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M/Sig R D Pearson

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Joined the RAF in 1943 to begin training as an Air Gunner. After the usual short attachments at various training stations eventually ending up at No 2 AGS Dalcross. Air firing was carried out from an Avro Anson. There was always a mad rush to be first aboard the aircraft on every detail, not from enthusiasm, but from trying to avoid winding up the undercarriage after take off. M/Sig Pearson went from Dalcross to Kinloss to join a crew flying Whitleys and several months later ended up at 158 Sqdn Lissett to commence operations on Halifaxes. After half a tour and very happy at Lissett his crew were posted onto a PFF Sqdn, 635 Sqdn Downham Market. His first operation, and very nearly his last, was a daylight raid on Hamburg. On the bombing run, they had the misfortune to be selected by the pilot of a ME262 as his victim. He was not spotted until he was dead astern and blazing away with the four 30mm cannon in the nose. Evasive action was given and the pilot promptly stood the Lanc on its nose. Unfortunately not all the cannon shells missed and they lost quite a piece of fuselage leaving ammo belts hanging out in the slipstream. After regaining level flight, they were attacked again by another ME262, but this time they were lucky. Both ME pilots decided to push off and find some other sitting duck! Despite these attacks, they carried on and bombed, making their way home across the North Sea, not a pleasant journey. The pilot received an immediate award of the DFC. M/Sig Pearson finished the war out at Downham Market and after the war in Europe ended was posted to 83 Sqdn Conningsby for Tiger Force training and operations against the Japanese. Fortunately the war in the east ceased just as they were ready to depart. He was demobbed in May 1947, but was not happy out of uniform so was back in again at the end of 1949 as an A/G flying on Lincolns at 9 Sqdn. Binbrook. He had a short detachment with 617 Sqdn at Shallufa, Egypt and at the end of 1952 was posted onto B29 aircraft with 15 Sqdn. Coningsby. After six months he was posted to Little Rissington on a Link Trainer course and then to FTS Syerston as a Link instructor to Naval cadet pilots. In 1955, he was required to either remuster to a ground trade or take another aircrew trade. He was posted to Swanton Morley to take training as an Air Signaller and from then to St Mawgan 228 Sqdn on Shackletons. Next came a posting to Northolt in a drawing office drawing En-Route charts and Terminal Approach Procedures. Back to flying in 1961 and a posting to 224 Sqdn Gibraltar and then to Air Traffic Control School at Shawbury. On completion of this course came a posting to RAF Lyneham as Local Controller and thence to RAF Colerne as Approach Controller. He left the service in 1968.

Items Signed by M/Sig R D Pearson

In the depths of winter, Halifax aircraft of 158 Squadron based at RAF Lissett, Yorkshire, make their final preparations before take off. A remarkable aircraft much loved by its crews.......
Mutual Support by Philip West.
Price : £125.00
In the depths of winter, Halifax aircraft of 158 Squadron based at RAF Lissett, Yorkshire, make their final preparations before take off. A remarkable aircraft much loved by its crews.......

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 In the depths of winter, Halifax aircraft of 158 Squadron based at RAF Lissett, Yorkshire, make their final preparations before take off. A remarkable aircraft much loved by its crews. ......
Mutual Support by Philip West. (AP)
Price : £150.00
In the depths of winter, Halifax aircraft of 158 Squadron based at RAF Lissett, Yorkshire, make their final preparations before take off. A remarkable aircraft much loved by its crews. ......

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 In the depths of winter, Halifax aircraft of 158 Squadron based at RAF Lissett, Yorkshire, make their final preparations before take off. A remarkable aircraft much loved by its crews. ......
Mutual Support by Philip West. (Y)
Price : £95.00
In the depths of winter, Halifax aircraft of 158 Squadron based at RAF Lissett, Yorkshire, make their final preparations before take off. A remarkable aircraft much loved by its crews. ......

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WW2 Halifax Bomber Prints by Philip West and Gerald Coulson.
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Leading the Way by Gerald Coulson.
Mutual Support by Philip West.

