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|Signatures on this item|
|*The value given for each signature has been calculated by us based on the historical significance and rarity of the signature. Values of many pilot signatures have risen in recent years and will likely continue to rise as they become more and more rare.|
Air Commodore Paul Webb CBE DFC AE (deceased)
*Signature Value : £45
|Joining 602 Squadron Aux AF L in Scotland in late 1937, Paul Webb was called up full time in August 1939. After initial skirmishes off the Scottish East Coast, 602 came south to Tangmere / Westhampnett. During the Battle of Britain he claimed a Bf110 destroyed on August 16th, on the 25th two more, on the 26th a He59, on September 7th a Bf10 and on the 9th a Do17. In 1941 he was the first Commanding Officer of 416 Squadron RCAF, which he led until 1942 when posted to the Middle East and then Malta. He served later in Italy and with the Balkan Air Force in Yugoslavia. He finished the war with 3 victories and 3 shared. He died 10th July 2007.|
Squadron Leader Ben Bennions DFC (deceased)
*Signature Value : £70
|Ben Bennions joined the RAF in 1929 and after pilot training he was posted to 41 Squadron. He was already a seasoned Spitfire pilot by the outbreak of World War Two. During the Battle of Britain he destroyed 12 enemy aircraft and 5 probables before being shot down on October 1st 1940. Ben baled out, and badly wounded with one eye destroyed and serious head injuries underwent plastic surgery by Archie McIndoe. He is the sole surviving Battle of Britain Spitfire pilot who is both a member of the Caterpillar Club (using silk parachutes) and a founder member of the Guinea Pig Club (those who underwent plastic surgery) Ben Bennions died 30th January 2004.|
Squadron Leader Cyril Bam Bamberger (deceased)
*Signature Value : £50
|Born in Port Sunlight on May 4th 1919, Cyril Bamberger won an electrical engineering apprenticeship at Lever Brothers in 1934. He joined 610 Squadron AuxAF, in 1936 on the ground staff. Accepted for pilot training with the RAF VR in late 1938, he soloed in mid 1939. Bamberger was called up at the outbreak of war and on the 23rd October 1939 was posted to No 8 EFTS, Woodley and later went to 9 FTS, Hullavington to complete his training. He rejoined 610 (F) Squadron at Biggin Hill on July 27th but with no experience on Spitfires, he was sent to Hawarden for three weeks. Back with 610 (F) Squadron, Bamberger claimed a probable Bf109 on August 28th 1940. He was posted to 41 (F) Squadron at Hornchurch, Essex, September 17th and on October 5th he claimed a Bf109 destroyed. After volunteering for Malta, Bamberger left 41 (F) Squadron in mid-October 1940. He sailed from Glasgow on the Aircraft Carrier HMS Argus. Luckily for him, he did not fly off for Malta with the twelve Hurricanes ad two navigating Skuas which did. Only five of the fourteen aircraft reached their destination. Bamberger eventually reached Malta on November 28th on the destroyer HMS Hotspur, and on arrival he joined 261 Squadron. On January 18th 1941 he destroyed a Junkers JU87 Stuka and another the following day. 261 Squadron was dispended on May 21st 1941. Bamberger moved on the 12th to the newly formed 185 (F) Squadron at Hal Far. He was posted back to England on June 12th and was sent to Central Gunnery School at Sutton Bridge. Commissioned in February 1942, he was posted to Northern Ireland as a Gunnery Officer with the Americans who were converting to Spitfires. In March 1943 Bamberger volunteered for North Africa where he joined 93 Squadron at Hal Far, Malta in May. On July 13th operating over Sicily, he shot down a Junkers JU87 Stuka. In August Bamberger joined 243 Squadron in Sicily as a Flight Commander. He was awarded