Battle of Britain Signed Photographs

BB Photos

A number of years ago when I was working on a commemorative cover project, one of the airmen involved in signing for us sent in an autographed black and white photograph of themselves with their Hurricane during the Battle of France along with their compliments. Needless to say I was delighted, but it also gave me the idea of producing a series of RAF related signed photographs. Unfortunately time and money was never in sufficient quantity to pursue the idea, until 1998. Having started the idea we were quickly off the ground and initial responses from the pilots were most encouraging, with some of the leading pilots helping us with the project, customers soon took notice and the project became a success. The aim has always been to produce a top quality product with 100% genuine signatures 100% of the time. Our only regret is that we our unable to gain the support of all those great airmen who had made their last sortie before and since we started this series. Each photograph measures 5" x 7" with a white border on all sides with the signature on the specially elongated bottom margin. The photographs are all from the 1939-1945 period so in some cases the photograph is the best we could manage considering that our airmen were often up in the air rather than on photo-shoots and after nearly 60 years there is obviously some loss in clarity. All are signed and certified and accompanied by a brief career history. Each is a Limited Edition of just 200 photographs each signed personally by the airman concerned. The series is now complete, and along with the Salute to the Few Series brings our tally to a hundred Battle of Britain airmen incorporating both 'top scorers' and less famous airmen along the way - and a small tribute to those who took part in this famous air battle during the Summer of 1940 which inflicted the first defeat to the fearsome Luftwaffe.

Here is a list of all those produced in this series to act as a reference: 

SP(BB)01 - Air Vice-Marshal James Edgar Johnson CB CBE DSO** DFC* DL C Eng
Probably the most famous allied airman we could find to sign in 1998, and also the top British scorer of World War II with 38 victories. This photograph was taken just after he had shot down his 26th and 27th enemy aircraft making him Fighter Command's highest scoring pilot. At the time of the photograph in April 1944 he held the rank of Wing Commander and the decorations of DSO* DFC* and DFC(USA).

SP(BB)02 - Group Captain William Dennis David CBE DFC* AFC
With over 20 accredited victories all scored in the Hawker Hurricane one can soon understand why Dennis is often called 'Hurricane' David. During the Battle of Britain he flew with Nos 87 and 213 Squadrons.  This photograph was taken just after the Battle of Britain when Dennis had just been awarded the Bar to his DFC and held the rank of Flying Officer. He was later awarded the AFC.

SP(BB)03 - Wing Commander Roland Prosper Beamont CBE DSO* DFC* DL FRAeS
Probably most known for his Test Pilot years, although his victories over V-1 flying bombs, trains and aircraft are quite remarkable and stories breathtaking. To add to this in 1940 he was flying with No 87 Squadron during the Battle of Britain enjoying numerous successes. This photograph was taken just before D-Day shortly after promotion to Wing Commander while he was at Hawkers as a test Pilot. He would later be the test pilot for the EE Lightning.

SP(BB)04 - Group Captain John Cunningham CBE DSO** DFC* AE DL
Highly regarded, probably throughout the world, as an exceptional night-fighter pilot, which led to his nickname of ‘Cats Eyes’ Cunningham. During the Battle of Britain Cunningham served with No 604 Squadron, and went on to achieve a total of 20 destroyed, 3 probables and 7 damaged by the end of 1945. Having left the Royal Air Force, Cunningham resumed his career with de Havilland, including test pilot for the Comet, and became a distinguished test pilot. The photograph we have chosen was taken in late 1944.

SP(BB)05 - Squadron Leader Arthur Charles Leigh DFC DFM
The son of a regular soldier, Leigh was called up at the outbreak of war and after finishing his flying training and he converted to Spitfires in August 1940. Shortly after this, he joined No 64 Squadron at Leconfield before being posted to join No 72 Squadron at Biggin Hill in October. Leigh left the Royal Air Force in 1945 with a tally of two Bf 109s destroyed, probably another four destroyed and a shared destruction of a Do 17. This particular photograph shows Leigh sitting in his Spitfire and was taken in late 1943 while he was serving with No 129 Squadron at Hornchurch.

SP(BB)06 - Squadron Leader Jocelyn George Power Millard AE KSG
Called into full-time service on the 1 September 1939, he finished his flying training in August 1940. In September 1940 he converted to Hurricanes and shortly afterwards he joined No 242 Squadron for the remainder of the Battle of Britain. In November he was posted to No 615 Squadron before he trained as an instructor at Cranwell.  This photograph depicts Millard sitting on top of his Hurricane, and was taken in November 1940 while he was serving with No 615 Squadron at Northolt.

   SP(BB)07 - Air Commodore Peter Malam Brothers CBE DSO DFC*

Brothers joined the RAF in 1936 and joined No 32 squadron the same year. He was still with No 32 Squadron at the time of the Battle of Britain and he scored numerous victories flying out of Biggin Hill in Hurricanes. By the end of the war his score card was 16 victories, 1 probable and 3 damaged. When we asked for a wartime photograph we were told that he had but 3 photographs, one just a face in a flying helmet, one semi-obscured and the one we have used, apparently he had succeeded in being ‘a lifelong expert camera dodger’.

 

 SP(BB)08 - Squadron Leader Eric Seabourne DFC

Seabourne arrived at Tangmere in June 1940 to join No 238 Squadron, with no experience in Hurricanes, he spent three hours on Masters and then went solo on the Hurricane, after seven hours he was declared operational, without even having fired a gun! However in his first encounter with the Luftwaffe he had a shared destroyed Bf 110 and damaged two more, on the 8 August he destroyed a Bf 109 and on the 13 August another two destroyed. Unfortunately on 13 August he was shot down by three Bf 109s and suffered serious burns when the cockpit hood ‘jammed’.

   SP(BB)09 - Flight Lieutenant Leslie Gordon Batt AE

Notorious for the ‘Bat’ insignia on his aircraft, Batt was called up at the outbreak of war and in May 1940 arrived with No 238 Squadron at Tangmere. He was to stay with No 238 Squadron throughout the Battle of Britain and served with the squadron in Egypt from May to December 1941. During the Battle of Britain he shared in the destruction of a Do 17 and also claimed a Bf 109 two and a half weeks later. This photo depicts Batt sitting in his Hurricane Mk 1 No. P.2989 during the Summer of 1940.

   SP(BB)10 - Flying Officer Kenneth Astill Wilkinson

Ken joined No 616 Squadron at Kirton-on-Lindsey on the 1 October 1940. On the 17 October he moved to No 19 Squadron at Fowlmere. In late January 1941 he became an instructor before becoming a gunnery instructor in 1942, he later served with No 234 Squadron in February 1943.  In this classic 'flying jacket' pose Ken can be seen with his Spitfire of No 19 Squadron.  This photograph has been signed on the front and the back.

   SP(BB)11 - Warrant Officer Peter Hutton Fox

Peter has always described his involvement in the Battle of Britain as ‘one of the also rans’ but I am sure that is a very modest view. He joined the RAFVR in 1939 and after converting to Hurricanes, joined No 56 Squadron at Boscombe Down in September 1940. On the 30 September he was shot down in combat and was forced to bale out. In June 1941 Peter joined 234 Squadron at Warmwell, but was shot down over France in October 1941 and taken POW. After being freed on 16 April 1945, he rejoined the RAF until 1946.

   SP(BB)12 - Group Captain Frank Reginald Carey CBE DFC** AFC DFM

In 1935 Carey joined No 43 Squadron as a Sgt Pilot. His first victory was in January 1940 and in April joined No 3 Squadron and was sent to France. After crash landing south-east of Brussels he managed to make it back to the UK where he found himself listed as ‘Missing, believed killed’. He rejoined No 43 Squadron as a Flight Commander and added to his increasing tally of victories. He served in the Far East and India until the end of the war.  In this photograph he is shown casting a Victory Bell. 

 

SP(BB)13 - Wing Commander Robert Francis Thomas Doe DSO DFC*
Bob Doe was among the highest scorers during the Battle of Britain period, having flown Spitfires with great success with No 234 Squadron and then Hurricanes with No 238. Later in the war he was to remain with Hurricanes and carried out a spot of ‘tank busting’ in Burma for which he was awarded the Indian DSO to go with his DFC and Bar. Bob Doe is also a member of the Caterpillar Club.  This photograph was taken in November 1939.

   SP(BB)14 - Air Chief Marshal Sir Christopher Foxley-Norris GCB DSO OBE MA

Sir Christopher served with No 3 Squadron during the Battle of Britain equipped with Hurricanes, and went on to have a very long and distinguished post war career in the Royal Air Force. He became Chairman of the Battle of Britain Fighter Association in 1978 and was also involved with still takes an active role and interest in current events.  This photograph was taken during the Summer of 1942.  Sir Christopher is the highest ranking pilot to take part in the series.

   SP(BB)15 - Group Captain Allan Richard Wright DFC* AFC
Wright was a veteran of the Battle of France and is one of the original ‘ Hunting Party’ for which No 92 Squadron was famed. Having served with 92 Squadron throughout 1940, he was posted to 59 OTU in July 1941, this picture having been taken in June 1941 while the squadron was based at Biggin Hill. While with No 92 squadron he amassed 10 destroyed, 3 shared destroyed, 2 ‘possibles’, 5 probables and 6 damaged. In 1943 while flying night missions in Bristol Beaufighters he added 1 Ju 88 destroyed and 1 Ju88 damaged
   SP(BB)16 - Wing Commander John Connell Freeborn DFC*

Freeborn was an early member of No 74 Squadron having joined the squadron in October 1938, and was to remain with the squadron until June 1941. In early September 1939 John was involved in the unfortunate incident which would later be name ‘The Battle of Barking Creek’ where, accidentally, Spitfires of No 74 Squadron attacked Hurricanes of No 56 Squadron. However, over Dunkirk John claimed his first victories which was eventually to rise to a very respectable 13½, resulting in the award of his DFC followed by the Bar in 1941.

