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Winter Ops by Gerald Coulson (AP) - GeraldCoulsonPrints.com

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Winter Ops by Gerald Coulson (AP)


Winter Ops by Gerald Coulson (AP)

Up to 1942 Bomber Command operations were beset by many problems. The means they had to accurately pinpoint the target and assault it were totally lacking, in fact their Commander in Chief, Air Marshall Arthur Harris later wrote : It was glaringly obvious that the average crew in average weather could not find their way to the target. Between February and August 1942 an effort was made to rectify this through the development of a specialised target finding and target marking force, which became known as the Pathfinders. Activated on August 15 this new group was formed under the leadership of their AOC Air Commodore Don Bennett, himself a very experienced pre war pilot with exceptional navigational skills. The aircrews of No. 8 (PFF) Group were tasked with marking out the designated targets but the formation of this group was initially opposed by Harris. He felt that the ranks of his Main Force could be weakened if a high number of experienced and highly skilled crews were taken by this specialist unit, leading to a lessening of skills within the other bomber groups. He agreed however for an alternative scheme whereby complete units were assigned to the Pathfinder Force and the stage was then set for what was to become the Main Offensive of Bomber Command. The first four Squadrons - Nos. 7 (Stirlings) 35 (Halifax) 83 (Lancaster) and 156 (Wellingtons) - were based at a clutch of airfields between Cambridge and Huntingdon. In the absence of any specialist Target Markers the crews were initially forced to operate using standard flares and the early raids produced variable results, with cloud cover often proving the main obstacle in accurate marking. However during the winter of 1942 the introduction of the ground guided marking system, OBOE, marked a quantum leap in accurate target marking and by mid 1943 Pathfinder techniques had been developed for all forms of weather conditions, including nights when complete overcast existed.Pathfinder crews used a combination of personal skill and technical equipment such as H2S to locate their targets. Often flying against overwhelming odds and in appalling conditions they transformed the performance of a bomber force that in 1941 was dropping almost half its bombs on open countryside. This third and final painting in Gerald Coulsons Tribute to Bomber Command depicts Lancaster Bombers of No.8 (PFF) Group returning late after a gruelling operation over Berlin. It is Christmas 1943 and the winter landscape reflects the early morning sunrise as the weary crews approach the safety of their Cambridgeshire base.
Item Code : GC0005APWinter Ops by Gerald Coulson (AP) - This EditionAdd any two items on this offer to your basket, and the lower priced item will be half price in the checkout! Buy 1 Get 1 Half Price!
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PROOF
Limited edition of 50 artist proofs.

Image size 24 inches x 17 inches (61cm x 43cm) Scrivener, Norman
Petrie-Andrews, John
Woolley, Dennis
Brennan, M Ben
Wilcox, Bill
Wright, Jim
Balcombe, Derek
South, Gerry
Rodley, Ernest
+ Artist : Gerald Coulson
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Other editions of this item : Winter Ops by Gerald Coulson.GC0005
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PRINTSigned limited edition of 500 prints, with 5 signatures. Image size 24 inches x 17 inches (61cm x 43cm) Scrivener, Norman
Petrie-Andrews, John
Woolley, Dennis
Wright, Jim
Rodley, Ernest
+ Artist : Gerald Coulson
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Supplied with one or more  free art prints!
Now : £180.00VIEW EDITION...
PRINT Limited edition of 40 publishers proofs, with 15 signatures. Image size 24 inches x 17 inches (61cm x 43cm) Sismore, E B Ted
Scrivener, Norman
Petrie-Andrews, John
Boulter, Bertie
Curtis, Ron
Brennan, M Ben
Wilcox, Bill
Wright, Jim
Balcombe, Derek
South, Gerry
Wadsworth, R G Bob
Womersley, Geoffrey
Rodley, Ernest
Woolley, Dennis
+ Artist : Gerald Coulson
Add any two items on this offer to your basket, and the lower priced item will be half price in the checkout!£595.00VIEW EDITION...
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Limited edition of 10 giclee canvas prints.

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Image size 24 inches x 17 inches (61cm x 43cm)noneSOLD
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Signed limited edition of 500 prints, with 5 signatures.

TWO PRINTS ONLY IN THIS SPECIAL PROMOTION
Image size 24 inches x 17 inches (61cm x 43cm) Scrivener, Norman
Petrie-Andrews, John
Woolley, Dennis
Wright, Jim
Rodley, Ernest
+ Artist : Gerald Coulson

B.O.G.O.F.
Now : £350.00VIEW EDITION...
EX-DISPLAY
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**Signed limited edition of 500 prints, with 5 signatures. (One print reduced to clear)

Ex display print in near perfect condition with one handling dent and some light damage to border.
Image size 24 inches x 17 inches (61cm x 43cm) Scrivener, Norman
Petrie-Andrews, John
Woolley, Dennis
Wright, Jim
Rodley, Ernest
+ Artist : Gerald Coulson
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Now : £120.00VIEW EDITION...
Extra Details : Winter Ops by Gerald Coulson (AP)
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A photograph of an edition of the print.

