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Her Majesty the Queen by Brian Bateman. -

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Her Majesty the Queen by Brian Bateman.

Her Majesty the Queen by Brian Bateman.

April 26, 1943. The Yankee Queen, a sturdy and rugged B-17F, lumbered its way home on a steamy, hot and arid late afternoon. She was coming in to land, almost miraculously, as if being held up by Gods own hand. The Yankee Queen had been in on the bombing raid of the German airfield at Grosseto, Italy. A hot, long day with nothing but dust and heat and nerves all jumbled together in the souls of ten young airmen. The raid had not been an easy one. As they approached the airfield, they were discouraged to find that the target was covered by cloud. This was a bomber formations worst fear. If there was a chance to complete the mission they had to go around again at the same altitude and airspeed to approach the target, this time giving the German flak gunners on the ground much more time to gauge the bomber stream for their deadly 88mm guns. On second approach the target was clear, and going in on the bomb run the German gunners were deadly accurate. Yankee Queens right wingman took a direct flak hit in the bomb bay - the plane disintegrated with parts hitting the Queen - the tremendous force of the blast nearly knocking them out of the sky! The number three engine was hit by flak after the bombing run, severing the oil line with the prop having to be feathered. Number two engine, oil line severed, had oil draining from the engine so quickly that the prop could not be feathered. The prop windmills, making handling the crippled B-17 very difficult. Finally able to flatten out the prop before the engine siezed, the Queen, vibrating and falling out of formation, was now easy prey for the Luftwaffe fighters that hovered above waiting for a kill. Once out of the safety of the formation, the B-17s guns were now down to ten from what the strength of the box once had. Sitting ducks. Slow and losing altitude, the pilot gave the standby for bail out- but the signal never came. The pilot and co-pilot, fighting the bucking 17, are able to keep her under enough control to maintain flight. The crew stood ready at their stations, scanning, searching for that 109 or 190 to come at them from out of the sun and finish them off - they never came. Lady luck so far was with the Queen as she struggled and lumbered for any altitude she could muster. The crew threw out anything that had any weight as they reached the African coast, in order to keep her high enough to get over the mountains that lay ahead. But it was not enough as the Queen did not have it in her to get over the top - they would have to go through the valley and the surrounding mountains. Finally, the base! Home! The Queen struggles for every inch, groping, smoking, and vibrating as she reaches for the ground. Ever so slowly she touches down. The crew, hot, tired, and exhausted, realizes that this was their closest call to date. Nerves on end and wet with sweat; the crew emerges into the early African evening, thankful to be home and once again on the ground. Total flying time for this mission was 7 hours and 30 minutes.
Item Code : DHM1877Her Majesty the Queen by Brian Bateman. - This Edition
PRINTSigned limited edition of 250 prints.

Image size 26 inches x 21 inches (66cm x 53cm) Asmussen, John
OConnell, John
Gonyo, William
Creel, L
Platek, Gene
Keele, Ralph
+ Artist : Brian Bateman

Signature(s) value alone : £115

All prices on our website are displayed in British Pounds Sterling

Extra Details : Her Majesty the Queen by Brian Bateman.
About all editions :

Detail Images :

Signatures on this item
*The value given for each signature has been calculated by us based on the historical significance and rarity of the signature. Values of many pilot signatures have risen in recent years and will likely continue to rise as they become more and more rare.
Gene Platek
*Signature Value : £20

Co-pilot of B-17 Flying Fortress "Yankee Queen"
John Asmussen (deceased)
*Signature Value : £25

Tail gunner, B-17 Flying Fortress "Yankee Queen". Sadly John Asmussen passed away on 31st July 2007.
John OConnell
*Signature Value : £20

Bombadier, B-17 Flying Fortress "Yankee Queen"
L G Creel
*Signature Value : £15

Navigator of B-17 Flying Fortress "Yankee Queen"
Ralph Keele
*Signature Value : £20

Pilot of B-17 Flying Fortress "Yankee Queen"
William Gonyo
*Signature Value : £15

Gunner, B-17 Flying Fortress "Yankee Queen"
The Aircraft :
Flying FortressIn the mid-1930s engineers at Boeing suggested the possibility of designing a modern long-range monoplane bomber to the U.S. Army Air Corps. In 1934 the USAAC issued Circular 35-26 that outlined specifications for a new bomber that was to have a minimum payload of 2000 pounds, a cruising speed in excess of 200-MPH, and a range of at least 2000 miles. Boeing produced a prototype at its own expense, the model 299, which first flew in July of 1935. The 299 was a long-range bomber based largely on the Model 247 airliner. The Model 299 had several advanced features including an all-metal wing, an enclosed cockpit, retractable landing gear, a fully enclosed bomb bay with electrically operated doors, and cowled engines. With gun blisters glistening everywhere, a newsman covering the unveiling coined the term Flying Fortress to describe the new aircraft. After a few initial test flights the 299 flew off to Wright Field setting a speed record with an average speed of 232-mph. At Wright Field the 299 bettered its competition in almost all respects. However, an unfortunate crash of the prototype in October of 1935 resulted in the Army awarding its primary production contract to Douglas Aircraft for its DB-1 (B-18.) The Army did order 13 test models of the 299 in January 1936, and designated the new plane the Y1B-17. Early work on the B-17 was plagued by many difficulties, including the crash of the first Y1B-17 on its third flight, and nearly bankrupted the Company. Minor quantities of the B-17B, B-17C, and B-17D variants were built, and about 100 of these aircraft were in service at the time Pearl Harbor was attacked. In fact a number of unarmed B-17s flew into the War at the time of the Japanese attack. The German Blitzkrieg in Europe resulted in accelerated aircraft production in America. The B-17E was the first truly heavily armed variant and made its initial flight in September of 1941. B-17Es cost $298,000 each and more than 500 were delivered. The B-17F and B-17G were the truly mass-produced wartime versions of the Flying Fortress. More than 3,400 B-17Fs and more than 8,600 B-17Gs would be produced. The American daylight strategic bombing campaign against Germany was a major factor in the Allies winning the War in Europe. This campaign was largely flown by B-17 Flying Fortresses (12,677 built) and B-24 Liberators (18,188 built.) The B-17 bases were closer to London than those of the B-24, so B-17s received a disproportionate share of wartime publicity. The first mission in Europe with the B-17 was an Eighth Air Force flight of 12 B-17Es on August 12, 1942. Thousands more missions, with as many as 1000 aircraft on a single mission would follow over the next 2 years, virtually decimating all German war making facilities and plants. The B-17 could take a lot of damage and keep on flying, and it was loved by the crews for bringing them home despite extensive battle damage. Following WW II, B-17s would see some action in Korea, and in the 1948 Israel War. There are only 14 flyable B-17s in operation today and a total of 43 complete airframes

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