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Ace with 24.50 Victories

Group Captain Billy Drake DSO DFC*

Joined the R.A.F. in 1936. His first posting was to 1 squadron flying Furies then Hurricanes and first saw action over France in the Spring of 1940 and was awarded his first DFC by the end of the year. As a Squadron Leader he was sent to West Africa to command 128 Squadron. 1942 saw his commanding 112 squadron in North Africa, in July saw an immediate BAR to his DFC and in December an immediate DSO. Posted to Malta as Wing Commander he won a US DFC in 1943. Back in the UK he now was flying Typhoons in the lead up to D-Day. With Pete Brothers he was sent to the States to attend the US Staff School at Fort Leavenworth. After the war he continued in the R.A.F. serving in Japan, Malaya, Singapore, Switzerland and his final posting as Group Captain RAF Chivenor, Devon. Retired in July 1963. Going to Portugal where he ran a Bar and Restaurant and dealing in Real Estate. In his flying career he accounted for more than 24 enemy aircraft. Sadly, Billy Drake passed away on 28th August 2011.



Awarded the Distinguished Service OrderAwarded the Distinguished Flying CrossAwarded a Bar to the Distinguished Flying Cross
Distinguished
Service Order
Distinguished
Flying Cross
Bar to the
Distinguished
Flying Cross

Group Captain Billy Drake DSO DFC* - Signed Aviation Art Prints, Paintings and Drawings
Pilot and Aircrew Signatures
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Guardian Angel by Gerald Coulson.


Guardian Angel by Gerald Coulson.

As Britain holds itself ready for perhaps the greatest battle it has ever fought, a pair of Mk 1 Hurricanes of 213 Squadron set out from their base at Biggin Hill for an early morning patrol over the Channel, they could meet the enemy at any moment. As they cross the coast, they are joined in spirit by a 213 Squadron Sopwith Camel from an earlier conflict. With the Battle of Britain poised to begin the great task of defending the nation will fall upon their shoulders. But at least for today the spirit of their guardian angel will be at their side.
Item Code : DHM1864Guardian Angel by Gerald Coulson. - Editions Available
TYPEDESCRIPTIONSIZESIGNATURESOFFERSPRICEPURCHASING
PRINTLimited edition of 300 prints
Full Item Details
Paper size 29.5 inches x 23 inches (75cm x 58cm)Artist : Gerald CoulsonSOLD
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ARTIST
PROOF
Limited edition of 50 artist proofs.
Full Item Details
Paper size 29.5 inches x 23 inches (75cm x 58cm) Drake, Billy
Duckenfield, Byron
Elkington, John
+ Artist : Gerald Coulson


Signature(s) value alone : £135
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Supplied with one or more free art prints!
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REMARQUELimited edition of 10 remarques
Full Item Details
Paper size 29.5 inches x 23 inches (75cm x 58cm) Drake, Billy
Duckenfield, Byron
Elkington, John
+ Artist : Gerald Coulson


Signature(s) value alone : £135
SOLD
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Aircraft for : Group Captain Billy Drake DSO DFC* (deceased)
A list of all aircraft associated with Group Captain Billy Drake DSO DFC* (deceased). A profile page including a list of all art prints for the aircraft is available by clicking the aircraft name.
SquadronInfo

Fury




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Manufacturer : Hawker

Fury

Full profile not yet available.

Hurricane




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Manufacturer : Hawker
Production Began : 1936
Number Built : 14533

Hurricane

Royal Air Force Fighter, the Hawker Hurricane had a top speed of 320mph, at 18,200 feet and 340mph at 17,500, ceiling of 34,200 and a range of 935 miles. The Hurricane was armed with eight fixed wing mounted .303 browning machine guns in the Mark I and twelve .303 browning's in the MKIIB in the Hurricane MKIIC it had four 20mm cannon. All time classic fighter the Hurricane was designed in 1933-1934, the first prototype flew in June 1936 and a contract for 600 for the Royal Air Force was placed. The first production model flew ion the 12th October 1937 and 111 squadron of the Royal Air Force received the first Hurricanes in January 1938. By the outbreak of World war two the Royal Air Force had 18 operational squadrons of Hurricanes. During the Battle of Britain a total of 1715 Hurricanes took part, (which was more than the rest of the aircraft of the Royal air force put together) and almost 75% of the Victories during the Battle of Britain went to hurricane pilots. The Hawker Hurricane was used in all theatres during World war two, and in many roles. in total 14,533 Hurricanes were built.

