Phantom Thunder by Philip West

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Signed by pilots A. M. Sir Christopher Coville and A. C. M. Sir John Allison.

Air Marshal Sir Christopher Coville joined the RAF in 1964 as a Flight Cadet at RAF College, Cranwell. Initially serving as a Lightning Pilot on 5 Squadron, he later undertook a tour on the Lightning OCU. In 1973 he converted to the F4, serving as a QW1 on 43 Squadron. Upon promotion to Squadron Leader, he took up a post on the Phantom OCU at RAF Coningsby. Staff tours as the fighter specialist at the CTTO, Staff College and NATO followed before he resumed flying F4s as OC Ops Wing at RAF Stanley in the Falkland Islands. In 1983 he assumed command of RAF Coningsby where he oversaw the conversion of the station from an F4 to a Tornado F3 base. During this same period he also flew the Spitfire and Hurricane aircraft of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight. Formerly Deputy Commander in Chief Allied Forces North Europe he is currently Commander in Chief RAF Personnel and Training Command and a member of the Air Force Board as Air Member for Personnel.

Air Chief Marshal Sir John Allison joined the Royal Air Force in 1961 and trained as a pilot. His first tours were on Lightnings, but in 1970 he was posted to fly Phantom as an Exchange Officer with the United States Air Force. Thus began his relationship with the main aircraft of his career, a relationship that only finished when the Phantom was retired from Royal Air Force service in 1992. Indeed, he made the last Phantom flight in the RAF when he delivered XV497 to RAF Coningsby. That aircraft is now preserved at RAF Waddington. Also in 1992, he led the Queens' Birthday Flypast; the chosen formation was a close diamond of sixteen Phantoms, to mark the type's imminent retirement. The aircraft he flew on that occasion, XV474, can be seen at the Imperial War Museum's airfield at Duxford. Also relevant to this painting is the fact that Sir John commanded RAF Wildenrath from 1982 to 1985. He well remembers sights as the one depicted. Sir John ended his career as the Commander-in-Chief of Strike Command, retiring in 1999.

Overall size: 28" wide x 12 1/2" high.

Image size: 24" wide x 8" high.