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£18,000
F81744
All Stock | Military
Collection
Unframed
The "Dambusters" was the nickname given to Squadron No. 416 of the Royal Air Force. The squadron was allocated to Operation Chastise, a dangerous but vitally important mission to destroy German dams in the Ruhr valley using a specially developed "bouncing bomb", invented and developed by Barnes Wallis. These attacks would strategically assist the war effort by disrupting and/or destroying industrial output in the region, including disrupting the output of a hydro-electric power station. It took great skill for these bombs to detonate on target due to their unusual shape and low altitude flying required, coupled with the need to carry out the missions at night. Between the 16th and 17th May 1943, Squadron 416 carried out their offensive on the Ruhr valley. The mission was a success and the Möhne and Edersee Dams were breached, causing catastrophic flooding of the Ruhr valley and of villages in the Eder valley. However, the mission was not without dangers for the men involved and of the 133 men who took part in the raid, 53 men were killed in action and three were captured by the enemy after bailing out of their aircraft. Their extraordinary story was immortalised in the 1955 film 'Dambusters'. We have a superb set of three signatures from Wing Commander Guy Gibson (1918-1944), comprising of an album page, photograph and document. Gibson led Operation Chastise to glory and was awarded a Victoria Cross for his efforts. He tragically died in service after his plane crashed down over the Netherlands in 1944, at the age of just 26.

We have a rare signed black and white photograph of a dashing Gibson in full RAF uniform holding a pipe. Signed and inscribed by Gibson in black ink "'To Ben Twigg, with my kindest personal regards, yours, Guy P. Gibson W/C" and dated 15th September 1944 in his hand. The photograph measures 110x155mm and is in very good condition, excepting a small tear to the lower white margin of the photograph.

Accompanied by a partially printed membership application form for "The Thirty Club" (a popular entertainment club in Skegness during WWII). Gibson has completed part of the form in his own hand, giving his full name, rank and address at RAF Spilby (sic) E(ast) Kirkby. Signed at the base by Gibson and countersigned by an official of the club. An ink date to the side indicates that Gibson was granted honorary membership on 19th June 1944, exactly three months before his tragic death. Measures 205x105mm.

And finally, a clear and bold green fountain pen ink signature on a piece, neatly laid down to a page removed from an autograph album alongside a newspaper portrait of Gibson and neatly typed quotation by the former collector. Measures 175x125mm in total.

An extremely rare trio of signatures from the daring RAF Wing Commander, a unique set..

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