Professional Aviation and Military Artist
The Last Wave
18th February 1944 - shortly after midday. Flt. Lt. Tom McPhee keeps tight formation behind Sqn. Ldr. A. Ian McRitchie as the two dh Mosquito FB Mk VIs of 464 Squadron RAAF deliver the last of four bombing runs on the prison at Amiens, Northern France. The previous three waves have caused considerable damage and two holes in the outer wall are visible as McRitchie and McPhee run in from the North.
Operation Ramrod 564 (later known as Operation Jericho) was designed to breach the walls of the prison, allowing prisoners to escape and to destroy the guard barracks at each end of the main building. It is thought that the main reason for the action was that French resistance prisoners were being held there by the Gestapo and the allies wanted to prevent them being interrogated and secret allied plans being divulged.
McPhee and his navigator Flt. Lt. Geoff Atkins returned safely to England but McRitchie's aircraft was hit by Flak on the way back killing his navigator Flt. Lt. 'Dick' Sampson and forcing McRitchie to crash land near Freneuville where he was captured, becoming a P.O.W.
I am indebted to the de Havilland Museum who helped greatly with the research for this painting. Oil on canvas.