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From Dawn to Dusk

by Philip E. West

Salisbury Cathedral is famous for its elegance and having the highest spire in England: 404ft high. During 1940, 609 Squadron Spitfires were based near-by at Middle Wallop, from where they fought the Battle of Britain and joined the first cross channel operations against occupied Europe. The airfield was attacked several times during the Battle of Britain, causing casualties and a number of aircraft were destroyed.

Overall size approx. 12½” x 19½” / 32 x 49cms

The Primary Edition is signed by a Battle of Britain pilot and the Artists Proofs have in addition been signed by a further three Battle of Britain pilots. For more details please see below the prices.

Primary edition 100 : £85
Artists Proofs 50: £105
Payment methods we now accept

 

The Primary Edition is signed by

Flight Lieutenant William James (Bill) Green
is a British Battle of Britain Fighter pilot, who served with the RAF. Flight Lieutenant Green flew Hawker Hurricanes for 9 days during the Battle of Britain, between the 20th and 29th August, 1940. During that time he was shot down twice: the first time on 24th August 1940, crash landing at Hawkinge and the second time on the 29th August over Deal in Kent. Fl. Lt. Green had joined the Royal Auxiliary Air Force as an engine fitter in December 1936, and later trained as a pilot. On joining No. 501 Squadron RAF on 19th August 1940, Flight Lieutenant Green had flown only about 5 hours on Hurricanes and had only flown one for the first time the day before but was sent into action regardless on 20th August 1940. Green considers himself to have been one of the least trained pilots during the Battle of Britain and lucky to have survived.

The first thing Flight Lieutenant Green knew of being shot down on 29th August was a large hole appearing in his armoured windscreen and he never saw the aircraft that shot him down. He managed to exit his aircraft but his parachute initially failed to open as his drogue parachute lines had been cut about nine inches above where they joined the main parachute. His boots were ripped off his feet during the ensuing high-speed fall and he remembers quite clearly wondering whether his wife of 12 weeks, Bertha, would wonder whether he had wondered what it would feel like to "hit the deck". The parachute eventually opened without the drogue and he landed in a farm in Elham Valley near Folkestone only to discover that he couldn't stand as he had been wounded in the leg:

"Two blokes came out of the farmhouse with shotguns and realised I was English. They helped me up and I couldn't stand because I'd been hit, without knowing it, in the leg. They took me back to the farmhouse and gave me a cup of tea and that was the end of the Battle of Britain as far as I was concerned." He continued to serve in the RAF, rising from the rank of Sergeant Pilot to Flight Lieutenant.

The Artist Proofs are also signed by these three additional Battle of Britain pilots:

Flight Lieutenant William James (Bill) Green is a British Battle of Britain Fighter pilot, who served with the RAF. Flight Lieutenant Green flew Hawker Hurricanes for 9 days during the Battle of Britain, between the 20th and 29th August, 1940. During that time he was shot down twice: the first time on 24th August 1940, crash landing at Hawkinge and the second time on the 29th August over Deal in Kent. Fl. Lt. Green had joined the Royal Auxiliary Air Force as an engine fitter in December 1936, and later trained as a pilot. On joining No. 501 Squadron RAF on 19th August 1940, Flight Lieutenant Green had flown only about 5 hours on Hurricanes and had only flown one for the first time the day before but was sent into action regardless on 20th August 1940. Green considers himself to have been one of the least trained pilots during the Battle of Britain and lucky to have survived.

The first thing Flight Lieutenant Green knew of being shot down on 29th August was a large hole appearing in his armoured windscreen and he never saw the aircraft that shot him down. He managed to exit his aircraft but his parachute initially failed to open as his drogue parachute lines had been cut about nine inches above where they joined the main parachute. His boots were ripped off his feet during the ensuing high-speed fall and he remembers quite clearly wondering whether his wife of 12 weeks, Bertha[1], would wonder whether he had wondered what it would feel like to "hit the deck". The parachute eventually opened without the drogue and he landed in a farm in Elham Valley near Folkestone only to discover that he couldn't stand as he had been wounded in the leg:

"Two blokes came out of the farmhouse with shotguns and realised I was English. They helped me up and I couldn't stand because I'd been hit, without knowing it, in the leg. They took me back to the farmhouse and gave me a cup of tea and that was the end of the Battle of Britain as far as I was concerned." He continued to serve in the RAF, rising from the rank of Sergeant Pilot to Flight Lieutenant.

Wing Commander J.F.D, ‘Tim' Elkington was born in 1920 and joined the RAF in 1939 and was commissioned as a Pilot Officer in July 1940. For further details we recommend visiting this web site pages: http://www.601squadron.com/Tim_Elkington.php

Sqn. Ldr. Tony Pickering joined the RAFVR just before the war commenced and went on to join 32 Squadron at Biggin Hill in July 1940, flying Hurricanes, and in August 1940 to 501 Squadron at Gravesend. In September he was shot down in Hurricane P5200, but unhurt in a duel with an Me109, destroying another 109 a few weeks later. In December he joined 601 Squadron at Northolt. After a spell instructing, he joined 131 as a Flight Commander in February 1943, and later served as a Squadron Commander in the Middle East.

Sqn. Ldr. Ken Wilkinson flew Spitfires with 616 Squadron under the command of legendary RAF ace Sir Douglas Bader. ‘He was a leader,' Ken recalls. ‘I was very junior at the time, so apart from gawping a little bit and calling him “Sir”, naturally I didn't speak to him much. Even with my own legs I couldn't fly like him.'

 

 

 

 

 
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