his main work was buying Baltic timber for the Australian market. Riddle later had his own textile company. Jack Riddle passed away on 8th August 2009, aged 95.


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