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Air Commodore Alan Deere DSO DFC* (deceased)
*Signature Value : £80
|Top scoring New Zealand Ace with 22 victories, Deere was born in Auckland on December 12th 1917. Alan Deere would become one of the RAFs finest pilots. Joining the RAF in 1937, in September 1938 Al Deere was posted to No.54 Sqn at the time flying Gloster Gladiators, then in early 1940 the Squadron converted to Spitfires. His first brush with death happened when his oxygen failed while at altitude and ke blacked out, coming to only in time to pull his aircraft out of a dive and certain death. At the beginning of May 1940 Deere took part in the intensive air war over Dunkirk and on 23rd May 1940 Deere took part in a daring rescue operation. He and Pilot Officer Allen escorted their flight commander, James Leathart, to France where he was to land a Miles Master trainer and pick up the CO of 74 Squadron who had made a forced landing on the airfield at Calais-Marck. While the pick up was made, Alan Deere was at low level with Pilot Officer Allen at 8000 feet. As Flight Commander James Leathart prepared for take off in the Master, Pilot Offcier Allen spotted a flight o Bf109s coming their way. |
Deere scored his first victory, as a strafing Bf109 pulled out of its dive, presenting a perfect target. Deere fired a short burst and the aircraft stalled and then crashed into the sea. Deere, climbing to help Allen, crossed the path of two 109’s, one of which turned towards him. Deere also turned, firing at the second one, which rolled over and dived away. Pursuing the first one, he caught up at treetop height and pursued him, firing off his remaining ammunition before the German headed for home. During the whole event Deere and Allen accoutned for three Bf109s shot down and three damaged. All three aircraft returned to their base at RAF Hornchurch.
During four days - 23rd to 29th May - Deere shot down three Bf109’s and three Bf110’s but his luck ran out and he was shot down over Dunkirk while attacking a Dornier Do17 and luckily managed a forced landing in Belgium where he optained a bicycle and cycled to Dunkirk where he managed to get on a destroyer and returned to Hornchurch within 30 hours of taking off. In June he was decorated with the DFC by the King at a special ceremony at Hornchurch. Alan Deere destroyed seven more enemy fighters and one bomber during the Battle of Britian and was awarded a Bar to the DFC. In January 1941 became an Operations Room Controller. He returned to operations on 7th May 1941, joining 602 Squadron in Scotland as a Flight Commander.
On August 1st 1941 Alan Deere took command of 602 Squadron and on that day destroyed a Bf109. When his second operational tour ended in January 1942 Deere went to the USA to lecture on fighter tactics. In May 1942, he took command of 403 Squadron, commanding the squadron until August before being posted to staff duties. During a temporary attachment to 611 Squadron in February 1943 Deere destroyed an Fw190. Some days later he was appointed Wing Leader at Biggin Hill. He flew 121 sorties during his six months leadership and by this time his tally was twenty-two confirmed victories, ten probables and eighteen damaged.
He was also awarded the DSO and a bar to his DFC. Alan Deere was also awarded the Croix de Guerre and the DFC (USA) and in May 1945 He was awarded an OBE. In December 1977 Air Commodore Deere retired form the Royal Air Force. Iin 1959 Air Commodore Alan Deere wrote of his experiences in his book, ’Nine Lives’. Sadly, he passed away on 21st September 1995.
