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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.|
|Flt Lt Len MacNamara DFC|
*Signature Value : £35
|A Rear Gunner with 10 Squadron at Melbourne, before being transferred to 158 Squadron at Lissett. He completed 36 Operations, then after a spell at OTU, completed 10 more Operations with 75 New Zealand Squadron.|
Pilot Officer Bill Leckie, AEM, KW
*Signature Value : £50
|Bill Leckie was born in Glasgow, Scotland on 23rd June 1921, joined the Royal Air Force in June 1941 and went to St Johns Wood on the 15th of September 1941. Bill Leckie started his flying training on the 4th of April 1942 at Stoke Orchard near Cheltenham in Tiger Moths. He went to Canada on the 26th of May 1942 at Monkton for further training until June before going on to Detroit and on to Pensacola, Florida on the 1st October 1942, flying Stearman and Catalina Flying boats until 31st March 1943 when Bill went to Prince Edward Island for further training. Back in the UK, Bill was expecting to join a Coastal Command squadron flying Catalinas but was transferred to Bomber Command and a conversion course on to Whitleys at Kinloss Scotland on the 22nd of February 1944, and joined 77 Squadron at Full Sutton on the 19th July 1944 on Halifaxes, flying 6 bombing missions, one being the bombing of the Flying Bomb Factory at Russesheim, before transferring to 148 Special Duties squadron on the 19th of August 1944 and going to Brindisi. Pilot Officer Bill Leckie was involved in the dropping of supplies (guns, ammunition and food) to the Polish during the Warsaw uprising. This was a costly mission and many aircraft were lost. (Bill was flying Halifax JD319 (FS - G). For his efforts in air-dropping supplies during this period, Bill Leckie was awarded the Polish Cross of Valour (KW). Pilot Officer Bill Leckie was also the Pilot for Operation Ebensburg on Sunday 8th April 1945. Halifax B.II Series 1 (Special) JP254 of 148 Special Duties Squadron carried out the misison to drop four SOE agents and their equipment near Alt Aussee salt mine in the Austrian Alps. Thier mission was to secure and protect 6,755 items of the worlds greatest works of art that had been looted and stored by the Germans as they swept across Europe. With the allied forces closing in, the Germans had planned to blow up the entire store to prevent the artworks from falling into the hands of the liberators. Once on the ground, the four agents linked up with local resistance fighters and the mine and its valuable contents were eventually secured, the explosives made safe and the entire cache taken into the safe keeping of the 80th US Infantry Division as the German occupation of Europe crumbled. Bill Leckie stayed with 148 Squadron until 18th May 1945 when he was posted to Cairo with 216 Squadron (Dakotas) of Transport Command and on 1st January 1946 to 78 Squadron flying Dakotas again until 1st June 1946 , finally leaving the RAF on the 18th September 1946.|
|The Aircraft :|
|Halifax||Royal Air Force heavy Bomber with a crew of six to eight. Maximum speed of 280mph (with MK.VI top speed of 312mph) service ceiling of 22,800feet maximum range of 3,000 miles. The Halifax carried four .303 browning machine guns in the tail turret, two .303 browning machines in the nose turret in the MK III there were four .303 brownings in the dorsal turret. The Handley Page Halifax, first joined the Royal Air Force in March 1941 with 35 squadron. The Halifax saw service in Europe and the Middle east with a variety of variants for use with Coastal Command, in anti Submarine warfare, special duties, glider-tugs, and troop transportation roles. A total of 6177 Halifax's were built and stayed in service with the Royal Air Force until 1952|
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