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WW2 Halifax Prints by Philip West and Robert Taylor.
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Mutual Support by Philip West.
Halifax Legend by Robert Taylor

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Handley Page Halifax Aircraft Prints by Ivan Berryman and Philip West.
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Mutual Support by Philip West.
Friday the 13th by Ivan Berryman. (B)

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WW2 Bomber Command Halifax Prints by Philip West and Ivan Berryman.
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Mutual Support by Philip West.
Halifax Tugs Towing Hamilcar Gliders by Ivan Berryman. (D)

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Halifax Aircraft Aviation Print Pack by Ivan Berryman and Philip West.
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Mutual Support by Philip West.
Halifax Mk.III NA337 by Ivan Berryman. (D)

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M/Sig R D Pearson

Squadrons for : M/Sig R D Pearson
A list of all squadrons known to have been served with by M/Sig R D Pearson. A profile page is available by clicking the squadron name.
SquadronInfo

No.15 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 1st March 1915

Aim sure

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No.15 Sqn RAF

On 1st March 1915, the officers and men who made up No.1 Reserve Squadron and the Recruits Depot, all of whom were based at South Farnborough, Hampshire, were brought together to form No.15 Squadron, Royal Flying Corps. Initially, the new squadron was equipped with a diverse range of flying machines, including Henri and Maurice Farmans, Avros, Bleriots, Moranes and BE2c aircraft. Having relocated to an airfield at Hounslow, west of London, where the squadron was allowed time to work up to operational status, it was, on 11th May, relocated to another airfield at Swingate Down, to the east of Dover, on the Kent coast. On 23rd December 1915, No.15 Squadron, RFC, deployed to France for operational duties. Throughout its time on the Western Front, during the First World War, the squadron was engaged in observation and reconnaissance duties, initially using BE2c aircraft but later, during June 1916, upgrading to R.E.8s. The work undertaken by the squadron, in its reconnaissance role, was recognised by higher authority, on a number of occasions, in the form of telegrams or communiqus. On 1st April 1918, No.15 Squadron became part of the newly formed Royal Air Force, which came into being with the amalgamation of the Royal Flying Corps and Royal Naval Air Service. With the end of hostilities in November 1918, came a reduction in the fighting strength of the RAF and, although not disbanded as a number of squadrons were, No.15 was reduced to a cadre. The axe finally fell on the final day of December 1919, when No.15 Squadron was disbanded.

It was to be approximately five years before No.15s number plate was to be resurrected when, on 20th March 1924, No.15 Squadron was reformed as part of the Aeroplane and Armament Experimental Establishment (A&AEE), at Martlesham Heath, Suffolk. Over a period of ten years, No.15 Squadron completed 12,100 flying hours on over seventy-five different types of airframe. Over that same period, it also saw five changes of commanding officer.

On 1st June 1934, No.15 was re-designated as a new unit, equipped with Hawker Hart Mk.I aircraft, undertaking daylight operations flying as part of Bomber Command. The new C.O. was Squadron Leader Thomas Elmhirst, who secured permission for his squadron to change the number plate to Roman numerals and have the XV applied to the fuselage on all the squadrons aircraft. This decision was to have a lasting effect and was only interrupted by the Second World War. Thomas Elmhirst also gave thought to the fact the squadron should have its own badge and motto, both of which were approved, during 1935. In early 1936, the squadron re-equipped with Hawker Hind bomber aircraft. These machines remained in service with No.XV until 13th July 1938, when the unit converted to Fairey Battle bomber aircraft. It was with the latter aircraft that the squadron prepared for war when, on 27th August 1939, a state of emergency was declared.

History repeated itself when the Squadron returned to France on a war footing, but it was forced to return to England in order to re-equip with the Bristol Blenheim bomber. The new aircraft was initially seen as a wonder aircraft, but No.XV Squadron was virtually decimated in strength following the German invasion of the Netherlands in May 1940. With the Blenheim being designated unsuitable for the task, the squadron began converting to the Vickers Wellington bomber, designed by Barnes Wallace, on 7th November 1940. This was really a stop-gap measure as on 30th April 1941 No.XV began converting to the Short Stirling, four-engine, heavy bomber. During the next couple of years, night after night, the squadron carried the fight back to the enemy, enduring many losses and exploits of valour in the process. It participated in all the 1,000 bomber raids against Germany.

As 1943 drew to a close, No.XV prepared to continue the fight with new equipment. Having converted to the Avro Lancaster bomber in late December 1943, the squadron went operational in mid-January 1944 with its new aircraft. By the time the war came to an end, No.XV was flying Lancaster B.1 Specials, which were specially adapted to carry 22,000lb Grand Slam bombs. February 1947 saw another change of equipment when the squadron converted to the Avro Lincoln bomber, whilst based at RAF Wyton in Huntingdonshire. However, by the end of that same year, No.XV found itself deploying aircraft to Shallufa, Egypt, as part of Operation Sunrise.