Signatures on this item
NameInfo


Flight Lieutenant Dennis Woolley DFC DFM (deceased)
Flight Lieutenant Dennis William, Woolley. DFC, DFM. 106 (5 Group) and 83 (S-PFF- Group) Squadrons. 1940 - Volunteered for air crew service. 1941 - Trained as an Air Observer in Manitoba. 1942 - Did 1st tour, on Manchesters (6 trips) and on Lancasters (27 trips). Awarded DFM. 1942 - 3 - Instructor at Winthorpe, Notts. 1943 - Engaged in special operations relating to the advancement of the Italian campaign. Based latterly in Sicily. 1944 - Did 2nd tour in Bomber Command in 83 (PFF) Squadron. 25 trips in Lancasters. Awarded DFC and Pathfinder Badge. 1944 - 5 - Joined Transport Command, Transatlantic Ferry Unit based at Darval, Montreal. 1945 - 6 - Seconded to what is now known as British Airways. Based at Poole, navigating Sunderland flying boats to and from Singapore. 1946 - Demobilised. A long time resident of Chipstead, Denis Woolley, died on 28th of December 2009, at the age of 89. The following Obituary was prepared by Rupert Courtenay-Evans: Denis Woolley was born in London and as a boy lived in Kew. He was educated at Latimer Upper School, which he enjoyed. When he left school he briefly went to work at the Gas, Light and Coke Company; however when war was declared he joined the RAFVR as a navigator on the grounds of not liking the sound of the sea or army and his love of maths at school! His initial operational training of navigation, bombing and gunnery was mainly in Canada, because of the practical difficulties of flying in Britain at the time. Navigation at night in those pre-radar days involved astral navigation which depended on seeing the stars as well being able to fly straight and level for 15 minutes, often not very safe or practical on night raids over enemy occupied Europe as Denis would jokingly say. He went on to become an expert in all forms of more sophisticated electronic navigational equipment including G, Oboe and H2S which were radar systems. On return to England in 1942, he joined an operational bomber squadron at Coningsby in Lincolnshire as a sergeant navigator. Initially he was in the poorly performing Manchester bombers, but after six trips the squadron was converted to its successor, the Lancaster bomber and all his subsequent 27 trips with this unit were in these aircraft . Most of these trips were with Guy Gibson as squadron commander, with whom he seemed to get on very well. With the exception of two, all trips were at night, which of course relied very heavily on navigational skills. Of the two day trips one was to Le Cressau, which involved flying at 250 feet to avoid the enemy flack and the other was over the Alps to bomb Milan, which turned out to be very poorly defended by recruits firing rifles, and all the aircraft got back safely! After a brief tour to Sicily as an instructor to help set up a bomber base from which to attack Italy more easily in support of the advancing ground forces, which, in Denis`s words, was abortive as the Italians surrendered immediately! He returned to operational flying in England and was considered good enough to be commissioned and to join the newly formed Pathfinder Force under the brilliant Australian airman Don Bennett. Pathfinder Force or Group 8 was set up against the wishes of Bomber Harris, the chief of Bomber Command, but with the agreement of Churchill. Its purpose was to reduce casualties, and to improve the accuracy of identifying targets at night, by marking not only the appropriate route to the target, but also the target itself by a force of selected crews specialised in these skills. Harris was against it as he felt it would create jealousy and have an adverse on effect on morale. The Pathfinder planes, which roughly were in a ratio of 1 to 15 of the main force, which could be 800 or more strong, would lead the raid to the target along the pre-arranged route often with diversionary tactics, then drop their marker bombs and leave. Denis modestly used to say that the German gunners let Pathfinders through safely and then concentrated their fire on the following main force. Denis was not only selected to join Group 8 but went on to be a Master Bomber whose role had been extended to be a sort of Master of Ceremonies, whose plane circulated the target correcting aiming points and co-ordinating the raid by radio. Denis did his final 6 trips in this position, thus completing 58 bombing raids without being shot down, such was his luck as he would say, but others would put it down to his skill and calmness under stress. Denis always said that every bomber crew set off on a raid convinced that they would not be shot down on that trip. At this stage the RAF decided to take him off further combat flights, enough was enough. He completed his service with Transport Command and was demobbed in 1946. He ended his RAF career as a Flight Lt. with the DFC, the DFM and the cherished Pathfinders Badge. After the war he had hoped to continue his flying career with BOAC, the fore-runner of BA, but they unexpectedly decided to charge him a £500 training fee, which he did not have, and probably thought was unnecessary. Instead he joined the Bank of England. Dennis Woolley died 28th December 2009.


