of 609 Squadron returning to their satellite station airfield
at Warmwell to re-arm and re-fuel, following an intercept
mission against enemy aircraft trying to disrupt shipping
along the South Coast of England. Like many other RAF Squadrons,
No 609 the (West Riding) Auxiliary Squadron distinguished
itself in many great air battles with honour and courage.
Every print in the entire edition is signed and numbered in
pencil by the artist Philip West and countersigned by Squadron.
Leader. Percival H. Beake DFC,
Artist Proofs and Remarque Editions
Artist Proofs and Remarque editions are additionally signed
by Group Captain Billy Drake DSO, DFC*, DFC (US) & Flt.
Lt. Frank Newman.
Ldr. Percival H. Beake DFC, AE joined the RAFVR at
Bristol in April 1939. Flying from Whitchurch Airfield on
some evenings and weekends he had completed 50 hours training
on Tiger Moths when war was declared. However, the mobilisation
of all aircrew in Volunteer Reserve and Auxiliary Units overwhelmed
the flying training facilities available and he was posted
to No. 3 Initial Training Wing at St. Leonards on Sea where
keep fit exercises and ground studies were the order of the
was not until 26/3/1940 that he was posted to Redhill to commence
flying training again from scratch. Training continued on
different aircraft until 31/8/40 when he was posted to Hawarden
where he first flew a Spitfire. After three weeks there he
was posted to 64 Squadron at Leconfield. A month later the
Squadron moved to Coltishall. It was not until 10/11/1940
that the Squadron was moved to Hornchurch in the London area
by which time daylight raids by masses of enemy bombers had
been discontinued in favour of night time raids.
February 2nd 1941 Percy made a forced landing in a field at
Sheperdswell in Kent. He tried to make a wheels-down landing
to save his aircraft but ended up head down in the mud. Percy’s
aircraft was a write-off and he suffered concussion for which
he was treated in the RAF Officers Hospital in Torquay. He
did not get back to the Squadron until March 27th. On May
16th the Squadron was posted to Turnhouse near Edinburgh.
On June 26th Percy complained to the CO about the lack of
combat opportunity there and the following day he was posted
to 92 Squadron at Biggin Hill. On July 8, having taken part
in a mission over France, he was shot down by an Me 109 just
after leaving the French coast but he managed to bale out
over the sea and was picked up 18 miles east of Dover by an
RAF Rescue Launch. Towards the end of October the Squadron
moved to Digby in Lincolnshire and by the end of the year
Percy had completed 100 operation sorties and was declared
January 1942 Percy was posted to 601 Squadron which at the
time was equipped with Aircobras. These aircraft had serious
maintenance problems and were never made operational. However,
the Squadron was re-equipped with Spitfires in March and was
posted to Malta. The CO said “Beaky you are tour expired”
so I can’t take you to Malta - you will have to
go to instructing at an OUT. So it was he arrived at 58 OUT
in Grangemouth on April 1st 1942. He remained instructing
until the end of the year when he was posted to Harrowbeer
in Devon as a founder member of a new Squadron - 193 -
being formed to fly Typhoons.
Squadron became operational in April 1943. On February 8th
1944, whilst flying over France they were lucky to see some
FW 190s returning to Gael airfield. Two were on their landing
approach. The leader touched down successfully but was immediately
attacked and destroyed by Percy’s Wing Commander who
was leading the operation. The second FW had decided to go
round again but Percy shot him down and the ‘190 burst
into flames when it hit the ground.
the end of March 1944 Percy was posted to 84 Group Support
Unit which had been formed as a reserve of potential leaders
to replace the expected casualties in the build up to the
invasion. At the end of May I was posted to command 164 rocket
firing Typhoon Squadron based on Thorney Island, its CO having
been shot down by flak on the previous day.
to D - Day the Squadron was exclusively employed attacking
radar installations. On D - Day they carried out two
armed reconnaissance’s in the Caen area. The first was
uneventful but on the second one they were engaged by five
FW 190’s. Percy shot one down but one Typhoon pilot
was also lost. Percy was awarded a ‘Mention in Despatch’
on June 8th and the DFC on July 25th. The citation read as
follows:- This officer has commanded the squadron for several
months and during this period has led his formation on many
sorties against heavily defended targets with good results.
He is a first class leader whose great skill, thoroughness
and untiring efforts have contributed materially to the successes
obtained. Squadron Leader Beake has destroyed two enemy aircraft.
was amazed, baffled and disappointed to be then called by
his Wing Commander after landing from an armed recce on August
13th to hear him say “Beaky you have just done your
last ‘op’ - you are not to fly again until
you get back to the UK and that is an order.” Percy’s
(Beaky’s) protests were ignored and on being asked ‘why’
the Wing Commander said “You may not realise this but
you are the longest surviving CO in my Wing and I want to
send you home whilst you are still alive”. Back in the
UK Percy was sent to the Fighter Leaders School where he was
put in command of the Typhoon squadron and he remained in
that capacity until he was demobbed in December 1945. On leaving
the RAF he was granted the Air Efficiency Award.
