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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.|
Flt Lieutenant Bob Knights DSO, DFC (deceased)
*Signature Value : £40
|A member of the elite 617 Dambusters squadron, Bob Knights had a key role on the night before D-Day. With the rest of the squadron he flew on Operation Taxable which simulated the approach of the invasion across the Pas de Calais by dropping metal strips of window to a very precise pattern. The enemy was completely deceived and kept most of their best troops on the wrong side of the Seine. Bob Knights had already flown a full operational tour with 619 Squadron Lancasters, including eight trips to Berlin, before volunteering for 617 Squadron. Under Cheshire he flew on some of the squadrons most challenging precision operations and later under Willie Tait took part in the attack that finally destroyed the Tirpitz. Seconded to BOAC in December 1944 he stayed with the airline after the war for a 30 year long career. He died 4th December 2004.|
Group Captain Roy D Max (deceased)
*Signature Value : £45
|Group Captain Roy Max, who has died aged 88, Roy Max was born on November 24 1918 at Brightwater, near Nelson in New Zealand. After attending Nelson College he learned to fly at the local aero club when he was 18. travelled from New Zealand to join the RAF and received a short servcie commission in August 1938 as a pilot and survived the crippling losses of bombers deployed to France at the outbreak of the Second World War; already a veteran at 24, he was made a wing commander and appointed to command No 75 (NZ) Squadron, the first Commonwealth squadron in Bomber Command. Shortly after the declaration of war in September 1939 No 103 Squadron, equipped with the Fairey Battle, deployed to France. in May 1940 along with the other 9 Fairy Battle squadorns. took part in action against the german Offensive But the Fairy battles were outclassed by the german fighters. On one occassion a force of 70 fairey Battle aircraft took part in a bombingmission on bridges at sedan a total of 41 aircraft were lost., Captain Roy Max dived on a group of enemy tanks in a valley and found that the guns were shooting down on him. His aircraft was hit and unable to climb. Although he and his gunner were wounded, he managed to land on a French airfield. Returning to operations a few days later, he was told that he had been awarded the Croix de Guerre and the news reached his parents and newspapers in New Zealand. In the chaos of the collapsing French administration, however, the paperwork was lost and he never received the medal. By the middle of June No 103 had lost 18 aircraft and nine crews, and Max was lucky to survive when a German fighter strafed the airfield as he was standing on the wing refuelling his aircraft. He jumped into a trench and watched his bomber burst into flames with all his belongings inside it. In the sole surviving aircraft he took off for a maintenance unit near Nantes, where a number of other Battles were found. Ground crew were loaded into the cramped cockpit of Max's aircraft and he headed towards England. He navigated using a map torn from a calendar, skirting the Channel Islands and landing at the first airfield he came to after crossing the English coast in order to determine where he was; he then pressed on to Abingdon. Roy Max his squadorn but now 103 squadron was now equipped with Wellington bombers, and Max flew on the squadron's first operation bombing the docks at Ostend in December 1940. Roy Max also attacked targets in the Ruhr. in March 1941 Roy Max spent some time ferrying Amercina built Hudson bombers form the Us to England, after this he re joined 103 squadron. On July 24th 1941 a 100 boomber day light raid took place against the german naval ships at Brest, Roy Max was leading a section of Wellingtons with no fighter escort, and losses were heavy. But he pressed home his attack, and his bombs were seen exploding on a dry dock. He was awarded the DFC. In July 1943 Max's short service commission was completed, and he reverted to the RNZAF as a squadron leader. Almost immediately he was informed that it had been decided that a native New Zealander should command No 75 (NZ) Squadron and he was promoted to wing commander. Max began operations on August 19 1943, flying the Stirling bomber from an airfield near Cambridge. The Battle of Berlin was under way and the Stirling, unable to climb to the higher levels of the Lancaster and Halifax, suffered heavy losses. Roy Max as the squadorn Commnader flew operations with his crew