   SP(BB)17 - Warrant Officer Clive Geoffrey Hilken AE

Even with the briefest career details Hilken has a marvellous story. He was posted to No 74 Squadron in August 1940, and so typically of the time was posted to RAF Wittering only to find that the squadron had moved to Kirton-in-Lindsey. Once No 74 moved to Biggin Hill in mid-September they were in the thick of the action and he was shot down and baled out in late October 1940. He was later forced to baled out again, and in June 1941 while still with No 74 Squadron he was shot down on a fighter sweep over St Omer, baled out for a third time and taken POW.

   SP(BB)18 - Wing Commander Harbourne Mackay Stephen CBE DSO DFC* AE

Stephen achieved a great measure of success against the Luftwaffe in 1940, scoring 22½ victories between May 1940 and October 1941. For his part in the Battle of Britain, he was awarded the DFC and Bar, and then received the first immediate DSO of the war. He was awarded the AE for his work with the Royal Aircraft Establishment and having left the RAF in 1945 returned to his working in the Newspaper industry eventually managing the Daily Telegraph and the Sunday Telegraph.

   SP(BB)19 - Flight Lieutenant Richard Leoline Jones AE

Richard joined No 64 Squadron at Kenley in July 1940 flying Spitfires, on 12 September 1940 he was posted to join No 19 Squadron, which was part of the legendary Duxford wing still flying Spitfires. In November he rejoined No 64 Squadron and remained with it until April 1941 when he went to De Havilland Aircraft Co as a test pilot. Richard was to remain as a test pilot throughout the remainder of the war, and performed test duties until he was released from the RAF in January 1946.

   SP(BB)20 - Wing Commander Christopher Frederick Currant DSO DFC*

'Bunny' Currant joined the RAF in 1936 and in April 1940 he joined No 605 Squadron. From middle of August onwards he scored a number of victories against the Luftwaffe and quickly rose to be one of the very notable pilots of the period. He appeared briefly as himself in the film ‘The First of the Few’ filmed at Ibsley where he was commanding No 501 Squadron in 1942, and he went on to command the Ibsley Wing. In addition to his DSO and DFC and Bar he was also awarded the Belgian C de G in 1943.

   SP(BB)21 - Wing Commander James Gilbert Sanders DFC

This photograph is actually pre war dating from when he was flying with treble-one Squadron at Northolt, the white flying suits being a tell-tale sign. He joined No 615 Squadron in October 1939 as a Flight Commander and flew with the Squadron throughout the Battle of France and the Battle of Britain earning himself a DFC. In October 1940 he was picked to form 422 Flight FIU and went on to claim a number of night victories. His eventual tally was around 16 victories, but could have been higher.

SP(BB)22 - Wing Commander Patrick Peter Colum Barthropp DFC AFC
Better known to most as ‘Paddy’, he started life with No 613 Army Co-operation Squadron before volunteering for Fighter Command, and in September 1940 he joined No 602 Squadron. During October he damaged a Do 17 as well as sharing a He 111 and Ju 88. Then in 1941 he notched up further successes with No 91 Squadron. On 17 May 1942 he was shot down and taken PoW, spending sometime at Stalag Luft III amongst others, before being released on 2 May 1945. 

SP(BB)23 - Wing Commander Donald MacFarlane Jack
Another 602 Squadron Battle of Britain pilot, he joined the RAuxAF in 1936 and was called up in September 1939. He flew throughout the Battle of Britain getting in early with a damaged Ju 88 on the 9th July and destroying a Bf 110 and a Bf 109 during August. During 1941 he commanded No 123 Squadron, then when 123 Squadron merged with 80 Squadron in 1942 he took command flying in the Middle East and Western Desert. Then followed a number of staff positions until he was released from the RAF in September 1945. Naturally Donald’s Spitfire bore the Donald Duck motif.

SP(BB)24 - Flight Lieutenant Arthur Joseph Smith
 Arthur joined the RAF in June 1939 on a short service commission and after converting to Hurricanes in May 1940, he then converted to Spitfires and joined No 74 Squadron in September 1940 until the end of the Battle of Britain. He was released from the RAF in 1946 and became very successful in the world of medicine.

SP(BB)25 - Flight Lieutenant Geoffrey Stevens
Stevens joined 151 Squadron at North Weald in August 1940. He was posted to 213 Squadron, where he was shot down on October 17 and crashed landed in Kent unhurt. In January 1941 213 was posted overseas but Stevens remained on the staff at RAF Castletown. He later went to No 1 AACU and then 2 AACU. In September 1942 he was posted to as an instructor for two months before joining 609 Squadron. He went to North Africa in April and joined 253 Squadron, he was promoted and appointed 'A' Flight Commander. He took command of 87 Squadron in Italy in September 1943.

   SP(BB)26 - Squadron Leader Cyril Stanley Bamberger DFC*

Bamberger started his RAF career as RAFVR ground crew with No 610 squadron in 1936. In 1938 he  started pilot training and rejoined No 610 at Biggin Hill in July 1940. In September he was posted to No 41 Squadron going with the Squadron to Malta.  In June 1941 he returned to the UK and did a stint as an instructor before returning to Malta in 1943 with No 243 Squadron.  He scored a number of victories and was awarded his DFC in 1943 and his Bar on returning to the UK in 1944. Released from the RAF in 1946, he was recalled during the Korean crisis and retired from the RAF in 1959.

   SP(BB)27 - Wing Commander Robert William Foster DFC AE

Foster was called up at the outbreak of war and joined No 605 Squadron in July 1940. In combat on 27 September he damaged a Bf 110 but suffered damage to his own aircraft and had to make a forced landing. He later joined 54 Squadron, which was posted to Australia and he scored the squadron’s first victory in Australia and scored five victories over Australia. He was awarded the DFC on 13 August 1943. His Battle of Britain Hurricane was brought back to the UK and restored to flying condition.

   SP(BB)28 - Squadron Leader Tony Garforth Pickering AE

Tony initially joined No 32 Squadron on 27 July 1940, however the CO thought he was too new to the flying game, so sent him back to the OTU. He rejoined the squadron in August 1940, however two days later the squadron was moved north for a rest, the CO deemed that he was not in need of a rest so he was posted to No 501 Squadron. He was shot down on 11 September by Bf 109s, however evened the score by destroying a Bf 109 on 29 October. He spent some time as a MU test pilot and  an instructor.  He was Mentioned in Despatches.

   SP(BB)29 - Flight Lieutenant William Loius Buchanan Walker

A regular Biggin Hill Air Show guest, William joined No 616 Squadron in June 1940 based at Leconfield. On 26 August he was shot down off Dover, rescued by the Royal Navy and admitted to Ramsgate Hospital, then onto the RAF Hospital at Halton. He rejoined No 616 Squadron at Tangmere in May 1941. Later in the month he was attached to 1 Aircraft Delivery Flight at Hendon through to July 1942. He was then posted to No 116 Squadron on anti-aircraft co-operation duties until 6 July 1944.

   SP(BB)30 - Squadron Leader Peter Leslie Dawbarn

Dawbarn spent a short time in France with No 253 Squadron in April 1940, before joining 17 Squadron in May, which was also in France and returned with it to the UK.  In July 1940 he crashed during a patrol and was seriously injured.  After six months in hospital, he returned to flying as an instructor. In 1943 he returned to operations, before joining 1 ADF in November 1943.  He was posted to India in February 1945 to command No 1 Anti-Aircraft Co-operation Unit.

 

SP(BB)31 - Squadron Leader Desmond Fopp AFC
Born in Australia, Fopp joined the RAFVR in 1938 and was called up at the outbreak of war.  He joined No 17 Squadron in May 1940 and served with it in France. On 12 July he shared in the destruction of a He 111, and on the 3 September after damaging a Do 17, he himself was shot down, suffering burns before baling out. He received a Mentioned In Despatches serving with No 132 Squadron and served as a Fighter Tactics Liaison Officer to the USAAF 8th and 9th. He was awarded the AFC for landing an aircraft safely after a mid-air collision.

   SP(BB)32 - Flight Lieutenant Peter Hairs MBE AE

Hairs joined No 501 Squadron in January 1940 and went with the Squadron to France in May.  He shared in probably destroying a Do 17, before being shot down on the 3 June and rejoined the Squadron.  He stayed with the squadron throughout the Battle of Britain and claimed a Bf 109 destroyed on September 5. He was posted away in October and spent the remainder of the war as an instructor in both the UK and Canada.  He was Mentioned in Despatches in 1945 and MBE in 1946.  The photo of Hairs was taken from the same shot as Parkin taken at Le Mans in 1940.

   SP(BB)33 - Flight Lieutenant Eric Gordon Parkin

Parkin was posted to No 501 Squadron in France in June 1940.  Upon the fall of France the Squadron regrouped at Croydon to join 501 Squadron. On the evening of July 31 1940 the squadron took off from Hawkinge to return to Gravesend, but Parkin's aircraft had a starting problem and he took off late.  Arriving at Gravesend in failing light he undershot the runway and caught the barded ware on the boundary causing his aircraft to invert.  Badly injured it was six months before he could fly again, but with a non-operational category.  He became an instructor for the remainder of the war.

