JS(CC)79c 60th Anniversary of the Battle of France cover with artwork by Tony Theobald showing Fairey Battles of No 12 Squadron on 12 May 1940 over the Albert Canal, Belgium, while Hawker Hurricanes provide top cover to engage any enemy fighters. The RAF was ordered to destroy a vital bridge, which was being used by the enemy, and five Fairey Battle bombers were despatched with Flying Officer Garland leading the attack. They met an inferno of anti-aircraft fire, but the mission was accomplished, due to the expert leadership of Flying Officer Garland and the coolness and resource of his navigator Thomas Gray. Only one bomber managed to get back to base, the leading aircraft and three others did not return for which Garland and Gray were awarded posthumous Victoria Crosses. The medal featured on the cover is the French Croix de Guerre which was awarded to some of the RAF aircrew that took part.
The cover bears a Monserrat stamp showing a Hurricane cancelled on 22 May 2000, the First Day of Issue.
Hand signed by Squadron Leader Rupert Parkhouse
200 Signed, Numbered and Certified
Squadron Leader Rupert Parkhouse, who was a Fairey Battle pilot with No 12 Squadron Advanced Air Strike Force (AASF). Tasked with attacking a target at Foret de Gault on 13 June 1940, his aircraft Battle L5580, was shot down and he was taken POW and transferred to Stalag Luft III and spent the remainder of the war there