but, was not expected to fly on every sortie. The Stirling was eventually withdrawn from long-range bombing operations, and Max and his crews flew mining sorties and parachute drops to resistance groups. After converting to the Lancaster and flying a few more operations in support of the impending D-Day landings, his tour ended in May 1944, when he was awarded the DSO, an award that he always claimed belonged to his air and ground crews. Max returned to New Zealand to command a flying training airfield near Christchurch. In 1947 he accepted a permanent commission in the RAF, returning to England as a flight lieutenant. Having attended a course at the RAF Flying College he commanded the bomber squadron at the Aeroplane and Armament Experimental Establishment at Boscombe Down, where the new jet bombers for the RAF were being tested. After commands in Germany and Italy and other Air ministry Jobs, in 1965 he became ADC to the Queen and finally retiring form the RAF in November 1968. Sadly on the 1st July 2007 Roy Max passed away.|
Squadron Leader Malcolm Mac Hamilton DFC*
*Signature Value : £40
|After joining Coastal Command in 1943, Mac converted to Lancasters, and was posted to Bomber Command, joining 619 Squadron at Woodall Spa for his first tour. Here he flew sorties mainly to Berlin andthe Ruhr. For his second tour he joined Cheshires 617 Squadron, again at Woodall Spa, where he flew precision operations, including the raids on the Saumur rail tunnel, the U-boat pens, V1 sites and V2 rocket bases, and the raids against the German battleship Tirpitz.|
Squadron Leader T Kearns
*Signature Value : £40
|New Zealander Terry Kearns joined the RNZAF in December 1940, transferring to England in 1941 to join 75 (NZ) Squadron, flying Wellingtons. In 1942 he took part in the first 1000 bomber raids before joining 156 Squadron Pathfinders. After a period as an instructor, he joined 617 Squadron at Warboys on operations. He flew the Mosquito FBVI on precision low-level target marking throughout 1944. He took part in most of 617s major operations, including raids on the Samur rail tunnel, and the V1 rocket sites.|
|The Aircraft :|
|Lancaster||The Avro Lancaster arose from the avro Manchester and the first prototype Lancaster was a converted Manchester with four engines. The Lancaster was first flown in January 1941, and started operations in March 1942. By March 1945 The Royal Air Force had 56 squadrons of Lancasters with the first squadron equipped being No.44 Squadron. During World War Two the Avro Lancaster flew 156,000 sorties and dropped 618,378 tonnes of bombs between 1942 and 1945. Lancaster Bomberss took part in the devastating round-the-clock raids on Hamburg during Air Marshall Harris' "Operation Gomorrah" in July 1943. Just 35 Lancasters completed more than 100 successful operations each, and 3,249 were lost in action. The most successful survivor completed 139 operations, and the Lancaster was scrapped after the war in 1947. A few Lancasters were converted into tankers and the two tanker aircraft were joined by another converted Lancaster and were used in the Berlin Airlift, achieving 757 tanker sorties. A famous Lancaster bombing raid was the 1943 mission, codenamed Operation Chastise, to destroy the dams of the Ruhr Valley. The operation was carried out by 617 Squadron in modified Mk IIIs carrying special drum shaped bouncing bombs designed by Barnes Wallis. Also famous was a series of Lancaster attacks using Tallboy bombs against the German battleship Tirpitz, which first disabled and later sank the ship. The Lancaster bomber was the basis of the new Avro Lincoln bomber, initially known as the Lancaster IV and Lancaster V. (Becoming Lincoln B1 and B2 respectively.) Their Lancastrian airliner was also based on the Lancaster but was not very successful. Other developments were the Avro York and the successful Shackleton which continued in airborne early warning service up to 1992.|
|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!
This Week's Half Price Art
Luftwaffe Messerschmitt Me262A-1a by Barry Price.
Half Price! - £30.00
Major John Gilmour by Ivan Berryman. (GS)
Half Price! - £300.00
HMS Theseus by Ivan Berryman.
Half Price! - £15.00
Midway - The Setting Sun by Ivan Berryman.
Half Price! - £55.00
Search Party Reaction by David Rowlands. (Y)
Half Price! - £50.00
Mosquito Attack by Graeme Lothian. (YB)
Half Price! - £310.00
The Globemasters by Dru Blair.
Half Price! - £60.00
Captain William Billy Bishop by Ivan Berryman. (GL)
Half Price! - £350.00
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