   SP(BB)34 - Squadron Leader Douglas Gerald Clift

Clift joined No 79 Squadron at Biggin Hill in November 1939. During August 1940 he claimed a Bf 110 destroyed and a shared He 111. In July 1941 he was posted to the Central Flying School for an instructor's course.  He later volunteered for the Merchant Ship Fighter Unit (MSFU) and also saw service in South-East Asia with the Royal Indian Air Force (RIAF).  This photograph was taken of Clift in front of his Hurricane. 

SP(BB)35 - Squadron Leader Douglas Benjamin Fletcher Nicholls DFC AE
Nicholls flew with Nos 85, 242 and 151 squadrons during the Battle of Britain.  He shared in the destruction of a Ju 88 but his Hurricane was damaged by return fire.  In August 1941 he was posted to No 258 Squadron and went out to the Middle East.  Awarded the DFC in 1944 he remained with 258 until August 1944, when he was posted to HQ 224 Group, Burma, as Squadron Leader Tactics. 

   SP(BB)36 - Pilot Officer Norman McHardy Brown

Brown joined the RAFVR in August 1939 and was called up in September and posted to No 611 Squadron in September 1940, before being posted to No 41 Squadron in October.  His Spitfire was one of a flight that missed Hornchurch airfield in poor visibility and found themselves in the London Barrage Balloon area. His Spitfire struck a barrage cable causing serious damage to his aircraft and he was forced to make a crash landing in a built up area.  He left the squadron and the RAF in 1941 and spent the remainder of the war working in the timber industry.

   SP(BB)37 - Wing Commander Cyril Arthur Trevor Jones DFC

Jones joined No 611 Squadron in April 1940.  In August 1940 he was posted to No 312 squadron on it being formed, but was posted away to No 616 Squadron the week after. He claimed two Bf109s before being hit by return fire from a He111, which later crashed, he managed to return to base but was unable to fly for nearly a year.  He was Mentioned in Despatches for flying the aircraft back safely with just one arm.  He returned to flying with 601 Squadron and was later CO of No 79 Squadron in India and Burma.  He was awarded the DFC in 1944.

   SP(BB)38 - Flight Lieutenant George Charles Calder Palliser DFC AE

Palliser flew with Nos 17, 43 and 249 Squadrons during the Battle of Britain. He was shot down in December at the end of a patrol. He went with the Squadron to Malta.  In January 1942 he joined 605 Squadron at Hal Far, and awarded the DFC.  In February 1942 he went to South Africa as an instructor, returning in 1944 to be an instructor in the UK.  He was credited with 4 victories and 7 shared.

   SP(BB)39 - Flying Officer Leslie Henry Smith

Smith a member of the RAFVR before being called up in September 1939. He completed his training as an air gunner and joined No 219 Squadron in July 1940. He was posted to No 141 Squadron equipped with night-fighter Defiants on the arrival of the Beaufighters.  In August 1941 air gunners were no longer needed so he applied to retrain as a Navigator and in October 1941 he went to Rhodesia for training. He returned to the UK in January 1943 and joined 297 Squadron and took part in D Day, Arnhem and Crossing the Rhine.

   SP(BB)40 - Squadron Leader Thomas Clifford Iveson DFC AE

Iveson joined No 616 Squadron in September 1940. He ditched in the North Sea after running out of fuel pursuing a Ju 88, and was picked up by an MTB and landed at Yarmouth. He was posted to No 92 Squadron in October. He them completed a stint as a flying instructor before joining Bomber Command in 1942.  He was posted to No 617 Squadron in 1944 and flew all three sorties against the German battleship Tirpitz, including the one which resulted in her sinking in Tromso Fjord on 12 November 1944.  He was awarded the DFC in 1945. 

   SP(BB)41 - Squadron Leader Basil Gerald Stapleton DFC

Stapleton joined No 219 Squadron in October 1939, before converting to Spitfires and joining No 603 Squadron. He was awarded the DFC (15.11.40). He later served with Nos 2 and 4 Aircraft Delivery Flight, the MSFU and was a Flight Commander with 257 Squadron.  On 23 December 1944, whilst CO of 247 Squadron, he was strafing a train when the locomotive exploded and pieces of debris punctured the radiator of his Typhoon. He headed for the Allied lines but had to make a forced-landing before reaching them and was taken PoW. He was also awarded the Dutch DFC.

   SP(BB)42 - Flight Lieutenant Antony Robert Fletcher Thompson DFC JP

Thompson joined 85 Squadron in September before moving to 249 Squadron in October. In May 1941 he went with the Squadron to Malta, and in August he joined the Malta Night Fighting Unit, which became 1435 (Night Fighter) Flight.  After a spell as an instructor he joined No 73 Squadron in the Western Desert. He was awarded the DFC in 1943. In March 1944 he was seconded to BOAC until he retired from the RAF in 1946.  He then joined BOAC, eventually retiring from British Airways in 1975.

   SP(BB)43 - Flight Lieutenant William James Green AE*

Green joined 501 Squadron AuxAF in December 1936 as an engine fitter. In October 1938 he joined the scheme to train as a pilot and rejoined No 501 Squadron in July 1940. In August he crashed landed after being hit by anti-aircraft guns during combat with Ju 88s and Bf l09s. He was attacked by Bf 109s again on the 29th and forced to make another crash landing. In November 1940 he was posted to 504 Squadron. He then became a flying instructor, before converting to Typhoons. He was shot down in February 1945 flying a Typhoon of 56 Squadron and taken PoW.

 

SP(BB)44 - Group Captain George Herbert Westlake DSO DFC
Westlake was posted to No 43 Squadron in September 1940 and moved to 213 Squadron at the end of the month.  He went with 213 Squadron to the Middle East in May 1941.  He joined No 80 Squadron before rejoining No 213 Squadron. He was posted away to 244 Wing, but was asked to return to No 213 Squadron as a temporary CO. He was awarded the DFC in 1942. He was involved with planning the invasion of Sicily and Italy and in early 1945 he was appointed Wing Leader of 239 Wing, awarded the DSO in 1945 with eleven enemy aircraft destroyed.

SP(BB)45 - Lieutenant Commander John Humphrey Charlesworth Sykes
Sykes joined the Fleet Air Arm in 1939 and trained as a pilot, but due to a shortage of qualified RAF pilots he joined RAF Fighter Command. He joined 64 Squadron at Kenley in July 1940 and served with it until September, when he was transferred back to the Fleet Air Arm. He later converted to RAF Hurricanes and was part of the Royal Navy Fighter Squadron, which took part in operations in the Western Desert. During 1942 he served in the Far East flying Fulmars. Post war he was loaned to the Australian Navy to help set up their air component.

SP(BB)46 - Flight Lieutenant Trevor Gray
Gray joined the RAFVR in 1939 and was called for service on the outbreak of war. In September he joined No 64 Squadron and he damaged a Bf 110 in December 1940. He left the Squadron in April 1941 having completed his tour and was posted to 58 OTU as an instructor from there he was posted to join 124 Squadron. Due to medical reasons his flying category was limited to reduced altitude, but remained as a flying instructor and also trained flying instructors until 1943. He spent the remainder of the war as a research engineer officer at RAE Farnborough.

SP(BB)47 - Flight Lieutenant Ludwik Martel KW** VM (5thClass)
Martel arrived in England in 1940 and joined No 54 Squadron in September 1940 and moved to 603 Squadron at the end of the month. He was posted to 317 Squadron in March 1941 and went to the Middle East as part of ‘Skalski’s Circus’. They were attached to 145 Squadron and operated in the Western Desert. Back in the UK he returned to 317 Squadron on 22 July 1943. Tour-expired, he was posted to HQ PAF in September 1944. He served with 131 Wing from 14 October 1946 until released from the PAF in 1947.

SP(BB)48 - Wing Commander Terence Michael Kane
Kane joined the RAF in 1938 and joined No 234 Squadron in September 1940. He shared in the destruction of a Ju 88 on the 22nd. The next day he failed to return from a routine section patrol. His Spitfire was damaged in combat whilst shooting down a Bf109 off the French coast and he baled out at 6,000 feet and was picked up from the sea and captured by the Germans. He was detained in several prisoner of war camps, including Stalag Luft III.     

SP(BB)49 - Group Captain Leonard Harold Bartlett DSO
Bartlett joined the RAFVR in May 1939 and called up in September.  He joined No 17 Squadron in July 1940.  He was shot down in March 1941 and crash landed.  In February 1942 he was posted to No 137 Squadron, before being given command of No 253 Squadron, which saw action in North Africa and Italy.  He was awarded the DSO in 1944 and left the squadron to command the airfield on the island of Vis. He was awarded the US Legion of Merit for organising the rescue of USAAF aircrews. His next post was the supervision of the construction of a landing strip at Zemonia-Akos.

SP(BB)50 - Flight Lieutenant William Terence Clark DFM
Clark joined 615 Squadron AuxAF in March 1938 as an aircrafthand, before remustering as an air gunner.  He joined No 219 Squadron in July 1940, then retrained as Radar Navigator. He scored victories whilst flying with the CO Wg Cdr T G Pike and Sqn Ldr D O Hobbis. He was awarded the DFM in 1941.  He served with 1451 and 1455 Flights before bring posted to 60 OTU as a Navigation/Radar Instructor.  In May 1943 he joined No 488 (NZ) Squadron, tour expired he trained as a controller before rejoining 488 for two months in 1944.

