JS(CC)79f 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 Wing Commander Peter Ayerst DFC
200 Signed, Numbered and Certified
Wing Commander Peter Ayerst DFC, who flew Hurricanes with No 73 Squadron in France scoring two victories in April and famously destroyed a He 111 during the Battle of Britain whilst an instructor with 7 OTU. He was later awarded the DFC (21.11.1944) after taking part in fighter sweeps during the D-Day invasions.