Typhoon




Click the name above to see prints featuring Typhoon aircraft.

Manufacturer : Hawker
Production Began : 1941
Number Built : 3330

Typhoon

Single engine fighter with a maximum speed of 412 mph at 19,000 feet and a ceiling of 35,200 feet. range 510 miles. The Typhoon was armed with twelve browning .303inch machine guns in the wings (MK1A) Four 20mm Hispano cannon in wings (MK!B) Two 1000ilb bombs or eight 3-inch rockets under wings. The first proto type flew in February 1940, but due to production problems the first production model flew in May 1941. with The Royal Air Force receiving their first aircraft in September 1941. Due to accidents due to engine problems (Sabre engine) The Hawker Typhoon started front line service in December 1941.The Hawker Typhoon started life in the role of interceptor around the cost of England but soon found its real role as a ground attack aircraft. especially with its 20mm cannon and rockets. This role was proved during the Normandy landings and the period after. The total number of Hawker typhoons built was 3,330.
Squadrons for : Group Captain Billy Drake DSO DFC* (deceased)
A list of all squadrons known to have been served with by Group Captain Billy Drake DSO DFC* (deceased). A profile page is available by clicking the squadron name.
SquadronInfo

No.1 Sqn RAF


Country : UK
Founded : 13th May 1912

In Omnibus Princeps - First in all things

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No.1 Sqn RAF

On 13 May 1912, with the establishment of the Royal Flying Corps, No. 1 Company of the Air Battalion was redesignated No. 1 Squadron, Royal Flying Corps. No. 1 Squadron was one of the original three Royal Flying Corps squadrons. Maitland continued as the new squadron's Officer Commanding and he was promoted to major several days after the establishment of the squadron. It retained the airships Beta and Gamma, adding Delta and Eta, as well as kites and a few spherical balloons. However, in October 1913 a sudden decision was made to transfer all the airships to the Naval Wing of the RFC (which became the Royal Naval Air Service by Admiralty dictat, not Cabinet decision, on 1 July 1914). While retaining kites 1 Squadron was reorganised as an 'aircraft park' for the British Expeditionary Force. On 1 May 1914, Major Charles Longcroft was appointed as the new squadron commander. Apart from a few weeks as a supernumerary in August and September 1914, Longcroft continued as the squadron commander until January 1915. The squadron returned to the UK from France in March 1919, being formally disbanded on 20 January 1920. On the next day it reformed at Risalpur in the North West Frontier of India (now part of Pakistan), flying the Sopwith Snipe. and from January 1920. It moved to Hinaidi near Baghdad in Iraq in May 1921, to carry out policing duties, retaining its Snipes, although it also received one Bristol Jupiter engined Nieuport Nighthawk for evaluation. It remained in Iraq, carrying out strafing and bombing against hostile tribal forces until November 1926 when it was disbanded. In early 1927 it was reformed at Tangmere, Sussex as a Home Defence Fighter Squadron, equipped with the Armstrong Whitworth Siskin. After receiving the Hawker Fury Mk.1 in February 1932, the squadron gained a reputation for aerobatics, giving displays throughout the United Kingdom and at the Zurich International Air Meeting in July 1937, where its display impressed but it was clear that it was outclassed by the German Messerschmitt Bf 109 and Dornier Do 17 also displayed at Zurich. The squadron re-equipped with the Hurricane Mk.I in October 1938 By the outbreak of the Second World War the Squadron had worked up sufficiently to deploy to France as part of 67 Wing of the Advanced Air Striking Force. In October it flew over enemy territory for the first time and on the 30th of that month claimed its first victory, a Dornier DO17. Further occasional combat took place and the successes mounted. However, the situation developed significantly in April 1940, and 10th