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Major Missions

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 Product Description

Major Missions by Robert Taylor
Collector's Edition of 15
Image size: 19 ½” x 9 ½”
Collector’s Edition approx. matted size: 25 ½” x 20”
S/N by Artist and 15 additional sigs

Forged by their unique link to aeronautical design genius Barnes Wallis, 617 Squadron was the first and only squadron in the history of RAF Bomber Command to be formed for a single operation – the spectacular destruction of the great dams of Western Germany. After successfully delivering Barnes Wallis’s ingenious ‘Upkeep’ bouncing bomb on that audacious low-level assault on the night of 16/17 May 1943, 617 Squadron soon came to be considered as the RAF’s specialist precision-bombing unit, and forever known as the Dambusters.

Having later released 12,000lb ‘Tallboy’ deep-penetration earthquake bombs on major targets including the U-boat pens along the French Atlantic Coast, the Kembs barrage and the mighty German battleship Tirpitz, in March 1945 the squadron carried the first of Barnes Wallis’s ‘Grand Slam’ bombs to attack the Bielefeld and Arnsberg viaducts. The massive 22,000lb ‘Grand Slam’ contained over 9,000lbs of Torpex explosive and was the most powerful conventional bomb of World War II. And, like ‘Upkeep’ and ‘Tallboys’, ‘Grand Slams’ could only be carried by specially modified Avro Lancaster bombers.

617 Squadron was the only unit to use these mammoth weapons in anger, and it’s their modified Lancasters at RAF Woodhall Spa that form the basis of Robert Taylor’s atmospheric drawing Major Missions.

Adding great authenticity, each print in this highly-restricted edition has been personally hand signed by two renowned 617 Squadron veterans and issued conservation matted to include the original autographs of some of the most famous names to serve with the unit during WWII. Completing the portfolio is a matching-numbered copy of a book written by one of the last WWII survivors of the Squadron.


The Signed Book:


Ken Trent's remarkable story begins in the East End of London before taking him on a journey through RAF pilot training, to serving with 617 Squadron and completing more than forty perilous missions on Lancaster bombers over the unfriendly skies of occupied Europe. Ken recalls these events with modesty and an unfailing sense of humour which serves as an inspiration to all.

The Collector’s Edition

With FIFTEEN signatures of 617 Squadron veterans!

Restricted to just FIFTEEN copies worldwide, each portfolio contains a veteran-signed copy of the book Bomb Doors Open along with a matching-numbered copy of the print Major Missions which is also signed by two highly-regarded 617 Squadron veterans:


Flight Lieutenant KEN TRENT DFC* (Pilot) – book

Wing Commander JOHN BELL MBE DFC (Bomb-Aimer) – print

Squadron Leader BENNY GOODMAN (Pilot) – print


Each print is then matted to full conservation standards to include a further twelve original autographs of 617 veterans who served during WWII, creating a total of fifteen signatures across the portfolio:


Squadron Leader ‘MAC’ HAMILTON DFC* (Pilot)

Warrant Officer FRANK TILLEY (Flight Engineer)

Flight Lieutenant BILL REID VC (Pilot)

Group Captain JAMES ‘WILLIE’ TAIT DSO*** DFC* (Pilot)


Flight Lieutenant BOB KNIGHTS DSO DFC (Pilot)

Squadron Leader TONY IVESON DFC AE (Pilot)

Squadron Leader GEORGE ‘JOHNNY’ JOHNSON MBE DFM (Bomb-Aimer)

Sergeant RAY GRAYSTON (Flight Engineer)

Sergeant FRED SUTHERLAND (Rear Gunner)

Flight Sergeant GRANT MACDONALD (Rear Gunner)

Squadron Leader LES MUNRO DSO DFC (Pilot)

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