Wing Commander Geoffrey Page had no business risking life and limb at low level in a Spitfire in the maelstrom of D-Day and the heavy fighting that followed. On August 12, 1940, during the height of the Battle of Britain, he had been shot down in his Hurricane in flames. Page scrambled out of the inferno, bailing out into the sea, but his burns were so severe he spent most of the next two years in hospital undergoing skin grafts.
Most would have called it a day, but not the young Page. Showing the hallmark determination common among fighter pilots, he was back in the air by the spring of 1943. Immediately successful, on June 29 he and another pilot shot down 6 enemy aircraft in one ten minute encounter and by the following summer he was given command of 125 Wing.
By D-Day Geoffrey Page commanded 132 Squadron’s Spitfires, taking an active role in the invasion and the heavy fighting in the weeks that followed. Nicolas Trudgian’s stunning painting brings to life a typical ground support mission flown by 132 Squadron Spitfires just a few days after the invasion, as the Allied troops break out from the Normandy beach-heads. Hurtling at low-level they seek out targets of opportunity, harry the retreating German forces, and take on any enemy fighters who venture near the battlefront. Below, American armor rumbles through a recently liberated French village, shaking the foundations of the quaint old buildings as they advance towards the Front. A painting that encapsulates a moment of high drama, providing a wonderfully nostalgic study of the immortal Spitfire in action.
Each print in the Aces Edition has been individually signed in pencil by THREE highly decorated fighter pilots who flew combat missions on D-Day, 6 June 1944, and during the Battle for Normandy.
Air Commodore JOHN ELLACOMBE CB DFC* – Hurricanes, Battle of Britain & D-Day / 3 victories
Wing Commander TOM NEIL DFC* AFC – Hurricanes, Battle of Britain & D-Day / 14 victories
Wing Commander GEORGE UNWIN DSO DFM* – Spitfires, Battle of Britain & D-Day / 14 victories
THE D-DAY ANNIVERSARY EDITION & PUBLISHER PROOFS
Each print in this D-Day Anniversary edition has been signed by the following FIVE additional pilots who flew combat operations during D-Day, and the Battle for Normandy in 1944. A total of EIGHT signatures in this edition.
Flight Lieutenant Sir ARCHIE LAMB KBE CMG DFC
Flying Officer FRANK WHEELER DFC
Squadron Leader PAT CARDEN DFC AE
Commander MIKE CROSSLEY DSC* Royal Navy
Wing Commander JACK ROSE CMG MBE DFC