Another change of occurred at the end of November 1950, when No.XV Squadron was disbanded but immediately reformed with Boeing B29 Washington bomber aircraft. It was during the Washington period, in March 1951, that the squadrons code letters LS, which it had been adopted during late 1939, were removed from the aircraft fuselages. The new scheme called for a natural metal finish, adorned with only the RAF roundel, fin flash and aircraft serial. With technology advancing all the time, No.XV entered a new phase in its history in June 1953, when it was declared fully operational flying English Electric Canberra bombers. During the next couple of years, the squadron continued to train and undertook many navigational and bombing exercises, which proved fruitful in 1956 when the Suez crises erupted. No.XV was deployed to Nicosia, as part of Operation Accumulate, on 23rd October. During the short period of fighting that followed, No.XV dropped a higher concentration of bombs than any other squadron. Following a cease-fire, the squadron returned to England where, on 15th April 1957, it was disbanded.

The 1st of September 1958 saw the re-formation of No.XV as a V-Bomber squadron, equipped with Handley Page Victor B.I bombers. These aircraft were not only adorned with the official RAF insignia described above, but were also permitted to carry the squadron badge, together with the Roman XV numerals. The squadron retained these aircraft until 1964 when it was again disbanded. For a period of five years No.XV Squadron ceased to exist. However, this changed on 1st October 1970, when the squadron number plate and badge were resurrected and No.XV was reformed at RAF Honnington, in Suffolk. Equipped with Blackburn S.2B Buccaneer aircraft, the squadron departed for RAF Laarbruch, where, during January 1971, it officially became part of Royal Air Force Germany. After thirteen years service with the squadron, the Buccaneers were replaced with Panavia Tornado, swing-wing, bombers. On 1st September 1983, No.XV became the first RAF Squadron in Germany to be equipped with this type of aircraft. During the latter quarter of 1990, No.XV had deployed two flights, totalling twelve crews, to Muharraq Air Base, on Bahrain Island, in readiness for operations against the Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. During the following conflict, two aircraft crewed by XV Squadron personnel were shot down, resulting in the loss of Flt Lt Stephen Hicks and the capture of Flt Lts John Peters, John Nichol and Rupert Clark.

The squadron returned to RAF Laarbruch at the end of March 1991, where a number of awards, for service in the Gulf War were announced. Wing Commander John Broardbent was awarded a Distinguished Service Order, whilst Sqn Ldr Gordon Buckley and Sqn Ldr Nigel Risdale were both awarded Distinguished Flying Crosses. Senior Engineering Officer S/L Rob Torrence was awarded the Member of the British Empire. Following disbandment in January 1992, No.XV was reformed a few months later on 1st April, at RAF Honnington, where it took on the role of the Tornado Weapons Conversion Unit. It was also granted the status of a Reserve Squadron. No.XV (R) Squadron remained at Honnington until 1st November 1993, when it re-located to RAF Lossiemouth, Moray, Scotland. During January 1998, it was re-designated as the Tornado GR1 Operational Conversion Unit and equipped with the up-graded Tornado GR4 variant. In 2011, just four years away from its 100th anniversary, No.XV (R) Squadron still operates from RAF Lossiemouth, providing refresher crews and new crews to the front line squadrons.


Text by kind permission of Martyn Ford Jones

No.158 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 4th September 1918
Fate : Disbanded 31st December 1945

Strength in unity

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No.158 Sqn RAF

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No.224 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 1st April 1918
Fate : Disbanded 31st October 1966

Fedele all amico - Faithful to a freind

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No.224 Sqn RAF

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No.228 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 20th August 1918
Fate : Disbanded 1st September 1964

Auxilium a caelo - Help from the sky

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No.228 Sqn RAF

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No.617 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 23rd March 1943

Apres mois, le deluge - After me, the flood

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No.617 Sqn RAF

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No.635 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 20th March 1944
Fate : Disbanded 1st September 1945

Nos ducimus ceteri secunter - We lead, others follow

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No.635 Sqn RAF

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No.83 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 7th January 1917
Fate : Disbanded 31st August 1969

Strike to defend

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No.83 Sqn RAF

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No.9 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 8th December 1914

Per noctum volamus - Through the night we gly

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No.9 Sqn RAF

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Aircraft for : M/Sig R D Pearson
A list of all aircraft associated with M/Sig R D Pearson. A profile page including a list of all art prints for the aircraft is available by clicking the aircraft name.
SquadronInfo

Anson

Click the name above to see prints featuring Anson aircraft.

