Mission Accomplished by Philip West.
17th May 1943, Sqn Ldr Frank (Jerry) Fray in his Spitfire PRX1 of 542 Squadron operating out of RAF Benson, Oxfordshire, returned alone and unarmed to gather photographic evidence from 30,000 feet of the Möhne dam having been breached earlier the same day by 617 Squadron Lancaster bombers.
|Item Code : DHM2191||Mission Accomplished by Philip West. - This Edition|
|PRINT||Signed limited edition of 150 prints. || Paper size 28 inches x 20 inches (71cm x 51cm)|| Harding, Peter |
Brace, Arthur H
Cole, James Gordon
Rosser, T N
White, G A
+ Artist : Philip West
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|Other editions of this item : ||Mission Accomplished by Philip West ||DHM2191|
|Limited edition of 25 artist proofs.|| Paper size 28 inches x 20 inches (71cm x 51cm)|| Harding, Peter |
Brace, Arthur H
Cole, James Gordon
Rosser, T N
White, G A
+ Artist : Philip West
|£95 Off!||Now : £150.00||VIEW EDITION...|
|Extra Details : Mission Accomplished by Philip West.|
|About all editions :|
A photo of the print.
|Signatures on this item|
Air Marshall Sir Alfred (Freddy) Ball, KCB DSO DFC
|Air Marshall Sir Alfred (Freddy) Ball, KCB DSO DFC attended RAF College, Cranwell in 1939 and joined 13 Squadron in France in March 1940 on Lysanders (Army Co-operation). He joined No 1 PRU Benson early in 1941 on Spitfires. He commanded 4 PRU (later 682 Sqdn) as Squadron Leader in October 1942 and flew out to North Africa for Operation Torch, the Allied landings, flying Spitfires. He was posted to the UK as CF1, 8PR, OTU Dyce, Aberdeen in September 1943 and took over 542 Sqdn Benson in March 1944 (PR Spitfire Mk XIs and Mk XIXs). In September he was promoted to Wing Commander and given command of No 540 Squadron flying Mosquito 16s and 32s. The Squadron moved to France early in 1945 to support the Allied armies. In December, Freddy was posted to Egypt to take command of No 680 PR Sqdn (later to become 13 Sqdn), flying Mosquitoes and Spitfires. He was posted to Staff AHQ East Africa in 1946 and retired from the RAF in April 1979.|
F/Lt Ray Raby
|F/Lt Ray Raby jojned the RAFVR in 1940. His flying training began in the USA, where he was retained as an instructor with both USAF and RAF wings. He qualified on his return for an Air Navigators Certificate. He was posted to 519 Squadron, Wick, on Spitfires prior to joining 542 Squadron, Benson PRU with Jerry Fray as Flight Commander. In 1943, he was posted to Benson and survived 58 operational sorties until he was demobbed in 1946. In 1947 he joined 605 (County of Warwick) Wsquadron, Raux AF, Honiley on Vampire and Meteor jet aircraft as flight commander until disbandment in 1957. His total hours flown are 3265.|
Fl/Lt G A White
|Fl/Lt G A White volunteered for the RAF in January 1940, aged 19. He trained as a Wop/Ag and from October of that year, flew on 86 operational flights on Lockheed Hudsons of 206 and 279 Squadrons of Coastal Command, totalling 923 operational flying hours. On one occasion, in November 1941, after successfully bombing and sinking one of three German mine sweepers off Ushant at low level, the port engine caught fire from the intensive return barrage from all three ships. "With the pilot, Sgt John Whitfield DFM, of 206, we somehow managed to make it back to Predannock in Cornwall, smoking all the way!". Commissioned in May 1942, and after an official suggestion, as a result of his operational experience, he volunteered to fly Spitfires without guns. Qualifying as a PR pilot, he joined 682 Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron in May 1945 at San Severo, Italy, where he took part in high level photography up until VE Day in Mk XIs. In August 1945 he became Staff Photographic Officer for Desert Air Force until his discharge in 1946.
