Print size approx. 13½” x 18” / 34cms x 46cms
A 101 Squadron Lancaster returns home after yet another highly dangerous but vitally important mission over occupied Europe. The Squadron was involved in 'Special Duties' ops usually carrying an extra, German speaking operator to transmit messages designed to confuse enemy fighters trying to intercept bomber formations. During the D.Day landings and beyond, Bomber Command was tasked with daylight and night missions to help clear the way for land forces. The bombers were usually given fighter escort, in this instance Spitfires, to and from these sorties.
Primary Edition prints are signed by the artist and Flt. Lt. ‘Rusty’ Waughman DFC,101 Squadron Lancaster pilot on 30 ops.
Artist Proofs are also signed by Spitfire pilots Flight Lieutenant Murray Anderson DFC*, US Air Medal and Flight Lieutenant R G (Bob) Large DFC, Legion d’Honneur
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.
ARTIST PROOF PRINT SIGNATURES
Philip West is recognised as one of the world’s finest aviation artists. Collectors of his original oil paintings span the globe, many waiting patiently for his next breathtaking canvas to appear. Self taught, Philip has won many accolades for his paintings, not the least of which was the prestigious Duane Whitney Award for Excellence at the 1997 American Society of Aviation Artists Exhibition.
Flt Lt Russell (Rusty) Waughman DFC, AFC, (Pilot) volunteered for the RAF in 1941. After training in Canada, he qualified as a heavy bomber pilot. In November 1943 he was posted to No 101(Special Duties) Squadron at Ludford Magna. He completed a tour of operations, which began during the ‘Battle of Berlin’, where they did several operations. Surviving a mid-air collision, only to write the aircraft off on landing, ‘Rusty’ and his crew on a subsequent flight had a miraculous escape when their aircraft was blown upside down, over the target, at Mailly-le-Camp; they also survived the Nuremberg raid on 30th March 1944, when 97 aircraft were lost – including about one quarter of 101 sqn strength that night.
Flight Lieutenant R G (Bob) Large (Spitfire pilot), DFC, Legion d’Honneur, learned to fly in Scotland in 1940 and in 1941 joined 616 Squadron as part of the Tangmere Wing, commanded by the famous legless pilot Wing Commander Douglas Bader. The Squadron flew Fighter and Bomber sweeps over Northern France. The remains of Bob’s Spitfire lie at the bottom of the sea ten miles off Hythe (where he now lives) after being bounced by eighty plus ME 109Gs over the English Channel.
Having learned of the activities of 161 SD Squadron he was interviewed by the CO, Wing Commander Lewis Hodges, and joined the Lysander Flight. He then flew many important missions into occupied France in single, double and a memorable treble pickup when his excuse for being late at the rendezvous was that he had had a haircut “in the firm’s time” because “it grew in the firm’s time”! After D-Day he returned to Fighter Command and later flew Meteors. (Bob’s dog, Patrick, became the first dog in the Allied Forces to fly in a jet which took place in a Meteor 3 on 11th May 1946 and is now recorded in the Guinness Book of Records!)
Flight Lieutenant Murray Anderson, DFC*, US Air Medal (PRU Spitfire pilot), flew Spitfires with No 1 PRU then moved to No 4 PRU in Algiers before returning to England and joining 542 PR Squadron at Benson. While here he brought back pictures of the “Prince Eugene” in Kiel Harbour. Having trained on Lysanders in late 1940 he was happy to move to 161 SD Squadron at Tempsford in 1943, to be re-united with his favourite aircraft. Among other difficult operations, he flew six double Lysander missions, all except one with his friend, Leslie Whittaker, who had moved from PR work with him and who was killed during an operation in May 1944. Andy’s navigational skill was obvious and on one triple operation he was able to recognise where an accompanying ‘lost’ pilot was from his description of the ground below and return him to the correct course to the pick up. He is also remembered for his records of sentimental French songs and his performances on the bagpipes. In June 1944 he transferred to 2nd TAF to fly Mustangs after D-Day.