Flight Lieutenant Derek Balcombe DFC




Flight Lieutenant John Petrie-Andrews DFC DFM
John Petrie-Andrews joined the RAF in 1940. After training as a pilot, in January 1943 he was posted to join 102 (Ceylon) Squadron at Pocklington for his first tour, flying Halifaxes. In February 1943 he transferred to 158 Squadron, still on Halifaxes. John the joined 35 Squadron, one of the original squadrons forming the Pathfinder Force. Here he flew first Halifaxes before converting to Lancasters. John Petrie-Andrews completed a total of 70 operations on heavy bombers, including 60 with the Pathfinders.


Group Captain Gerry South DSO DFC (deceased)
Gerald John South was born in 1922 and educated at King Edwards School, Birmingham. In 1940 he joined the RAF. After gaining his wings in 1941 he went to a navigation training school, but early in 1943 was posted to 405 Squadron, a Canadian Halifax unit. This became the first RCAF bomber squadron to be selected for the newly formed Pathfinders, with which South spent the rest of his frontline war. In November 1943 he was wounded when his aircraft was hit during a raid on Hanover, but he was able to bring the Halifax and its crew safely home to base. He was awarded the DFC. After two months in hospital he was back on operations with 7 Squadron flying Lancasters, again in the Pathfinders. He was now involved with marking for raids over some of Germanys most formidably defended targets, notably Berlin, over which he flew eight sorties. On the night of February 24-25, 1944, 7 Squadron was part of a force of 734 aircraft that attacked the ball-bearing factories at Schweinfurt. It was not an easy target to hit and both the RAF and the US 8th Army Air Force had suffered frightful losses to flak and night fighters while attempting it. For his leadership in Pathfinder operations, South was awarded the DSO in October 1944. After finishing his third tour of operations, South was posted to Transport Command, involved in supplying forces in the Far East theatre. Postwar, he served during the Malayan Emergency at Advanced Air Headquarters in Kuala Lumpur, where from 1953 to 1955 he was on the air staff for joint army/air operations against communist insurgents. He subsequently commanded 115 (Canberra) Squadron, 1955-57, during which period it supported the military operation at Suez. From 1962 to 1964 he commanded an operations wing at Changi, Singapore during President Sukarno of Indonesias attempt to subvert the creation of Malaysia through insurrection in Brunei and military action in Borneo. His final appointment was in 1969 as Group Captain Administration at HQ Near East Air Force, based in Cyprus and responsible for an area stretching from Malta to Oman. Group Captain Gerry South, DSO, DFC, died on February 28, 2010, aged 87.




Squadron Leader Norman Scrivener DSO DFC(deceased)
One of the top RAF navigators of the war who went on more than 100 sorties in Bomber Command. Squadron Leader Norman Scrivener was born in Birmingham in November 1915 and joined the Royal Air Force in early 1939. Norman Scrivener trained at Staverton Aerodrome, in Gloucestershire, where he discovered he suffered from air sickness. He joined 97 (New Zealand ) Squadron, became a pilot officer and was one of the first navigators to use the developing radar systems and later flew with Wing Commander Guy Gibson (before Gibson moved to the Dambusters.) with 106 Squadron and in 1943 joined the Pathfinders of 83 Squadron as navigator to the Squadron Commander John Searby and took part in the raid on the German radar facilities in Peenemunde where the German V2 and V1 rockets were produced and tested. Squadron Leader Norman Scrivener was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Distinguished Flying Order. Sadly Squadron Leader Norman Scrivener died in Worcester aged 91 in May 2007.


Warrant Officer Bill Wilcox DFM
Bill was a Wireless Operator with 466 Squadron on Wellingtons, before being posted to 640 Squadron on Halifaxes. In 1943 he joined 35 Squadron, part of the Pathfinder Force, on Lancasters. He remained with this unit until the end of the war, completing nearly 60 operations.


Warrant Officer M Ben Brennan DFM AFM
Ben Brennan volunteered for the RAF in 1941, qualifying as a Flight Engineer in early 1943. Converting to Lancasters, he was posted to join 619 Squadron at Woodall Spa. In late 1943 he went to 83 Squadron at Wyton, as part of the Lancaster Pathfinder Force, before joining No 5 Group at Coningsby. He flew a total of 80 operations during the war.