|Flight Lieutenant Gwyn Parry DFC||Flight Lieutenant Gwyn Parry DFC was called up from Oxford University Air Squadron in August 1941 and was commissioned after completion of training in Canada in June 1942. After a navigation course at Squires Gate and PR, OTU he joined 140 Squadron based at Hartfordbridge and later Northolt. The operations he undertook on Spitfires were mostly at high level (up to 34,000 feet) over France and the Low Countries, but also some in Mosquitoes at 12,000 feet over French pre-invasion beaches.|
Flt/Lt Jimmy Taylor
|Flt/Lt Jimmy Taylor joined the RAF in 1941, received his pilot training in the USA under the Arnold Scheme and instructed American cadets on the Vultee BT-13a from 1942 to 43. He took the PRU OTU course at Dyce and joined 16 Squadron, part of 34 PR Wing in 2nd Tactical Air Force, at Northolt in August 1944, flying blue Spitfire XIs and pink Spitfire IXs. He moved with the Squadron to A12 airstrip in Normandy, then to the airfield at Amiens - Glisy and at the end of September, to Melsbroek airfield outside Brussels. On 19th November, he suffered engine failure over Germany , baled out and landed in a field in Holland. after evading capture for five days he reached the Rhine, but was spotted by an alert German officer and spent the rest of the war in Stalag Luft I on the Baltic. He returned to instructing, on Harvards, until he was demobilized in 1946. Thereafter, he followed a career in education. In 1989, he took up gliding and found it more challenging than flying with an engine. In 1990, he learned from a Dutch archivist that four Dutchmen had been executed as a result of his landing in their village. This was a great shock and he returns each year to lay a wreath on their memorial.|
Flt/Lt Julian Lowe DFC
|Flt/Lt Julian Lowe DFC joined the RAF in 1941 having escaped from a reserved occupation, and, after I.T., he was sent to Southern Rhodesia to fly on Tiger Moths and Harvards. From there he went to 74 OTU in Palestine flying Hurricanes. He was posted to 2 PRU (later 680 Squadron) in Cairo and completed 86 ops over North Africa, Greece and the Aegian. He was awarded the DFC in March 1944 and returned to the UK to join 542 Squadron at Benson in October 1944, where he did a further 30 ops over germany before the war in Europe ended. After a short period in the RAFVR, he joined No 6 Air Experience Flight and flew Chipmunks for 26 years logging some 2000 hours on that aircraft.|
Flying Officer (Acting Flt/Lt) Bill Anderson
|Flying Officer (Acting Flt/Lt) Bill Anderson flew with 16 Sqn from 1943 until the war was over. He trained in Georgia, USA, before becoming attached to 16 Sqn at Benson, flying missions over France and Germany. Bill flew many different types of aircraft beginning with a PT17 Stearman in the USA; others include Tiger Moths, Typhoons, Tempest, Harvards, Lysanders, Hurricanes and Oxfords.|
Flying Officer Arthur H Brace
|Flying Officer Arthur H Brace joined the RAF in 1941. After pre-elementary training he went to Canada for flying training, in Neepawa and Moosejaw, gaining his wings in Oct 1942. Arthur then went on to General Reconnaissance School on Prince Edward Island. On return to the UK he completed an Operational Training course at Dyce, Scotland, and was posted to Benson in Sept 1943, where, whilst awaiting posting to a PR squadron, he joined No 309 FT & ADU which was concerned with supplying the latest marks of PR Spitfires to our overseas Squadrons; during this time Arthur ferried aircraft to Italy and India. He joined No 542 PR Squadron in August 1944 and remained with it until August 1945. He then spent a short time with Meteological Squadron no 519 before being posted to No 16 Squadron, BAFO, stationed at Celle, Germany where injuries incurred in a road accident in March 1946 put paid to any further flying. he left the RAF in August 1946.|
P/O Peter Harding (deceased)
|P/O Peter Harding joined the University of London Air Squadron in 1937, Flying Tutors, Harts and Hinds. He received a VR commission in June 1939 and was prohibited from joining up. In his reserved occupation as metallurgical student at the Royal School of Mines he failed his exam in 1940 and then wrote to the Air Ministry saying 'failed exam - call me up'. By return post he was told 'get medical, get uniform'. He was put through his training period and passed out in Lysander in 227 Squadron. He was converted to Spitfires by Wg Cdr Tuttle and then to 3 PRU Oakington and later to Benson. During his 23rd op his enginestopped over Wilhelmhaven and he had to bail out. He was a PoW from August 1941 to May 1945. After his discharge VJ + 1, he returned to his studies. We have learned that Peter Harding passed away on 24th January 2006, aged 86.|