 

 

STTF - Salute to the Few Signed Photos

After the success of the first series, it was decided to launch a second series and in doing so getting another 50 of 'the few' to take part making a total of 100 airmen. The second series consists of 50 photographs of Battle of Britain airmen with no repetition from the first series and is entitled 'Salute to the Few'.  Learning from the first series we decided to step up production as the average age of the pilots and aircrew was somewhere in the region of 85, quite remarkable bearing in mind of what they went through in 1940!  There are a great number of overseas pilots in this series, which was always one of my original aims (sending items overseas costs more in terms of postage and also HM customs charges). The series is now complete and incorporates some highly sought after signatures. Each photograph follows the same format at the earlier series and each hand signed by the airman depicted. The photographs are all from the 1939-1945 period and once again we have attempted to source the best photograph possible. All are hand-signed and Limited Editions of just 200 and numbered and certified on reverse and accompanied by a brief career history. In addition to the 200 sets there were also ten presentation sets produced (numbered PP0 through to PP9). There is also a special Battle of Britain album in a brown leather-look finish to accompany the series.

Here is a list of all those produced in this series to act as a reference:

 

SP(SF)01 - Wing Commander Thomas Francis Neil DFC* AFC
Neil joined the RAFVR in 1938, he joined No 249 Squadron in May 1940 at its reformation. In October he collided with another Hurricane, lost his tail and had to bale out.  He scored most of his 13 victories during the Battle of Britain and was awarded the DFC and Bar and made a Flight Commander. He went with the Squadron to Malta in May 1941 returned to the UK at the end of the year. He later commanded 41 Squadron and as a Flying Liaison Officer with the 100th Fighter Wing. He was awarded the Bronze Star (US) and the AFC.

SP(SF)02 - Wing Commander Kenneth William Mackenzie DFC AFC AE
Mackenzie learnt to fly in 1935, joining the RAFVR in 1939.  Called up he joined No 43 Squadron in September 1940.  At the end of the month he was posted to No 501 Squadron at  Kenley. He gained fame by flying at low level and struck the tail plane of the enemy fighter with his wing causing it to crash in the sea, then making a forced-landing in his Hurricane. He went on to claim a total of 16 victories, before he was shot down by flak in September 1941 and taken PoW.  He was awarded the AFC in 1953.

 

SP(SF)03 - Squadron Leader Hubert Paul Frederick Patten
Patten joined the RAF in 1937 and joined No 79 Squadron in August 1938.  In April 1939 he was posted to 64 Squadron and over Dunkirk he claimed a Bf 110 destroyed.  He claimed another in July, in September he joined the newly-formed 307 Squadron, a Polish night-fighter unit with Defiants, as a Flight Commander. In May 1941 he moved to 604 Squadron. In July 1941 he intercepted and shot down a He 111, which crashed.  

 

SP(SF)04 - Squadron Leader John Anderson
Anderson joined the RAF in June 1940 and in July he was posted to 604 Squadron without any flying experience. At the end of the year he left the squadron to complete another radar course and became an instructor.  He volunteered for pilot training, but had not completed his training before the scheme ended.  This photo was taken when he had no rank or brevet and was receiving one shilling a day flying pay.

 

SP(SF)05 - Squadron Leader Kenneth Lusty
Lusty joined 235 Squadron on February 1940 before joining 25 Squadron in May. He served with the squadron throughout the Battle of Britain first flying Blenhiems and then Beaufighters. He retrained as a Radio Observer and in 1941 he joined 1453 Flight. In April 1943 he joined 410 (RCAF) Squadron, then posted to 406 (RCAF) Squadron in August. In October he joined 264 Squadron. He was posted to 132 Squadron at Ceylon in November 1944, as Adjutant.

 

 SP(SF)06 - Warrant Officer Peter Rich
Rich volunteered for to join the RAF in October 1939, and after he was awarded his air gunner badge he was posted to 25 Squadron in June 1940. He joined 8 BAF in January 1941, and then on to OTUs at Kinloss and Whitby. In August 1941 he joined the newly formed 458 Squadron RAAF equipped with Wellingtons. In early 1942 he started his air gunnery instructor’s course and spent the remainder of the war instructing.

 

 SP(SF)07 - Group Captain Billy Drake DSO DFC*
Drake joined 1 Squadron in May 1937 and during the Battle of France scored a number of victories before being shot and flown back to the UK wounded.  After a spell as a flying instructor, he was posted to 213 Squadron in October 1940, and three weeks later he joined 421 Flight. He later commanded Nos 128 and 112 Squadrons in Africa, and led the Spitfire Wing in Malta. He also received the DFC (US). He took part in the first Battle of Britain flypast in September 1945. His final score was 24 victories.

   SP(SF)08 - Flight Lieutenant Roy Ford AE

Ford joined 41 Squadron in December 1939. He probably destroyed a Bf 109 on September 5 1940 and on the 7th he made a forced-landing after a combat.  He was posted to 4 Delivery Flight in April 1941 but volunteered for the Merchant Ship Fighter Unit (MSFU) and served on North Atlantic and Gibraltar convoys. In June 1942 he went to Hawker’s as a production test pilot and in June 1943 he attended the No 1 Empire Test Pilots’ School, after which he joined 20 MU, Aston Down as a test pilot.

 

 SP(SF)09 - Flight Lieutenant Wilfred Skinner DFM
Skinner joined the RAFVR in April 1937. In June 1939 he joined 74 Squadron and scored victories over Dunkirk . He scored more victories and was awarded the DFM. In March 1941 he was posted to 59 OTU, as an instructor before rejoining 74 Squadron in June. He was shot down on 6 July 1941 and taken PoW. In this photo Skinner is seen in the back seat of the car whilst with 74 Squadron with Mungo-Park at the wheel.

 

 SP(SF)10 - Wing Commander Gordon Leonard Sinclair OBE DFC
Sinclair joined 19 Squadron in November 1937 and was still with the squadron when he  destroyed a number of aircraft over Dunkirk and awarded the DFC. In late June he was posted to 310 (Czech) Squadron as A Flight Commander and was awarded the Czech Military Cross. In January 1941 he was posted to HQ 12 Group on staff duties. He went on command Nos 313, 79, 56 Squadrons and also postings with Air Ministry and HQ 84 Group. He was also awarded the Order of King George of Podograd.

 

 SP(SF)11- Air Commodore Archie Little Winskill KCVO CBE DFC*
From September 1939 to June 1940, Winskill was a staff pilot at BGS, Catfoss. He was posted to 72 Squadron in October, moving to 603 Squadron two weeks later. In January 1941 he was posted to 41 Squadron, where he was shot down over Calais, where with the French Resistance, he evaded capture and returned to England in December 1941, via Spain and Gibraltar. He was awarded the DFC being then credited with at least 3 enemy aircraft destroyed. He was Captain of the Queen's Flight from 1968 to 1972.

 

 SP(SF)12 - Air Commodore John Lawrence Wemyss Ellacombe CB DFC*
Ellacombe joined 151 Squadron in July 1940 and stay with it until February 1942 when he was posted to 253 Squadron, as a Flight Commander. During the Dieppe Raid on August 19 1942, his aircraft was hit by flak on a ground attack sortie and parachuted into the sea and rescued. In 1943 he rejoined 151 Squadron and later flew with 487 RNZAF Squadron.

 

 SP(SF)13 - Air Commodore Eric William Wright CBE DFC DFM
Wright joined 605 Squadron in July 1940 and having scored numerous victories during the Battle of Britain was awarded the DFM. He went to the Far East with the squadron in December 1941 and in January 1942 he was posted to 232 Squadron in Singapore. He took command of the squadron when the CO was killed, soon afterwards, Wright was given the job of reforming 605 Squadron from the remnants of 258 and 488 Squadrons. He was captured by the Japanese in early March and released at the end of the war.  He walked in Churchill's funeral procession.

 

 SP(SF)14 - Squadron Leader Stuart Nigel Rose
Rose joined 602 Squadron on 18 June 1940. He was posted to 54 Squadron on September 2 1941. Tour-expired, he went to 57 OTU, on November 12, as an instructor and then a course at CFS, Hullavington on November 11 1942, before returning to 57 OTU, on February 11 1943. He went to CGS, Sutton Bridge on June 2 for a gunnery instructor's course and returned to 57 OTU on July 1. He was posted to 15 APC, Peterhead on January 10 1944, moving later to 14 APC, Ayr. He went to the Middle East on July 1, to HGS, El Ballah and returned to the UK in late May 1945 for a gunnery instructor's course at CGS, Catfoss before going back to El Ballah in July.

 

 SP(SF)15 - Wing Commander David George Samuel Richardson Cox DFC*
Cox joined 19 Squadron on May 23 1940. He scored a number victories before being shot down and wounded on the 27 August. On June 27 1941 he shot down a Bf 109 but during the engagement his Spitfire was badly damaged and crash-landed. He was posted away from 19 Squadron on September 12 to instruct at 57 OTU, Hawarden. He went to CFS, Upavon for two weeks in October on an instructor's course. In May 1942 Cox joined 72 Squadron and went with the squadron to North Africa in November 1942, then Gibraltar and Algeria and awarded the DFC (16.2.43). Tour expired on April 26 1943 and he was posted back to the UK. From June to August 1943 he gave talks at factories, after which he became a Tactics Liaison Officer, instructing American pilots. He was awarded a Bar to the DFC (9.7.43).

