Pilot Portraits

Related to this print

Wing Commander Thomas F. Neil, Rooftop Pursuit


Print ID: A31


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Hauptmann Horst Liensberger (Gruppenkommandeur) and his gunner, Uffz. Albert Kopge in their Messerschmitt BH110-C2 of Stab V/LG1 fly at rooftop height over the English countryside, pursued by Pilot Officer Percy Burton in a Hurricane of No.249 Squadron, on Friday September 27th 1940. Each print is signed by Wing Commander Thomas F.Neil who also flew with 249 Squadron during the Battle of Britain.

Signed by

  • Wing Commander Thomas F. Neil, DFC & Bar, AFC, AE

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

Thomas Francis "Ginger" Neil joined the RAFVR in 1938 at the age of 18. Called up at the outbreak of war, he was posted to No.249 Squadron in May 1940 where he flew Hurricanes. During the Battle of Britain his first victory was on 7th September, closely followed by a second on 11th September, 3.5 more on 27th September, and another on 6th October. On 8th October he was awarded the DFC, and as his success continued, on 26th November he received a Bar to his DFC.

In May 1941, No.249 Squadron were posted to Malta, flying in from HMS Ark Royal. The Squadron saw almost daily action. Neil claimed another victory in June.

In December 1941, Neil was transferred and eventually became liaison officer to the US 9th Air Force's 100th Fighter Wing. He retired from the RAF in 1964 having reached the rank of Wing Commander. He has written a number of books and articles about his wartime experiences.

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