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Reade Tilley and Byron Duckenfield Pilot Signed Malta Spitfire Aviation Prints by Stan Stokes and Ivan Berryman.- Anthony Saunders Aviation and Naval Art
STK0135C. Stung by the Wasp by Stan Stokes. <p> The Axis attack on the British controlled island of Malta commenced in 1940 only one day after Mussolini committed Italy's forces on the side of the Germans during WW II. This strategically located island was a thorn in the side of Axis plans to dominate the Mediterranean and win control of North Africa. Malta would be attacked thousands of times by waves of both Italian and German bombers during the course of the War. On a per acre basis it may be one of the most bombed targets of WW II. In the early phases of the defense of the island a handful of Gloster Gladiators which were supplemented eventually by RAF Hurricanes carried on the brunt of the islands defense. Spitfires were sorely needed. The first Fifteen Spitfires arrived in Malta on March 7, 1942, and a second group of Spits arrived on March 29. In both cases they were launched from the HMS Eagle, and had to fly more than 600 miles over the Mediterranean to reach the island. In April of 1942, Churchill asked Roosevelt for assistance in supplying Spitfires to Malta. The besieged island was now in range of approximately 400 German fighters and bombers and about 200 Italian aircraft, and intelligence information pointed to the possibility of an invasion by airborne paratrooper forces out of Sicily. Due to combat losses, and the difficulty in getting spare parts, the islands defenders could generally muster only 20-30 defensive fighters on any particular day. This was woefully inadequate. With the Eagle was now laid up for repairs, and the Argus and Victorious not capable of handling the Spitfires. Churchill specifically requested American intervention, and asked FDR if the USS Wasp could shuttle fifty Spitfires to Malta. FDR agreed to the mission, and plans were immediately implemented. It was determined that two entire Spitfire squadrons No. 601 and 603 would make the journey. These units had a number of American pilots. On April 12 the Wasp docked on the Clyde of Glasgow and began taking on the Spitfires for her journey. With most of its regular aircraft removed, only nineteen F4F Wildcats were retained for fighter cover. On the 14th the Wasp set sale with a number of escorts. All the aircraft were Mk. Vc models equipped with four canon and four machine guns. Each had a Vokes air filter fitted beneath its nose and was equipped with a 90-gallon auxiliary fuel tank. The Spits were over-sprayed with a dark blue paint in hopes of making them less noticeable to the enemy during the 660 mile over water flight to Malta. Following breakfast on Monday April 20, 1942, the RAF pilots manned the 47 aircraft deemed suitable for the flight and the launch commenced. One immediate casualty was an RAF mechanic who walked into a turning prop and was immediately killed. One American pilot flew his Spitfire to Algeria, but the remaining 46 aircraft successfully landed in Malta. Within hours of their arrival the airfields were once again under attack by Axis bombers, and the newly arrived pilots were immediately pressed into service defending the island. The ability of the British to retain control of Malta as a base for torpedo planes and bombers which could harrass Rommels supply lines to North Africa, was critical in attaining eventual Allied victory in North Africa, the successful invasion of Italy, and ultimately, complete Allied victory in Europe. <b><p>Signed by RAF Eagle Sqn Ace Reade F Tilley (deceased). <p>Prints from the 225 prints from the signed limited edition of 4750 prints, with signature of Stan Stokes and pilot. <p> Image size 16 inches x 11.5 inches (41cm x 30cm)
B0356. Victory Over Malta by Ivan Berryman. <p> George Beurling in Spitfire VC BR301 in action against a Macchi 202 over Malta in 1942. <b><p>Signed by Group Captain Byron Duckenfield AFC (deceased). <p>Limited edition of 30 giclee art prints.  <p> Image size 12 inches x 8 inches (31cm x 21cm)

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Reade Tilley and Byron Duckenfield Pilot Signed Malta Spitfire Aviation Prints by Stan Stokes and Ivan Berryman.

PCK2595. Reade Tilley and Byron Duckenfield Pilot Signed Malta Spitfire Aviation Prints by Stan Stokes and Ivan Berryman.

Aviation Print Pack.

Items in this pack :

Item #1 - Click to view individual item

STK0135C. Stung by the Wasp by Stan Stokes.

