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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.|
Flight Lieutenant Terry Clark
*Signature Value : £40
|Terry Clark was born in Croyden on 11th April 1919. Terry Clark joined 615 RAuxAF in March 1938 in Kenley, as an Aircrafthand. Called up in 1939, he joined 615 Squadron, Auxiliary Air force, and flew as a gunner in Hawker Hectors before he qualified as an Air Gunner and also a Radio Observer. He joined No.219 Sqn at Catterick in July 1940 and flew on Beaufighters throughout the Battle of Britain. By September 1940, the conflict had reached its zenith and at night the feared Blitz began in earnest. More radar specialists were needed to deal with the threat so Mr Clark was sent to Beaufighters. He did not receive any training and still wore the AG brevet, but people began to ask why a plane without a gun turret had an air gunner on board, so he was given a badge that said RO. Eventually, in recognition of his new role, Mr Clark was awarded his third flying badge – N for Navigator. His job was to track enemy aircraft and guide the pilot towards the selected contact. It was while flying the Beaufighter that he was awarded the DFM on 8th July 1941 after assisting his pilot to down three aircraft at night. He joined 1455 Flight in 1941, forming at Tangmere with Turbinlite Havocs, then flew the same aircraft with 1451 Flight at Hunsdon, locating enemy aircraft by Radar in the Havoc for accompanying fighters to attack and destroy. Commissioned in May 1942 from Warrant Officer and in May 1943 he was posted to No.488 Sqn RNZAF.|
Flt Lt Bob Milne DFM
*Signature Value : £30
|Flt Lt Bob Milne DFM joined the RAF and on 13th March 1942 sailed for Canada escorted by two Canadian Corvettes. Off Iceland the escort changed to American warships including a battleship, cruisers and destroyers. After thirteen days he landed in New York having been diverted from New Brunswick, due to U-boat activity. Flying Training School was on an RCAF camp at Hagersville, Ontario, and there he gained his Wings. Coming second on the reconnaissance course, Milne was recommended for Sunderland flying boats. On return to Britain on the Queen Elizabeth I, this was changed to Beaufighters due to heavy losses of torpedo carrying Beaufighters meant that replacement crews were a constant requirement. On 23rd August 43 he joined 47 Squadron at Tunis at the end of the Sicily Campaign and just prior to the invasion of Italy. His duties were attacking shipping in the area between Sardinia and the Italian mainland. Milne and the other crews would fly at fifty feet to avoid radar detection, no lower because this would leave slipstream trails on the water which would be visible to enemy aircraft. If a target ship was located the four aircraft without torpedoes would fire on the ship while the Torpedo carrying Beaufighters positioned themselves to deliver the torpedoes. Having assessed the type of ship and its speed they would climb up to 150 feet, aimed ahead of the ship according to the speed estimated, and then at 1000 yards range with wings level, level fore and aft, and speed 180 knots drop the torpedo. Shortly afterwards the squadron were moved from Tunis to El Adem in Libya where they were there to locate a German invasion fleet which was leaving Athens to cross the Aegean sailing from island to island until it could invade Leros where Allied troops were held up. During the next three weeks they lost thirteen of the eighteen crews ending up with no usable planes and only three available crews. Leros fell on the 16th November 1943. The squadron had to reform with new planes and crews to get up to strength, and then moved to nearby Gambut III in the Western Desert. There 47 Squadron would continue operations in the Aegean for another three months before going to the Far East to stand by for the Japanese Fleet. One operation carried on 22nd February 44 was written up in a magazine called Parade. They were to attack the last ship of any size left in the Mediterranean. It was approaching Heraklion in Northern Crete with an escort of two destroyers and the usual Me109s. No.47 Squadron Torbeaus were escorted by fighter Beaus of Nos.47 and 603 Squadrons and approached from the east. A flight of American Mitchells then turned back drawing off the German fighters so that the ship could be attacked without their interference. This worked perfectly and the ship was hit with torpedoes and sank before the 109s realised what was happening. Three Beaufighters were then shot down. The strike was thus very successful. In March 1944 a Torpedo squadron was needed in the Far East and 47 Squadron was ordered to go. Milne was now tour expired along with two of his colleagues, but it was realised that if they left there would be no one apart from the CO who had actually dropped torpedoes. They were therefore booked for a second tour with the same squadron. They flew out from near Cairo to Baghdad, Bahrain, Sherja, Karachi, Hyderabad and finally Madras to await the Japanese Fleet. After six months the Japanese were suffering reverses so the Fleet finally went to the Pacific instead of into the Indian Ocean. They then changed to bombs and rockets on the Beaufighters and then later onto Mosquitoes in order to fight in Burma. He completed a second tour but had difficulty getting a transport plane out of Burma so two months later, when the war ended, he was still there. Then on the first day of peace a Japanese raiding party raided the camp and Milne was wounded, ending up in hospital. He was on an airfield north of Rangoon and returned there on discharge from hospital. The first prisoners of war to be freed were brought here by Dakotas. Late in August 1945, two years after joining 47 Squadron Milne left in a Dakota bound for Calcutta and then on to Bombay where he boarded a ship, destination England.|
Sqn Ldr John Pemberton
*Signature Value : £35
|Also known as Zbysek Necas, Czechoslovakian 'Nicky' joined 68 Squadron as a Navigator and flew Mosquitos as night time defence over the British mainland, accounting for 3 German aircraft. Post War he flew Lightnings and Phantoms in the Cold War against the Russians.|
|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.|
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