INSPIRATION By John Young
On the 9th August 1941 the RAF's great leader Douglas Bader took off for yet another mission over German-occupied Europe. A short time later Bader and his Wing were in combat against the Luftwaffe fighters of JG26 over France and Bader's Spitfire was hit. He safely baled out and was taken prisoner but, even then, he remained as defiant as ever, escaping whenever the opportunity arose. He remained an inspiration to his pilots and to the other POW's that he shared captivity.
To commemorate the 60th Anniversary of Bader's last flight, John Young published 'Inspiration' - it depicts Bader leading 'Dogsbody Section' of 616 Squadron from RAF Westhamptnett at 1040hrs on that fateful 9th August 1941. Flying the other Spitfires are equally renown pilots - nearest is YQ-E flown by Pilot Officer 'Johnnie Johnson, destined to become the top-scoring RAF ace, YQ-A is being flown by Flight Lt Hugh Dundas, and flying as 'Dogsbody 2' (Bader's wingman) was Sergeant Jeff West in YQ-H, filling in for Bader's usual wingman Alan Smith who was sick! The Tangmere Wing were on course for 'Circus No68'...
This superb print is signed by 20 Veterans with a connection to the great Ace. They are:-
Wing Commander George 'Grumpy' UNWIN - 19 Squadron Duxford
Wing Commander David COX - 19 Squadron Duxford
Flight Lt. R. L. JONES - 19 Squadron Duxford
Flight Lt. Wallace CUNNINGHAM - 19 Squadron Duxford
Flight Lt. Nigel KEMP - 242 Squadron Duxford Wing
Squadron Leader J.G. MILLARD - 242 Squadron Duxford Wing
Squadron Leader Doug NICHOLLS - 242 Squadron Duxford Wing
Squadron Leader Vic BERGMAN - 310 Squadron Duxford Wing
Wing Commander Gordon SINCLAIR - 310 Squadron Duxford Wing
Squadron Leader Peter BROWN - 611 Squadron Duxford Wing
Squadron Leader Arthur LEIGH - 611 Squadron Duxford Wing
Squadron Leader Tom DRAPER-WILLIAMS - 611 Squadron Duxford Wing
Squadron Leader Dennis ARMITAGE - 266 Squadron Duxford Wing
Sergeant Bob 'Butch' MORTON - 616 Squadron Tangmere Wing
Flight Lt. Alan SMITH - 616 Squadron (Bader's wingman) Tangmere Wing
Squadron Leader Paddy BARTHROPP - 610 Squadron Tangmere Wing
Flight Lt. Peter WARD-SMITH - 610 Squadron Tangmere Wing
Squadron Leader R. A. BEARDSLEY - 41 Squadron Tangmere Wing
Air Commodore Sir Archie WINSKILL - 41 Squadron Tangmere Wing
This Print is in Mint Condition and was mounted by the Publisher at the time of release. It is still shrink wrapped and comes with a Certificate of Authenticity and a detailed brochure of the veterans who have signed the print and the background to Douglas Bader.
The Mounted Print measures 30 x 24 Inches.
A lovely piece for admirers of the great leader.