The Axis attack on the British controlled island of Malta commenced in 1940 only one day after Mussolini committed Italy's forces on the side of the Germans during WW II. This strategically located island was a thorn in the side of Axis plans to dominate the Mediterranean and win control of North Africa. Malta would be attacked thousands of times by waves of both Italian and German bombers during the course of the War. On a per acre basis it may be one of the most bombed targets of WW II. In the early phases of the defense of the island a handful of Gloster Gladiators which were supplemented eventually by RAF Hurricanes carried on the brunt of the islands defense. Spitfires were sorely needed. The first Fifteen Spitfires arrived in Malta on March 7, 1942, and a second group of Spits arrived on March 29. In both cases they were launched from the HMS Eagle, and had to fly more than 600 miles over the Mediterranean to reach the island. In April of 1942, Churchill asked Roosevelt for assistance in supplying Spitfires to Malta. The besieged island was now in range of approximately 400 German fighters and bombers and about 200 Italian aircraft, and intelligence information pointed to the possibility of an invasion by airborne paratrooper forces out of Sicily. Due to combat losses, and the difficulty in getting spare parts, the islands defenders could generally muster only 20-30 defensive fighters on any particular day. This was woefully inadequate. With the Eagle was now laid up for repairs, and the Argus and Victorious not capable of handling the Spitfires. Churchill specifically requested American intervention, and asked FDR if the USS Wasp could shuttle fifty Spitfires to Malta. FDR agreed to the mission, and plans were immediately implemented. It was determined that two entire Spitfire squadrons No. 601 and 603 would make the journey. These units had a number of American pilots. On April 12 the Wasp docked on the Clyde of Glasgow and began taking on the Spitfires for her journey. With most of its regular aircraft removed, only nineteen F4F Wildcats were retained for fighter cover. On the 14th the Wasp set sale with a number of escorts. All the aircraft were Mk. Vc models equipped with four canon and four machine guns. Each had a Vokes air filter fitted beneath its nose and was equipped with a 90-gallon auxiliary fuel tank. The Spits were over-sprayed with a dark blue paint in hopes of making them less noticeable to the enemy during the 660 mile over water flight to Malta. Following breakfast on Monday April 20, 1942, the RAF pilots manned the 47 aircraft deemed suitable for the flight and the launch commenced. One immediate casualty was an RAF mechanic who walked into a turning prop and was immediately killed. One American pilot flew his Spitfire to Algeria, but the remaining 46 aircraft successfully landed in Malta. Within hours of their arrival the airfields were once again under attack by Axis bombers, and the newly arrived pilots were immediately pressed into service defending the island. The ability of the British to retain control of Malta as a base for torpedo planes and bombers which could harrass Rommels supply lines to North Africa, was critical in attaining eventual Allied victory in North Africa, the successful invasion of Italy, and ultimately, complete Allied victory in Europe.

Signed by RAF Eagle Sqn Ace Reade F Tilley (deceased).

Prints from the 225 prints from the signed limited edition of 4750 prints, with signature of Stan Stokes and pilot.

Image size 16 inches x 11.5 inches (41cm x 30cm)


Item #2 - Click to view individual item

B0356. Victory Over Malta by Ivan Berryman.

George Beurling in Spitfire VC BR301 in action against a Macchi 202 over Malta in 1942.

Signed by Group Captain Byron Duckenfield AFC (deceased).

Limited edition of 30 giclee art prints.

Image size 12 inches x 8 inches (31cm x 21cm)


Website Price: £ 115.00  

To purchase these prints individually at their normal retail price would cost £190.00 . By buying them together in this special pack, you save £75




All prices are displayed in British Pounds Sterling

 

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


The signature of Col Reade F Tilley USAF (deceased)

Col Reade F Tilley USAF (deceased)
*Signature Value : £45 (matted)

A native of Clearwater, Florida, Reade Tilley grew up with a love for competition in the fast lane. This made Reade natural for driving race cars and the military equivalent; fighter pilot. After attending the St. Petersburg College in Florida and the University of Texas at Austin, Reade was faced with the difficult choice of deciding whether to continue to pursue his race car driving career or become a fighter pilot. With war raging in Europe, Reade opted for the latter, and joined the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1940. In 1941 he was assigned to No. 121 Eagle Squadron of the RAF. This was one of the three American-manned squadrons in the RAF. Reading of the horrific air attacks being endured by the people of the besieged Island of Malta, Reade volunteered for a daring mission to launch landbased Spitfires from the USS Wasp to relieve the forces on the island. On the morning of April 20, 1942 forty-seven Spits, including one flown by Tilley, were launched from the Wasp. The arrival of these fighters was very important in saving the strategic island from annihilation by the Nazis. Arriving safely in Malta, Tilley would soon fly in combat, and on his second mission he would down a Bf-109. The Luftwaffe launched an all-out effort to destroy the recently arrived Spitfires, and within a matter of days all of the newly arrived aircraft were either destroyed or damaged. In June Tilley returned to Gibraltar and led another flight of Spitfires to Malta, this time from the deck of the HMS Eagle. During his combat tours at Malta, Tilley attained a total of seven confirmed aerial victories, two probables, and five damaged. He was one of the first two American pilots to be awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross during the defense of Malta. The citation reads in part: "... on three occasions by making feint attacks after having expended his ammunition he successfully drove off enemy fighters attempting to machine gun our aircraft as they landed ..." Reade was promoted to Flying Officer in August of 1942, and in October he transferred to the USAAC with the rank of Captain. In early 1944 he was promoted to the rank of Major. Tilley remained with the USAF following the War and served initially with the USAFE, the Air Forces in Europe, where he was involved with the Berlin Air Lift. Later Tilley would serve with the Strategic Air Command. Promoted to Colonel in 1955, he served as the Director of Public Information for General Curtis LeMay. During this period Tilley was able to hone his race car driving skills as a member of the SAC Racing Team. Driving an Allard, Tilley competed against some of the top professional drivers of the era in a series of road race competitions at Air Force bases throughout the country. Reade also served as Director of Information for Pacific Air Forces during the Vietnam War. After retiring from the Air Force, he became a consultant. Reade Tilley passed away in 2001.
Signatures on item 2
*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


