TIME FOR HEROES By
Band of Brothers Part IV: Royal
Air Force and Royal Navy Fighter Pilots of World War II
Royal Air Force and Royal Navy fighter aircrews flew combat throughout
the six long years of World War Two. At the outbreak of war in 1939 four
RAF Hurricane squadrons and two equipped with Gladiators went immediately
to France where in short time New Zealander "Cobber" Kain became
the first Allied Ace of the war. In April 1940 Hurricanes and Gladiators
saw action in Norway, when Rhodesian Caesar Hull of 263 Squadron became
the second air Ace. By the fall of France the new Spitfire joined in the
great air battles over the Channel as the British Expeditionary Force
evacuated Dunkirk. Bob Stanford -Tuck, Douglas Bader, Peter Townsend,
Sailor Malan, and many other great Aces gained their first victories,
but with German forces massing on the French coast, the invasion of Britain
looked imminent. Only RAF Fighter Command stood in Hitler's way. By July,
the most famous of all air battles had begun. The next three months, under
glorious summer skies, saw the most decisive and continual aerial fighting
in history. The British victory in the Battle of Britain was to fundamentally
change the course of the war and, ultimately, the course of history. But
there were four and a half more years of air battles still to be fought
and won -from the English Channel Front to the North African desert, from
the Mediterranean to Far East Asia. It fell to Fleet Air Arm pilots to
see the last air fighting for British and Commonwealth pilots, by then
equipped with Seafires and American Corsairs and Hellcats, as they took
part in the final assaults on the Japanese mainland. As the last embers
of hostilities faded into history the centuries old doctrine of maritime
supremacy had gone. Now the aircraft ruled. In his masterful painting
A Time For Heroes Robert Taylor pays tribute to the World War II fighter
aircrews of the RAF and Fleet Air Arm. A panoramic scene from the era
of the Battle of Britain shows Mk I Spitfires of 234 Squadron, 10 Group's
top scoring squadron, returning to St. Eval after intercepting heavy raids
on south coast ports during the heaviest fighting, in September 1940.
St. Michael's Mount, the castle built on the site of a 14th Century monastery
to defend Britain's shores from earlier enemies, provides a symbolic backdrop
as once again a band of brothers is called upon to defend their Sceptred
Overall Print Size 31" x 23"
Battle of Britain Portfolio
main print signed by 3 Battle of Britain pilots; Group Captain Tom Dalton
Morgan DSO DFC* OBE, Wing Commander Bob Doe DSO DFC*, Wing Commander George
'Grumpy' Unwin DSO DFM*.
See details of the signatories below
SIGNED AND NUMBERED PRINTS -
Fighter Pilots Edition - 9 signatures and
1 companion print
4 additional RAF Fighter pilots signing the main print, and two Fleet
Air Arm pilots signing the exclusive Hurricane companion print 'Preparing
Leader Neville Duke DSO OBE DFC* AFC CzMC, Wing Commander John Freeborn
DFC*, Flight Lieutenant John Squier, Squadron Leader Mahinder Pujji DFC,
for Action signed by Commander
Mike Crossley DSC* Royal Navy, Lieutenant Commander Peter Meadway Royal
250 Signed and Numbered prints -
25 Artist Proofs
Veterans Edition - 14
signatures and 2 companion prints
Veterans Edition comprises of all the signatures and componants of the
'Fighter Pilots Edition' and is issued with the superb collectors print
'Lone Gladiator' (specially matted and ready to frame), from an exquisite
drawing by Robert Taylor, which is signed by 5 great fighter leaders of
World War II. The main print also has extra signatures.
extra signatures by Air Marshal Sir Denis Crowley-Milling, Air Commodore
See details of the signatories below
Gladiator signed by Air Vice Marshal Johnnie Johnson CB CBE DSO** DFC*,
Wing Commander Harbourne Stephen CBE DSO DFC, Group Captain Peter Townsend
CVO DSO DFC.
TOTAL OF 14 SIGNATURES.
VETERANS PROOFS - £450 inc vat (£382.98+vat)
Orders from outside the European Union are free of vat
Group Captain TOM DALTON MORGAN DSO DFC* OBE
Tom joined the RAF in 1935, serving with 22 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 in August he was hit by crossfire, baling out with slight
wounds. He soon resumed flying but was again wounded on 6 September. Ten
days later he was promoted to command 43 Squadron. 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, he was
then Operations Officer with the 2nd TAF until the end of the war.
Wing Commander BOB DOE DSO DFC*
Posted to 234 Squadron in November 1939. and 238 Squadron in September
1940. Bob Doe achieved great success during the Battle of Britain, scoring
14 and 3 shared victories. He was one of the few pilots to fly both the
Hurricane and Spitfire. In October he was shot down, but rejoined the
squadron soon after, however in January 1941 he suffered engine failure
and was forced to crash land, suffering severe injuries resulting in plastic
surgery. Able to resume operational flying in May 1941, he joined 66 Squadron,
moving to 130 Squadron in August. In July 1943 he joined 118 Squadron.
then 613 Squadron flying Mustangs. In October he was posted to the Far
East to form 10 Squadron Indian Air Force on Hurricanes, which he led
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 Squadron’s most experienced
pilots, took part in the great air battles over France and Dunkirk, scoring
3½ 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 Mosquitos with 16 Squadron.
