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Preparing an Me 109 f.


The Messeschmitt Me 109 f I’m building is to fly dramatically for the author and former navy man David J B Smith on the cover of his next book.

The progress of this new painting will appear from time to time on this blog and my Facebook & Twitter pages.

Mr Smith has specialised in writing on the Second World War.

He kindly gave me a copy of his latest book, try “Being Silent They Speak” by David J B Smith is published by Stand-Easy. It is available from Amazon at £1.54 for the ebook and £8.99 for the paperback.

For what my opinion is worth, I thought Being Silent They Speak” a very well written read, I hope you get a copy and enjoy it.

In turn this reminded my of my painting presented to Chris Boddington of his father’s submarine HMS Unique, also lost during World War 2.  IMG_8465.jpg

In the book about HMS Unbeaten, author David JB Smith says adoption of the submarine by Hove went further than just money.

Half of Unbeaten’s crew made a thank you visit to Hove after returning from a tour of duty in 1942. They were welcomed by the Mayor Coun Arthur Clarke.

Plaques were exchanged during a brief ceremony and the Unbeaten commanding officer Teddy Woodward presented the Mayor with a Jolly Roger.

The patriotic people of Hove raised an enormous sum during Warship Week, held during the darkest days of the Second World War.

Set a target of £425,000 by the Government (based on its population), Hove raised £521,000, a remarkable sum considering that the average wage was less than £5 a week.

The slogan adopted was Hove Must Save – Unite Now By Effectively Adding To England’s Navy. The first letter of each word spelt HMS Unbeaten and after Warship Week in March 1942, Hove adopted the submarine of that name.

 “It gave the general public a warm feeling to think they were doing their bit for the war effort,” he adds.

“Schools and churches would provide and donate additional comforts to the crews of adopted vessels.

“Woollen socks and scarves were not uncommon items to be donated to the adopted submarine. Schoolchildren would often write letters and cards to the crew to cheer them up.”

But Smith records, in what could have been an omen, that the most treasured symbol of Unbeaten’s achievements during her war patrols off Malta was soon lost.

It was destroyed during a German bombing raid on Hove Town Hall where the flag had been on display.

Far worse was to follow. Unbeaten was sunk only a few weeks later and many of the men who had visited Hove died.

Smith says her loss was a serious blow to the people of Hove but they managed to rally together and raised more money.

This was used to adopt another submarine, HMS Simoom, but this vessel was also lost with all hands in November 1943.

In 2007 a replica Jolly Roger was presented to the Mayor of Brighton and Hove by the estate of Teddy Woodward’s wife, Barbara.

HMS Unbeaten last sent a signal in November 1942. After that she inexplicably disappeared and no one knows what happened to her.

She was only operational for two years but during that time saw much action, particularly near Malta.

Dave Smith says Unbeaten’s exploits were as daring as those of any other submarine during the conflict.

Being Silent They Speak by David J B Smith is published by Stand-Easy. It is available from Amazon at £1.54 for the ebook and £8.99 for the paperback