 

 SP(SF)16 - Wing Commander Richard Gordon Battensby Summers OBE AFM
Summers joined the RAF in April 1939 as a direct-entry Airman u/t Observer. On December 4 1939 he was posted to join 242 Squadron, then equipped with Blenheims. He went to 219 Squadron at Catterick on April 16 1940. On September 28 he left to join the Ferry Pool and Defence Flight in West Africa. In early July 1941 his aircraft made a wheels-up forced-landing on a beach in Liberia. To escape internment, he walked 48 miles in bare feet before putting out to sea and being picked up by a British merchantman on the 5th and was awarded the AFM (1.1.42) for evading. Commissioned in May 1942, he was posted back to the UK, where he was appointed Bombing Leader on Hudsons at 1 (Coastal) OTU on October 12. He was posted to 48 Squadron at Gibraltar on May 22 1943, as Bombing Leader. He returned to the UK and on March 1 1944 became Bombing Leader at 1 APC, before holding a number of Armament Office positions until the end of the war. From 1953 to 1956 he was Deputy Station Commander at RAF East Leigh, Kenya, during the Mau Mau Emergency for which he was made an OBE (6.3.56).

 

 SP(SF)17 - Squadron Leader Norman Edward Hancock DFC
Hancock joined 65 Squadron at Hornchurch on September 3, moving on to 152 Squadron at Warmwell on October 10. He probably destroyed a Bf 110 off the Isle of Wight on November 28. He was posted to 56 OTU, Sutton Bridge on October 22 1941, as an instructor, and went to 55 OTU, Usworth on February 2 1942. Hancock went to Northern Ireland on July 11 to instruct at the 52nd Pursuit Group, USAAF. He returned to operations on October 18 1942, when he joined 128 Squadron at Hastings, Sierra Leone, as a Flight Commander. Back in the UK, Hancock was posted to 198 Squadron at Matlask on April 27 1943 and was with it until July 15, when he went to 56 Squadron at Martlesham Heath, as a Flight Commander. Tour-expired on May 31 1944, Hancock was posted to 85 Group and awarded the DFC (23.6.44). 

 

 SP(SF)18 - Squadron Leader George Herman Bennions DFC
Bennions started life in the RAF as an LAC Engine Fitter in 1931, after being accepted as a pilot he joined 41 Squadron in Aden, as a Sergeant-Pilot in January 1936. He was commissioned in April 1940 and was with 41 Squadron at the start of the Battle of Britain. On July 28 and 29 1940 he claimed Bf 109s destroyed, but was shot down on the 29th. On August 15 he claimed a Bf 110 and another damaged, on September 5 a Ju 88 destroyed, a Bf 109 probably destroyed and a Ju 88 damaged. On the 6th he claimed two Bf 109s shot down and on the 7th his undercarriage collapsed on landing. Another Bf 109 was claimed on the 9th and a Bf 110 damaged on the 11th. A Bf 109 was claimed as destroyed and a Do 17 damaged on the 15th, a Bf 109 shot down on the 17th and a Bf 109 destroyed, two more probably destroyed and one damaged on the 18th. He destroyed another Bf 109 on the 23rd, probably two more on the 28th and his final victory, another Bf 109, came on October 1 1940. On this day, in combat with Bf 109s, he had a cannon shell explode in his cockpit, blinding him in one eye and wounding his right arm and leg. He baled out and after emergency treatment at he was transferred to Queen Victoria Hospital, East Grinstead. After undergoing plastic surgery by Archie McIndoe, he became one of the famous Guinea Pigs and awarded the DFC (1.10.40). When fully recovered, he was given a A2B non-operational category, which allowed him to only fly during the day. 

 

 SP(SF)19 - Group Captain Arthur Montagu-Smith
Montagu-Smith joined 99 Squadron on February 29 1936 and was appointed Adjutant in 1938. The squadron was the first to receive Wellingtons and he flew the squadron's first sortie to the German coast in October 1939. In November he was posted to the Special Duty flight at the A&AEE, Boscombe Down. In April 1940 he went to CGS, Warmwell as a flight Commander and later joined 264 Squadron on September 11 as A Flight Commander. In December 1940 he was promoted to Squadron Leader and posted to 221 Squadron, as a Flight Commander. He carried out the first Coastal Command Wellington attack on a German U-boat in the Atlantic in May 1941. He then went to a staff job at HQ 18 Group in October 1941. A year later he took command of 248 Squadron, operating Beaufighters on long-range fighter patrols. In February 1944 he joined the RAF Delegation in Washington, as Deputy Director RAF Operational Training USA. He returned to the UK and in July 1945 was appointed OC 104 Wing in France, with PR Mosquitos.

 

 SP(SF)20 - Squadron Leader Herbert Edward Green MBE
In early October Green joined 141 Squadron equipped with Gladiators. The squadron re-equipped with Defiants from early 1940 and began escorting convoys in the North Sea. After the decimation of 141 Squadron on July 19 1940, it moved to Prestwick to reform as a night- fighter unit and its Defiants were exchanged for Beaufighters in August 1941. Promoted to Warrant Officer on April 1 1941 he was posted to CFS, Upavon in January 1942 to take an instructors course. Commissioned in November 1942, Green was a QFI at various flying schools until April 1945, when he was seconded to the Air Mission to Turkey. He returned from there to England in November 1945 and was posted to No 1 FTS, Spitalgate. MBE (31.5.56).

 

 SP(SF)21 - Flight Lieutenant Alan George Burdekin AE JP
Burdekin joined the RAFVR as an Airman u/t Wop/AG and was called up on September 1 and posted to 266 Squadron in October which was equipped with Battles.  He was posted to 9 Air Observers' School in November and after qualifying as an LAC Air Gunner, he rejoined 266 in January 1940. He moved to 264 Squadron in February and spent 8 weeks in an Experimental Flight during April/May. He was promoted to Sergeant in June and then posted to 5 OTU, Aston Down, to convert to Blenheims.  On July 7 1940 he joined 600 Squadron. He was posted to 10 Signals School at Blackpool on September 21, for a wireless course and then went to 2 Electrical and Wireless School during January to March 1941, qualifying as a wireless operator. He then rejoined 600 Squadron and remained with it until July 16, when he joined the 125 Squadron with Defiants and on October 13 1941 Burdekin was posted to 278 (ASR) Squadron. In March 1944 he was posted to 577 Squadron on anti-aircraft co-operation duties. 

 

 SP(SF)22 - Wing Commander George Cecil Unwin DSO DFM*
 In 1938 when 19 Squadron's Spitfires arrived Unwin became one of the first Sergeant-Pilots to fly this now legendary aircraft.  In May/June 1940 he flew patrols over Dunkirk and during the Battle of Britain was credited with 14 victories. He was awarded the DFM (1.10.40) and Bar to the DFM (6.12.40). His Spitfire was decorated with the Popeye spinach-eating motif and the words 'Mein Punch'. On 29 December Unwin went to 2 CFS, Cranwell for an instructor's course followed by a posting to 16 EFTS, Derby on 23 February 1941. He was commissioned from Warrant Officer in July 1941 and moved to 2 FIS, Montrose on 3 March 1942. He instructed there until 19 October 1943, when he was posted to 12 (P) AFU, Grantham to convert to Mosquitos. After a spell at 60 OTU, High Ercall Unwin joined 613 Squadron at Lasham on 5 April 1944. With his tour completed he went to CGS, Catfoss on 30 October 1944 and moved to CGS, Leconfield on 18 November 1945. Post war he led 84 Squadron in Malaya for which he was awarded the DSO (21.3.52). 

 

 SP(SF)23 - Wing Commander Peter Lawrence Parrott DFC* AFC
Parrott joined 607 Squadron in France in January 1940 and in May claimed a number of victories before being posted to 145 Squadron at Tangmere and in action again over Dunkirk.  He was posted to 605 Squadron on September 27, awarded the DFC (22.10.40) and in December he was jumped by a Bf 109 and he was forced to bale out. He was posted to CFS, Upavon on April 21 1941, for an instructor's course, after which he went to 9 FTS, Hullavington on May 26. He moved to 5(P)AFU, Tern Hill on March 22 1942 to instruct and joined the Handling Squadron on September 1 to prepare pilots notes. As a preliminary for a return to operations, he went to 57 OTU on May 11 1943, for air-firing practice before joining 501 Squadron on June 1.  He was posted overseas on July 16 1943, arriving in Malta on August 1 and then joined 72 Squadron in Sicily on the 10th, as a supernumerary. A week later he went to 111 Squadron, as a Flight Commander. He was given command of 43 Squadron in Italy on October 13 1943 and led the squadron until March 1944, when he was posted to the Middle East. After a course at the Air Bombing and Gunnery School in April, he was appointed OC Gunnery at 73 OTU, Abu Sueir on May 2. He returned to Italy in early November 1944 and took command of 72 Squadron on the 11th. He was posted away to HQ Desert Air Force, Italy on February 15 1945 and was awarded a Bar to the DFC (20.3.45). He then became Group Training Inspector, Fighters and later Wing Commander Ops returning to the UK in June 1946.

