Australian Grey Nurse Spitfire (6 SEPT)
Price unknown at this time. If interested please email email@example.com and will update you when more known.
Wing Commander Robert (Bobby) Gibbes, DSO, DFC & Bar Australian 77 Squadron "Grey Nurse" Spitfire - coming soon from John Jenkins. Plane and figures come as shown and are 1/30 scale (60mm). Price unknown at this time.
This Spitfire is one of the most well known Australian WW2 aircraft as its pilot was Wing Commander Robert Henry Maxwell (Bobby) Gibbes, DSO, DFC & Bar, OAM (6 May 1916 – 11 April 2007. His markings in the desert war were also well known at it featured a kangaroo kicking a daschund. He had a very interesting flying career post WW2 and flew a JU52 from Europe to New Guinea for his own airline. His airline used 3 JU52's.
Had the pleasure of meeting him at an airshow as he signed some prints I published. It was a sad occasion for him as he had just been told he could no longer fly solo. He was selling a small aircraft he had assembled in his house but could no longer fly as only a one seater. The buyer subsequently painted it to represent his markings. I subsequently discussed with him my mixed feelings about meeting a Heinkle pilot who flew with V1 rockets underneath. He mentioned he had met a Luftwaffe pilot who had shot him down and had no ill feeling towards him as just doing his job.
He was a leading Australian fighter ace of World War II, and the longest-serving wartime commanding officer of No. 3 Squadron RAAF. He was officially credited with 10¼ aerial victories, although his score is often reported as 12, including two shared. Gibbes was also credited with five aircraft probably destroyed, and a further 16 damaged. He commanded No. 3 Squadron in North Africa from February 1942 to April 1943, apart from a brief period when he was injured.
Born in rural New South Wales, Gibbes worked as a jackaroo and salesman before joining the Royal Australian Air Force in February 1940. Posted to the Middle East in April 1941, he flew with No. 3 Squadron in the Syria–Lebanon Campaign, and became commanding officer during the Western Desert Campaign, where his leadership and fighting skills earned him the Distinguished Service Order and the Distinguished Flying Cross and Bar. Subsequently posted to the South West Pacific, he served with No. 80 Wing of the Australian First Tactical Air Force, and took part in the "Morotai Mutiny" of April 1945. After the war he spent many years in New Guinea developing local industry, for which he was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in 2004. He continued to fly until the age of 85, and died five years later in 2007.