the DFC (28.09.43). On October 16th Bamberger damaged a Bf109, his first success after 243 crossed into Italy. On May 25th 1944 he claimed a Bf109 destroyed and on June 15th a Macci 202 damaged. Bamberger came off operations in July for medical reasons returning to the UK. He was sent on an instructors course and in early 1945 was posted to the Gunnery School at Catfoss. Awarded a bar to his DFC (14.11.44). Bamberger received it from the King at Buckingham Palace on July 3rd 1945. Released in 1946, Bamberger returned to Lever Brothers and rejoined 610 Squadron at Hooten Park, becoming its CO in 1950. When the Korean crisis came, he was recalled to the RAF. In February 1951 he was granted a permanent commission and in May 1952 moved to an Intelligence Unit, assessing strike capabilities of the Chinese and Koreans. Bamberger retired on January 29th 1959 as a Squadron Leader, and became managing director of a small packaging materials company – he started in 1954. On retirement he had an antique shop in Hampshire. Sadly, Cyril Bamberger passed away on 3rd February 2008.|
Wing Commander George Grumpy Unwin, DSO, DFM* (deceased)
*Signature Value : £75
|George Unwin joined the RAF in 1929, and in 1936 was posted to Duxford with 19 Squadron as a Sergeant Pilot. He was one of the first pilots in the RAF to fly the Spitfire. With the outbreak of war 19 Squadron moved to Hornchurch and George, now one of the Squadrons most experienced pilots, took part in the great air battles over France and Dunkirk, scoring 3 and a half victories. He flew with 19 Squadron continuously during the whole of the Battle of Britain. He was commissioned in 1941. After a period instructing, he resumed operations, flying Mosquitoes with 16 Squadron. George finished the war with 13 victories, 2 shared, 2 unconfirmed, and 2 probables. He died 28th June 2006.|
|The Aircraft :|
|Spitfire||Royal Air Force fighter aircraft, maximum speed for mark I Supermarine Spitfire, 362mph up to The Seafire 47 with a top speed of 452mph. maximum ceiling for Mk I 34,000feet up to 44,500 for the mark XIV. Maximum range for MK I 575 miles . up to 1475 miles for the Seafire 47. Armament for the various Marks of Spitfire. for MK I, and II . eight fixed .303 browning Machine guns, for MKs V-IX and XVI two 20mm Hispano cannons and four .303 browning machine guns. and on later Marks, six to eight Rockets under the wings or a maximum bomb load of 1,000 lbs. Designed by R J Mitchell, The proto type Spitfire first flew on the 5th March 1936. and entered service with the Royal Air Force in August 1938, with 19 squadron based and RAF Duxford. by the outbreak of World war two, there were twelve squadrons with a total of 187 spitfires, with another 83 in store. Between 1939 and 1945, a large variety of modifications and developments produced a variety of MK,s from I to XVI. The mark II came into service in late 1940, and in March 1941, the Mk,V came into service. To counter the Improvements in fighters of the Luftwaffe especially the FW190, the MK,XII was introduced with its Griffin engine. The Fleet Air Arm used the Mk,I and II and were named Seafires. By the end of production in 1948 a total of 20,351 spitfires had been made and 2408 Seafires. The most produced variant was the Spitfire Mark V, with a total of 6479 spitfires produced. The Royal Air Force kept Spitfires in front line use until April 1954.|
|Artist Details : Nicolas Trudgian|
|Click here for a full list of all artwork by Nicolas Trudgian|
Cranston Fine Arts have now taken over all remaining stocks of Nicolas Trudgian prints from his previous publishers. We have made available a great many prints that had not been seen for many years, and have uncovered some rarities which lay unnoticed during this transition.
