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Destination Amiens by Ivan Berryman. (B) - IvanBerryman.com

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Destination Amiens by Ivan Berryman. (B)


Destination Amiens by Ivan Berryman. (B)

When De Havilland built the prototype DH.98 Mosquito (E-0234) they did so as an act of the purest faith in their design since the Air Ministry had already dismissed the companys proposal for their all-wood aircraft as impractical and unworkable. However, when E-0234 first flew on 25th November 1940, it demonstrated remarkably smooth handling characteristics and its speed, as expected, was outstanding. Here at last was a bomber which, in a straight line, could outfly even the Spitfire, giving rise to such nicknames as Wooden Wonder and, succicntly The Aeroplane. With such an aircraft, it was soon realised, many new possibilities were laid open to the RAF, among them the chance to initiate precision raids whereupon carefully selected isolated targets could be attacked with pinpoint accuracy. Just such a raid took place on 18th February 1944, involving 18 Mosquitoes of Nos 64 and 487 Squadrons in an operation on the jail at Amiens, France, where a large number of the French Resistance were being held for questioning by the Gestapo. It was thought unlikely that any of them would survive their ordeal at the hands of their inquisitors and it was considered more sensible to try to aid their escape by breaching the prison walls, even if it meant that some of the prisoners might be killed in the process. An accurate model of the jail and the nearby town was constructed and each pilot viewed the model from eye level to familiarise themselves with the view that they would get from a planned height of 50 feet. With this knowledge and some carefully selected reference points such as church spires and chimneys, the Mosquitoes, led by Group Captain Charles Pickard, were able to brush over the rooftops of the town and deliver their bombs with incredible accuracy, breaching the prison walls in four places. 258 prisoners escaped in the ensuing chaos and were quickly spirited away by other Resistance groups who were waiting outside. Sadly, a number of French prisoners were killed in the raid and added to the losses of that day was Group Captain Pickard himself who fell victim to marauding Focke Wulf 190s, but the raid had been a tremendous success and further precision attacks using the most superb Mosquito were carried out throughout 1944 and 1945, each one making its own significant contribution to the downward turn in the fortunes of Hitlers Reich.
Item Code : B0222BDestination Amiens by Ivan Berryman. (B) - This Edition
TYPEDESCRIPTIONSIZESIGNATURESOFFERSPRICEPURCHASING
PRESENTATIONPilot signed edition of 50 publishers proofs.

Paper size 10 inches x 8 inches (25cm x 18cm) Cunningham, John (matted)
Beattie, Brian (matted)

Signature(s) value alone : £90
£135.00

Quantity:
All prices on our website are displayed in British Pounds Sterling



Other editions of this item : Destination Amiens by Ivan Berryman.B0222
TYPEDESCRIPTIONSIZESIGNATURESOFFERSPRICEPURCHASING
PRINTPilot signed edition of 50 publishers proofs. Paper size 10 inches x 8 inches (25cm x 18cm) Beattie, Brian

Signature(s) value alone : £35
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Supplied with one or more  free art prints!
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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.
NameInfo


Flight Lieutenant Brian Beattie
*Signature Value : £30 (matted)

Having served at 489 Coastal Command flying torpedo carrying Hampdens, he later joined Des Curtis at 248 Sqn where he also flew the Tse-Tse firing Mosquito.




Group Captain John Cunningham CBE DSO DFC AE DL FRAeS (deceased)
*Signature Value : £60 (matted)

John Cunningham joined the RAF in 1935 with 604 Squadron. At the outbreak of World War Two he was based at North Weald flying Blenheims on day escort and night fighter operations. In September 1940 he converted onto Beaufighters equipped with radar, the first aircraft that made night fighting really possible. In November he had the Squadrons first successful night combat. He took command of 604 Squadron in August 1941. After a period at HQ81 Group, he was posted on his second tour to command 85 Squadron equipped with Mosquitoes. In March 1944 with 19 night and 1 day victory he was posted to HQ11 Group to look after night operations. The most famous Allied night fighter Ace of WWII - 20 victories. He died 21st July 2002. Born in 1917, Group Captain John Cunningham was the top-scoring night fighter ace of the Royal Air Force. Cunningham joined the RAF in 1935 as a Pilot Officer. He learned to fly in the Avro 504N and was awarded his wings in 1936. While assigned to the Middlesex Squadron Auxiliary based at Hendon, Cunningham received instruction in the Hawker Hart prior to moving on the Hawker Demon. The Demon was a two-seat day and night fighter. Cunningharns squadron was mobilized in 1938 following the Czechoslovak crisis. His No. 604 unit was moved to North Weald. Later in 1938 his unit returned to Hendon and was reequipped with the more modern Blenheim 1 fighter. In August of 1939 the unit was again mobilized and returned to North Weald. The Squadron was primarily utilized to provide daylight air cover for convoys. Lacking radar the Blenheim was relatively useless as a night fighter. In September of 1940 the unit was moved to Middle Wallop and the first Bristol Beaufighters arrived. The Beatifighter had a modestly effective, although often unreliable radar. It was an excellent aircraft with reliable air-cooled engines and four 20mm cannons. Cunningham attained the units first night victory in the Beaufighter, and his tally rose steadily. He was promoted to Wing Commander of 604 Squadron in August of 1941. Cunningham completed his first combat tour of duty in mid-1942 with a total of 15 victories. He was then posted to H.Q. 81 Group, which was an operational training group under the Fighter Command. In January of 1943 Cunningham was transferred to command of No. 85 Squadron which was equipped with the Mosquito. With the higher speed of the Mosquito, Cunningham was successful at downing Fw-190s, something impossible in the slower Beaufighter. Cunningham completed his second tour in 1944 with a total of nineteen victories at night and one by day. He was promoted to Group Captain at that time, and was assigned to H.Q. 11 Group. Cunninghams radar operator Sqd. Ldr. Jimmy Rawnsley participated in most of Cunninghams victories. The 604 Squadron was disbanded in 1945, but in 1946 Cunningham was given the honor of reforming the Squadron at Hendon - flying the Spitfire. Cunningham left the RAF in 1946 and joined the De Havilland Aircraft Co. at Hatfield as its Chief Test Pilot. Cunningham had a long and distinguished career in the British aviation industry, retiring from British Aerospace in 1980. Cunningham was appointed OBE in 1951 and CBE in 1963. He was awarded the DSO in 1941 and Bars in 1942 and 1944; the DFC and Bar in 1941, also the Air Efficiency Award (AE). He also held the Soviet Order of Patriotic War 1st Class and the US Silver Star. Group Capt John Cunningham died at the age of 84 on the 21st July 2002.

The Aircraft :
NameInfo
MosquitoUsed 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.

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