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'Stand By to Recover Aircraft'
The Presentation Print
This print is one of a limited edition of 100. It is a giclee print on museum quality paper with a slightly structured soft-textured surface as in a traditional fine art paper. The paper is acid free with a weight of 315gsm.
The normal print size is approximately 22.5 x 15.5 inches, but, as this is a bespoke piece of art, the artist can produce it for you at a smaller size so that it can hang in that ideal position in your house or will be the best size for a gift.
A bespoke picture can have your loggo, or wording placed on it, a superb solution for a presentation gift.
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The Story of the Painting
During a Russian convoy the Walrus was kept in the air in order to force following U boats below the surface. In all but gales the Walrus were catapulted on a three to four hour mission. The captain decided which side to recover the Walrus dependant on the tactical situation. He dropped back from the convoy to give manoeuvring room, and steamed at ninety degrees off the wind. As the aircraft approached the ship turned hard to port or starboard and headed into the wind, this created a 'slick; or smoothing of the breaking waves at the stern. At the same time the captain ordered an immediate landing by raising Flag 'F'; to the hoist on the side chosen for recovery.
The Walrus plummeted out of the sky - people said that the pilot threw a brick out of the window and followed it down to get the correct glide angle! It stalled into the slick then raced to catch up with the ship, which, in order to avoid torpedo attack, was still steaming at up to 14 knots.
The Walrus observer opened the front hatch to pick up a floating grass line towed from the ship's boom, whilst the gunner climbed onto the top wing ready to hook on. This took courage as, if he fell, or was knocked, backwards he fell into the propeller, and if he fell forwards he fell into the sea. The Walrus was towed by the grass rope next to the ship at up to 14 knots with about 6 feet clearance from the wing tip. The gunner on the top wing hooked onto a Thomas Grab hung from the ship's crane. A skilled crane man, linemen, and men ready to fend off hoisted aboard the plane in a co-ordinated action. The next Walrus was catapulted.
The whole procedure had to be completed before the slick died away. Recoveries taking a minute and a half have been recorded and also on record is a recovery at 15 knots in a 25 knot wind after HMS Nigeria, shown in the painting, sank a German supply ship spotted by her Walrus with a U boat alongside.
Although the painting is of one aircraft and of one ship it is drawn from the experience of many men in many ships. There are some twenty men in this large painting and it is their courage and teamwork in terrible conditions that the painting brings to life. It shows a dangerous routine approached with courage, skill and humour.
This painting was shown at the Royal Society of Marine Artists Annual Exhibition at the Strand Gallery in The Mall in London. Rear Admiral Roy Clare opened the exhibition and in his opening speech singled it out and said:
'A fantastic painting that everybody must see'
If you are not delighted with the print post it back to us and we will refund your complete outlay with no questions asked. If the print is damaged in transit then contact us and we will replace it.
Michael's Limited edition works of art tend to sell out and we regularly get people searching for sold out prints so ensure you order your print before it sells out.
To purchase this unique print with a Certificate of Authenticity, made personally for you and signed by the artist, with the story behind the print at the affordable price of £80 (plus postage and packing) click one of the options below.
Purchase on the web with secure payment:
Click on 'Add to Basket' to buy the standard size print
Purchase a picture with your inscription at a size you choose
Email us with the name of the picture, your inscription and any larger or smaller size you want. Any inscription you choose will be shown in the bottom border along with Michael's signature and any limited edition number.
We will email you back to confirm the details, and ensure there is no confusion. We will also ask for the delivery address and send details of secure payment.
Michael needs you to tell him the horizontal width excluding the border. But when deciding on the size read the note below.
©2007 The art of Michael Lees