A tribute one of the foremost ground-attack aircraft ever to take to the skies!
The dark days following the fall of France had seen a triumphant German advance in the west stemmed and ultimately halted by the RAF in the Battle of Britain. As Hitler turned his eyes and ambitions east towards Russia, military planners in Britain soon began to plan for the day when an Allied cross-Channel invasion would herald their return to France and mainland Europe. In June 1943 a new air force was established to provide and co- ordinate air support to the Army in preparation for that invasion, for the land operations that would follow, and the inevitable ground offensives by the British and Canadian Armies as they drove west in the battles to defeat Germany.
Known as the 2nd Tactical Air Force (2TAF), the new composite air force was a powerful mix of Fighter Command aircraft that could be used for ground attack and to achieve air superiority, of light strike medium bombers drawn from Bomber Command, and of army support and photo-reconnaissance squadrons. All were to be controlled by a single air commander who, in a joint army-air headquarters, would decide where best to deploy these resources ‘in order to achieve success for the land operations’.
In a painting worthy of the one of the foremost ground-attack aircraft ever to take to the skies, Robert portrays Mosquitos of 487 Squadron RNZAF preparing to depart their base at RAF Hunsdon, Herefordshire, in April 1944. The squadron were part of the 2TAF since its formation and went on to gain notoriety for their role in Operation Jericho, the Amiens prison raid which is considered one of the finest precision raids of the war. Today, however, the Mk.V1 Mosquitos prepare to depart for a different mission. The two 500lb MC bombs slung on under-wing carriers indicate that their task is a low-level strike, one that will assist in the general degradation of German military infrastructure prior to the forthcoming Allied landings on D-Day. The air will soon be throbbing to the sound of powerful twin Merlin engines as these “Mossie’s” take to the air.
Image size approx: 28 ¾” wide x 12 ¼” high
Overall print size approx: 35 ½” wide x 20” high
Designed by Geoffrey de Havilland and built almost entirely of wood, the Mosquito was one of the fastest, and probably the most versatile, aircraft of World War II. In tribute to this legendary aircraft, Robert’s detailed painting has been faithfully reproduced as a Limited Edition print which has been personally signed and authenticated by veterans who flew the ‘wooden wonder’ in combat during the war.