John's constant desire to deliver authenticity in warbird photography is driven by a passionate belief that current and future generations should understand the experiences and sacrifices of the men and women who designed, maintained and flew these machines in combat. This ethos together with his interest and knowledge of WWII aviation history has facilitated and strengthened interactions with the warbird community and his knowledge and skills are regularly sought by restorers, museums, publishers, TV and film producers.
As well as being a board member of The National Museum of WWII Aviation, Colorado Springs, John's work in this area includes;
- Sourcing aircraft and parts
- Researching paint schemes for restorations
- Conducting interviews and compiling oral histories with veterans from WWII
- Sourcing archive material for publishers and collectors
- Working with aviation artists on concepts and design of paintings
- Consulting on TV and film projects
John has interviewed and compiled oral histories of the experiences of numerous WWII veteran aircrew, including some of the greatest fighter aces of all time. Many of these stories have been incorporated into magazine articles and our books and serve as a fitting reminder of the deeds and sacrifices of what has been termed “The Greatest Generation”.
John has worked closely with a number of aviation artists including Alex Hamilton, Simon Smith and Nick Trudgian on concepts and designs for original artwork, portraying some of the most famous aircraft of WWII. The painting shown, “And Not to Yield” was the result of a close collaboration with Alex Hamilton. It was based on John’s concept sketches for a panoramic design that would capture the scale of the aerial battles that dominated the skies of South East England at the height of the Battle of Britain. The painting depicts Spitfires of 610 Squadron heading in to attack Dornier 17 Bombers undaunted by the protective Messerschmitt Bf109 fighters swarming above them.
Over the years John has used his extensive knowledge of WWII aviation to source a huge range of archive material for clients. This includes aircraft parts, model aircraft, documents and books, clothing and patches as well as a host of other military equipment dating from WWII.
John has worked with many aircraft owners and restorers to research authentic paint schemes and nose art for their vintage aircraft. Shown below is Duxford based PBY-5A Catalina, G-PBYA which in 2012 acquired its Miss Pick Up nose art. Working closely with Rachel Morris from the Catalina Society, John reproduced a stunning digital image of Miss Pick Up that was then printed on vinyl stickers and applied to the port side of the fuselage. The scheme was chosen to represent an aircraft that flew with the USAAF's 5th Emergency Rescue Squadron in WWII and serves as a fitting tribute to the bravery and sacrifices of these young Catalina crews.