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Copyright SWA
Fine Art Publishers.
 

Heading For The Convoys aviation art prints
 
 

Heading For The Convoys

by Stephen Brown

Overall size of prints 28” x 20”

RAF Catalinas of 210 Squadron over the West Coast of Scotland in 1944.
The Consolidated Catalina PBY-5 proved invaluable to the RAF in its efforts to defend vital convoys from the threat of enemy submarines, particularly
during the Battle of the Atlantic.

Signed by ACM Sir John Barraclough KCB CBE DFC AFC, John Cruickshank VC, Ronald Vaughn DFC, John Tattersall (Notes on each pilot accompany every print)

Please see below for details of the signatories of this edition. As with all our prints, this edition was signed in the presence of Sean Whyte, owner and publisher of SWA Fine Art Limited.

Edition size: 275 £125 to £37.50

25 Artist proofs £150 to £50
25 Remarques £220

Stephen Brown is a self-taught artist who has specialised almost exclusively in aviation subjects for the last 15 years. Building on a background as a landscape and aviation photographer, his style carefully combines both these areas of interest. Stephen’s originals in oil are in much demand and have been regularly exhibited with the prestigious Guild of Aviation Artists. Demand for his originals is high with regular commissions being undertaken for commercial and private clients as well as the RAF.The following Catalina pilots have all signed copies of “Heading For The Convoys”.Air Chief Marshal Sir John Barraclough KCB, CBE, DFC, AFC joined the RAF in 1938 and flew continuously on maritime-air duties before and during the war in Coastal and overseas Commands on flying boats and landplanes with Nos. 209, 240, and 269 squadrons. During the war he operated initially from a Flying Boat depot ship in the Shetlands on reconnaissance over the North Sea and to Norway. He moved later to the West Coast for anti-submarine and convoy escort duties before going overseas for the Madagascar campaign in the Indian Ocean where his squadron operated from bare island bases to secure the Cape route for our shipping after control of the Mediterranean had been lost. For a while he commanded the captured Italian airfield at Mogadishu before returning to the UK as Chief Instructor at the Flying Boat Operational Training Unit in Northern Ireland.In his career Sir John served in five operational Commands at home and overseas and spent time in Training Command as a wing commander at the world famous Central Flying School. Above squadron level he commanded two jet fighter stations and a maritime patrol group; interspersed with various staff appointments including that of Vice Chief of Defence Staff.Sir John has flown over 70 different aircraft types and in the early fifties made the first single-engined jet flight to South Africa from the UK. Flt. Lt. John A Cruickshank VC joined the Territorial Army in April 1939 and was mobilized for active service at the outbreak of World War II. He served mostly in south east England. In July 1941 he transferred to the RAF for aircrew duties, undergoing pilot training with the US Navy at Pensacola, Florida and gaining his pilot’s wings in June 1942. Following a short period with the RAF Ferry Command in Canada and further operational training in the UK he joined 210 Sqdn based at Pembroke Dock, South Wales and later Poole Bay, Dorset. As captain of a Catalina flying boat, he carried out Anti-U-boat patrols in the Bay of Biscay and the Eastern Atlantic Ocean until December 1943. During this period, he carried out a detachment to Gibraltar for similar duties.In early 1944 elements of his Sqdn were moved to Sullom Voe in the Shetland Islands for Anti U-boat duties and General Maritime Reconnaissance in northern waters. In mid July 1944, while on an Anti U-boat patrol west of the Lofoten Islands, they sighted and attacked a surfaced German U-boat. During the attack, the aircraft received extensive damage from the U-boat’s armaments also suffering crew casualties. The aircraft remained airborne and returned to base. For this action three members of the crew were decorated with the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Distinguished Flying Medal and the Victoria Cross.Following this episode, Cruickshank became “tour expired” and moved to Staff Duties at Headquarters, Coastal Command, Northwood, near London. He was released from active service in early 1946 and returned to a civilian occupation.Flt. Lt. John Tattersall made his first attempt at becoming a pilot by joining the waiting list for Pilots of Manchester Auxiliary Squadron. He joined the RAF as a clerk in 1940 and remustered Aircrew in May 1941 and by June was on his way to the US Naval Air Service Station, Pensacola, Florida as a member of the first group of students under the TOWER scheme. On his first day solo in October 1941 he crashed and woke up in hospital with a headache and scratched eyebrows. Eleven days later he was flying again and finally gained his wings in May 1942 on Catalinas. Returning to the UK he spent some time flying ‘Oxfords’ before being posted to 131 OTU, Loch Erne, N. Ireland. In January 1943 he passed out as an aircraft Commander and joined 210 Sqdn at Pembroke Dock in February. He spent the next ten months (some 700 flying hours) flying over the Bay of Biscay on Anti-Sub operations including Leigh Leight operations, some convoy and naval co-operation. In January 1944, 210 Sqd. disbanded and he returned for a short spell to 131 OTU before being seconded to BOAC in April 1944. With BOAC he flew on the civil version of the Sunderland and ‘c’ class flying boats thence landplanes – Argonaut, Comet, Britannias (102 and 312) and VC10s retiring in 1973 to a ground job as Flight Crew Executive until May 1976.Flt. Lt. Ron Vaughan, DFC joined the RAFVR in December 1940 and trained as a pilot-cadet with the US Navy at Pensacola, Florida. After further Coastal Command training in the UK, he joined 10 OTU (detachment) at St Eval, Cornwall. The tour was completed, as a Whitley co-pilot, on U-boat patrols over the Bay of Biscay, between December 1942 and March 1943. After training for command on the Catalina, he joined 210 Sqdn at Sullom Voe, Shetland from June 1943 to October 1944.In October 1943, with all landing areas closed with fog, his Catalina, out of fuel, ditched in the Atlantic, west of the Shetlands. It had remained airborne for 22 hours and then survived, on the water, for a further 18 hours before the crew were rescued. The pigeon which had carried the SOS message to base, later received the ‘Dicken Medal’ (Animal VC) for flying over 60 miles, in fog, in nine hours!In May 1944, U-boat 394 was attacked in northern waters, without success. On 18th July 1944, U-boat 742 was sunk 180 miles west of the Lofoten Islands, off Norway. The Catalina was badly holed but managed to return to base, 500 miles in six and a quarter hours, on the port engine. F/Lt John Cruikshank VC had sunk U-361 on the previous day, from the same Arctic U-boat Flotilla.F/Lt Vaughan instructed on Catalinas in Northern Ireland and was then posted to India, to join Catalina 240 Sqdn in Madras, and then until VJ Day with Liberator Sqdn 357 in Ceylon. He left the RAF in 1946 having flown Halifax 7, at Linton and Cranwell.He joined BOAC and captained many types of aircraft for 29 years before retiring in 1975.

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