Size: 35" x 25" Edition: 75 Collectors Edition Subject: Halifax of 158 Squadron.
Flown by many crews, Halifax L V907 'Friday 13th' was typical of the four-engined heavy bombers that formed the backbone of RAF Bomber Command, and served as a symbol to the enduring bravery of the men who flew the 'heavies' in action.
With its four radial engines, the Handley Page Halifax, together with the more celebrated Avro Lancaster, were the two heavy bombers that formed the backbone of Bomber Command. Together they undertook the brunt of the RAF's bombing offensive that would eventually, after sustained and unending attack, wreak total havoc on the industrial and military infrastructure of the Third Reich. But the crews who flew the 'heavies' faced a terrible ordeal as the enemy fought back with a savage ferocity. Deadly flak and prowling night-fighters waited in the ever-present darkness, and above all there was the incessant, bitter cold. And as winter fell there was no respite on the ground either.
Richard Taylor's hauntingly beautiful painting 'Action This Day' depicts a scene on one such winter's morning. As dawn breaks over RAF Lissett it reveals that last night's biting wind has once again brought a covering of snow to the airfield. But, with conditions forecast to improve, tonight's operation to bomb industrial targets in Germany is set to proceed, and ground crew start to prepare Halifax Mk3 LV907 'F-Freddy', simply known as 'Friday 13th', for action. Within a few hours tension on the airfield will mount, and the snow encrusted countryside will reverberate to the potent roar of mighty radial engines as the 'heavies' of 158 Squadron take to the air. Once again the crews will be put to the test, and once again they will brave the fury that the enemy will unleash upon them. 'Friday 13th' flew an impressive total of 128 operational sorties with 158 Squadron between March 1944 and April 1945.
Each print in Richard Taylor's Limited Edition, Action This Day (Collectors Edition), is signed by eight veterans of Halifax ops with 158 Squadron: Pilot Officer MAURICE SPIVEY DFM Warrant Officer REX STATHAM Flight Lieutenant FRED TUNSTALL DFC Flight Lieutenant ‘TOMMY’ COLES DFC Warrant Officer HARRY IRONS DFC Flight Lieutenant JOE PETRIE-ANDREWS DFC DFM Warrant Officer DENNIS SLACK Flight Lieutenant HERBERT 'BLUEY' MOTTERSHEAD DFC.