Issue Date: 02/02/2012
Issue Name: The House of Windsor Stamps torn from the Miniature Sheet - Bomber Command
Producer: Buckingham Covers
The time of the House of Winsor has brought with it an incredible number of achievements in Britain, as well as great tests of strength and character. We therefore use this stamp issue to look at several events which to us underline courage, endurance, sacrifice and duty. Featuring the stamps torn from the House of Windsor minature sheet and a Goole, East Yorks postmark. Limited numbers have been personally signed by Group Captain Bill Randle. Celebrating courage, endurance, sacrifice and bravery in the time of the House of Windsor.
Courage, Endurance, Sacrifice, Duty
The twentieth century was forged on these four precepts. Through two world wars, the sacrifice and duty of those who fought for peace and freedom gave us the prosperity we have enjoyed in our country for the last fifty years. Her Majesty the Queen and her father before her have lived their lives by these four principles. Their example was an inspiration to everyone.
The men of the fighter squadrons caught the imagination with their dog-fights which often took place over Britain so they were seen. The men of Bomber Command were not so visible but we owe them just as great a debt. As Churchill said, ³The fighters are our salvation but the bombers alone provide the means of victory.² After the war, the bombing raids were not politically acceptable and these men, who night after night flew missions from which they were unlikely to return, were left out of the commemorations. It has taken nearly seventy years since the end of the war, but at last the bravery and sacrifice of the men of Bomber Command is to be recognised with the unveiling of the Bomber Command Memorial in Hyde Park.
The illustration on the cover shows a Wellington of 150 Squadron, flown by Group Captain W. S. O. Randle flying through the flak of the anti-aircraft guns as he drops his bombs over the Ruhr. Bill flew some nineteen Ops by which time the squadron strength had been reduced as a result of terrible losses to just four aircraft. On 16th September Bill and his crew, quite incredibly, flew two Ops during the same twenty-four hour period and were shot down. However, after a week spent successfully evading the enemy, he contacted the Belgian Resistance, he made it home through Belgium, France and Spain, then on to Gibraltar.
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A small number of these covers have been personally signed by Group Captain Bill Randle.