by Robert Taylor
Forged by their unique link to aeronautical design genius Barnes Wallis, 617 Squadron became perhaps the most famous of all RAF Bomber Command units during WWII.
After successfully delivering the ingenious ‘Upkeep’ bouncing-bomb on the audacious low-level assault against the great dams of Western Germany on the night of 16/17 May 1943, 617 Squadron later released both 12,000lb ‘Tallboys’ and the massive 22,000lb 'Grand Slam' – the most powerful conventional bomb of WWII.
617 were the only squadron to use these mammoth weapons in anger, and it’s their modified Lancasters at RAF Woodhall Spa that form the basis of Robert’s atmospheric drawing.
Adding great authenticity, each print in this highly-restricted edition has been personally hand signed by two renowned 617 Squadron veterans and issued conservation matted to include the original autographs of some of the most famous names to serve with the unit during WWII. Completing the portfolio is a matching-numbered copy of a book written by one of the last WWII survivors of the Squadron.
The Signed Book:
BOMB DOORS OPEN by Flt Lt KEN TRENT DFC*
Ken Trent's remarkable story begins in the East End of London before taking him on a journey through RAF pilot training, to serving with 617 Squadron and completing more than forty perilous missions on Lancaster bombers over the unfriendly skies of occupied Europe. Ken recalls these events with modesty and an unfailing sense of humour which serves as an inspiration to all.
The Collector's Edition
With FIFTEEN signatures of 617 Squadron veterans!
Restricted to just FIFTEEN copies worldwide, each portfolio contains a veteran-signed copy of the book along with a matching-numbered copy of Robert's print which has been signed by two highly-regarded 617 Squadron veterans:
- Flight Lieutenant KEN TRENT DFC - Book
- Wing Commander JOHN BELL MBE DFC - Print
- Squadron Leader BENNY GOODMAN - Print
Each print is then matted to full conservation standards to include a further twelve original autographs of 617 veterans who served during WWII, creating a total of fifteen signatures across the portfolio:
- Squadron Leader Mac Hamilton DFC
- Warrant Officer Frank Tilley
- Flight Lieutenant Bill Reid VC
- Group Captain James 'Willie' Tait DSO*** DFC* ADC
- Group Captain Leonard Cheshire VC OM DSO** DFC*
- Flight Lieutenant Bob Knights DSO DFC
- Squadron Leader Tony Iveson DFC AE
- Squadron Leader George Johnson MBE DFM
- Sergeant Ray Grayston
- Sergeant Fred Sutherland
- Flight Sergeant Grant McDonald
- Squadron Leader Les Munro CNZM DSO QSO DFC
With TWENTY-FIVE signatures of 617 Squadron veterans!
Featuring all components of the Collector’s Edition, this highly-prized Veterans Edition is limited to only TEN copies worldwide and includes the additional autographs of a further ten veterans of 617 Squadron, creating a total of twenty-five signatures:
- Flight Lieutenant James Castagnola DSO DFC
- Corporal Ken Lucas
- Air Marshal Sir Harold 'Mick' Martin KCB CB DSO* DFC* AFC
- Squadron Leader David Shannon DSO* DFC*
- Flying Officer Basil Fish
- Air Commodore John Langston CBE
- Flight Sergeant Ken Jenkinson
- Warrant Officer Colin Cole
- Squadron Leader Larry Curtis DFC
- First Lieutenant Murray Valentine
- Lithograph and book set
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