Manufacturer : Avro
Production Began : 1935
Retired : 1968
Number Built : 11020

Anson

he Avro Anson originated from the Avro 652 commercial aircraft which first flew on 7th January 1935. It was a twin-engine British-built multi-role aircraft which saw distinctive service with both the Royal Air Force and The Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm as well as The Royal Canadian Air Force during and after the Second World War. The prototype 652A first flew at Woodford on 7th January 1935 and was developed from an initial airliner design and named after Admiral George Anson. The adaptation for a coastal reconnaissance role resulted in the production variant, the Avro 652a, which flew at Woodford on New Years Eve 1935 with the type entering service in March 1936 as the Anson Mk1. Initially it was flown with a 3-man crew but later developments in its reconnaissance role required a 4th crew member. The Anson entered service on 6 March 1936 with 48 Squadron equipped with the Anson. At the start of the Second World War, the RAF had received 824 Ansons and there were 26 RAF squadrons operating the Anson I: 10 with Coastal Command and 16 with Bomber Command. All of the squadrons in Bomber Command in 1939 with Anson Is were operational training squadrons that prepared crews for frontline service. 12 of the squadrons were in No. 6 (Operational Training) Group. Newly formed crews having completed individual flying and technical training were first trained as bomber crews in Ansons and then advanced to the various frontline aircraft types, which were also in the same squadrons with the Ansons. After training in the frontline aircraft type, crews would advance to the frontline bomber squadrons with those aircraft types (Fairey Battle, Bristol Blenheim, Vickers Wellington, Armstrong Whitworth Whitley, and Handley-Page Hampden). At the start of the war, the Lockheed Hudson was beginning to replace the Ansons in Coastal Command with one squadron of Hudsons and one with both Ansons and Hudsons. Limited numbers of Ansons continued to serve in operational roles such as coastal patrols and air/sea rescue. Early in the war, an Anson scored a probable hit on a German U-boat. In June 1940, a flight of three Ansons was attacked by nine Luftwaffe Messerschmitt Bf 109s. Remarkably, before the dogfight ended, without losing any of their own, one of the Ansons destroyed two German aircraft and damaged a third. The aircraft's true role, however, was to train pilots for flying multi-engined bombers such as the Avro Lancaster. The Anson was also used to train the other members of a bomber's aircrew, such as navigators, wireless operators, bomb aimers and air gunners. Postwar, the Anson continued in the training and light transport roles. The last Ansons were withdrawn from RAF service with communications units on 28 June 1968. The Royal Australian Air Force operated 1,028 Ansons, mainly Mk Is, until 1955

Halifax



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Manufacturer : Handley Page
Production Began : 1941
Retired : 1952
Number Built : 6177

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

Lancaster



Click the name above to see prints featuring Lancaster aircraft.

Manufacturer : Avro
Production Began : 1942
Retired : 1963
Number Built : 7377

Lancaster

The Avro Lancaster arose from the avro Manchester and the first prototype Lancaster was a converted Manchester with four engines. The Lancaster was first flown in January 1941, and started operations in March 1942. By March 1945 The Royal Air Force had 56 squadrons of Lancasters with the first squadron equipped being No.44 Squadron. During World War Two the Avro Lancaster flew 156,000 sorties and dropped 618,378 tonnes of bombs between 1942 and 1945. Lancaster Bomberss took part in the devastating round-the-clock raids on Hamburg during Air Marshall Harris' Operation Gomorrah in July 1943. Just 35 Lancasters completed more than 100 successful operations each, and 3,249 were lost in action. The most successful survivor completed 139 operations, and the Lancaster was scrapped after the war in 1947. A few Lancasters were converted into tankers and the two tanker aircraft were joined by another converted Lancaster and were used in the Berlin Airlift, achieving 757 tanker sorties. A famous Lancaster bombing raid was the 1943 mission, codenamed Operation Chastise, to destroy the dams of the Ruhr Valley. The operation was carried out by 617 Squadron in modified Mk IIIs carrying special drum shaped bouncing bombs designed by Barnes Wallis. Also famous was a series of Lancaster attacks using Tallboy bombs against the German battleship Tirpitz, which first disabled and later sank the ship. The Lancaster bomber was the basis of the new Avro Lincoln bomber, initially known as the Lancaster IV and Lancaster V. (Becoming Lincoln B1 and B2 respectively.) Their Lancastrian airliner was also based on the Lancaster but was not very successful. Other developments were the Avro York and the successful Shackleton which continued in airborne early warning service up to 1992.