 

 SP(SF)24 - Wing Commander Hugh John Sherard Beazley DFC FCA
Beazley was posted to 249 Squadron on May 16 1940. On July 8 he shared a Ju 88 and claimed a Bf 109 destroyed on August 8. He was shot down in flames in combat over Rochester on September 2 by a Bf 110.  On September 7 he shared a Bf 110 and destroyed a Do 17 on the l5th, but received a bullet wound in the foot on the 27th. In May 1941 249 Squadron sailed for Malta, arriving there on the 21st. On June 8 he shared a probable Fiat BR 20 and on December 21 he damaged a Bf 109.  On December 26 he assumed command of 249 when the CO was wounded. On January 19 1942 his Hurricane was hit by ground fire during a strike on Comiso airfield and was forced to make a crash-landing. He was posted away from the squadron on February 16 1942 and later served with 89 Squadron.

 

 SP(SF)25 - Air Commodore Christopher John Mount CBE DSO DFC DL
In May 1939 Mount was appointed Personal Assistant to Air Vice-Marshal R.E. Saul at HQ 13 Group, Newcastle. After attending 6 OTU in July 1940 he joined 602 Squadron on August 10 1940. He was awarded the DFC (26.11.40), being then credited with 2 enemy aircraft destroyed and 3 others damaged. In January 1941 he formed and commanded 317 Squadron before commanding 260 Squadron in April 1941.  In May the squadron was posted overseas travelling aboard HMS Victorious and HMS Ark Royal they arrived at Malta on June 14 1941 before flying to Egypt. He took command of 238 Squadron in the Western Desert on March 1 1942. Later in the year, he went on a Wellington conversion course and then joined 70 Squadron, as a supernumerary Flight Commander. He was posted to 104 Squadron in Egypt in early 1943, and commanded the squadron when the CO fell ill. After completing his tour, he was awarded the DSO (1.10.43) and became operations officer for a Liberator/Halifax Wing, later serving as a staff officer at HQ Middle East. he attended the RAF Staff College, Haifa in 1945. He was made a CBE (2.1.56) .

 

 SP(SF)26 - Flight Sergeant John Keatings
In September 1935 he joined 45 Squadron in Egypt, and began training as an Armourer/Air Gunner. His flight was later transferred to 6 Squadron, which was operating in Palestine. He returned to the UK in 1937 and was posted to 21 Squadron. He went to No 1 Air Armament School in November 1937, to convert to Fitter-Armourer. He joined 269 Squadron in March 1939, a general reconnaissance unit with Ansons based in Scotland. At the outbreak of war the squadron carried out anti-U-boat patrols and in December he was posted to the newly formed 219 Squadron flying Blenheim escorting convoys in the English Channel. In January 1940 he was sent on a Gunnery Leader's course, returning to the squadron when successfully completed. He spent the remainder of the war as a Gunnery Instructor and Armament Instructor.

 

 SP(SF)27 - Flight Lieutenant Denis Norman Robinson
Robinson was posted to 152 Squadron on June 21 1940. He probably destroyed a Bf 109 on July 25 and destroyed another on August 5, but was shot down by Bf 109s on the 8th.  On August 15 he claimed a Bf 109 destroyed, on the 17th a Ju 87 and on September 4 a Ju 88. On September 26 he was posted away to CFS Upavon and from October 7 he was instructing at 6 FTS. Commissioned in January 1941, he remained there until November 17 1941, when he was sent to instruct in Canada, firstly at 39 SFTS, then briefly at 35 SFTS, and finally at 32 OTU, until June 19 1944 when he returned to the UK. He then went to 109 OTU, Crosby on August 27 to convert to transport aircraft and on March 1 1945 he was seconded to BOAC at Whitechurch. He was released from the RAF in 1946 and joined BOAC, later flying for British Caledonian and British Island Airways before retiring in 1978.

 

 SP(SF)28 - Squadron Leader Noel Henry Corry DFC AE
Corry joined 25 Squadron on June 26 1940 and remained with the squadron until January 29 1941, when he was posted away to the Special Duties Flight, 72 Group. On February 19 1943 Corry went to 18(P)AFU for training in precision night landings, then on to 2 FIS, Montrose for a flying instructor's course, after which he was posted to 14(P)AFU as a Flight Commander flying instructor, on Oxfords. On March 14 1944 Corry went to 30 OTU on Wellingtons, to prepare for operational flying in heavy bombers. He moved to 1656 Halifax Conversion Unit, Lindholrne, where he joined a crew, who had lost their skipper. Two weeks at the No 1 Lancaster Finishing School he and his crew then joined 12 Squadron as a Squadron Leader and 'A' Flight Commander. He went to HQ Bomber Command Air Staff, attached to HQ No 1 Group, as Air Crew Safety and Rescue Officer. He was awarded the DFC (8.12.44).

 

 SP(SF)29 - Flight Lieutenant Leslie Henry Allen
Allen remustered as a u/t Air Gunner on June 1 1940 and went to No 1 AAS, Manby on the 22nd for a gunnery course, after which he moved to 5 OTU on July 6 to convert to Defiants. On August 6 1940 he joined 141 Squadron and served with the squadron until August 5 1941, when he was posted to 410 (RCAF) Squadron, then forming with Defiants. Whilst with the squadron, he went to CGS, Sutton Bridge for a Gunnery Leader's course. On March 5 1942 he joined 96 Squadron, again on night duties with Defiants. When the squadron converted to Beaufighters in May/June 1942, the air gunners were posted away and he to 281 (ASR) Squadron. Commissioned in August 1942, he applied for pilot training and was accepted and in November he went to ITW followed by EFTS at Torquay in April 194 3. In May he was posted to Canada where he did his elementary training and gained his wings on November 11 1943. After returning to the UK, he served as staff pilot at navigation training schools.

 

 SP(SF)30 - Wing Commander John Reginald Cass Young AFC
Young was posted on July 13 1939 as an instructor and adjutant to 41 Squadron and then posted to 603 Squadron. He joined 249 Squadron at its reformation on May 16 1940. He made a forced-landing on July 20, following an engine failure, but escaped unhurt. After the Battle of Britain he had a roving commission, assisting newly-formed squadrons. In November 1940 he went to 308 Squadron at Baginton, in March 1941 to 317 Squadron and in April to 406 Squadron. He later commanded 289 Squadron and Station Commander at RAF Kirknewton. He was awarded the AFC (1.1.42) and in May 1942 he joined 96 Squadron until November when he was posted to HQ Fighter Command, to teach flight operations to fighter squadron flight commanders. In June 1943 he went to 29 Squadron for Mosquito training and then joined 264 Squadron. At the end of 1943 he was posted overseas and joined 108 Squadron in Egypt. In March 1944 he was given temporary command of 153 Squadron in Algeria. On July 15 1944 he became CO of 108 Squadron and appointed OC Mediterranean Night-Fighting Force and received a Mention in Despatches (15.7.44). 

 

 SP(SF)31 - Flying Officer Frederick James Barker DFM*
Barker joined the RAFVR in April 1939 as an Airman u/t Wop/AG and called up on 1 September 1939, he joined 264 Squadron on its reformation. Over Dunkirk Barker destroyed three Bf 109s and forced the remainder to break off the attack, the following day they succeeded in shooting down two Ju 87s and a Bf 110 followed by a He 111 on 31 May and another shared. Awarded an immediate DFM (14.6.40) which mentioned destruction of six enemy aircraft.  On 24 August destroyed a Ju 88s, two days later destroyed two Do 17s and a Bf 109, but were hit during the engagement and had to bale out of the blazing Defiant. For this action awarded a Bar to the DFM (11.2.41). He destroyed a He 111 at night on 9 April 1941. By October 1941 he had scored thirteen victories and remained with 264 until 1942, and was then posted to the Middle East as an air gunnery instructor.  It is believed that Barker is the highest scoring air gunner of the war.

 

 SP(SF)32 - Wing Commander Thomas Bernard Fitzgerald DFC
 Fitzgerald joined the RNZAF on 8 June 1937, and the following year sailed for UK and joined 103 Squadron in June. At the end of the year the squadron converted to Fairey Battles and went to France on 2 September 1939, as part of the Advanced Air Striking Force. On 12 May 1940 he was leading a section of three Battles, as part of a bomber force attacking bridges and roads, despite being attacked by Bf 110s they flew along the Meuse and bombed from twenty feet while their gunners fired at German troops. Two days later, he shot down two Bf 109s and was wounded by return fire and forced to crash land, returning to England in a hospital ship. Awarded the DFC (13.6.40), he volunteered for Fighter Command and on 10 August was posted to 141 Squadron as a Flight Commander. He later served with 23 Squadron, 607 Squadron as a Flight Commander and 41 Squadron. In late February 1942 he went to Hawker Aircraft as a test pilot. He returned to New Zealand in late January 1943 and given command of 14 (RNZAF) Squadron. He returned to the UK and in November went to De Havilland's as a test pilot. He returned to operations on 11 June, when he was made Wing Leader at Coltishall. He was posted to HQ 2nd TAF in January 1945 and transferred back to the RNZAF in February 1946.

 

 SP(SF)33 - Squadron Leader Kenneth Norman Thomson Lee DFC
At the outbreak of war Lee joined 501 Squadron and went to France on 10 May 1940 claiming a Bf 110 destroyed the same day. On the 12th he destroyed a Do 17 and on the 13th a Bf 110. The squadron was withdrawn from France on 18 June. He claimed a He 111 destroyed on 27 May and a Do 17 on 6 June. Four days later, attacking some He 111s, his Hurricane was hit and he baled out over France and evacuated back to the UK. He damaged a Ju 87 on 29 July and claimed another destroyed on 12 August. He was shot down on the 18th by Oberleutnant Schopfel and baled out. He was awarded the DFC (22.10.40) and in November he was posted to the Special Duties Flight. In December 1941 he went to the Middle East and served with 112 Squadron in the Western Desert, as a Flight Commander. He moved to 260 Squadron in September 1942 and destroyed a Mc 202. He took command of 123 Squadron at Abadan, Persia in March 1943. The squadron went to the Western Desert in May and on July 27 1943 Lee was shot down and captured on a dawn raid on Crete and was later taken to Stalag Luft III.