Wing Commander Ernest Rodley DSO DFC AFC AE (deceased)
Ernest Rodley initially joined the RAFVR in 1937 and was commissioned and posted to Bomber Command in 1941. Joining 97 Sqn flying Manchesters he was involved in the attack on the Scharnhorst, Prinz Eugen and Gneisenau whilst in Brest harbour and in the famous Augsberg daylight raid for which he received a DFC. At the end of 1942 he joined RAF Scampton helping to convert to Lancaster Bombers before rejoining 97 Sqn at Bourn as a Pathfinder. After a spell at Warboys as an instructor he took command of 128 Sqn at Wyton, flying Mosquitoes as part of the Light Night Strike Force and involvede in doing 7 trips to Berlin. Staying with this unit he finished the war having completed 87 operations. In 1946 Ernest Rodley joined British South American Airways flying Lancastrians across the Atlantic from a tented Heathrow. On 13th April 1950 he was checked out on the new Comet jet airliner by John Cunningham and became the worlds first jet endorsed Airline Transport Pilots Licence holder. Ernest Rodley retired from BOAC in 1968 as a Boeing 707 Captain, joining Olympic Airways a few days later. He amassed an amazing 28000 flying hours. Sadly he died in 2004.




Wing Commander Jim Wright DFC
Upon completing his training in 1943 Jim Wright joined 61 Sqn at Syerston as a Navigator on Lancasters and served in the crew of Flight Lieutenant Ken Ames DFC and Bar. After completing 5 operations with 61 Sqn, F/L Ames and crew were posted to East Kirkby to join the newly formed 630 Squadron. After a brief spell in hospital, after a trip to Kassel on the 22 October 1943 and after completing 22 operations with 630 Squadron, Jim Wright joined 97 (Pathfinder) Squadron at Coningsby for the commencement of their 2nd tour. Jim and the crew completed 16 operations with 97 squadron with their last operation was on the 19th of September 1944. In January 1944 they completed trips to Stettin, Brunswick, Magdeburg and 4 to Berlin. Their next trip to Berlin was on 15th February 1944 followed by operations to Leipzig, Stuttgart and Augsburg. In March they went to Stuttgart, Charmand-Ferront, Stuttgart, Frankfurt and Nuremburg. In April to Toulouse, Pillau Canal (Konigsberg), Tours and Juvisy. In May, to finish their first tour, they went to Bourg. Following completion of operational duties with 97 Squadron Jim Wright was seconded to BOAC and served as an Operations Officer at Hurn and Heathrow in1945 until being demobed in October 1946. Then Jim worked for BOAC 1946 until December 1950 as an Air Traffic Control Officer (ATCO) in British West Africa (Yundum & Half Die, Gambia) and as a Flight Operations Officer at Prestwick and Heathrow before rejoining the RAF 1951 for ATCO duties until he retired in 1976.

The Aircraft :
NameInfo
LancasterThe Avro Lancaster arose from the avro Manchester and the first prototype Lancaster was a converted Manchester with four engines. The Lancaster was first flown in January 1941, and started operations in March 1942. By March 1945 The Royal Air Force had 56 squadrons of Lancasters with the first squadron equipped being No.44 Squadron. During World War Two the Avro Lancaster flew 156,000 sorties and dropped 618,378 tonnes of bombs between 1942 and 1945. Lancaster Bomberss took part in the devastating round-the-clock raids on Hamburg during Air Marshall Harris' "Operation Gomorrah" in July 1943. Just 35 Lancasters completed more than 100 successful operations each, and 3,249 were lost in action. The most successful survivor completed 139 operations, and the Lancaster was scrapped after the war in 1947. A few Lancasters were converted into tankers and the two tanker aircraft were joined by another converted Lancaster and were used in the Berlin Airlift, achieving 757 tanker sorties. A famous Lancaster bombing raid was the 1943 mission, codenamed Operation Chastise, to destroy the dams of the Ruhr Valley. The operation was carried out by 617 Squadron in modified Mk IIIs carrying special drum shaped bouncing bombs designed by Barnes Wallis. Also famous was a series of Lancaster attacks using Tallboy bombs against the German battleship Tirpitz, which first disabled and later sank the ship. The Lancaster bomber was the basis of the new Avro Lincoln bomber, initially known as the Lancaster IV and Lancaster V. (Becoming Lincoln B1 and B2 respectively.) Their Lancastrian airliner was also based on the Lancaster but was not very successful. Other developments were the Avro York and the successful Shackleton which continued in airborne early warning service up to 1992.

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