Lincoln

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Manufacturer : Avro
Production Began : 1945
Retired : 1967
Number Built : 624

Lincoln

he first RAF Lincolns joined No. 57 Squadron at East Kirby in 1945. No. 75 (New Zealand) Squadron RAF began re-equipping with Lincolns at RAF Spilsby during August 1945. However, 75 (NZ) Sqn received just three aircraft before VJ Day. In the postwar Royal Air Force, the Lincoln equipped many bomber squadrons. Nearly 600 Lincolns were built to equip 29 RAF squadrons, mainly based in the United Kingdom. They were partially replaced by 88 Boeing Washingtons, on loan from the USAF, which had longer range and could reach targets inside the Iron Curtain. Small numbers remained in use with Nos 7, 83 and 97 Squadrons until the end of 1955, when they were replaced by the first of the V bombers. RAF Lincolns were used in combat during the 1950s, in Kenya against the Mau-Mau, operating from Eastleigh, and also served in Malaya during the Malayan Emergency, against insurgents aligned to the Malayan Communist Party. In Malaya, Lincolns operated from Changi and Tengah, More than 3,000 sorties were flown during their  7 1⁄2-year deployment, with half a million pounds of bombs dropped. This equated to 85% of the bomb tonnage dropped during the Malayan emergency. On 12 March 1953, a RAF Lincoln (RF531 "C") of Central Gunnery School was shot down 20 mi (32 km) NE of Lneburg, Germany by several Soviet MiG-15s as it flew to Berlin on a radar reconnaissance flight, resulting in the deaths of the seven crew members. In November 1955, four Lincolns of No. 7 Squadron RAF were detached for duties in British territories in the Middle East. In Bahrain, they carried out border patrols of the then Trucial States. When 7 Sqn was disbanded in December 1955, the four detached crews and aircraft became No. 1426 Flight RAF, officially a photographic reconnaissance unit. It was later sent to Aden, carrying out patrols in the lead up to the Aden Emergency. As the RAF Lincolns became unserviceable due to wear and tear, they were replaced by jet aircraft. The Lincolns of Bomber Command were phased out from the mid-1950s and were completely replaced by jet bombers by 1963. The last Lincolns in RAF service were five operated by No. 151 Squadron, Signals Command, at RAF Watton, Norfolk, which were retired on 12 March 1963. From late 1946, Australian-built Lincolns were phased into No. 82 Wing RAAF at RAAF Amberley, replacing the Consolidated Liberators operated by 12, 21 and 23 Squadrons. In February 1948, these units were renumbered 1, 2 and 6 Squadrons respectively; a fourth RAAF Lincoln squadron, No. 10 was formed on 17 March 1949 at RAAF Townsville as a reconnaissance unit. RAAF Lincolns took part in operations in Malaya in the 1950s, operating alongside RAF examples. The RAAF based the B.Mk 30s of No.1 Squadron at Tengah, for the duration of operations in Malaya. The RAAF Lincolns were retired in 1961, with the MR.Mk 31s of No. 10 Squadron being the final variant to see service in Australia.

Shackleton



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Manufacturer : Avro
Production Began : 1951

Shackleton

The first prototype flew on 9th March 1949. The Shackleton was a development of the famous Avro Lancaster Bomber. and the Shackleton was designed for use for coastal Command. The First RAF squadrons to be equipped with the aircraft were NO. 120 squadron at Kinloss in 1951 followed by another 7 squadrons by 1953. The MR2 mark aircrafts began replacing the mK1's in 1954.. These aircraft saw long service with the last MR3 being retired in 1971 but a Airborne early warning variant joined no 8 squadron in January 1972. Crew: six to ten. Speed: 302 mph. range: 4215 at 200 mph at 1500 feet. Service ceiling 19,200 feet. Armament: two 20mm Hispano cannon in nose, two 20mm Hispano cannon in B.17 dorsal turret. Two .50in machine guns in tail

