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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.|
Hauptmann Peter Spoden
*Signature Value : £40 (matted)
|Peter Spoden was born in Borken near Minster on 8th November 1921. Peter Spoden completed his education in 1940 and worked initially on the railways. Spoden learned to fly gliders with the Hitler Youth. He finally joined the Luftwaffe in October 1941. Spoden trained at the Luftkriegsschule 4 at Fürstenfeldbruck. After gaining his Pilot’s Badge and A/B flying certificate, Spoden attended Flugzeugführerschule C 17 at Pütnitz where he trained to fly multi-engine types. On the 1st of February 1942 Spoden was promoted to the rank of Leutnant and on 1st September, Spoden attended the Blindflugschule at Copenhagen for instrument flight training before pgoing to the Nachtjagdschule at Kitzingen for operational training. On 1 June 1943, Leutnant Spoden was assigned to 6./NJG 5 based at Parchim. He scored his first victory on the Peenemunde raid when he intercepted a RAF formation of Lancaster bomber between Hanshagen and Greifswald.whihc were attacking the German the research facilities. On the night of 22/23 August, while attacking RAF bomber formations over Berlin, Spoden shot down a Halifax, before engaging an RAF Stirling four-engine bomber. He shot down the Stirling, but the bombers rear-gunner was able to score hits on Spoden’s Bf 110 night-fighter, wounding him in the left leg, and setting his aircraft on fire. Spoden baled out of his Me110 but contacted the tail unit pinning him to the elevator. Fortunately, he was thrown clear. Spoden spent three months recuperating before returning to 5./NJG 5 in November and in August 1944, Spoden was transferred to the Stabsstaffel of II./NJG 6 based at Swäbisch Hall. On the night of 26/27 December, he was seeking Allied gliders supplying men and equipment to encircled troops at Bastogne when his Me110 was hit by German flak. The port engine caught fire and Spoden was forced to belly-land his aircraft near Stradtkyll. Spoden was knocked unconscious and was pulled from the blazing wreckage by his crewmen. On 21 February 1945, Spoden recorded his 20th victory when he shot down Lancaster near Worms. In late February, he was awarded the Deutsches Kreuz in Gold for 22 victories. Returning to night fighting he eventually became Gruppenkommandeur of I./NJG6 on 19th March 1945, his final tally was 26 victories. On 29 April 1945 the remnants of NJG 6 surrendered to American troops at Schleissheim. Spoden was released from captivity in autumn 1945. In 1954, he was accepted for a Lufthansa training programme to become an airline pilot. He completed the course on 20 July 1955, retiring in 1981.|
Leutnant Karl-Ludwig Johanssen (deceased)
*Signature Value : £35 (matted)
|Karl-Ludwig Johanssen was born on 15th May 1921. Flying with III./NJG4 and I./NJG6, he was one of the Luftwaffe's most successful radio operators, flying with Martin Becker and participating in 59 air victories. He was awarded with the Knights Cross in March 1945. He died on 11th August 2009.|
Leutnant Otto Fries
*Signature Value : £50 (matted)
|Otto Fries was posted to NJG I nightfighter unit in January 1942 as a Gefreiter. He served with them on the Western Front right through until the end of the war, flying continuously against RAF Bomber Command. He was commissioned Leutnant in August 1943. In July 1944 Otto was flying Me110s of II.Gruppe based in St. Trond, St. Dizier and then Arnheim. He later joined I.Gruppe before transferring to Münster-Hansdorf flying the Heinkel 219 Owl. He is one of the last surviving He219 pilots. Shot down four times, on the second of which he escaped by catapult ejection seat out of the He219 during night operations for home defence - it is thought had been shot down by night fighter Mosquito R of 85 Sqd flown by F/Lt Vaughan and F/Sgt R D McKinnon. The right hand engine of his He219 suddenly exploded into flames. With the loss of most of the control of the aircraft he jettisoned the aircrafts canopy, his wireless operator Feldwebel Alfred Staffa baled out and was severley wounded on landing with his parachute. Lt Otto Fries could not regain sufficient control of the He219 which was now burning so he ejected. He landed unhurt by means of his parachute. The He219 crashed about 3 kilometres south of Hertogenbosch and was destroyed. This was only the third such ejection in combat in the world. Otto scored 18 air victories by the end of the war.|
|The Aircraft :|
|Gladiator||GLOSTER GLADIATOR: A continuation form the Gloster Gauntlet aircraft the Gloster Gladiator (SS37) becoming designated the F.7/30 was named Gladiator on the 1st July 1935. The first 70 Gladiators had Under wing machine guns (Vickers or Lewis) before the browning became standard The first aircraft arrived at Tangmere airfield on in February 1937 to no. 72 squadron. at the outbreak of world war two a total of 218 Gladiators had been received by the Royal air force with a total of 76 on active service. They served also in the Middle eats and in 1940 when Italy joined the war was nearly the only front line fighter in the middle east. Between 1939 and 1941. the Gloster Gladiator flew in many war zones. flying in France, Greece, Norway, Crete Egypt Malta and Aden. The Aircraft claimed nearly 250 air victories. It stayed in front line duties until 1942, then becoming fighter trainer, and other sundry roles. It continued in these roles until the end of world war two. The Naval equivalent the Sea Gladiator a short service in the Middle east and European waters. A Total of 746 aircraft were built of these 98 were Sea Gladiators.. Performance. speed: 250mph at 17,500 feet, 257 mph at 14,600 Range 430 miles. Armament: Two fixed .3-03 browning machine guns|
|Me110||The Bf-110 grew out of Herman Gorings specifications for a multipurpose aircraft capable of penetrating deep into enemy airspace to clear the sky of enemy fighters in advance of German bomber formations. The aircraft would also be utilized as a long range interceptor, and as a ground support and ground attack bomber. The Bf-110 prototype first flew in 1936. The prototype was under powered with its Daimier Benz DB 600A engines. Several months passed before a go ahead was given for large scale production which commenced in 1938. Utilizing improved DB 601 engines, the early production 110s were as fast as any single engine fighter at that time, and had superior fire power. Their biggest apparent weakness was in the areas of armor protection for the crew, and in terms of maneuverability when compared to single seat fighters. The 110 was produced in large numbers and in many different variants. The 110D was the long range model. An additional belly tank was fitted to that aircraft, with several later variants having the more traditional drop tanks. The first serious test for the Bf-110 came during the Battle of Britain. About 300 Bf-110s were involved. They became easy prey for Hurricane and Spitfire pilots, and Bf-109s were often required to assist the 110s in their own defense. On August 15, 1940, which became known as Black Tuesday, the Bf-110s were ravaged by the RAF, and for the month over 100 aircraft were lost. On the Eastern Front the Bf-110 performed admirably in the early stages of Operation Barbarossa. With the Soviet Air Force weakened in the first several weeks of the attack, 110s were effectively utilized in a ground attack role. Ultimately, the Luftwaffe re-equipped a significant number of its 110s as night fighters. The aircraft performed well in this role because it was a good gun platform with sufficient speed to overtake the RAF night bombers. Such night missions were typically carried out with no Allied fighter escort, so the 110 night fighters would not have to engage or elude Allied fighters in this role.|
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