CHURCHILL | Autograph letter signed, to Neville Duke, 7 September 1952
CHURCHILL | Autograph letter signed, to Neville Duke, 7 September 1952
CHURCHILL | Autograph letter signed, to Neville Duke, 7 September 1952
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CHURCHILL | Autograph letter signed, to Neville Duke, 7 September 1952

Estimate: 6,000 - 8,000 GBP

CHURCHILL | Autograph letter signed, to Neville Duke, 7 September 1952

Estimate: 6,000 - 8,000 GBP

Lot Details

Description

CHURCHILL, SIR WINSTON

Autograph letter signed, to Squadron Leader Neville Duke


AN EXCEPTIONAL LETTER ACKNOWLEDGING STOIC BRAVERY IN THE FACE OF TRAGEDY ("...It was characteristic of you, & of 615 Squadron to go up as you did yesterday after the shocking accident. Accept my salute..."), 1 page, 4to, 10 Downing Street headed stationery, 7 September 1952, light browning, with two original envelopes, one with autograph address


A LETTER OF TRIBUTE TO AN OUTSTANDING FIGURE IN BRITISH AVIATION. Neville Duke (1922-2007) flew Kittyhawks and Spitfires in North Africa during World War II, downing 28 enemy aircraft between 1941 and 1944. After the War he became the lead test-pilot for Hawker, setting two world speed records in the early 1950s in the Hunter, an early transonic jet fighter. He also commanded the 615 (County of Surrey) Squadron of the Royal Auxiliary Air Force, of which Churchill was honorary air commodore. 


This letter refers to a tragedy that had occurred at the Farnborough Air Show the day before this letter was written, when a prototype de Havilland DH. 110 disintegrated mid-air, causing the death of 29 spectators as well as the crew. Duke lost a friend in the disaster, having known the de Havilland pilot, John Derry, for many years, but in a remarkable expression of determination he took to the air that same afternoon, taking a prototype Hawker Hunter P.1067 supersonic over the show.


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Condition Report

Condition is described in the main body of the catalogue, where appropriate.


The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot provided by Sotheby's. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colours and shades which are different to the lot's actual colour and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation because Sotheby's is not a professional conservator or restorer but rather the condition report is a statement of opinion genuinely held by Sotheby's. For that reason, Sotheby's condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot.

English Literature, History, Children’s Books and Illustrations
Online bidding closed10 Dec 2019 | 03:44 PM GMT