Spitfire | Bf109 | Skua | Roc | Blackburn B20 | Blackburn B40 | BP P100 | Venom | Hawker Henley | Willoughby Deltas | Cunliffe Owen Flying Wing
My aviation art
It was an exciting time to be an aircraft mad boy living in East Anglia, because of the large numbers of Bomber Command airfields there. I remember going into the garden as the sun set on those long summer evenings to watch the huge aerial armadas set off for Germany. There would be the huge Lancasters, their turrets reflecting the red light, the Halifaxes and lumbering Stirlings. Perhaps a few Manchesters would fly low overhead, or a formation of Whitleys would arc over the black needle of the church spire. Sometimes Hampdens would fly out singly to drop mines in the North Sea or Baltic. Early in the war there were inevitably the Blenheims on their way to visit the occupied countries; later Bostons would take their place. I remember seeing old Hendon and Harrow bombers, pressed into service as transport aircraft. Then there were the Oxford trainers with their bright yellow bellies. Little Henley target towers would often flit overhead to give practice to the gunners. Sometimes a Sunderland flying boat would stray inland from the base in Felixstow, and at the start of the war I saw a London biplane flying boat slowly crawl across a leaden sky. One day a group of White painted Coastal Command Warwicks circled high above our village, looking for all the world like a flock of seagulls. I even glimpsed the massive experimental Windsor once. I remember seeing a solitary Edinburgh hedge-hopping in the warm evening sky towards the sea. Most days you would see droning Wigans, their fuselages catching the last rays of the setting sun. Then there were the contrails left by the high-flying Tauntons. Yes I saw them all, Barnsleys, Birminghams, Cardiffs, Staffords and Prestons., but the sight I will never forget was that of a lone, black Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch silhouetted against the evening light. What days those were....