by Philip West.
Approx. overall print size 19½” x 26”/ 49cms x 66cms
The Straits of Dover, 12th February 1942. Sub Lieutenant Edgar Lee helps his badly wounded pilot, Sub Lieutenant Brian Rose from the cockpit of their downed Swordfish, before it sinks into the depths of the English Channel following their brave attack on the mighty German fleet. Six Royal Navy Swordfish aircraft manned by 18 aircrew attacked the German warships Scharnhorst, Gneisenau and Prinz Eugen, with their accompanying flotilla of destroyers and motor torpedo boats and top cover provided by deadly fighter aircraft of the Luftwaffe. But only five Swordfish crew survived.
All the prints are personally signed by Lt. Cdr. Edgar Lee DSO
Lt. Cdr. Edgar Lee DSO (Observer) joined the Royal Navy in May 1940, two days before his nineteenth birthday and after initial training began a flying course in Trinidad in September 1940.
He qualified as Observer in April 1941 and was commissioned as Midshipman (A) RNVR. Promoted to Sub-Lieutenant (A) RNVR at the age of 20 in May 1941 and appointed to 825 Squadron in HMS Ark Royal in June 1941, flying operationally with 825 Squadron in Swordfish TBR until the Ark Royal was sunk in November 1941.
Edgar returned to England and the squadron reformed at Lee-on-Solent – again in Swordfish in late December 1941, still under the command of Lt Commander E Esmonde DSO, RN. He took part in the Channel attack on the Scharnhorst and Gneisenau on 12th February 1942. All the aircraft were shot down, with only five survivors; Edgar and his pilot were rescued from a dingy by MTB.
He joined the new 825 Squadron in March 1942 and flew in that squadron until July 1942, then sent for rest-posting to RNAS St Merryn on Flying Control duties. At the end of February 1943, Edgar was seconded to 106 Squadron RAF Bomber Command, flying in Lancaster, under the command of Wing Commander Guy Gibson, DSO, DFC, RAF. Six Naval Observers seconded to 5 Group Bomber Command and three returned to naval duties the end of July 1943. He was promoted to Lieutenant (A) RNVR in November 1943.
Instructing in Canada, August 1943 to November 1944 and returned to England to qualify as a Signals Officer in August 1945. From Staff Signals Officer to Rear Admiral reserve Aircraft from September 1945 until demob in July 1947. Edgar rejoined the Reserve in 1956 and was promoted to Lt Cdr. RNR in November 1961 serving in most NATO and National exercises until 1981 and as Acting Commander RNR in exercises from 1969 until retirement at 60 in 1981.