Mk1B Typhoons of 247 Squadron, based at Eindhoven, are shown making a low-level attack against enemy river transport on the Rhine in November, 1944. Led by Squadron Leader B.G. ‘Stapme’ Stapleton, the 247 pilots continue their attack along the valley, strafing German
transport and other targets of opportunity. The canvas is signed on the reverse by Typhoon pilots:- Air Commodore 'Kit' North-Lewis,
Squadron Leader Basil 'Stapme' Stapleton and Flight Lieutenant Basil 'Tatters' Tatham.
Oil on canvas 22" x 36"
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Air Commodore D.C. Kit North-Lewis DSO DFC
Joining the Army, 'Kit' North-Lewis transferred to the RAF in 1940. In August 1941 he was posted to 13 Squadron flying Blenheims, and then to 26 Squadron on P-51 Mustangs. In February 1944 he joined 182 Squadron as a Flight Commander on Typhoons. A few months later he was posted to command 181 Squadron, which he led into France after D-Day as part of 124 Typhoon Wing.
In August 1944 he was promoted to Wing Leader of 124 Wing, which he commanded until the end of the war.
Squadron Leader Basil 'Stapme' Stapleton DFC
'Stapme' was flying Spitfires with 603 Squadron at the outbreak of war, and flew with them throughout the Battle of Britain, becoming an Ace with seven victories. In 1942 he flew Hurricanes for the Merchant Ship Fighter Unit on Atlantic convoys, before joining 257 Squadron as Flight Commander on Typhoons. In August 1944 he was given command of the squadron, taking part in operations around Arnhem. In December 1944 he was shot down while attacking a train, and taken prisoner.
Flight Lieutenant Basil 'Tatters' Tatham.
Basil was training in the Battle of Britain, but served through two tours as a pilot flying Hurricanes, Spitfires, Typhoons and Tempests. Tatters Tatham first flew Hurricanes with 79 Squadron, and then in 1941 on Atlantic convoys with the MSFU before being torpedoed. In May 1942 he was posted to 257 Squadron on Hurricane night fighters, before joining 247 Squadron on Typhoons. After a brief rest period instructing, he rejoined 247 Squadron the day before D-day, and spent the following months destroying German tanks and other ground targets. Basil Tatham ended the war as a Flight-Lieutenant, (he was an acting Squadron Leader) with a number of medals including the Croix de Guerre Avec Etoile de Vermeil (F). He survived being shot down twice.