|Group Captain Brian Kingcome DSO DFC (deceased)|
*Signature Value : £65
|Brian Fabris Kingcome was born in Calcutta on May 31st 1917. Brian Kingcome was educated at Bedford and in 1936 entered the RAF College, Cranwell. Soon after he began his pilot course he was seriously injured in a car accident and was told by the RAF medical board that he would never fly again as he was expected to suffer permanent double vision. But after months in hospital and with Brians strength of character he proved the board wrong. In 1938 he was posted to No 65, a biplane Gladiator fighter squadron based at Hornchurch. Brian Kingcome took part in the Battles of France and Dunkirk but transferred to 92 Squadron as a flight commander and flying Spitfires in May 1940 scoring his first victories in June 1940. Brian Kingcome became acting commanding officer during the latter stages of the Battle of Britain. During this time he and his pilots achieved the highest success rate of any squadron in the entire Battle of Britain. After being shot down by Me109s and wounded, he returned to active operations. In February 1942 he was posted to command 72 Squadron, followed by promotion to Wing Leader at Kenley. In May 1943 he was posted to lead 244 Wing in the Mediterranean during the invasion of Sicily. An Ace, Brian Kingcome flew Spitfires in combat continually until the end of 1944, his tally finishing at 8 and 3 shared destroyed, plus a score of probables and damaged. One of the prewar Cranwell elite, Brian Kingcome was to become one ofthe Second World Wars great fighter leaders, alongside such immortals as Douglas Bader, Bob Stanford Tuck and Johnnie Johnson. At the outbreak of war he was serving in 65 Squadron, but in May 1940 was posted to 92 Squadron as flight commander. On 25 May he shared a Do 17 and on 2 June destroyed two He l l Is and damaged a third. He shared a Ju 88 with two others on I0 July, and again on the 24th. On 9 September he probably destroyed a Bf 110 and two days later shot down a He 111. On the 14th he damaged another. He shot down a Bf 109 on the 23rd and next day probably destroyed another and damaged a Ju 88. Three days later he shared a Ju 88 again, damaged two others, probably destroyed a Do 17, and damaged one of these also. Around this time he was awarded a DFC for six victories, and on 11 October got a Bf 109 He claimed another next day, and also damaged one. In 1941 he became commanding officer, having frequently led the squadron. It will be noted that he claimed many probables and damaged during the Battle of Britain, and this was due to his view that it was more important to hit as many as possible than to try and confirm victories. On 16 June 1941 lie probably destroyed a Bf 109, and on 24 July shot one down. He was then rested until late in the year, when he was posted to command 72 Squadron, and in February 1942 gave escort cover to the Fleet Air Arm pilot Eugene Esmonde, who won the VC trying to attack German capital ships Scharnhorst and Gneisenau and and the cruiser ‘Prinz Eugen’ with Swordfish during the Channel Dash. In atrocious weather Kingcome caught a fleeting glimpse of tbe Scharnhorst - Oh what a beautiful battleboat! he exclaimed, just as a shell made a hole the size of a dustbin lid in his port wing. During 1941 he received a Bar to his DFC, having brought his score to 10. He was promoted to lead the Kenley wing, and on 15 April 1942 damaged a Fw 190. He probably destroyed a Bf 109 on 28 May, and during the year was awarded a DSO, having added another victory to his score. In 1943 he was posted to North Africa to lead 244 Wing, and lead this for 18 months, becoming a Gp. Capt. after the invasion of Italy. By the end of his stay with the wing he had brought his score to 18, and was then posted as SASO of a Liberator group, and flew an operation as a waist gunner over northern Yugoslavia after taking up this appointment. Sadly Group Captain Brian Kingcome passed away aged 76 in 1994.|
Group Captain Sir Hugh Dundas CBE DSO DFC DI (deceased)
*Signature Value : £65
|Hugh Dundas was born on the 2nd of July 1920 in Doncaster. Hugh Dundas, like his elder brother John, became fascinated by the idea of flying from childhood, and straight after leaving Stowe School in 1938 joined the Auxiliary Air Force. As a pre-war member of the Royal Auxiliary Air Force, Hugh Dundas was called up early in the war, serving with 616 Squadron. After a promising start as a fighter pilot, Dundas was shot down on 22nd August and wounded during the Battle of Britian, but returned to his squadron in September 1940. His brother John, a 12 victory ace with No.609 Squadron, was killed in action in November 1940 after shooting down the top–scoring German Luftwaffe ace at the time, Helmut Wick. In early 1941 he was at Tangmere and came under the command of Wing Commander Douglas Bader. Dundas became one of the leading members of that Wing and frequently flew with Bader, gradually building his reputation as a fighter pilot and tactician. After receiving the DFC, Dundas became Flight Commander in 610 Squadron. December 1941 brought another promotion as commanding officer of 56 Squadron, the first in the RAF to be converted to Typhoons. Posted to the Mediterranean in 1943, he led 244 Spitfire Wing from Malta and later Italy. In 1944, Dundas was awarded the DSO and became one of the youngest Group Captains in the RAF. For some years after the war, Dundas served once more with the RAuxAF during which time he became CO of 601 Squadron. His war time score was 4 destroyed, 6 shared destroyed, 2 shared probables, and 2 and 1 shared damaged. After the war had ended Dundas served with the RAuxAF as CO of No.601 Squadron and was the air correspondent for the Daily Express newspaper. In 1961 he joined Rediffusion ltd becoming a Director in 1966, and Chairman of Thames Television unitl 1987, when he was knighted. In 1989 he served as High Sheriff of Surrey. Sir Hugh Dundas died on 10th July 1995 at the age of 74.|
Wing Commander Bob Doe, DSO, DFC* (deceased)
*Signature Value : £60
