Pilot Portraits

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Squadron Leader Gerald Stapleton, Spitfire over Kent


Print ID: A15


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Squadron Leader Gerald Stapleton of No. 603 Squadron over Oare near Faversham, Kent in the summer of 1940.

Signed by

  • Squadron Leader Gerald Stapleton

Please note: each print is individually hand-signed. Signatures are not reproductions.

Gerald "Stapme" Stapleton was born in Durban, South Africa. He joined the RAF in 1939 at the age of 19, and was posted to No.603 Squadron. Flying Spitfires, he went on to become one of the most successful RAF pilots of the Battle of Britain. Amongst his victims was Oberleutnant Franz von Werra.

In February 1942, he became a flight commander with No.257 Squadron, but then in 1943 he was posted to Kenley as a gunnery instructor.

In August 1944, "Stapme" finally managed to return to flying duties, taking command of No.247 Squadron. Flying Typhoons, he received the Dutch Flying Cross for his part in the Arnhem operation. In December he crash-landed behind enemy lines and spent the rest of the war in capitivity.

Please note: the word "SPECIMEN" is not present on the actual print