Leading the Way

Gerald Coulson

 

 

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Leading the Way Gerald Coulson

On August 15th 1942, under the leadership of Don Bennett, a new group was formed from Bomber Command to develop specialized target – finding and target – marking. Made up purely from experienced volunteers, this elite and highly trained group of men were known as the Pathfinders. Up until this point the means available to Bomber Command of accurately finding their targets were totally lacking and the task of the Pathfinders was to develop techniques to precisely define these targets ahead of the main force.Initially made up of four Squadrons – Nos. 7 (Stirlings), 35 (Halifax), 83 (Lancaster) and 156 (Wellington's) – they were based at a clutch of airfields between Cambridge and Huntingdon. Originally part of No.3 Group Bomber Command the Pathfinder Force was directly answerable to C-in-C Air Marshal Arthur Harris until January 1943 when it became a separate group, No.8 (PFF). Personally selected for the task by Arthur Harris, the Australian born Don Bennett, just 32 years of age proved to be and inspired choice to form the Pathfinders. A navigation expert without peers he was widely experienced in flying all types of aircraft including fighters, flying boats and bombers and already an experienced operational bomber captain. Along with many of his colleagues, such as Hamish Mahaddie and John Searby he was responsible for instilling in his men the ‘Pathfinder Spirit’- an intangible quality of dedication which bonded them together.

Pathfinder crews used a combination of personal skill and technical equipment to locate their targets. Often flying against overwhelming odds and in appalling conditions they transformed the performance of a bomber force that in 1941 was dropping almost half its bombs on open countryside. The first Pathfinder unit to fly the Halifax was 35 Squadron based at Graveley. With some of the greatest Bomber Aircrew amongst their number the unit quickly gained a reputation for excellence that was second to none.

This superb painting from one of the worlds most highly regarded Aviation Artists, Gerald Coulson, depicts a Halifax B.MkII series 1A of 35 (PFF) Squadron on an operation over occupied Europe. Flying at around 20,000 feet and completely alone and unprotected, the crew navigate their bomber well ahead of the main force, leading the way to their target.

 

PRINT PRICES

Each print is personally signed by the artist and three original Pathfinder Aircrew, all of whom flew the Halifax with 35 Squadron during WWII.

THE SIGNED AND NUMBERED EDITION

500 prints with THREE signatures


Flight Lieutenant John Rollins DFC, AFC
Warrant Officer Ernest Kenwright DFC, DFM
Squadron Leader Pat Carden DFC, AE


Matching numbered certificate of authenticity included.

Overall Print Size 31 1/2"x 21 1/2" (inches) Printed in lightfast inks on acid free archival paper.

 

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PRINT PRICES

Signed and Numbered Print
UK £180.00
Edition Size - 500

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Helpful information regarding our Limited Edition Prints

Limited edition print:

An edition of identical prints, numbered sequentially and individually signed by the artist, having a stated limit to the quantity in the edition. Following publication the printing plates are destroyed. Almost all the aviation art and aircraft prints featured on this website are authenticated with the original signatures of distinguished military personnel.

Artists Proof:

An old tradition of reserving a quantity of prints for the artist's use, usually equal to about 10 % of the edition. In the early days of printing, these prints were the only remuneration the poor artist received. Proofs are signed by the artist and numbered showing the quantity of Artist's Proofs issued in the edition. Because of their highly restricted number, Artist's Proofs are sold at a higher value than the regular prints in the edition.

Publishers Proof:

A quantity of prints, not always announced or issued at the time of publication, usually equal to no more than 10% of the edition. These are reserved for the publisher's use, mostly for donation to Museums, Service establishments, Service Associations, and the like. Quantities of Publishers Proofs, sometimes issued with a supplementary print, may be made available to collectors either at the time of publication, or at a later date, depending upon availability.

Remarqued print:

A print issued with an original pencil drawing by the artist in the margin, each numbered out of the quantity of individually remarqued prints in the edition. The quantity of remarqued prints in any one edition generally is between 25 and 50. Each remarque drawing made by the artist is slightly different, thus making each print totally unique. Remarqued prints may be available at the time of publication, or announced at a later date, depending upon the artist's work load at the time .Please be aware that Remarque prints can take up to six weeks for delivery. An artist remarqued print is the ultimate collector item in terms of reproduced work.

Companion print:

An additional print, usually issued with smaller dimensions, published to compliment a limited edition, and usually issued at the same time.

Matted (or mounted) print:

A print fitted into an acid-free or conservation matt (or mount), ready for framing.

Original drawing:

An original work individually drawn by the artist, completed in pencil, ink, or other medium, and personally signed by the artist. Being an original work each drawing is unique and different.

Certificate of Authenticity:

A certificate issued by the publisher stating the total quantity of prints issued in the edition, confirming authenticity of the signatures, and in the case of a limited edition, inscribed with the matching unique number inscribed on the individual print. Collectors are advised to keep certificates safely as a future means of provenance. All our aviation art and aircraft prints are issued with a certificate of authenticity.

 

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