At the end of 2011, the Society of Friends of the Museum commissioned local artist Tony Sargeant to paint a picture of a Special Duty Lysander landing in a French field at night on a clandestine agent pick-up operation.
Tony has produced a large acrylic painting depicting the scene of Peter Vaughan-Fowler’s aircraft (MA-B) crossing the field boundary, guided on to the landing strip by the French reception committee with torches. The painting, now completed, has been placed on an easel next to the large model of a Lysander in the Museum’s Merston aircraft hall.
Peter Vaughan-Fowler was an outstanding pilot and when only nineteen years old, was selected for Special Duties training even though he had only 250 hours of flying and none at night. Vaughan-Fowler’s first successful Lysander operation was on the night of 26/27 October 1942 when he dropped two agents off in a field near Mâcon and brought two back to Tangmere. This operation was the first of twenty one successful operations out of twenty seven attempted from Tangmere between October 1942 and September of the following year. For his highly successful tour with No 161 Squadron, Peter Vaughan-Fowler was awarded the DFC and Bar.
Tony Sargeant’s painting “Landing by Moonlight” is a fine tribute to Peter Vaughan-Fowler and the other pick-up pilots.