|In 1939 he joined the R.A.F. and upon completion of his training was posted to 234 squadron. During the Battle of Britain he achieved great success. He was one of the very few pilots to successfully fly both Hurricanes and Spitfires and was one of the top scorers of the Battle with 14 and two shared victories. He was awarded the DFC in October and a BAR in November. He joined 66 squadron as a Flight Commander then moving to 130 squadron in August 1943 saw him in 613 squadron flying Mustangs. October 1943 he was posted out to the Far-East, forming 10 squadron, Indian Air Force, which he led on the Burma front. Awarded the DSO in 1945. He stayed on in the R.A.F. after the war, retirement in 1966 was followed by opening a Garage business which proved successful. Sadly, we have learned of the passing of Bob Doe on 21st February 2010.|
|Artist Details : Robert Taylor|
|Click here for a full list of all artwork by Robert Taylor|
The name Robert Taylor has been synonymous with aviation art over a quarter of a century. His paintings of aircraft, more than those of any other artist, have helped popularise a genre which at the start of this remarkable artist's career had little recognition in the world of fine art. When he burst upon the scene in the mid-1970s his vibrant, expansive approach to the subject was a revelation. His paintings immediately caught the imagination of enthusiasts and collectors alike . He became an instant success. As a boy, Robert seemed always to have a pencil in his hand. Aware of his natural gift from an early age, he never considered a career beyond art, and with unwavering focus, set out to achieve his goal. Leaving school at fifteen, he has never worked outside the world of art. After two years at the Bath School of Art he landed a job as an apprentice picture framer with an art gallery in Bath, the city where Robert has lived and worked all his life. Already competent with water-colours the young apprentice took every opportunity to study the works of other artists and, after trying his hand at oils, quickly determined he could paint to the same standard as much of the art it was his job to frame. Soon the gallery was selling his paintings, and the owner, recognising Roberts talent, promoted him to the busy picture-restoring department. Here, he repaired and restored all manner of paintings and drawings, the expertise he developed becoming the foundation of his career as a professional artist. Picture restoration is an exacting skill, requiring the ability to emulate the techniques of other painters so as to render the damaged area of the work undetectable. After a decade of diligent application, Robert became one of the most capable picture restorers outside London. Today he attributes his versatility to the years he spent painstakingly working on the paintings of others artists. After fifteen years at the gallery, by chance he was introduced to Pat Barnard, whose military publishing business happened also to be located in the city of Bath. When offered the chance to become a full-time painter, Robert leapt at the opportunity. Within a few months of becoming a professional artist, he saw his first works in print. Roberts early career was devoted to maritime paintings, and he achieved early success with his prints of naval subjects, one of his admirers being Lord Louis Mountbatten. He exhibited successfully at the Royal Society of Marine Artists in London and soon his popularity attracted the attention of the media. Following a major feature on his work in a leading national daily newspaper he was invited to appear in a BBC Television programme. This led to a string of commissions for the Fleet Air Arm Museum who, understandably, wanted aircraft in their maritime paintings. It was the start of Roberts career as an aviation artist. Fascinated since childhood by the big, powerful machines that man has invented, switching from one type of hardware to another has never troubled him. Being an artist of the old school, Robert tackled the subject of painting aircraft with the same gusto as with his large, action-packed maritime pictures - big compositions supported by powerful and dramatic skies, painted on large canvases. It was a formula new to the aviation art genre, at the time not used to such sweeping canvases, but one that came naturally to an artist whose approach appeared to have origins in an earlier classical period. Roberts aviation paintings are instantly recognisable. He somehow manages to convey all the technical detail of aviation in a traditional and painterly style, reminiscent of the Old Masters. With uncanny ability, he is able to recreate scenes from the past with a carefully rehearsed realism that few other artists ever manage to achieve. This is partly due to his prodigious research but also his attention to detail: Not for him shiny new factory-fresh aircraft looking like museum specimens. His trade mark, flying machines that are battle-scarred, worse for wear, with dings down the fuselage, chips and dents along the leading edges of wings, oil stains trailing from engine cowlings, paintwork faded with dust and grime; his planes are real! Roberts aviation works have drawn crowds in the international arena since the early 1980s. He has exhibited throughout the US and Canada, Australia, Japan and in Europe. His one-man exhibition at the Smithsonians National Air and Space Museum in Washington DC was hailed as the most popular art exhibition ever held there. His paintings hang in many of the worlds great aviation museums, adorn boardrooms, offices and homes, and his limited edition prints are avidly collected all around the world. A family man with strong Christian values, Robert devotes most of what little spare time he has to his home life. Married to Mary for thirty five years, they have five children, all now grown up. Neither fame nor fortune has turned his head. He is the same easy-going, gentle character he was when setting out on his painting career all those years ago, but now with a confidence that comes with the knowledge that he has mastered his profession.
More about Robert Taylor
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