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Defiance at Dieppe

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A Spitfire from 309 Squadron (American) zooms past a mortally wounded Messerschmitt 109 'Gustav,' whose pilot attempts to exit his flaming aircraft near the beach head. In the heat of battle, there is an undeniable air of defiance amongst the combatants as dozens of planes from both sides jockey for a position of advantage. This action-packed print is signed by American and Canadian Spitfire pilots, and is a 'must' for your aviation art buy-list! Three of these pilots were actually involved in this battle! (The two USA pilots and Flt. Sergeant Matheson). Companion Print Each Allies Edition, Artist's Proof, and Remarqued Edition of DEFIANCE AT DIEPPE is accompanied by a matching number print of ANDOVER CROSSING. Signatures 2nd Lieutenant Leonard H. Brown was born in Versailles, Missouri, and enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps in July 1940. He was with 309 Squadron and by May 1942 was in England, flying the British Spitfire Mk. V in a reverse 'lend lease' arrangement. Based at Chichester on the south coast, they flew fighter sweeps across the English Channel to France. First major encounter was August 19, 1942, over Dieppe. He flew four combat missions that day. When the press learned that the USA pilots felt the Spitfire was far superior to the P­39, this did not go over well with the top brass. In late 1942 the Squadron was shipped to Africa, where they continued flying Spitfires. 2nd Lt. Brown ended his military career as a Colonel, with one victory. Awards include Legion of Merit, DFC, Air Medal with 6 OLC's, and Bronze Star. His aircraft 'Dee' is featured in DEFIANCE AT DIEPPE. 2nd Lieutenant Jerry D. Collinsworth was born in Dublin, Texas. He is one of the few Americans to become an ace flying the Supermarine Spitfire. March 1942 saw him in England flying in the 31st Fighter Group, 307 Squadron. This was the first 'Yank' fighter unit in the country since WWI. On August 19, 1942, he received his 'baptism of fire' above the ill-fated commando raid on the coast of France. Later, Collinsworth helped spearhead Operation Torch landings in Oran, Algeria, still flying Spitfires. He covered the landings at southern Sicily, flying from Malta's sister island Gozo. In 125 combat sorties, he shot down 6 Axis aircraft, 1 probable and 1 damaged. He finished his military career as a Colonel. His Spitfire is seen low left in DEFIANCE AT DIEPPE. Awards include DFC with 1 OLC, Air Medal with 17 OLC's, the Purple Heart and Army Commendation Medal. Flying Officer Don Murchie joined the RCAF in 1941, training on Tiger Moths and Cessna Cranes. Posted to Bournemouth, England, he was selected for day fighters and had further training on Miles Masters and Hurricanes. Selected for Spitfires, he eventally ended up in 412 Squadron. He was involved in dive bombing and armed reconnaissance flights in the Ruhr areas, as well as fighter sweeps throughout the air space east of the Rhine River. Don flew over 80 operational sorties and is credited with numerous ground vehicles, locomotives and motorcycles destroyed. Flying Officer Douglas Gaudin enlisted in the RCAF in 1940 and received operational training on Hurricanes at Sutton Bridge in Lincolnshire, England. He was posted to 122 Squadron RAF, on Spitfires at Scorton, Yorkshire, in February 1942. Douglas was later transferred to the Middle East via West Africa. He then joined 417 Squadron RCAF in October 1942 at a base near Alexandria, flying Hurricanes. Later, he was on Spitfires. The main task of the squadron at this time was the defense of Alexandria Harbor and the interception of German photo-reconnaissance aircraft. Douglas is credited with nearly a hundred operational sorties. He retired with the rank of F/Lt. Flight Sergeant Douglas R. Matheson was with 411 Squadron, RCAF on Spitfires. He was involved in the action over Dieppe, where is he shown in DEFIANCE AT DIEPPE attacking a Dornier 217. He later became a Flight Lieutenant and Commander of B Flight. Bases from which he flew include Hornchurch, Duxford, Digby, Kenley and Biggin Hill. He flew a total of 153 operational sorties. His tally is 2 enemy aircraft destroyed, with one claimed and one other damaged. On December 1, 1943, he was shot down and became a POW at Stalag Luft III. The Story One of the largest air battles of World War 2 occurred on August 19, 1942 over the French port of Dieppe. The planned amphibious assault, code named 'Operation Jubilee' was initiated in the early morning hours of August 19, and lasted less than nine hours. But in that short time the British attempt at testing Hitler's 'Atlantic Wall' and new battle doctrines, turned into a disaster for the ground forces, costing the Allies substantial casualties. Of a nearly 6100 assault force made up of mostly Canadian troops (4963), 3367 became casualties, either killed in action or taken prisoner. 2210 returned to England with many wounded among them. In the air, over 49 Spitfire and Hurricane squadrons, some with American pilots, faced off against three hundred Me­109's and FW­190's of JG­2 (Richtofen) and JG­26 (Schlageter). Nearly 1000 aircraft from both sides engaged in a raging air melee in the relatively confined air space over the city of Dieppe. Not since the summer of 1940 and the Battle of Britain had so many planes and aircrew been embroiled in such a conflict. Though outnumbered by nearly 3 to 1, the German defenders lost 48 aircraft to the Allies' 106. On the surface, 'Operation Jubilee' was nothing short of a disaster of monumental proportions that did not bode well for the Allies or the war in Europe. The raid on Dieppe left little for them to claim as a victory, when reviewing the stark figures in the loss of men and material. Fortress Europa seemed to remain impregnable. This would be true for the time being, except for the invaluable lesson learned from the failed mission. For out of the ashes of the Dieppe raid came the tried and tested battle doctrines, both on the ground and in the air. These doctrines would serve the Allies well a few years later, less than 100 miles south of the beaches of Dieppe in a new operation with the code name 'Overlord.' DEFIANCE AT DIEPPE In the biggest aerial engagement since the Battle of Britain, American, British and Canadian Spitfires fight it out with the Luftwaffe above the French coast near Dieppe on August 19, 1942. A German 109 pilot parachutes from his stricken machine, risking a spectacular low level jump. Below, German armor can be seen moving to the beach, while on the horizon is the combined Canadian / British ill-fated landing at the town of Dieppe.



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