First of Many
by Robert Taylor
|On the morning of 11 July 1940, Douglas Bader, the new commander of 242 squadron took off alone in filthy weather to intercept a lone intruder that had been reported in his sector. Here we see Bader as he breaks into the clear, and spots the enemy. Minutes later the Dornier crashed into the sea, the first victory for Bader and 242 squadron.
The print bears the signatures of four famous RAF Fighter Aces that flew Hurricanes and Spitfires with Douglas Bader during the Battle of Britain in 1940. Sadly, none of these renowned pilots are still with us today.
|Museum Presentation||Framed to include the signatures of Douglas Bader and three additional RAF Aces plus RAF wings.||$1325|
|Overseas Orders: Additional shipping charges apply to this item if shipped outside the U.S., please call or email for shipping quote|
|This four signature print is double matted and framed to include the autograph of Sir Douglas Bader along with three additional pilots who flew with the Tangmere Wing. Also included in the mount is a pair of authentic original WWII RAF pilot's wings.
With the signatures of eight of the RAF's top fighter pilots of WWII, and genuine WWII vintage pilot's wings, this is truly a museum quality
piece, ready for your collection. Overall size: 27½" x 31".
All materials and methods used in the matting meet the highest conservation standards. The piece is completed with a top quality Mahogany finish wood frame with gold accent and ultraviolet filtering plexiglass, providing maximum protection against fading.
(The photograph above was taken before the UV filtering glazing was fitted)
|RAF pilot's wings
These original wartime pilots wings are in remarkably good condition despite having been issued and worn over seventy years ago.
The cloth backing shows clear indications that the wings were sewn to a tunic at some point in the past.
Of course, we have no way of knowing who wore these, what aircraft he flew, or what action they might have seen.
|The signatures - (* indicates matted signature)|
|Wing Commander Bob Stanford-Tuck DSO, DFC||Air Commodore Pat Jameson CB, DSO, DFC|
|Group Captain Peter Townsend CVO, DSO, DFC||Group Captain Duncan Smith DSO, DFC, AE|
|Group Captain Sir Douglas Bader CBE, DSO, DFC *||Group Captain Sir Hugh 'Cocky' Dundas CBE, DSO, DFC, DL *|
|Air Vice Marshall Johnnie Johnson CB, CBE, DSO, DFC *||Wing Commander Ken Holden OBE, DFC *|
|Sir Douglas Bader
Born in London on February 21, 1910, Douglas Bader was commissioned as an Officer in the Royal Air Force in 1930 and was posted to
Robert Stanford-Tuck joined the RAF in September1935, and completed training at Grantham with the highest rating available - ‘exceptional’. In July 1936 he was posted to 65 Squadron at Hornchurch where he flew Hawker Demons, which were eventually replaced by Spitfires in late 1938. Consequently, by the outbreak of war Tuck had flown several hundred hours on Spitfires and was thoroughly familiar and confident in this advanced fighter.
James Edgar Johnson, nicknamed "Johnnie", was born on 9th March 1915. A sportsman, Johnson broke his collarbone while playing rugby, an injury that later complicated his ambitions of becoming a fighter pilot. He had been interested in aviation since his youth and applied to join the RAF but was initially rejected, first on social, and then on medical grounds; he was eventually accepted in August 1939. The injury problems, however returned during his early training and flying career, resulting in him missing the Battle of France and the Battle of Britain between May and October 1940.
Townsend joined the Royal Air Force in 1933 and was commissioned a pilot officer on 27 July 1935. On graduation, he joined No. 1 Squadron RAF at Tangmere flying the Hawker Fury biplane fighter. He was promoted to flight lieutenant on 27 January 1939.
|Sir Hugh 'Cocky' Dundas
Dundas was called up early in the war, serving with No. 616 Squadron, flying Spitfires. He was shot down on 22 August and wounded during the Battle of Britain, but returned to his squadron in September 1940.
Jameson joined the RAF completed his flying training in January 1937 and was posted to No. 46 Squadron, flying Hurricanes. From April 1940 he took part in the Norwegian Campaign, where he destroyed a Junkers Ju 88 and had a share in two Dornier Do 26 flying boats.In June Allied forces evacuated from Norway. On 7 June No. 46 Squadron landed its Hurricanes successfully on the flight deck of HMS Glorious, the first time Hurricanes had landed on a carrier. The carrier, along with the escort destroyers were subequently sunk.
A sergeant at the start of the Second World War, Smith was commissioned as a pilot officer on 29 September 1940. Smith was posted to the Spitfire-equipped No. 611 Squadron at RAF Hornchurch in October 1940, and went to No. 603 Squadron RAF in August 1941 as a Flight Commander. Smith was due for a rest but had to remain operational, leading his squadron while bringing their new squadron leader up to speed. He was promoted to flying officer on 29 September.
Kenneth Holden joined 616 Squadron Auxiliary Air Force in early 1939 and flew his first solo on 26th March. Called up on 4th September 1939, he completed his training and arrived at 11 Group Pool Sutton Bridge on 26th November. After converting to Spitfires he was posted to 2 Ferry Pilot Pool in December 1939. He rejoined 616 Squadron on 3rd January 1940. Over Dunkirk on 28th May 1940 Holden destroyed a Me109 and probably a second and on 1st June he did the same again.