by Philip E. West

Overall size of prints 28” x 20”

Lysanders of 161 Special Operations Squadron turn onto their final course to a clandestine landing field somewhere in central occupied France during a full moon period in 1943. Based at Tempsford, Bedfordshire and often operating from Tangmere to shorten the flight, the pilots flew a dead reckoning course to their first turning point, usually on the River Loire, using rudimentary navigating equipment. The moonlit town of Blois is easily distinguishable by its chateau, churches and bridge with the Forest of Chambord beyond. The agents in the rear cockpit prepare themselves by torchlight for the forthcoming landing.

Lysander Pilots

Flt. Lt PETER ARKELL, OBE, USAF Medal of Distinction


Flt. Lt. R G (BOB) LARGE, DFC, Legion d'honneur


Secret Agents



NANCY WAKE, GM, Legion - d'honneur, Croix De Guerre, A.C.M. French Resistance Medal, US Medal of Freedom. (Most highly decorated woman in WW2)

Flying Officer J A (TOMMY) THOMAS Legion d'honneur (Mail Drop Operator) Cpl. DONALD DUNSTAN (Flight Mechanic)


Flight Lieutenant PETER ARKELL, OBE, USAF Medal of Distinction
Flew Mustangs and Spitfires with 26 Squadron on intruder and low level photographic sorties over France. In 1944 joined 161 Squadron at Tempsford, then accompanied the Lysanders to Burma where he flew 35 successful and dangerous missions supplying Force 136 behind the Japanese lines.

Flight Lieutenant MURRAY ANDERSON, DFC*, US Air medal
Operated Spitfires with No 1 PRU, then moved to No 4 PRU in Algiers and then to 542 PR Squadron at Benson. In 1943/4 flew 9 operations in Lysanders over occupied France, 6 being double pick-ups, mostly with Leslie Whittaker who moved to Tempsford with him. In June 1944 he then flew Mustangs with 2nd TAF.

Flight Lieutenant R G (BOB) LARGE, DFC, Legion d'honneur
In 1941 served with 616 Squadron as part of the Tangmere Wing with Douglas Bader on Fighter and Bomber sweeps over Northern France. Shot down over the sea 10 miles from his present home. Later joined the Lysander Flight of 161 Squadron where he flew many clandestine operations involving SOE agents.

Air Chief Marshal Sir LEWIS HODGES, KCB, CBE, DSO, DFC
Flew Hampdens with 76 and 49 Squadrons, crash landed in occupied France in September 1940, evaded capture and returned via Spain and Nancy Wake's escape route. In 1942 flew with, and later commanded, 161 Squadron flying Lysanders, Halifaxes and Hudsons on SOE operations to France.

The following people have signed only the Artist Proofs and
Remarqued prints.


Trained SOE agents in sabotage, use of weapons and survival. Accompanied agents to Tangmere for their flights by Lysander to and from occupied France. In January 1944 parachuted in to the Maquis de l'Ain to verify their readiness for combat when the invasion of Europe took place. Smuggled himself into Switzerland to send his report back to SOE in London. "The longest telegram ever".

NANCY WAKE, GM, Legion d'honneur, Croix De Guerre, French Resistance Medal, US Medal of Freedom.
The most decorated servicewoman of WW2, Nancy(Codename- Helene) organised an escape route over the Pyrenees before she was forced to use it herself. Following training with SOE, she returned to France to organise her own Resistance Group in the Auvergne. Involved in many dangerous subversive missions, she won the everlasting respect of 3500 members of her Maquis.

Captain George Millar, D.S.O., M.C. was parachuted secretly into France as an SOE agent on 1 June 1944. He was dropped north of Dijon to organise and train local Resistance groups to harass the enemy in support of the forthcoming D-Day landings in Normandy.

His incredible book, "Maquis", tells of their many daring exploits which included the destruction of the giant railway turn-tables on the important rail junction at Besancon.

He vividly describes his day to day survival and the disruptive operations carried out on the German supply lines. He also depicts with understanding the characters of the ordinary men and women of the French Resistance who selflessly served with him to play their heroic part in the final liberation of France. "Emile" and his Maquis are still remembered in the quiet villages of the Ognon Valley.


Flying Officer J A (TOMMY) THOMAS Legion d'honneur
Trained in 1941/2 as a winch operator on Fairy Battles and Lysanders, target towing for Spitfire OUT. In 1942 Tommy remustered as Air Gunner and in 1943 he joined 161Special Duties Squadron at Tempsford on Halifax's B flight, He later detached to A flight on Hudsons and Lysanders for mail pick-up duties. His training and quick thinking saved him and Bob Large when on one memorable flight Tommy reacted instantly to a tow wire fouling the elevators of their Lysander. Between July 43 and July 45 he completed 33 Ops. out of Tempsford and Tangmere.


Trained as Flight Mechanic working on Fairy Battles then transferred to 103 Squadron, Bomber Command on Wellingtons. After a Fitter 2E course he joined 161 Squadron at Tempsford with their Lysanders. During the "Moon Period" often working at Tangmere. He serviced the aircraft of Wing Commanders Pickard and Hodges


Edition size: 350

250 Signed and Numered 4 Lysander Pilots Price: £95.00

50 Artist Proofs signed by the pilots and SOE Secret Agents
and other 161 Sqn. members Price: £150.00


All major credit cards are accepted with delivery taking usually
5-7 days for Europe and 7-10 days for the rest of the World.

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