 

 SP(SF)34 - Flight Lieutenant John Peter Botwell Greenwood
Greenwood joined the RAF in February 1939 and joined 253 Squadron in October. On 16 May 1940 the squadron flew to France and he destroyed a Bf 109 on the 19th. The squadron returned to the UK on the 21st after heavy losses. On 30 August he destroyed a He 111. He was posted to 5 FTS, Sealand in December 1940, as an instructor. In February 1941 he went to Turnhouse, where 59 OTU was being formed. The OTU moved in March to Crosby-on-Eden. He volunteered for MSFU and boarded the Empire Fame on 18 June. He was posted to 55 OTU, Usworth in November and went to 615 Squadron in February 1942. The squadron left for India in March arriving in June.  In January 1943 he was posted to 17 Squadron at Alipore, as a Flight Commander. He went to 151 OTU, Risalpur in April. He joined 9 (IAF) Squadron in February 1944 and in July went to a job in the War Room at 221 Group.

 

 SP(SF)35 - Wing Commander Jack Rose CMG MBE DFC
Rose joined the RAF in October 1938. With training completed he joined 3 Squadron. He went with the squadron to France, when it was attached to 63 Wing for ten days during the fighting between 10-20 May 1940. Whilst in France he destroyed three enemy aircraft. On 17 July 1940 ‘B’ Flight, 3 Squadron became 232 Squadron and Rose was one the pilots who joined the newly formed squadron. On 22 August 1940 he was posted to 32 Squadron. He was shot down over the Channel by a Bf 109 on the 25th and baled out and rescued from the sea. He was awarded the DFC (9.10.42). He was then posted to commanded 184 Squadron on 1 December 1942. He commanded 113 Squadron in Burma from November 1944 to May 1945.

 

 SP(SF)36 - Group Captain Richard Cummins Haine OBE DFC
Haine joined the RAF in August 1935 and was posted to 25 Squadron in May 1936 and was part of the squadron aerobatics team at the 1937 Hendon Air Display. On 28 November he flew one of the aircraft on the first fighter attack of the war on Germany. In April 1940 he was posted to 600 Squadron, where on a daylight raid he was shot down, evaded capture and was awarded the DFC. On 14 January 1941 he was posted to 68 Squadron. He moved to HQ 9 Group on 21 June, and on 31 December he took command of 96 Squadron. He was posted to HQ Fighter Command on 24 March 1943, as Squadron Leader Night Training and then Wing Commander, OC Training Wing at 54 OTU on 12 June. On 2 January 1944 he was given command of 488 (RNZAF) Squadron.  He moved to HQ 85 Group on 23 October 1944 and on 29 December took command of 147 Wing. He went to Hong Kong in September 1945 becoming Wing Commander Flying at Kai Tak in 1946.

SP(SF)37 - Flight Lieutenant Benjamin Bent DFC
Bent joined the RAF in November 1937 as a Wireless Operator. In June 1940 he volunteered for aircrew duties joined No 25 Squadron in August assisting in several successful night flying interceptions.  In July 1941 he left the squadron to retrain as a Radio Observer, later becoming a Radio Navigator and rejoining No 25 squadron in September 1942. He assisted in more victories, including what was believed to be the first enemy aircraft shot down on D-Day. Awarded the DFC in 1944, he also served as a Night Fighter Liaison Officer with the USAAF.

SP(SF)38 - Wing Commander Eric Gordon Barwell DFC* AE
Barwell joined the RAFVR in July 1938, he was called up and joined No 264 Squadron in February 1940.  He was in action over Dunkirk he destroyed a number of aircraft, but on one occasion hit by return fire and forced to ditch in the sea close to Dover. He was awarded the DFC in 1941 and later Commanded Nos 125 and 264 Squadrons.  He was awarded a Bar to the DFC in 1944.  His brother was also a Battle of Britain pilot. 

SP(SF)39 - Squadron Leader James Chilton Francis Hayter DFC*
Hayter joined the RNZAF in November 1938 and sailed for the UK on 14 July 1939.  He was posted to 98 Squadron equipped with Fairey Battles and took part in the Battle of France with No 103 Squadron.  Back in the UK he volunteered for Fighter Command and joined 615 Squadron in September for two weeks before moving to No 605 Squadron scoring a number of victories. He was awarded the DFC in 1941 and went overseas to command Nos 274 and 74 Squadrons. He received a Mention in Despatches twice and awarded a Bar to the DFC in 1945.

SP(SF)40 - Squadron Leader Dennis Lockhart Armitage DFC
Armitage joined the RAFVR in December 1937 and called up in September.  He joined No 266 Squadron in December 1939. He was appointed 'A' Flight Commander on 3 August 1940. On the 12th he claimed the destruction of a Ju 88. He was posted from 266 in May 1941 and was awarded the DFC. He took command of No 129 Squadron in June 1941. On 21 September acting as a bomber wing-escort his aircraft was hit and he baled out and was taken PoW. His Spitfire Mk II flies with the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight. 

SP(SF)41 - Squadron Leader Alan Antill Gawith DFC
Gawith sailed for the UK from NZ in May 1938, after completing his flying training he joined No 23 Squadron in April 1939.  He was awarded the DFC in May 1941 and posted to command 1451 Flight. He later served at HQ 9 Group, Preston as Ops Night, on the staff at HQ ADGB to work on plans for the invasion of Europe. He transferred to the RZNAF in 1944 and was the Senior RAF Liaison Officer at the US 9th Air Defence Command, for which he received the Bronze Star (US).

SP(SF)42 - Flight Lieutenant George Maurice Baird
Baird sailed for the UK from NZ on 1 February 1939 and began his training in March.  He joined the newly reformed No 248 Squadron in November 1939. He became 'B' Flight Commander and on the 20 October 1940 he was on a reconnaissance flight off the coast of Norway, when after engaging and shooting down a Do 215, his Blenheim was attacked by three Bf 109s and he ditched in the sea, the crew managed to launch the dinghy, later being picked up and made POWs.

SP(SF)43 - Flight Lieutenant John Walter Pye
Pye was on holiday in England when war broke out and was unable to return to New Zealand. He joined the RAF in September 1939 as an Air Gunner and joined No 236 Squadron in March 1940.  In May he joined No 25 Squadron. After the arrival of airborne radar, he remustered as a Radio Observer and retrained with the squadron. He later served with 1453, 1451 and 1452 flights. In September 1942 he did an Armament Officers' course and spent the remainder of the war as an Armament Officer.

SP(SF)44 - Flight Lieutenant Bernard Walter Brown
Brown applied to join the RAF in 1938 and sailed from NZ to the UK September.  Initially, with No 613 Squadron Army Co-Operation in August 1939, he volunteered for Fighter Command in August 1940 and joined No 610 Squadron. On 20 September he went to No 72 Squadron where he was shot down and baled out badly wounded. He returned to duty and became an instructor and went out to Rhodesia to instruct.  He returned to the UK in 1943 and joined Transport Command as a ferry pilot, flying between the UK and the Middle East.

SP(SF)45 - Group Captain Thomas Frederick Dalton Morgan DSO OBE DFC*
Morgan joined No 22 Squadron in 1936. He joined No 43 Squadron in June 1940 and scored a number of victories and awarded the DFC, he took command of the Squadron in September and awarded a Bar to the DFC in 1941. He was later Wing Commander Ops 13 group and then Wing Leader Middle Wallop, and later the Ibsley Wing. He was awarded the DSO in 1943 and then went on attachment to the US 4th Fighter Group.  He was made an OBE in 1945. 

SP(SF)46 - Squadron Leader Kenneth Butterworth McGlashan AFC
McGlashan joined the newly-formed No 245 Squadron in November 1939. He was shot down and forced to crash land on the beaches of Dunkirk in May 1940 and returned to the UK on a Thames paddle steamer. Having served with No 245 throughout the Battle of Britain he was posted to No 96 Squadron for night-fighting operations in December. In November 1941 he became an instructor, later serving with Nos 87 and 264 Squadrons before being seconded to BOAC on the Middle East air routes. He was awarded the AFC in 1950.

SP(SF)47 - Flight Lieutenant Norman Robert Norfolk OBE DFC
Norfolk joined the RAuxAF as a Wireless Operator / Mechanic serving with 504 Squadron in 1932. In 1936 he transferred to the RAF and after flying training was posted to 1 Squadron.  He then joined No 72 Squadron, which was formed from B Flight. He was awarded the DFC in 1941, credited with at least four enemy aircraft destroyed. He then completed a flying instructor’s course and became an instructor before converting to twin engines and completing 30 operations with No 239 Squadron flying Mosquitoes.

SP(SF)48 - Squadron Leader Robert Alexander Innes AE
Innes was posted to No 253 Squadron in May 1940, seeing action in France. During the Battle of Britain he claimed a Bf 110 destroyed and shot down a Do 17, and crash landed twice. He probably destroyed a Bf 109 in November. In April 1941 he sailed for Malta serving with No 261 and 185 Squadrons.  During the heavy German attacks on Malta he was injured and returned to the UK, after six months in hospital he spent the remainder of the war as an instructor. 

