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This is a specially produced glossy bookplate bearing the original signature of Battle of Britain Spitfire pilot Harbourne Stephen. HM Stephen flew with 74 Sqn under Sailor Malan.

He began training at 11 Group Fighter Pool at St. Athan in early September 1939 and after converting to Hurricanes was posted to 605 Squadron at Tangmere on the 20th, as a Sergeant-Pilot. On 28th March 1940 Stephen was flying in Yellow Section when a He111 was sighted, 605’s first encounter with the Luftwaffe. The section leader damaged the bomber and 43 Squadron later shot it down.

Commissioned in April, Stephen was posted to 74 Squadron at Hornchurch on the 7th and joined it on the 10th. Over Dunkirk on 24th May he shared in destroying a Hs126 and a Do17, on the 26th shared another Hs126 and on the 27th destroyed a Me109 and shared a Do17.

On 28th July Stephen damaged a Me109, on 11th August he destroyed a Me109, probably destroyed two Me109s and two Me110s and damaged a Me109 and a Me110, on the 13th he probably destroyed a Do17, on 11th September destroyed a Ju88 and damaged a Me109, on 1st October damaged a He111 and on the 5th shared a Do17.

Stephen claimed a Me109 destroyed and probably another on 20th October, a Me109 destroyed on the 27th, three Ju87s destroyed on 14th November, a Me109 damaged on the 15th, two Me109s shared on the 17th and 30th, a Me109 probably destroyed on 2nd December and two Me109s destroyed and another shared on the 5th.

He was awarded the DFC (gazetted 27th August 1940), a Bar to the DFC (gazetted 15th November 1940) and the DSO (gazetted 24th December 1940).

On 30th November 1940 Stephen and F/Lt. JC Mungo-Park (above) shared the shooting down of the 600th German plane credited to RAF Biggin Hill. The combat occurred at 34,000 ft. which was at that time a record altitude for air combat.

Battle of Britain Spitfire Fighter Ace HM Stephen Signed Bookplate

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