Having graduated from art college, Nicolas Trudgian spent many years as a professional illustrator before turning to a career in fine art painting. His crisp style of realism, attention to detail, compositional skills and bright use of colours, immediately found favour with collectors and demand for his original work soared on both sides of the Atlantic. Today, more than a decade after becoming a fine art painter, Nicolas Trudgian is firmly established within a tiny, elite group of aviation artists whose works are genuinely collected world-wide. When he paints an aircraft you can be sure he has researched it in every detail and when he puts it over a particular airfield, the chances are he has paid it a recent visit. Even when he paints a sunset over a tropical island, or mist hanging over a valley in China, most probably he has seen it with his own eyes. Nick was born and raised in the seafaring city of Plymouth, the port from which the Pilgrim Fathers set sail in 1620, and where Sir Francis Drake played bowls while awaiting the Spanish Armada. Growing up in a house close to the railway station within a busy military city, the harbour always teeming with naval vessels and the skies above resonating with the sounds of naval aircraft, it was not at all surprising the young Nick became fascinated with trains, boats and aircraft. It was from his father, himself a talented artist, that Nick acquired his love of drawing and surrounded by so much that was inspiring, there was never a shortage of ideas for pictures. His talent began to show at an early age and although he did well enough at school, he always spent a disproportionate amount of time drawing. People talked about him becoming a Naval officer or an architect but in 1975 Nick's mind was made up. When he told his careers teacher he wanted to go to art school the man said, 'Now come on, what do you really want to do? After leaving school Nick began a one-year foundation course at the Plymouth College of Art. Now armed with an impressive portfolio containing paintings of jet aircraft, trains, even wildlife, he was immediately accepted at every college he applied to join. He chose a course at the Falmouth College of Art in Cornwall specialising in technical illustration and paintings of machines and vehicles for industry. It was perfect for Nick, and he was to become one of the star pupils. One of the lecturers commented at the time: Every college needs someone with a talent like Nick to raise the standards sky high; he carried all the other students along with him, and created an effect which will last for years to come. Two weeks after leaving art college Nick blew every penny he had on a trip to South Africa to ride the great steam trains across the desert, sketching them at every opportunity. Returning to England, in best traditions of all young artists, he struggled to make a living. Paintings by an unknown artist didn't fetch much despite the painstaking effort and time Nick put into each work, so when the college he had recently left offered him a job as a lecturer, he jumped at the chance. The money was good and he discovered that he really enjoyed teaching. Throughout the 1970s Nick was much involved with a railway preservation society near Plymouth and it was through the railway society that he had his first pictures reproduced as prints. But Nick felt he needed to advance his career and in summer 1985 Nick moved away from Cornwall to join an energetic new design studio in Wiltshire. Here he painted detailed artwork for many major companies including Rolls Royce, General Motors, Volvo Trucks, Alfa Romeo and, to his delight, the aviation and defence industries. He remembers the job as exciting though stressful, often requiring him to work right through the night to meet a client's deadline. Here he learned to be disciplined and fast. Towards the end of the 1980's Nick had the chance to work for the Military Gallery. This was the break that for years he had been striving towards and with typical enthusiasm, flung himself into his new role. After completing a series of aviation posters, including a gigantic painting to commemorate the seventy-fifth anniversary of the Royal Air Force, Nick's first aviation scene to be published as a limited edition was launched by the Military Gallery in 1991. Despite the fact he was unknown in the field, it was an immediate success. Over the past decade Nick has earned a special reputation for giving those who love his work much more than just aircraft in his paintings. He goes to enormous lengths with his backgrounds, filling them with interesting and accurate detail, all designed to help give the aircraft in his paintings a tremendous sense of location and purpose. His landscapes are quite breathtaking and his buildings demonstrate an uncanny knowledge of perspective but it is the hardware in his paintings which are most striking. Whether it is an aircraft, tank, petrol bowser, or tractor, Nick brings it to life with all the inordinate skill of a truly accomplished fine art painter. A prodigious researcher, Nick travels extensively in his constant quest for information and fresh ideas. He has visited India, China, South Africa, South America, the Caribbean and travels regularly to the United States and Canada. He likes nothing better than to be out and about with sketchbook at the ready and if there is an old steam train in the vicinity, well that's a bonus!
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