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The 75th Anniversary of The Battle of Britain

Stamp name: Pilots scramble to their Hurricanes

Value: First Class

Release date: 16 July 2015

About this stamp

American photographer William Vandivert photographed many wartime scenes, including this image of RAF fighter pilots rushing to their Hurricanes after receiving the ‘scramble’ call to engage enemy aircraft.

This Special Stamps collection commemorates the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain, which was fought in the skies over southern England during the Second World War.

The decisive air campaign lasted from the beginning of July until the end of October in 1940, and would change the course of the War, and with it, the course of history.

The set comprises six Special Stamps that feature historic photographs from the archives taken during this turning point in the War. The stamps show key aspects of the airborne battle, including the iconic Spitfire plane, ‘scrambling’ RAF pilots, service personnel and an operations room.

The miniature sheet border features an image of Prime Minister at the time, Winston Churchill, at a coastal defence position near Hartlepool on 31 July 1940. The image is accompanied by the famous quotation from Churchill’s speech about the battle: “Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.”

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Sheet Size 179mm x 74mm
Stamp format/size Landscape 41mm x 30mm
Stamp Design The Team
Sheet Design Supple Studio
Printer International Security Printers
Print process Lithography
Perforation 14.5 x 14 Phosphor Bars as appropriate
Gum PVA
Number per sheet 6

Acknowledgements

Pilots and Hurricanes photo © William Vandivert/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images; Supermarine Spitfires photo © IWM CH741; Armourer photo © IWM CH1458; Auxiliary Territorial Service photo © Associated Press/Daily Mail/Rex Features; Operations Room photo © IWM C0018701; Squadron 32 photo © Fox Photos/Getty Images; Winston Churchill photo © IWM H 2628; Winston Churchill quotation reproduced with permission of Curtis Brown Ltd, London, on behalf of The Estate of Winston Churchill, copyright © Winston S Churchill

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Presentation Pack
In the richly informative Presentation Pack, RAF Museum curator Peter Devitt looks at the enormous significance of the Battle of Britain and explores the way in which it unfolded.

The narrative touches on various aspects of the Battle, taking a closer look at the key aircrafts and the contribution of the ground crew, intelligence officers, and Air Transport Auxiliary pilots who did their bit to ensure victory.

First Day Cover
The First Day Cover includes all six stamps on the miniature sheet, cancelled by a special postmark reading ‘75th anniversary Battle of Britain’.