May was the date on which No 1(Fighter) Squadron became fully operation in every sense of the word. Fighting was intense and a week later the Squadron was bombed out of its base at Berry-au-Bac; then began a series of retreats ending finally in a return to the UK. The Squadron was back at Tangmere by 23rd June and operational the following month. In August it marked its entry into the Battle of Britain by destroying 2 Messerschmitt BF110s; there was no let up in the fighting until 9th September when the Squadron moved North to Wittering for a rest. It returned South for the New Year when it engaged in fighter sweeps and carried out bomber escort duties. In February, it started Rhubarb and night flying; during the month the first of its Hurricane 11As arrived. This heralded a period of change for the Squadron whose strength now included both Czechs and Poles; the emphasis increasingly focused on night flying. In July the Squadron returned to Tangmere and, having achieved night operational status, this became its main task. The Squadron continued to conduct night intruder patrol until re-equipping with Hawker Typhoons in July 1942;it then moved North to Acklington where it reverted to daytime operations. The Unit exchanged its Typhoons for Spitfire X1s in April 1944 and with these continued its bombing raids. In June the Squadron began anti-V patrols (Divers) and this became its exclusive occupation, eventually tallying 39 hits. In the autumn it reverted to carrying out bomber escorts; to extend its range it sued the airfield at Haldegham on the Continent as an advanced landing ground. In May 1945 it converted to Spitfire F21s but these were only used operationally to cover the Channel Island landings. In 1946 the Squadron returned to Tangmere and took delivery of its first jet aircraft, Gloster Meteors. These aircraft were followed by Hawker Hunter F5s, which were flown from Cyprus during 1956 Suez crisis. In June 1958 No 1(Fighter) Squadron was disbanded but was reformed almost immediately on 1st July, to fly Hunter F6s from Stradishall, by renumbering No 2683 Squadron. It then moved to Waterbeach from where, flying Hunter FGA9s, it operated in the ground attack role as part of 38 Group. The Squadron continued in this role for the next 8 years, operating out of Waterbeach and then West Raynham. July 1969 heralded a move to Wittering to commence conversion to the Harrier and become the first operational squadron in the world to fly this unique vertical/short take off and landing aircraft. Since this time No 1(Fighter) Squadron has served in many parts of the globe, including Belize and most notably, the South Atlantic during the Falklands War in 1982, where it undertook the air defence role in Ascension Island before deploying for aircraft carrier based operations over the Falkland Islands equipped with Sidewinder air to air missile. Aircraft flew for 9 hours, direct to Ascension Island which set a new distance/duration record for the Harrier. Some aircraft then flew direct to the South Atlantic, where they operated from HMS HERMES. During this conflict, over 130 sorties were flown against heavily defended targets on the Islands; 3 aircraft were shot down by enemy fire. All 3 pilots ejected successfully, although one, who sustained shoulder injuries, was captured and became the only prisoner of war; he was later repatriated to the UK. The Squadron moved to RAF Stanley in the Falkland Islands at the end of hostilities and took on air defence duties until the latter part of the year when it returned to Wittering.

No.128 Sqn RAF


Country : UK
Founded : 1st February 1918
Fate : Disbanded 31st March 1946

Fulminis instar - Like a thunderbolt

Click the name above to see prints featuring aircraft of No.128 Sqn RAF

No.128 Sqn RAF

Full profile not yet available.

Known Victory Claims - Billy Drake

DATE

PILOT

UNIT

JG

CLAIMED

LOCATION

TIME

FRONT

10/05/1940Flying Officer Billy DrakeNo.1 Sqn RAFHe111Verdun

Known Claims : 1

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