The signature of Group Captain Byron Duckenfield AFC (deceased)

Group Captain Byron Duckenfield AFC (deceased)
*Signature Value : £40 (matted)

Byron Duckenfield started at Flying Training School on 25th November 1935 in a Blackburn B2 at Brough. As a Sergeant, he joined No.32 Sqn at Biggin Hill on 8th August 1936 and flew Gauntlets and Hurricanes. He joined 74 Squadron at Hornchurch on 11th April 1940, flying Spitfires, and on 5th May was posted to 501 Squadron flying Hurricanes at Tangmere. On the 11th of May at Betheniville, he survived a crash in a passenger transport Bombay aircraft in an aircraft in which he was a passenger, While comin ginto land the aircraft at 200 feet the aircraft stalled and the aircrfat fell backwards just levelly out as it histhe ground. 5 of th epassengers were killed when the centre section collapsed and crushed them. Duckenfield was fortunate as he had moved position during the flight. as the two passengers sitting each side of where he was sitting had died in the crash. (it was found later that the Bombay had beeb loaded with to much weight in the aft sectiion. ) recovering in hospital in Roehampton. On 23rd July 1940, he rejoined No.501 Sqn at Middle Wallop, then moved to to Gravesend two days later, scoring his first victory, a Ju87, on the 29th of July 1940. During August and September he scored three more victories. After a spell as a test pilot from 14th September 1940, he was posted to command 66 Squadron on 20th December 1941, flying Spitfires. On 26th February 1942 he took command of 615 Squadron flying Hurricanes from Fairwood Common, taking the squadron to the Far East. In late December 1942 he was shot down in Burma and captured by the Japanese. He remained a POW until release in May 1945. After a refresher course at the Flying Training School in November 1949, he took command of No.19 Squadron flying Hornets and Meteors from Chruch Fenton. After a series of staff positions, he retired from the RAF as a Group Captain on 28th May 1969. Duckenfield would write later his details :

Burma

At first light, 12 Hurricanes IIC aircraft of 615 Squadron, myself in the lead, took off from Chittagong for central Burma to attack the Japanese air base at Magwe, 300 miles away on the banks of the River Irrawaddy. Arriving at Yenangyaung, we turned downstream at minimum height for Magwe, 30 miles to the South and jettisoned drop tanks. Just before sighting the enemy base, the squadron climbed to 1200 feet and positioned to attack from up sun. On the ramp at the base, in front of the hangers, were 10 or 12 Nakajima KI - 43 Oscars in a rough line up (not dispersed) perhaps readying for take. These aircraft and the hangars behind them were attacked in a single pass, before withdrawing westward at low level and maximum speed. A few minutes later perhaps 20 miles away form Magwe, I was following the line of a cheung (small creek), height about 250 feet, speed aboput 280 mph, when the aircraft gave a violent shudder, accompanied by a very lound, unusual noise. The cause was instantly apparent: the airscrew has disappeared completely, leaving only the spinning hub. My immediate reaction was to throttle back fully and switch off to stop the violently overspeeding engine. Further action was obvious: I was committed to staying with the aircraft because, with a high initial speed, not enough height to eject could be gained without the help of an airscrew. So I jettisoned the canopy and acknowledged gratefully the fact that I was following a creek; the banks of either side were hillocky ground, hostile to a forced landing aircraft. Flying the course of the creek, I soon found the aircraft to be near the stall (luckily, a lower than normal figure without an airscrew) extended the flaps and touched down wheels-up with minimum impact ( I have done worse landings on a smooth runway!) My luck was holding, if one can talk of luck in such a situation. December is the height of the dry season in that area and the creek had little water, it was shallow and narrow at the point where I came down: shallow enough to support the fusalage and narrow enough to support wing tips. So I released the harness, pushed the IFF Destruct switch, climed out and walked the wing ashore, dryshod. The question may occur -Why did not others in the squadron see their leader go down? - the answer is simple, the usual tatctic of withdrawal from an enemy target was to fly single at high speed and low level on parallel courses until a safe distance from target was attained. Then, the formation would climb to re-assemble. Having left the aircraft, I now faced a formidable escape problem? I was 300 miles from friendly territory: my desired route would be westward but 80% of that 300 miles was covered by steep north-south ridges impenetrably clothed in virgin jungle; these were natural impediments, there was also the enemy to consider. Having thought over my predicament, I decided the best I could do - having heard reports of mean herted plainspeope - was to get as far into the hills as possible and then find a (hopefully sympathetic) village. I suppose I may have covered about 15 miles by nightfall when I came upon this small hill village and walked into the village square. Nobody seemed surprised to see me (I suspect I had been followed for some time) I wa given a quiet welcome, seated at a table in the open and given food. Then exhaustion took over, I fell asleep in the chair and woke later to find myself tied up in it. Next day I was handed over to a Japanese sergeant and escort who took me back to Magwe and, soon after that, 2.5 years captivity in Rangoon jail.

Sadly we have learned that Byron Duckenfield passed away on 19th November 2010.

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