MALTA - GEORGE CROSS - 'Malta Edition'
Crucial to the Allies in their battle with the Axis Forces in North Africa, Malta's naval dockyards and airfields provided the only base from which ships and aircraft could attack the convoys supplying Rommel's desert forces. The German High Command, fully aware of its importance, made every effort to bomb the island out of existence. By April 1942 the RAF was down to just six serviceable Spitfires and Hurricanes, Allied convoys were being decimated unopposed, and Malta was in danger of starvation. Two and a half of relentless bombing had blitzed the dockyards out of operation, prompting Kesselring to tell Hitler that Malta was neutralised.
But they had failed to take into account the heroism of a tiny force of RAF fighters pilots, the British Merchant Navy, the decisive role played by the British aircraft carriers 'Eagle' and 'Furious', the American carrier 'Wasp', and the iron will of the people of Malta.
In the spring of 1942, when Spitfires arrived from the decks of carriers HMS Eagle and USS Wasp, arrived at the island's battered airstrips, the battle took a new turn. At last, though still heavily outnumbered, the Spitfires could put up a meaningful defence. Never again would Axis raids be met with token resistence and gradually the Spitfires began to dominate the skies above the beleaguered island. They had arrived in the nick of time.
Robert Taylor has depicted the Spitfire of Australian John Bisley of 126 Squadron dogfighting with a Me109F from JG53 during an intense air battle over Valetta harbour in April 1943.
The Malta Edition of 250 Prints is Signed by SIX Spitfire pilots who served in the defence of Malta:-
Flight Lt. Ken EVANS - 126 Squadron
Flight Lt. Ian MACLENNAN - 1435 Flight
Flight Lt. Colin PARKINSON - 229 Squadron
Flight Lt, Jack RAE - 603 Squadron
Squadron Leader Arthur ROSCOE - 229 Squadron
Flight Lt. Allan SCOTT - 603 & 1435 Flight
The Print measures 33 x 23 Inches
This Edition also comes with the Companion Print "HMS Illustrious" - which is Signed by a Further THREE Pilots:-
Group Captain Billy DRAKE
Commander Mike CROSSLEY RN
Lt. Commander Peter TWISS RN
The Companion Print measures 20 x 16 Inches
I have one copy available in Mint Condition with CoA and Brochure