“I thank you in the name of our comrades for the bombardment of the prison. We were not able to save all. Thanks to the admirable precision of the attack the first bomb blew in nearly all doors and 150 prisoners escaped with the help of the civilian population. Of these, 12 were to have been shot on February 19”
Resistance Leader Dominique Ponchardier, March 1944
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100Artist Proof $355.00 Signed by Eighteen Operation Jericho veterans
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It was January 1944, and the mood in London was somber, as chilling as the cold January air that permeated the damp, dark cells of the Gestapo-held prison in Amiens. Among those incarcerated behind the 3-ft thick, towering prison walls were several hundred members of the French Resistance, all condemned to death for their role in assisitng the Allies. Some had been betrayed, some had already been shot and the future of the others, including two Allied intelligence officers, looked bleak.

London has now received information that more executions were set to be carried out at dawn on the 19th February. The prisoners needed help, and fast, before the entire Resistance movement in northern France, whose involvement was crucial to Allied plans for the forthcoming invasion, was finished.

What followed was one of the most daring low-level bombing operations of World War II; codenamed ‘Operation Jericho’, it would involve a force of 19 de Havilland Mosquito’s. Led by Wing Commander ‘Black’ Smith, the Mosquitoes of 487 Sqn RNZAF would first breach the 20-ft high outer wall, followed closely by 464 Sqn RAAF – led by Wing Commander Bob Iredale – whose task was to hit the main building and demolish the guards’ quarters in the hope that the cell doors would be sprung open, allowing the prisoners to make a dash to freedom. The operation, under the command of Group Captain ‘Pick’ Pickard, required precision flying of the highest order.

If the task ahead wasn’t difficult enough, on the morning of Friday 18 February snow was falling from murky skies as the Mosquitoes left RAF Hunsdon and headed south towards Amiens to liaise with their Typhoon escort en-route.

Gerald Coulson’s powerful painting depicts the moment when Group Captain Pickard, the last over the prison, departs the scene just as the first time-delay bombs begin to explode. Within seconds the walls will be breached, the barracks destroyed and the cell doors flung open as planned, allowing the prisoners to clamber through the debris into the surrounding fields. More than 150 men will escape to re-join the Resistance. However Group Captain Pickard, one of the RAF’s most decorated and highly regarded pilots, did not survive the mission.


Published in 1993, each print is personally signed by a staggering collection of seventeen veterans of ‘Operation Jericho’, representing Britain, Australia, Ireland, Canada and New Zealand plus a French resistance veteran who escaped as a result of the raid. This truly remarkable EIGHTEEN signature collector’s piece is a fitting tribute to all those who took part in such a daring mission:

487 Sqn (RNZAF) Aircrew
Wing Commander L.SBLACK” SMITH CBE DFC* – Pilot, C.O 487 Sqn / 8 victories
Pilot Officer MAXWELL SPARKS AFC – Pilot, 487 Sqn
Pilot Officer ARTHUR DUNLOP Navigator, 487 Sqn
Flight Lieutenant BRIAN “TICH” HANAFIN DFC – Pilot, 487 Sqn
Pilot Officer FRANK REDGRAVE – Navigator, 487 Sqn
Pilot Officer BOB FOWLER DFC RNZAF – Pilot, 487 Sqn

464 Sqn (RAAF) Aircrew
Wing Commander BOB IREDALE DFC* Croix de Guerre avec Palme – Pilot, C.O 464 Sqn
Flight Lieutenant GEOFFREY ATKINS Navigator, 464 Sqn
Flight Lieutenant TOM MCPHEE DFC DFM – Pilot, 464 Sqn
Squadron Leader IAN MCRITCHIE DFC – Pilot, 464 Sqn

21 Sqn (RAF) Aircrew
Flight LieutenantBUCK” TAYLOR DFC – Pilot, 21 Sqn
Flight Lieutenant ARTHUR WHEELER DFC – Pilot, 21 Sqn

140 Wing Master Navigator
Air Commodore E.B “TED” SISMORE DSO DFC** AFC AE – Navigator 140 Wing

174 Sqn (RAF) Fighter Escort
Flight Sergeant FRANK WHEELER DFC – Pilot, 174 Sqn
Flight Lieutenant IAN MALLETT AFC – Pilot, 174 Sqn
Pilot Officer DON BURTON DFC RCAF – Pilot, 174 Sqn
Flying Officer HARRY MARKBY DFC – Pilot, 174 Sqn
Amien Prison escapee RAYMOND BONPAS (Fr)


Exclusively limited to just one hundred copies worldwide, this very special edition was published in 1993 but not made available until 2024, to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the mission. We are delighted to now make these available, giving collectors the opportunity to acquire a lasting tribute to this iconic mission, personally authenticated by the veterans who took part.

Additional information



Overall Print Size

35 x 27 ½ inches

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