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"Gloucester Gladiator" by Oliphant, Leslie, Date unknown. Gouache on board.

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Gloucester Gladiator

"Gloucester Gladiator" by Oliphant, Leslie, Date unknown

Catalogue ref: INF 3/1535Links to the Catalogue


This image depicts a Gloucester Gladiator being readied for a sortie at an air force base. The Gladiator equipped the majority of RAF interceptor squadrons immediately before the Second World War, but was obsolete by the time war broke out in September 1939 being too slow.

For a time, three gladiators nicknamed ‘Faith', ‘Hope' and ‘Charity' were the only operational fighters on the island of Malta and stood against the might of the Regia Aeronotica, (Italian Air Force) during the beginning phases of the Axis onslaught on the island.