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This is a specially produced glossy bookplate bearing the original pencil signature of Battle of Britain veteran Eric Barwell. 
 Called up at the outbreak of war, Barwell was posted to 2 FTS Brize Norton on 8th October 1939. He completed his training, was commissioned on 12th December and joined 264 Squadron at Martlesham Heath on the 21st.
Barwell was sent to 11 Group Fighter Pool St. Athan on the 31st and after converting to Defiants he rejoined 264 on 5th February 1940. On 12th May 1940 he shared in the destruction of a Ju88 and took part in the successful actions of the squadron over Dunkirk, destroying a Me110 and two Ju87's on 29th May and a Me109 and a He111 on the 31st.
In the first engagement Barwell was hit by return fire and turned for home but was unable to maintain height and landed his Defiant L6972 on the sea between two destroyers, some five miles from Dover. 
One of them, HMS Malcolm, picked them up.
The aircraft broke up and Barwell and his gunner, P/O JEM Williams, who had been knocked unconscious in the crash, were thrown into the sea. Barwell held up Williams until they were rescued.
Credited with the destruction of a Me109 on 24th August 1940, flying with Sgt. A Martin, Barwell was awarded the DFC (gazetted 11th February 1941). During the night of 10th/11th April 1941, again with Sgt. Martin, Barwell shot down a He111 and probably a second.

Battle of Britain Defiant Pilot Eric Barwell Signed Bookplate

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