Supermarine Spitfire Mk.VIII
"Caldwell and Watson"
by Troy White
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Here is my latest Aussie Spitfire painting. It is
titled “Caldwell & Watson”. This painting was inspired by a story told
to me by Bruce Watson.
On the day following ANZAC Day 2005 my wife Susan and I got together
with Bobby Gibbes, Ted Sly and Bruce Watson for the signing of my latest
print “Shark Patrol” which features Bobby leading No. 457 “Grey Nurse”
Squadron over the Halmahera Islands. The print was done as a fund raiser
for the SMDF (Spitfire Memorial Defense Fellowship). During the course
of the morning Susan and I got to hear plenty of interesting stories and
it was great to see the years roll back for the three of them.
They all told of how frustrating it was to be flying ops in an area
where there were no Jap fighters only the occasional “bed check Charlie”
or reconnaissance plane. Bruce told us that to relive the frustration he
and Clive Caldwell would often go out as a pair looking for Jap gun
positions in the mountains on the various islands. Usually one aircraft
would go in close to draw some fire while the other watched to see the
muzzle flashes. Once the target was identified they would then be able
take it out. This is more or less the same system that modern day “Wild
Weasels” use to take out SAM sites.
Bruce said that he and Clive were good mates during the war and this
friendship continued right up until Clive died in 1994. In “Caldwell &
Watson” I have attempted to portray the mate ship between the two men by
positioning the Spitfires close to each other with both pilots making
eye contact. The lush tropical environment that they flew in during
early 1945 serves as a backdrop.
Model, Images and Text Copyright © 2005
by Troy White
Page Created 12 August, 2005
02 December, 2005
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