Superfortress

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Superfortress

The largest and most powerful bomber of WW II, the Boeing B-29 Super Fortress, played a major role in bringing about the defeat of Japan. In addition to accelerating Japans surrender following the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki with atomic bombs, thousands of B-29 crews flew tens of thousands of bombing missions against Japan from bases in China, India, and later in the War from recaptured islands in the Pacific. B-29s entered service in 1943 following a lengthy, problem-filled, development process of three years in response to the governments request for a long range strategic bomber. Only Boeing and Douglas (the B-32 Dominator) responded to the governments requests, and the B-32 had even greater development problems than the B-29. Powered by four giant Wright R-3350-23 radial engines generating a total horsepower of 8,924, the Super Fortresses typically carried crews of ten. They were capable of a top speed of 357-MPH, and at slower cruising speeds had a range of more than 3,200 miles. The B-29 was a large aircraft for its time with a wingspan in excess of 140 feet and a length of just under 100 feet. The Super Forts also had pressurized forward and aft hulls, which made the long distance missions a bit more comfortable for the flight crews. B-29s typically carried defensive armament which included ten machine guns and a single tail-mounted canon. Because of the pressurized hull, the guns were operated by remote control. The first operational B-29 wing was the 58th which flew out of the China-Burma-India theater. On March 9, 1945 General Curtis LeMay ordered an unusual low altitude attack on Tokyo by hundreds of B-29s carrying incendiary bombs. Five such low level missions were scheduled over a ten-day period, and the combined destruction of these missions exceeded that of either of the atomic bomb missions. B-29s were also effectively used to mine Japanese ports and shipping lanes.

Whitley

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Manufacturer : Armstrong Whitworth
Production Began : 1937
Retired : 1942
Number Built : 1814

Whitley

The Whitley first entered service with No. 10 Squadron in March 1937, replacing Handley Page Heyford biplanes. By the outbreak of the Second World War, seven squadrons were operational, the majority flying Whitley IIIs or IVs, as the Whitley V had only just been introduced. ] With the Handley Page Hampden and the Vickers Wellington, Whitleys bore the brunt of the early fighting and saw action on the first night of the war, when they dropped propaganda leaflets over Germany.[8] Among the many aircrew who flew the Whitley in operations over Germany, was Leonard Cheshire who spent most of his first three years at war flying them. Unlike the Hampden and Wellingtonwhich met specification B.9/32 for a day bomberthe Whitley was always intended for night operations and escaped the early heavy losses received in daylight raids on German shipping, early in the war. With Hampdens, the Whitley made the first bombing raid on German soil on the night of 19/20 March 1940, attacking the Hornum seaplane base on the Island of Sylt. Whitleys also carried out Operation Haddock the first RAF raid on Italy, on the night of 11/12 June 1940. As the oldest of the three bombers, the Whitley was obsolete by the start of the war, yet over 1,000 more were produced before a suitable replacement was found. A particular problem with the twin-engine aircraft, was that it could not maintain altitude on one engine. Whitleys flew 8,996 operations with RAF Bomber Command, dropped 9,845 tons (8,931 tonnes) of bombs and 269 aircraft were lost in action. From April 1942, the Whitley was retired as first-line bomber. It continued to serve as glider tug, paratroop trainer, transport, or radio countermeasures aircraft. It also played an important role in Coastal Command . No. 100 Group RAF used Whitleys to carry airborne radar and electronic counter-measures. In February 1942, Whitleys carried the paratroops who participated in the Bruneval raid (Operation Biting) in which German radar technology was captured from a German base on the coast of France. The British Overseas Airways Corporation operated 15 Whitley Mk Vs converted into freighters in 1942. Running night supply flights from Gibraltar to Malta, they took seven hours to reach the island, often landing during air attacks. They used large quantities of fuel for a small payload and were replaced in August 1942 by the Lockheed Hudson, with the 14 survivors being returned to the Royal Air Force. Long-range Coastal Command Mk VII variants, were among the last in front-line service, with the first kill attributed to them being the sinking of the German submarine U-751, on 17 July 1942, in combination with a Lancaster heavy bomber.

Aviation History Timeline : 11th December
DAYMONTHYEARDETAILS
11December1928Gustav Dorr, a WW1 Ace with 35.00 victories, died on this day
11December1943Johannes Bunzek, a WW2 Ace with 75.00 victories, died on this day
11December1943Knight's Cross recipient Johannes Bunzek of 7./Jagdgeschwader 52 died on this day
11December1943Rudolf Wagner, a WW2 Ace with 81.00 victories, died on this day
11December1974E Lussier, a WW1 Ace with 9.00 victories, died on this day
11December1986Air Chief Marshal Sir Augustus Walker GCB CBE DSO DFC AFC, whose signature is on some of our aviation art, died on this day
11December2006Former British Battle of Britain pilot, Sgt. J. R. Toombs of 236 Squadron, Passed away.
11December2006J R Toombs, whose signature is on some of our aviation art, died on this day

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