SP(SF)49 - Flight Lieutenant Douglas Clifford Cooper
Cooper joined the RAFVR in 1939 as a Wireless operator / Air Gunner.  He joined No 235 Squadron in October 1939. In February he underwent further training and rejoined the squadron in August before being posted to No 272 Squadron in November 1940.  He later served with Nos 240, 205 and 230 Squadrons. He later took part in the Berlin Airlift with No 206 Squadron which operated Avro Yorks and No 99 Squadron with Hastings aircraft.

 

 SP(SF)50 - Group Captain Edward Preston Wells DSO DFC*
 Wells joined the RNZAF in 1939 and did his flying training before sailing to the UK in June 1940.  He joined No 266 Squadron before being posted to No 41 Squadron in October. He became the first British-based fighter pilot to engage the Italians, when he damaged a CR42.  He joined No 485 Squadron and scored the squadron's first victory and was awarded the DFC. In November 1941 he took command of 485 Squadron and was awarded a Bar to the DFC.  He was later Wing Leader at Kenley and awarded the DSO.

MF -More of the Few Signed Photos

After completing the two series of signed Battle of Britain photographs we found we had a few more who wished to participate, and there were a few who felt 200 was too many to sign so a third series was produced, although we knew it would be only a handful.

SP(MF)01 Air Commodore Charles Widdows CB DFC
Widdows joined the RAF in 1926. He was Officer Commanding No 29 Squadron during the Battle of Britain with Blenheims and Beaufighters. in 1942 he was posted as Group Captain Night Operations first at Fighter Command's HQ 11 Group and then at No 12 Group. After commanding a night fighter operational training unit, he joined the air staff of the Supreme HQ Allied Expeditionary Forces in May 1944 and moved to Germany as the war came to an end.

SP(MF)02 Squadron Leader Graham Leggett AE
Leggett joined the RAFVR in June 1939, serving with No 46 Squadron in the Battle of Britain. He joined 73 Squadron flying night fighter Hurricanes during the Battle of Alamein going through to Tunisia. In September 1943 he commanded a Spitfire flight in the Suez Canal zone and returned to the UK in March 1944. After three years at the Air Ministry he commanded RAF Dyce and Ouston. 

 SP(MF)03 Flight Lieutenant Albert Gregory DFC AE
Gregory joined the RAFVR in 1939 and flew with 141 in Blenheims but moved to 219 Sqn when 141 converted to Defiants. He flew as an Air Gunner with 219 Squadron during the Battle of Britain. He then later moved to Bomber Command and was in 1942 awarded the DFC due to his numerous Night flying sorties.

 

SP(MF)04 Group Captain Herbert Pinfold
Pinfold joined the RAF in 1934. He converted to Hurricanes August 1940 and joined No 56 squadron as the Commanding Officer. He left the squadron in 1941 for flying instructor duties. September 1945 was a Wing Commander on the staff at Air HQ Kandy Ceylon.

 

SP(MF)05 Wing Commander Tim Elkington
Elkington joined the RAF in 1939 and joined No 1 Squadron at Northolt flying Hurricanes in July 1940. He was shot down in August 1940 and in hospital for a few months, but rejoined the squadron in October.  He joined 601 Squadron May 1941, before joining No 134 Squadron and embarked HMS Argus en route to Murmansk. He trained Russian pilots to fly Hurricanes until January 1942. He later served with the Merchant Ship Fighting Unit and another stint with No 1 Squadron.

 

SP(MF)06 Group Captain Ron Duckenfield AFC
Duckenfield joined No 74 Squadron flying Spitfires in April 1940. He moved to No 501 Squadron in France and was injured so returned to UK. He flew with No 501 Squadron until September when he was posted as a test pilot to the Air Fighting Development Unit. He was awarded the AFC in 1941 and later served with 615 Squadron in Burma where he was shot down and taken POW.

Battle of Britain Alternatives Signed Photos

Some of the airmen had given us multiple photos to reproduce so here are those alternative shots. All are hand signed and were produced in smaller numbers than those in the main Battle of Britain Series.

 

213 SQN RAF Battle of Britain WESTLAKE DFC signed photo
The photograph is from the 1939-1945 period and has been reproduced and then autographed by - Group Captain George Herbert Westlake DSO DFC. Superb landscape photograph of 'B' Flight of No 213 Squadron. The photograph shows Joe Lynch, George Westlake, Hank hancock, Peter Crowther and Freddie Wilson (RCAF) sitting on the wing of a Hurricane. Hand signed by George Westlake second from left in the picture.
Only 50 produced - signed and certified on reverse.

RAF 604 Battle of Britain aircrew ANDERSON signed photo
Flew 604 Squadron in Blenheims and Beaufighters. January 1941 posted to a Radar station, in May posted as an instructor at No. 1 Radio School at Cranwell. Started pilot training late 1943 but wasn't completed when training was terminated. Then posted to RAF Atherstone for a GCA course, then to RAF Hemswell in November 1945 as a Flight Sergeant. 
Only 50 produced - signed and certified on reverse

 RAF Avro Vulcan signed Wing Commander Dick Summers OBE AFM

Served with No 219 Squadron during the Battle of Britain Made a forced landing in Liberia in 1941 and was awarded the AFM for evading Awarded OBE for the Mau Mau Emergency in Kenya Served with the Vulcan OCU at RAF Waddington, and then posted as Wing Commander Operations RAF Finningley. This photograph was taken in 1962 on the anniversary of the Battle of Britain

 RAF Battle of Britain ace ELLACOMBE DFC signed photo 

Joined the RAF in 1939. Posted to 151 Squadron July 1940. Crashed August 1940 and hospitalised. Returned to Sqn Dec 1940 until Feb 1942 when posted as Acting Flight Lieutenant to 253 Squadron as a Flight Commander. Awarded the DFC 1942. During the Dieppe Raid his aircraft was hit by flak, he parachuted into the sea and was picked up. In July 1943 he rejoined 151 Squadron, he completed his 3rd tour with 487 (RNZAF) Sqn and was awarded a Bar to the DFC.
Only 50 produced - signed and certified on reverse

RAF Battle of Britain LEE DFC WWII ace signed photo


Only 50 produced - signed and certified on reverse.

RAF Battle of Britain WINSKILL DFC signed evader photo
Photograph of Archie Winskill which was used for his forged passes whilst he was evading. Photograph shows Archie dressed as French Civilian after being shot down and being helped to evade by the French Resistance.
Only 100 produced - signed and certified on reverse.

 RAF Battle of Britain WWII ace PARROTT DFC signed photo
Alternative photograph of Peter Parrott in the Western Desert, this one differing from the other shot we have as this is a more relaxed photograph with cigarette in mouth.
Only 50 produced - signed and certified on reverse.

 RAF Blenheim Battle of Britain SUMMERS signed photo 
Superb shot of Richard Summers dressed in full flying suit. 
Only 50 produced - signed and certified on reverse.

RAF Mosquito photo signed Battle of Britain CLARK DFM
A slightly more relaxed photograph of Terry Clark with DeHavilland Mosquito in background taken later in the war. Hand signed by Terry Clark himself. 
Only 50 produced - signed and certified on reverse.

 WWII WW2  RAF Battle of Britain ace DRAKE DFC autographed photo 
Photograph taken in the Western Desert with Billy Drake standing in his cockpit. 
Only 50 produced - signed and certified on reverse. Photograph is slightly grainy

 WWII WW2 RAF Battle of Britain pilot BENNIONS DFC signed photo

Photograph of Ben Bennions and his wife Avis and daughter Connie leaving Buckingham Palace after being awarded the DFC by HRH King George VI.

Only 50 produced - signed and certified on reverse.    

 Battle of Britain RAF photo WWII 253 squadron signed INNES
The photograph is signed by Squadron Leader Robert Innes AE under where he is standing in the photo.
Only 50 photographs were signed

RAF Battle of Britain ace SINCLAIR DFC signed photo

Each photograph is a limited edition of 50. 

RAF Battle of Britain pilot MONTAGU-SMITH signed photo aircraft shot

Only 50 photographs were signed 

WWII WW2 BoB RAF Ace Battle of Britain LEIGH DFC DFM hand signed photo cockpit

Only 50 photographs were signed 

WWII WW2 BoB RAF Ace Battle of Britain MILLARD hand signed photo cockpit

Only 50 photographs were signed 

WWII WW2 BoB RAF Ace Battle of Britain WESTLAKE DFC hand signed photo barrel

Only 50 photographs were signed 

WWII WW2 BoB RAF Ace Battle of Britain WESTLAKE DFC hand signed photo cockpit

Only 50 photographs were signed

WWII WW2 RAF Ace Battle of Britain BAMBERGER DFC signed group photo

Each photograph is a limited edition of 25

WWII WW2 RAF Ace Battle of Britain BAMBERGER DFC signed photo flying gear

Each photograph is a limited edition of 50

WWII WW2 RAF Ace Battle of Britain BAMBERGER DFC signed photo post war

Each photograph is a limited edition of 50

WWII WW2 RAF Ace Battle of Britain STEPHEN DSO DFC hand signed aircraft photo

Each photograph is a limited edition of 25

WWII WW2 RAF Fighter Command Spitfire FREEBORN DFC*aircraft wing signed photo

Each photograph is a limited edition of 25

RAF Spitfire Battle of Britain Ace COX DFC signed photo cockpit

Each photograph is a limited edition of 50