Defence of London

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Douglas Bader is one of the best known RAF pilots. Outspoken he could be, but he was also an inspiration to the men that he led into battle. Bader had lost both of his legs in a pre-war flying accident in 1931. With tremendous strength of will and determination, Bader resolved to fly again but the RAF 'retired' him on medical grounds. This could have been the end of his career but when War finally broke out Bader rejoined the RAF to score his first victories in the Battle for France. After flying operations over Dunkirk, he was posted to 242 Squadron, which he quickly turned around. The Unit was part of 12 Group and Bader was firmly convinced that the 'Big Wing' theory of Air Vice-Marshall Leigh-Mallory was correct. The Wing, however, was extremely difficult to assemble but on 15th September 1940 the Big Wing had its biggest day. The Luftwaffe had, once again, targetted London and 11 Group were already snapping at the formations as they came in across the home counties. As the formation of German Dornier 17's reached the heart of London - Bader's 'Big Wing', which had been scrambled from Duxford, hove into view! One of the tired German crewmen came on the intercom.."Here come those last fifty Spitfires!", in reference to Goring's belief that Fighter Command were finished. The sight of so many Spitfire and Hurricanes over London was a severe shock to the raiders and a huge tonic to the people of Britain. The 15th September is now commemorated as 'Battle of Britain Day'. In tribute to the courage of Douglas Bader, and indeed all the RAF pilots who flew that day, Nicolas Trudgian has produced an absolutely incredible drawing depicting the Hurricane of Douglas Bader leading the Duxford Wing into attack. The Dorniers of KG76 are simply overwhelmed by RAF roundels and, for the first time, the Luftwaffe crews feel themselves outnumbered. Below lies London and the Thames in fantastic detail - this is one of the greatest drawings Nick has ever produced.

This superb Pencil Print carries the Signatures of no less than TEN Battle of Britain pilots:

Squadron Leader Nigel ROSE - 602 Squadron [Spitfire]

Air Commodore John ELLACOMBE - 151 Squadron [Hurricane]

Squadron Leader Tony PICKERING - 501 Squadron [Hurricane]

Wing Commander Paul FARNES - 501 Squadron [Hurricane]

Wing Commander Tom NEIL - 249 Squadron [Hurricane]

Flight Lt. Len DAVIES - 151 Squadron [Hurricane]

Flight Lt. Keith LAWRENCE - 603 Squadron [Spitfire]

Squadron Leader Geoffrey WELLUM - 92 Squadron [Spitfire]

Flight Lt. Ken WILKINSON - 616 Squadron [Spitfire]

Flight Lt. Bill GREEN - 501 Squadron [Hurricane]

Print Size is 60x42 cms

** This Print Edition is Limited to only 50 worldwide **