George finished the war with 13 victories, 2 shared, 2 unconfirmed, and
Squadron Leader NEVLLLE DUKE DSO OBE DFC* AFC CzMC
Neville Duke flew Spitfires as wingman to ‘Sailor Malan in 92 Squadron.
November 1941 he was posted to 112 Squadron in the Middle East. After
asecond tour in the Desert, he flew a third tour, with 145 Squadron in
Italy. Hewas the top scoring Allied Ace in the Mediterranean with 28 victories.
After the war, in 1953, he captured the World Air Speed record.
Wing Commander JOHN FREEBORN DFC*
Johnnie Freeborn flew Spitfires with 74 Squadron over Dunkirk, and was
in action throughout the Battle of Britain, he had been with his Squadron
longer, and flown more hours. than any other Battle of Britain pilot.
He joined 602 Squadron in 1942, and commanded 118 Squadron in June 1943.
In June 1944 he was promoted Wing Commander Flying of 286 Wing in Italy.
John Freeborn scored 17 victories.
Commander MIKE CROSSLEY DSC* Royal Navy (Companion Print). ~ ~ Fleet
Air Arm Ace Mike Crossley joined the carrier HMS Eagle in 1941, flying
Sea Hurricanes in defence of the Malta convoys. In August 1942 he was
lucky to escape when 'Eagle' was sunk by a U-boat. He joined 'HMS Biter'
flying Sea Hurricanes in Operation Torch, and Seafires during D-Day. He
finished the war in the Far East, an Ace with 5½ victories.
Flight Lieutenant JOHN SQUIER
John Squier was called up from the RAFVR at the outbreak of war, joining
64 Squadron at Kenley in June 1940 flying Spitfires. In August he crash-landed
following an attack by Hannes Trautloft of III. JG51, suffering severe
injuries. Rejoining 64 Squadron in November, he was posted to 72 Squadron,
then 603 Squadron, and finally 141 Squadron. He was commissioned in 1942.
After the war he became a test pilot and was the first pilot to eject
at supersonic speed.
Lieutenant Commander PETER MEADWAY Royal Navy (Companion Print) Peter
Meadway joined the Royal Navy in 1939, and was posted as Observer to 825
Squadron FAA flying Swordfish from HMS Furious. Transferring to 810 Squadron
FAA on HMS Ark Royal he took part in the successful torpedo attac- on
the German battleship Bismarck on the night of 26/27 May 1941, and was
witness to her sinkine the following day.
Squadron Leader MAHINDER PUJJI DFC
In 1940 Mahinder, a qualified pilot flying for Shell in India, volunteered
to join the RAF and was commissioned as Pilot Officer. Arriving in England,
posted to 43 Squadron and then ‘58 Squadron at Kenley, flying both
Hurricanes and Spitfires. Later posted to the Western Desert, then to
India, and finally to Burma, where he completed two tours against the
Air Commodore PETER BROTHERS CBE DSO DFC*
Pete Brothers flew in the Battles of France and Dunkirk. During the Battle
of Britain he flew with Bob Stanford Tuck at 257 Squadron. In 1941 he
formed 457 Squadron RAAF, and later led 602 Squadron on the Dieppe Raid.
He was then Spitfire Wing Leader at Tangmere, and later given command
of the Culmhead Wing for the Normandy Invasion. He finished the war with
Air Marshal SIR DENIS CROWLEY-MILLLNG KCB CBE DSO DFC AE
At the outbreak of war he was called up, joining 615 Squadron in France,
later posted to 242 Squadron in the fighting over Dunkirk. During the
Battle of Britain he flew in Douglas Bader’s section. and joined
his Spitfire Wing at Tangmere as a Flight Commander of 610 Squadron. In
1942 he formed the first Typhoon Bomber Squadron. He finished the war
with 5 victories.
Air Vice-Marshal JOHNNIE JOHNSON CB CBE DSO** DFC*
The top-scoring Allied Ace of World War II with 38 victories, Johnnie
Johnson had joined 92 Squadron in August 1940. He flew with Douglas Bader
in the famous Tangmere Wing, and then led 610 Squadron on the Dieppe Raid.
After commanding the Canadian Wing at Kenley, he led 144 Wing again flying
Spitfires. 127 Wing, and then 125 Wing.
Wing Commander HARBOURNE STEPHEN CBE DSO DFC
Flying Spitfires with 74 Squadron, Harbourne took part in the great air
battles over France and Dunkirk. With 7 victories already to his credit
he was in the thick of the Battle of Britain, and by the end of 1940 this
talented Spitfire Ace had accumulated 22½ air victories. After
forming 130 Squadron, he then led 234 Squadron, and later commanded 166
Wing in the Far East.
Group Captain PETER TOWNSEND CVO DSO DFC
Peter Townsend was one of the most inspirational fighter leaders of the
Battle of Britain. In February 1940, flying a Hurricane, he had shot down
the first German
aircraft to fall on English soil in World War II, and this was the first
of a string of successes for the popular commander of 85 Squadron. Shot
down twice, wounded, and flying part of the Battle when he couldn’t
walk. Peter Townsend survived to lead the first night-fighter squadron.
He later became Equerry to King George VI. a post he held for 8 years.
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