H.M.S. Eagle - Original Book Illustration, circa 1941
H.M.S. Eagle - Original Book Illustration, circa 1941
H.M.S. Eagle - Original Book Illustration, circa 1941
H.M.S. Eagle - Original Book Illustration, circa 1941
H.M.S. Eagle - Original Book Illustration, circa 1941
H.M.S. Eagle - Original Book Illustration, circa 1941
  • Load image into Gallery viewer, H.M.S. Eagle - Original Book Illustration, circa 1941
  • Load image into Gallery viewer, H.M.S. Eagle - Original Book Illustration, circa 1941
  • Load image into Gallery viewer, H.M.S. Eagle - Original Book Illustration, circa 1941
  • Load image into Gallery viewer, H.M.S. Eagle - Original Book Illustration, circa 1941
  • Load image into Gallery viewer, H.M.S. Eagle - Original Book Illustration, circa 1941
  • Load image into Gallery viewer, H.M.S. Eagle - Original Book Illustration, circa 1941

H.M.S. Eagle - Original Book Illustration, circa 1941

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Overall: 69cm (27in) x 85cm (33.5in) 

Gouache on paper. Original cover illustration for the ‘The Modern Book for Boys’. Signed lower right William McDowell (1888-1950) for the publisher Birn Brothers Ltd. Framed and glazed. Image size: 42cm (16.5in) x 60cm (23.6in).

The flared bow and the Sea Gladiator aloft suggests this carrier is H.M.S. Eagle. In the Mediterranean on 13 July 1940, while under heavy attack by Axis aircraft, Eagle’s Sea Gladiator flight shot down three Italian bombers; six days later, they shot down an Italian SM.79 medium bomber. After completing an extensive refit in early 1942, Eagle’s Sea Hurricanes and Swordfish gave air cover to successive Malta convoys and delivered Spitfires to the island to boost its air defences. She was torpedoed and sunk by U-73 on 11 August 1942 during the epic Operation Pedestal.

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William John Patton McDowell (1889-1950) was a Merseyside maritime artist and novelist, born in Barrow-in-Furness 1888. He was naval draughtsman between the wars, and radio broadcaster on sea lore for landsmen. During the Second World War he was a Temporary Experimental Officer in the Royal Naval Scientific Service. He painted an iconic gouache of the Queen Mary in 1934.