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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 Marshal Sir Ivor Broom KCB CBE DSO DFC AFC (deceased)
*Signature Value : £50
|Entering the RAF in 1940 he joined No 114 Squadron as a sergeant pilot flying Blenheims. After 12 operations he and his crew were allocated to No 105 Squadron and then No 107 Squadron, the last remaining Blenheim Squadron in Malta. The Squadron remained there without relief for five months carrying out low level attacks on the shipping. Very few of the original crews survived the detachment, in fact he was commissioned during this period, when 107 Squadron had lost all their officers and for a short time was the only officer, other than the CO, in the Squadron. At the end of this tour he was awarded the DFC. In early 1943 he became one of the first Mosquito instructors in the Pathfinder Force and later moved to No 571 Squadron with the Light Night Strike Force. He then formed No 163 Squadron as acting Wing Commander. He was awarded a bar to his DFC for a low level moonlight mining attack on the Dormund - Ems Canal from 50ft and then a second bar for getting a 4000lb bomb into the mouth of a railway tunnel during the final German Ardennes offensive. During his time on Mosquitoes his navigator was Tommy Broom, together they formed an inseparable combination. Remaining with the RAF after WWII and in accordance with peacetime rules for a much smaller Air Force he was reduced in rank first to Squadron Leader and then to Flight Lieutenant in 1948. Promoted to Air Marshal in 1974 he became the Head of the UK National Air Traffic Services and was the first serving officer to be appointed to the Board of the Civil Aviation Authority. Retiring from the RAF in 1979 he has been actively engaged in civil aviation since then. He died 24th January 2003.|
Squadron Leader TJ Tommy Broom DFC (deceased)
*Signature Value : £45
|Thomas John Broom was born on January 22 1914 at Portishead, Bristol, and educated at Slade Road School, leaving when he was 14 to work as a garage hand. As soon as he reached his 18th birthday he enlisted in the RAF and trained as an armourer. He served in the Middle East, initially in Sudan, and in 1937 was sent to Palestine to join No 6 Squadron. With the threat of war in Europe, however, there was an urgent need for more air observers; Broom volunteered and returned to Britain for training. In February 1939 he joined No 105 Squadron at Harwell, which was equipped with the Fairey Battle. On the day the Second World War broke out No 105 flew to Reims in northern France to support the British Expeditionary Force, and within three weeks Broom had flown his first reconnaissance over Germany. During a raid on Cologne in November 1940 his aircraft was severely damaged by anti-aircraft fire, but the crew managed to struggle back to England where they were forced to bail out as they ran out of fuel. For the next 12 months Broom served as an instructor. He returned to his squadron in January 1942, just as the Mosquito entered service, and on August 25 was sent to attack a power station near Cologne. As the aircraft flew at treetop height across Belgium, the crew spotted an electricity pylon. The pilot tried to avoid it but the starboard engine struck the top of the pylon and the aircraft ploughed into pine trees. Both men survived the crash, and were picked up by members of the Belgian Resistance. They were escorted to St Jean de Luz by the Belgian-run "Comet" escape line, and Broom crossed the mountains under the aegis of a Spanish Basque guide on September 8; his pilot followed him two weeks later. Twenty-five years after the event Broom returned to St Jean de Luz to meet the woman who had sheltered him from the Germans. After the German advance into the Low Countries on May 10 1940, the Battle squadrons were thrown against Panzers and attacked the crucial bridges across the main rivers, suffering terrible losses. After the fall of France, Broom and some of his comrades managed to reach Cherbourg to board a ship for England. No 105 Squadron was re-equipped with the Blenheim, and during the Battle of Britain Broom attacked the German barges assembling at the Channel ports in preparation for an invasion of England. After spending a period as an instructor at 13 OTU he rejoined 105 Squadron on