Captain Billy Drake DSO, DFC*, DFC (US) joined the
RAF on a Short Service Commission in July 1936. He joined
No. 1 Squadron at RAF Tangmere in May 1937 flying the Hawker
Fury before converting to the Hawker Hurricane. He flew Hurricanes
in France at the outbreak of war, scoring his first victory
in May 1940. Having achieved two further victories over France
he was shot down and wounded by a Messerschmitt BF 110. In
October 1940 he returned to operational duty with No 213 Squadron
at RAF Tangmere, flying Spitfires. Posted to the Western Desert
in early 1942, Billy Drake took command of 112 Squadron, flying
P40 Kittyhawks, leading them with considerable success. He
later served in Malta, and then as Wing Leader of 20 Typhoon
Wing. Billy Drake was an outstanding Ace, scoring 24 ½
victories and in addition, another 13 aircraft on the ground.
one of the only two pilots in this photo not to receive a
DFC in June 1940 (having been shot down and wounded on 13
May), he was to end the war as the most successful of all
this group of outstanding fighter pilots. He had by then been
promoted to Wing Commander, and had claimed some 28 aircraft
shot down (three of which were shared and two unconfirmed),
plus 15 more destroyed on the ground. He had also been awarded
a DSO, DFC and Bar, and a US DFC. He remained in the RAF post-war,
becoming a Group Captain.
Lt. Frank Newman left O.T.U. to join 131 Squadron
at Tangmere in time to participate in the closing months of
the Battle of Britain. As the enemy activity diminished so
the policy of Fighter Command turned to offensive sweeps over
western France. By the end of 1942 the A.O.C. decided to give
the squadrons of 11 Group a rest from their intensive operations,
so 131 Squadron was posted to Northern Scotland to defend
Scapa Flow naval base. This routine series of operations came
to an end when Frank Newman was chosen, together with a number
of other experienced pilots, to form a fighter Wing for the
invasion of North Africa. By mid-1943 Rommel and the Africa
Corps had been swept out of Algeria and Tunisia by General
Montgomery and the Eight Army.
s short rest the Desert Air Force was heavily engaged in the
invasion of Sicily and Italy, by which time Frank Newman was
transferred to join the by then famous 92 Squadron. For the
next few months 92 Squadron was heavily engaged in a twice-daily
patrol over the Anzio Bridgehead. After the war Frank became
a Test Pilot and where he enjoyed the privilege of flying
thirty-one different types of aircraft
numbered certificate of authenticity included.
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information regarding our Limited Edition Prints
edition of identical prints, numbered sequentially and individually
signed by the artist, having a stated limit to the quantity
in the edition. Following publication the printing plates
are destroyed. Almost all the aviation art and aircraft
prints featured on this website are authenticated with the
original signatures of distinguished military personnel.
old tradition of reserving a quantity of prints for the
artist's use, usually equal to about 10 % of the edition.
In the early days of printing, these prints were the only
remuneration the poor artist received. Proofs are signed
by the artist and numbered showing the quantity of Artist's
Proofs issued in the edition. Because of their highly restricted
number, Artist's Proofs are sold at a higher value than
the regular prints in the edition.
quantity of prints, not always announced or issued at the
time of publication, usually equal to no more than 10% of
the edition. These are reserved for the publisher's use,
mostly for donation to Museums, Service establishments,
Service Associations, and the like. Quantities of Publishers
Proofs, sometimes issued with a supplementary print, may
be made available to collectors either at the time of publication,
or at a later date, depending upon availability.
print issued with an original pencil drawing by the artist
in the margin, each numbered out of the quantity of individually
remarqued prints in the edition. The quantity of remarqued
prints in any one edition generally is between 25 and 50.
Each remarque drawing made by the artist is slightly different,
thus making each print totally unique. Remarqued prints
may be available at the time of publication, or announced
at a later date, depending upon the artist's work load at
the time .Please be aware that Remarque prints can take
up to six weeks for delivery. An artist remarqued print
is the ultimate collector item in terms of reproduced work.
additional print, usually issued with smaller dimensions,
published to compliment a limited edition, and usually issued
at the same time.
(or mounted) print:
print fitted into an acid-free or conservation matt (or
mount), ready for framing.
original work individually drawn by the artist, completed
in pencil, ink, or other medium, and personally signed by
the artist. Being an original work each drawing is unique
certificate issued by the publisher stating the total quantity
of prints issued in the edition, confirming authenticity
of the signatures, and in the case of a limited edition,
inscribed with the matching unique number inscribed on the
individual print. Collectors are advised to keep certificates
safely as a future means of provenance. All our aviation
art and aircraft prints are issued with a certificate of