Size: 35" x 23" Edition: 450 Subject: Beaufighters of 455 Squadron over Norway.
"The type of work carried out by this squadron is akin to that of the Viking - short, sharp swoops across the sea by a compact, well-armed force" Wing Commander Jack Davenport AC DSO DFC* GM MID
By, the spring of 1945, Germany's once all-conquering submarine fleet, driven by allied forces from its bases in western France, had fled to the relative safety of the Norwegian fjords - territory still remaining under German occupation since 1940. In one of Hitler's last stands, more than 100 U-Boats, merchant freighters, flakships, and other military vessels were gathered in the narrow fjords, laying up by day and sailing undercover of darkness. They were a menace that had to be dealt with.
Tasked with the difficult job of eliminating this force were the Beaufighters and Mosquitos of RAF Coastal Command's Strike Wings based in Scotland. "Our job was to go after this shipping and sink it" recalled Wing Commander Colin Milson, C.O. of No 455's Beaufighters. "The fjords were often just 200-300 yards across with cliffs rising vertically up 2000 feet, the deep water allowing the German shipping to get in beneath these high and overhanging cliffs. This made for difficult and dangerous flying, exacerbated by the heavy flak and machine gunfire that always welcomed us".
Piloting the twin engine Beaufighter through the narrow fjords, hugging the cliff face at close to 300 mph and, with every enemy gun that could be brought to bear throwing up a wall of lead, these frightening shipping strikes were not for the faint hearted.
Robert Taylor's gripping painting conveys the awesome task faced by the Australian, British, Canadian, and New Zealand aircrews, as Beaufighters of No 455 Squadron RAAF from the Dallachy Strike Wing skim the rugged rock face, exiting the target after a successful rocket attack on shipping deep in a Norwegian fjord. It is the spring of 1945. Throughout the last weeks of World War II the aircrews of 455 Squadron continued to pound the elusive enemy with inordinate courage and determination, upholding their squadron motto - Strike and Strike Again.
Each print in Robert Taylor’s Limited Edition, Strike and Strike Again, is signed by: Flying Officer Harold Corbin CGM Warrant Officer Les Doughty DFM Flight Lieutenant Herbert ‘Bert’ Graham.