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|Signatures on this item|
Flight Lieutenant Bill Reid VC (deceased)
|Volunteering for RAF aircrew in 1940, Bill Reid learned to fly in California, training on the Stearman, Vultee and Harvard. After gaining his pilots wings back in England he flew Wellingtons before moving on to Lancasters in 1943. On the night of Nov 3rd 1943, his Lancaster suffered two severe attacks from Luftwaffe night fighters, badly wounding Reid, killing his navigator and radio operator, and severely damaging the aircraft. Bill flew on 200 miles to accurately bomb the target and get his aircraft home. For this act of outstanding courage and determination he was awarded the Victoria Cross. Died 28th November 2001.|
|The Aircraft :|
|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.|
|Artist Details : Graeme Lothian|
|Click here for a full list of all artwork by Graeme Lothian|
Graeme Lothian is an artist whose ability has seen him apply his talent to many different subjects - military, aviation, naval and landscape art. Having spent time in the army, taking on adventures such as parachuting, the discipline he has obtained from his experiences has been key to allowing him to take on his first love - painting - full time. Graeme first took on painting full-time by producing paintings of WW2 aircraft, such as Spitfires and Messerschmitts, but over his career in art, now spanning over two decades, has also produced many military and naval pieces too. More recently, he has undertaken a masive project of painting the River Thames, from its source, through London and beyond, producing over 50 paintings in this series, as well as a book. Graeme Lothian describes himself as a landscape painter. The paintings may have a Tiger, Steam Train, Spitfire or Kentish Oasts in them, but they're still landscapes. Graeme started painting in 1978 in oils, a medium he has stayed with since then. Joining the Parachute Regiment and Airborne Forces at the beginning of the 1980s, a parachuting accident curtailed his career and he returned to his first love - art. In the early 90s he formed a partnership with the late great Air Vice-Marshal Johnnie Johnson CB CBE DSO(two bars) DFC(bar) the top scoring Allied fighter pilot of WWII. Embarking on a career as an aviation artist, travelling all over Britain and Europe obtaining the signatures for his prints. Personally meeting the most famous aviators and top aces of both sides of the last war. Graemes first book An Artist on the Thames came out in 2004. His second, An Artist in London, which has taken 5 years to complete, is due out in the autumn of 2012. In between, he printed an Everest painting carrying the signatures of Sir Edmund Hillary and Sir Chris Bonnington. Graeme had solo exhibitions in 1981, 1989 in Sydney, Australia, 2007, 2008. In 2009, Graeme was one of only 56 other artists to exhibit at the internationally acclaimed and prestigious BP Portrait Awards at the National Portrait Gallery, London. In 2010 Graeme went to Afghanistan as the artist to the Joint Forces Medical Group (JFMG). He covered everything medical in Helmand including many hours in the hospital at Camp Bastion watching the surgeons operating. The subsequent paintings and artwork were displayed at the Royal Society of Medicine, Wimpole Street, London. He returned to Afghanistan as the official artist to 20 Armoured Brigade and 101 Logistic Brigade's Herrick 15 winter tour 2011-2012. This time he was covering first the logistics and then the infantry soldier, taking him to places such as Nad e Ali, Babaji, Nahr e Saraj and Gereshk. 20 Armoured Brigade published an art book, 'Soldiers Flowers', showing art from their serving personnel on the tour. Graeme, subject to confirmation, is due back in Helmand again, this time as artist to 4 Mechanized Brigade, commanded by Brigadier Bob Bruce on their Herrick 17 winter tour, 2012-2013. Born in Sri Lanka, Graeme has painted all over the world including Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Nepal, Syria, India and most recently Oman and Jordan. His originals hang all over the world and to date has had over 80 limited edition art prints published.
More about Graeme Lothian
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