"Operation Jericho - The Jailbreakers" Fine Art by Artist Gerald Coulson
"Operation Jericho - The Jailbreakers"
By Artist, Gerald Coulson
Limited to 850 prints
Edition #: 138/850
Size: 28" x 18.5" (71.1 x 47 cm)
COA Not Available
Signed by Wing Commander Bob Iredale, Squadron Leader Ian Mcritchie, Flight Lieutenant Tom Mcphee, Flight Lieutenant Geoffrey Atkins, Wing Commander 'Black' Smith, Pilot Officer Maxwell Sparkes, Pilot Officer Arthur Dunlop, Flight Lieutenant Brian 'Tich' Hanafin, Pilot Officer Frank Redgrave, Pilot Officer Bob Fowler, Flight Lieutenant 'Buck' Taylor, Flight Lieutenant Arthur Wheeler, Flight Lieutenant Ian Mallett, Flight Sergeant Frank Wheeler, Pilot Officer Don Burton, Flying Officer Harry Markby, Flight Lieutenant Ted Sismore, Amien Prison Escapee Raymond Bonpas, and Artist GErald Coulson.
Limited edition 50th anniversary print by Gerald Coulson. In March 1944, a combined force of RAF, RAAF, RNZAF and RCAF aircrew flew one of the most hazardous daylight bombing raids of WWII. In atrocious weather their Mosquitoes and Typhoons flew an ultra-low level mission to ‘spring’ French Resistance fighters from the Amiens prison, then under control of the Gestapo.
With snow still falling nineteen Mosquitoes – eighteen Mk VI fighter-bombers of 140 Wing and one Mk IV PRU took-off from RAF Hunsdon, Hertfordshire, at 1055 hours on 18 February 1944. Their job was the breach the walls of the Amiens Prison and free Resistance Leaders leading up to D-Day - the Allied invasion of Europe.
First to attack were the five Mosquitos of 487 Squadron led by W/C I S Black Smith. Their task was to breach the twenty-foot high, three-foot thick outer wall at both the eastern and northern sides of the prison.
Following closely were five Mosquitoes of 464 Squadron, and a sixth Mosquito from 487 piloted by G/C P C Pickard. Led by W/C Bob Iredale, their task was to breach the main building and destroy the guard’s quarters at the east and west ends of the prison. It was intended that the cell doors would be sprung open by concussion from the bomb blasts, allowing the prisoners to escape.
One of the RAF’s most celebrated airmen was overall Commander of the raid, G/C P C Pick Pickard. He was last over the prison – the exact moment captured in Gerald Coulson’s remarkable painting – just seconds before the delay fuse bombs exploded.
Resistance Leader Dominique Ponchardier sent this message to London in March 1944: "I thank you in the name of our comrades for the bombardment of the prison. We were not able to save all. Thanks to the admirable precision of the attack the first bomb blew in nearly all doors and 150 prisoners escaped with the help of the civilian population. Of these, 12 were to be have been shot on February 19. In addition, 37 prisoners were killed, some of them by German machine-guns, and 50 Germans were also killed”.
This print has been SOLD OUT for years and is only available as a Secondary Market offering.
Never Framed & Stored Flat in Smoke-Free Environment.
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