New Painting Found

I am attaching photographs of an oil painting that has been in our family for over 67 years and was presented to my father on his posting from RAF Coltishall in 20 Mar 1944. The inscription reads presented to Sqn /Ldr Hendley OBE by Technical Wing Personnel 20 March 1944.

It was by an artist W F Burton who I believe was good at seascapes and was active in the Harwich area of Suffolk. I know my father said he had no idea of aircraft as he maintained the tail wheels on the aircraft were not to scale! obviously the painting was commissioned for his departure to Tarrant Rushton as he had been at Coltishall since the beginning of the war in 1939. It does depict the type of sorties that were flown at the time on the North Sea patrols.

The oil painting will be on display over at the Coltishall Memorial Rooms in the RAF Neatishead Radar Museum, as I intend to contribute to the 70th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain this year.

Paul Hendley.

In researching the Sqn records we find that Mr Burton visited the Squadron on 18 Sept 1943. It goes on to say: 'During the afternoon the Sqn was visited by a Mr Burton who is an artist in oil painting of aircraft. The Sqn are considering the purchase of an appropriate painting with the Sqn crest incorporated. he is going to submit two paintings in due course.' We have found no further reference so far but it appears that he did present the painting in 1944, probably after 611 had moved away from Coltishall, hence it being presented to the station. We are indebted to Paul for sharing it with us.

Paul also sent two further photos depicting 611 Sqn aircraft as shown here:

The close up is Spitfire Mk Vc AR513 which was damaged, Cat B, on ops 16 Sept 1943; went to Air Service Training for repair then to 129 Sqn. In Sept 1943 it was on a 611 Sqn Roadstead Operation (No 22), jointly with 316 Sqn, escorting 24 Beaufighters on an attack on six minesweepers three miles west of Texel, off the Dutch coast. Three possibly sunk. Flt Sgt D H Warr (Green 3) was flying AR513 and was attacked and hit by cannon fire but was able to return to base with the Sqn landing at 18.53; his a/c was categorised 'B' having received hits in the fuselage which blew a gaping hole 10" in diameter just aft of his R/T equipment - pilot unhurt.

The other shows four aircraft that appear to have come to grief at Coltishall around mid 1943, the aircraft on the right is from 288 Sqn. next is 611 Sqn FY-T serial not yet identified, next is a 316 (Polish) Sqn Spitfire and far left a Spitfire possibly coded AU which was 421 Sqn flying Spitfire Mk IX at the time but not from Coltishall. We are still researching what happened, can anyone help? The caption on the back simply says 'A bad day at Colt!'

611-3-Spits-by-W-F-Burton-1944 AR513-FY-J-Spit-Vc-at-Colt 611-FY-T-pranged-at-Coltishall