Sqn. Ldr. Frank (Jerry) Frank DFC
|Sqn. Ldr. Frank (Jerry) Frank DFC volunteered to join the RAF in 1940 and commenced his flying training in the summer of 1941 at Hullavington, Wiltshire. Following training on Spitfires he volunteered to join the Photo-Reconnaissance Unit (PRU) and was posted to RAF Benson, Oxfordshire in 1942. His first op was to Den Helder in July 1942. On 15th May 1943 (his 36th op) he flew to take photographs of the dams from 30,000 feet. He returned to the Mohne, Eder and Sorpe dams on 17th May to photograph the damage inflicted by 617 Squadron.|
Squadron Leader T.N. Rosser OBE DFC
|Squadron Leader T.N. Rosser OBE DFC volunteered for pilot training early in 1940. After training in England he was commissioned and flew with Spitfire and Hurricane squadrons in England and Bengal from August 1941 until December 1942, when he joined No 3 PRU (later redesignated 681 Squadron) in Calcutta for photographic reconnaissance operations in Japanes-occupied Burma, Thailand, and the Andaman Islands. (At that time the squadron was equipped with converted Hurricanes and North American B52s, and three PR Spitfires, the only Spitfires of any kind in India. A year or so later it had a full complement of Spitfire Mk XIs and 684 Squadron, equipped with Mosquitoes, had been formed). After his operational tour ended in July 1944, he commanded the PR training Flight in 74 OTU in Palestine until VE Day when the OTU was disbanded. He later formed and led a temporary squadron of Spitfire fighter/bombers based in Egypt for internal security duties in the Middle East. He was demobilised in late 1946 after administrative appointments in Air HQ Egypt, and at Cranwell.|
Wing Commander Edward (Tim) Fairhurst DFC (deceased)
|Wing Commander Edward (Tim) Fairhurst DFC was born on April 14th 1918 at Mirfield in Yorkshire and educated at Shrewsbury School. He joined the Territorial Army in 1936 and was commissioned into the 7th West Yorkshire Regiment. With little activity after the outbreak of war, he responded to a request for Army officers to transfer to the RAF to train as pilots. He completed his flying training in November 1940 when he was posted to No 4 Squadron, flying the Lysander. In October 1941 he was posted to D Flight No1 PRU (Spitfires), which later became No 541 Squadron. In September 1942 he flew to Russia as OC PRU detachment and operated there with red star markings in place of RAF roundels. He was promoted to Sqd Ldr, converted to Mosquitoes and posted across the airfield as OC A Flight 544 Sqdn. Fairhurst went to America to brief the USAAF on photographic operations before returning to the UK. In September 1944 he was posted back to 541 Sqn (Spitfires) as CO and remained there until the end of the war. By the end of the war he had flown 88 long-range photographic sorties. He was twice mentioned in despatches, was awarded the Belgian Croix de Guerre avec Palme and received the Territorial Decoration. After two years as a civilian, Wing Commander Edward (Tim) Fairhurst rejoined the RAF in May 1947 and flew Spitfires in Malaya before going to Hong Kong. Following a period selecting men for officer and aircrew training, he spent the final two years of his service as the permanent president of a court martial standing board. He retired in 1965, when he became a civil servant and worked for the MoD as a positive vetting officer. In old age he was invited to the Russian embassy to be presented with the Arctic Star. Tim Fairhurst died on April 25th 2009 aged 91.|
Wing Commander James Gordon Cole DFC
|Wing Commander James Gordon Cole DFC joined the RAF in 1938 and had his initial training at Reading, Uxbridge and Montrose. He then went to France with No 13 Sqn, returning in May 1940. After a spell with 231 Sqn in Northern Ireland he then went by destroyer (HMAS Nestor) to Egypt to join 2 PRU until early 1944. He was then posted as Liaison Officer with P.R. Group, USAAF at Chalgrove, and subsequently flew P-38s (Lightning) on sorties over the D-Day beaches, La Rochelle, amongst others.|
|The Aircraft :|
|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. |