Mosquitoes, they were in fact the first squadron in the RAF to receive them. Through early 1942 he was navigator on many of the daylight raids carried out by 105 Squadron. In August 1943 Tommy Broom was the chief ground instructor at the Mosquito Training Unit when he first met his namesake Flight Lieutenant Ivor Broom (later Air Marshal Sir Ivor Broom), an experienced low-level bomber pilot. They immediately teamed up and flew together for the remainder of the war, in 163 Squadron as part of the Light Night Strike Force forming a formidable on Mosquitoes including the low level attack on the Dortmund - Ems Canal and completing 58 operations together, including 22 to Berlin. Known as The Flying Brooms Initially they joined No 571 Squadron as part of Air Vice-Marshal Don Bennetts Pathfinder Force, and on May 26 1944 they flew their first operation, an attack on Ludswigshafen. On August 9 they took part in a spectacular night-time mission to drop mines in the Dortmund-Ems Canal. They descended rapidly from 25,000ft to fly along the canal at 150ft, releasing their mines under heavy anti-aircraft fire. The force of eight Mosquitos closed the canal for a number of weeks. Tommy Brooms brilliant navigation had helped ensure the success of the raid, and he was awarded a DFC. The Brooms took part in another daring attack on New Years Day 1945. In order to stem the flow of German reinforcements to the Ardennes, the RAF mounted operations to sever the rail links leading to the area, and the Brooms were sent to block the tunnel at Kaiserslauten. They were approaching the tunnel at low level just as a train was entering it. They dropped their 4,000lb bomb, with a time delay fuse, in the entrance and 11 seconds later it exploded, completely blocking the tunnel – the train did not emerge. Tommy Broom received a Bar to his DFC and his pilot was awarded a DSO. When Ivor Broom was given command of No 163 Squadron, Tommy went with him as the squadrons navigation leader and they flew together until the end of the war. Their last five operations were to Berlin, where searchlights posed a perpetual problem. On one occasion they were coned for as long as a quarter of an hour. After twisting, turning and diving to escape the glare, Ivor Broom asked his disoriented navigator for a course to base. Tommy replied: "Fly north with a dash of west, while I sort myself out." A few weeks later Tommy Broom was awarded a second Bar to his DFC – an extremely rare honour for a bomber navigator. Tommy Broom left the RAF in September 1945, but he and his pilot remained close friends until Sir Ivors death in 2003. Sadly Tommy Broom passed away on 18th May 2010|
|The Aircraft :|
|Mosquito||Used as a night fighter, fighter bomber, bomber and Photo-reconnaissance, with a crew of two, Maximum speed was 425 mph, at 30,300 feet, 380mph at 17,000ft. and a ceiling of 36,000feet, maximum range 3,500 miles. the Mosquito was armed with four 20mm Hospano cannon in belly and four .303 inch browning machine guns in nose. Coastal strike aircraft had eight 3-inch Rockets under the wings, and one 57mm shell gun in belly. The Mossie at it was known made its first flight on 25th November 1940, and the mosquito made its first operational flight for the Royal Air Force as a reconnaissance unit based at Benson. In early 1942, a modified version (mark II) operated as a night fighter with 157 and 23 squadron's. In April 1943 the first De Haviland Mosquito saw service in the Far east and in 1944 The Mosquito was used at Coastal Command in its strike wings. Bomber Commands offensive against Germany saw many Mosquitos, used as photo Reconnaissance aircraft, Fighter Escorts, and Path Finders. The Mosquito stayed in service with the Royal Air Force until 1955. and a total of 7781 mosquito's were built.|
|Artist Details : Keith Woodcock|
|Click here for a full list of all artwork by Keith Woodcock|
Keith's early work concentrated on magazine illustrations and book covers, and although he still undertakes this work from time to time, the vast majority of his current paintings are now specifically commissioned by service organisations and private clients. Keith is a former Chairman of the Guild of Aviation Artists, he also gives illustration lectures, critiques and workshops.
More about Keith Woodcock
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