Top scoring RAF Ace Johnnie Johnson, Commanding Officer of 127 Wing, leads the Mk.IX Spitfires of 421 Squadron RCAF out on patrol from the airfield at Evère near Brussels, close to the German front line. As the Canadians climb steadily out, the golden light of dawn reveals a snow-clad landscape firmly held in the icy grip of winter, December 1944.
Perhaps the greatest pilot to ever fly the Spitfire was the RAF’s top fighter Ace “Johnnie” Johnson. His resolute determination and steadfast leadership came into its own during D-Day and the subsequent advance through Normandy, and he would finish the war as the highest scoring Allied Ace in Europe.
The scene captures the moment when, as Wing Leader of 127 Canadian Wing, Johnnie is seen leading Mk.IX Spitfires from 421 “Red Indian” Squadron RCAF out on patrol from their airfield at Evère near Brussels on a cold December morning in 1944. It is close to the fighting and the German front line so, as the Canadians climb steadily out over the snow clad landscape in the golden light of dawn, they are already alert and on the lookout for the first signs of trouble.
THE CANADIAN EDITION
Joining artist Robert Taylor, the print is individually numbered and personally signed by eight prominent pilots that flew the Spitfire during D-Day and Normandy, including Canadian Fighter Aces and the RAF’s top fighter Ace “Johnnie” Johnson:
Flt Lt STANISLAW NAWARSKI DFC KM – Flew offensive sweeps on D-Day scoring 4 confirmed victories
Flt Sgt RON FARNBOROUGH – Flew fighter patrols on D-Day and throughout the Allied invasion
Flt Lt RODNEY SCRASE DFC – Flew anti V1 patrols and low level strafing attacks over Normandy scoring 4 victories and 3 damaged
Flt Lt JIMMY TAYLOR – Undertook photo-reconnaissance missions before during and after D-Day, was shot down over Germany
AVM J.E. “JOHNNIE” JOHNSON CB CBE DSO** DFC* DL – Legendary Wing Leader and the RAF’s top fighter Ace with 38 air victories
Wg Cdr J.F. “STOCKY” EDWARDS DFC* DFM – Flew in the western Desert and then Wing Leader of 127 Wing RCAF scoring 16½ confirmed victories
Wg Cdr JAMES D. LINDSAY DFC – He flew over France from May 1944 finishing the war with nine confirmed victories
Lt Gen DON LAUBMAN DFC* – He flew throughout D-Day and Normandy invasion becoming a POW having scored 15 aerial victories
This stunning print has become one of the most sought after in Robert Taylor’s extensive portfolio in recent years. This copy has been framed to conservation standards in our studio to include museum quality reproduction Canadian Pilots Wings, making is a great collector’s piece carrying authentic autographs of iconic WWII Spitfire Aces.
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