Throughout that endless summer of 1940, the patchwork fields of rural England never looked more peaceful. Long, warm days and clear blue skies provided an abundant harvest, and the countryside was blooming. It was also perfect weather for flying.
And flying there was – like never before, or since. Contrasting with the tranquility of the English countryside, the skies above were a cauldron of aerial warfare, Young RAF pilots weaved a latticework of white contrails into the azure blue sky as they fought the most decisive aerial contest in history – the Battle of Britain.
Daily, Goering sent his huge Luftwaffe armada to bomb the British ports, airfields, radar stations and cities, and daily they were met by Churchill’s “Few.” Outnumbered often ten-to-one, the elite squadrons of Spitfire and Hurricane pilots flew six missions or more each day, for three long months, in their desperate struggle to turn the tide. By mid-September, victory was theirs. The Battle of Britain was won, and Hitler forced to shelve his planned invasion of England.
Nick Trudgian’s edition, now only available on the secondary market, recreates a typical scene in September 1940. Spitfires from 92 Squadron, Royal Air Force, returning from combat over the south coast, race low over the Sussex countryside, heading back to their base at RAF Biggin Hill. Below, a Me110, a victim of an earlier engagement, awaits collection by RAF service crews. It will be melted down to make new Spitfires.
Each print is personally signed by four distinguished and highly decorated Battle of Britain Fighter Aces:
Air Commodore ALAN DEERE DSO, OBE, DFC* – 22 victories
Group Captain BRIAN KINGCOME DSO, DFC* – 11 victories
Air Commodore JAMES LEATHART DSO – 8 victories
Air Commodore SIR ARCHIE WINSKILL KCVO CBE DFC AE – 5 victories
Published in 1993 this outstanding print has become extremely sought after on the secondary market and an important collector’s item.