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Night Hawks aviation art print
 
 

Night Hawks

by Philip E. West

Overall print size 28” x 14”

The ever-vigilant crew of this Mosquito night-fighter successfully intercept a Luftwaffe Bf110 as it heads towards a bomber stream over target in Germany.

Signed by two Mosquito night-fighter pilots including Wing Commander Branse Burbridge DSO and Bar, DFC and Bar – the RAF’s top scoring night-fighter pilot.

Edition size: 175 £125

plus 25 Artist Proofs £150
and 25 Remarques £250
Order with your Mastercard or Visa

 

Details of the signatories below.

We do hope you will find these biographies of interest. We think that by knowing a little about the men behind each signature, it will help you get the most from your copy of “Night Hawks”. We would ask you not to reproduce the biographies in any format without our permission.

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.

We do hope you will find these biographies of interest. We think that by knowing a little about the men behind each signature, it will help you get the most from your copy of “Night Hawks”. We would ask you not to reproduce the biographies in any format without our permission.

Wing Commander Branse Burbridge DSO and Bar, DFC and Bar (85 Sqn. Pilot) gained his wings in 1941. Putting duty before personal feelings as a conscientious objector Branse, together with his navigator, Bill Skelton, became known as “The Night Hawk Partners”.

The two of them went on to shoot down 21 enemy aircraft - 16 during a seven-month period. The total included a Bf110 and three Ju88Gs during the night of 4-5 November 1944. Their officially credited 21 enemy aircraft destroyed made the pair the top night fighting crew in the whole of the RAF. Branse recalls, “I always tried to aim for the wings of enemy aircraft – and not the cockpit. I never wanted to kill anyone.”

The citations for their awards paid tribute to both men setting “an unsurpassed example of outstanding keenness and devotion to duty”.


Squadron Leader John Hall, DFC and Bar (85 Sqn. Pilot) joined the RAF in 1940 and after gaining his wings, followed by operational training at Cranfield, near Bedford, he joined 85 Squadron, then stationed at Hunsdon, in the North Weald sector. At that time, 85 Squadron flew twin engine Havocs, a night fighter version of the American light bomber, the Boston, with the radar operator where the Boston’s gun turret would have been and 12 machine guns in the nose, in place of the Boston’s navigator. The radar then was the Mark 4, not very reliable, and with a very limited range. During 1942, the Squadron re-equipped with the much faster and more maneuverable Mosquito, with a scanner in the nose for the infinitely more effective Mark 8 radar and 4 cannon, [instead of the Havoc’s 12 machine guns]

After a rest from operations, during which he taught budding night fighter pilots air gunnery, John Hall teamed up with John Cairns as his navigator/ radar operator and they joined 488 New Zealand Night Fighter Squadron at Bradwell Bay on the Essex coast, destroying three German bombers during the “mini-blitz” of early 1944. The Squadron flew over the D-day beaches from Zeals, and Colerne in Wiltshire, before moving at the end of 1944 to Amiens Glisy in northern France and then to Gilze Rijen in Holland, where it celebrated VE Day. During this time Hall shot down a further 5 German aircraft over France and Germany.

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