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Enemy Coast Ahead by JJ Adams

Enemy Coast Ahead by JJ Adams

Regular price £595.00
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Artist: JJ Adams 

Title: Enemy Coast Ahead

Series: Spring Collection 2024

Medium: Signed Limited Edition

Edition Size: 95 + 10AP

Framed Size: 41.5" x 31.5" 

Framed in choice of white gloss or black matt stepped moulding (please specify at checkout)

Original Framed Size: 53" x 43"


Personal & Family Connection - Written by JJ Adams
This unique new title celebrates the original 1955 "Dambusters" film, as well as the men in the original 617 squadron who bravely carried out the infamous dam raid, however it also commemorates the celebrated & heroic members from JJ’s family who served in bomber command.
Both JJ’s grandfather's brothers on either side of his family died aged 21 while flying in Lancaster and Wellington bombers. Both men ‘Sgt Wilfred Adams’ and ‘Sgt JJ Cooper’ are featured in the credits at the bottom of the artwork.
Sgt JJ Cooper (See attached photo below), was an experienced flight engineer and the loss of both his bomber and his crew are the main focus of the piece and the aim was to give them their own film poster along with their rank and crew title. The crew had the distinction of serving alongside Wing Commander Guy Gibson (who led the Dambusters raid) in the famous Squadron 106 shortly before the Dambusters were formed. Gibson ran Squadron 106 before forming Squadron 617 known as 'The Dambusters', he took many of his men from Squadron 106 especially those he trusted most. JJ firmly believes that his great Uncles crew would have made the cut for Squadron 617 - if they had survived.
The Pilot of the Lancaster R5748 ZN-R (F.H Robertson), who JJ’s great uncle sat next to and helped fly the bomber, was the Squadron leader and in charge of A-Team and a close friend of Guy Gibson's - having trained and flown together and joined squadron 106 at the same time. Gibson mentions him fondly several times in his book ‘Enemy Coast Ahead’ as well as his sadness at the loss of his Bomber.
Lancaster R5748-ZN-R was lost on the night of the infamous Hamburg raid on the 27th July 1942. The Bomber had 8 hours flying time and was a brand new machine, having been delivered to RAF Coningsby just a few days earlier.
They took off in formation at 8:30pm and after reaching the enemy coast, discovered their rear guns had stopped working, pushing on to the target and upon almost reaching Hamburg they discovered the hydraulics for the bomb bay doors had malfunctioned and so had to turn back for home - fully loaded.
The crew intended on ditching their bomb load over the North Sea somehow, however they were shot down by a German Hotshot pilot called 'Lothar Linke' in a JU-88 Night Fighter over Holland and they crashed near the village of Opeinde. The crash destroyed several houses & buildings nearby, due to the huge bomb blast from the fully loaded Lancaster.
The pilot died on impact, as did the Mid Gunner and Radio Operator, Sgt JJ Cooper bailed out at last minute, but his body was found the following morning in a field on top of his parachute, it is believed his parachute did not open in time. The body of the Bomb Aimer (Sgt Fuller) was sadly never found.
Three of the crew survived after bailing out and became prisoners of war, one ending up in Stalag Loft III (made famous by the Great Escape movie). The personal story of the Navigator Jim Henry while a POW at the mercy of the Nazi's is an incredible story to read and JJ Adams was in touch with him in 2010 when he was 93 years old, he was the last person to see Sgt JJ Cooper alive and handed him his parachute before he bailed. He has since passed away.

The crash site of the Lancaster was excavated in the 1990’s, in an attempt to find the remains of the bomb aimer (Fuller) but to no avail, parts from the wreckage were brought back to the UK and are on display at Metheringham Airbase (museum), near Raf Coningsby.
The Pilot, Wireless Operator and Sgt JJ Cooper are buried in a small cemetery in Opeinde - Holland. There is a memorial to them in the town centre and also at Metheringham airfield in the UK, they are also commemorated on the Bomber Command Memorial and the museum in Lincolnshire.
JJ Adams' other Great Uncle ’Sgt Wilfred Adams’ from Yorkshire also 21, died during a training exercise in 23 OTU while he was training Canadian air crew. Flying in low cloud in the midlands, another Wellington bomber flew to close and they collided in mid-air killing both crews.



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