Whirlwind in Normandy (Typhoon)

Medium: Acrylic on 24 x 36 canvas. (1999)
Public Displays: CAAA art display at Abbotsford Airshow 1999
CAAA art display at 2002 Canadian Aviation Hall of Fame Induction Ceremonies held at Vancouver International Airport. RCAF display, Okanagan Military Museum, Kelowna, BC (2003).


“They have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind “(Hosea VIII 7)… This biblical quotation was the motivation to the naming of this painting, dedicated to the 75th anniversary of the Canadian Air Force. The whirlwind that swept the Nazi Third Reich from western Europe began in Normandy with the allied invasion of June 6, 1944 (D-Day) and the sound of that wind was often carried forth by the powerful Napier Sabre engines of RCAF Typhoon fighter-bombers. The Typhoons decimated Hitler’s legions as they moved towards the allied invasion beaches. They relentlessly hit the Panzer divisions and supply columns weakening them before they even contacted our ground forces and later they cleared the way for the advance of allied troops in the liberation of Europe. This painting symbolizes the historic contribution made by the RCAF in these dramatic times. It is dedicated to the men and women of the RCAF in honour of their role in giving us the opportunity to live in a far better world than would have been the case if the “thousand year Reich” had prevailed. Depicted in the painting are Typhoons of 439 Sqn RCAF in a low pass over the battlefield with RCAF Spitfires providing fighter cover in the background.

A column of the 4th Canadian Armoured Division is moving past between the icons of the defeated Nazi army (a knocked out Panther tank, half-track, SS trooper’s helmet, Panzerwaffe badge and empty jerrycan) and the church of the badly damaged, but liberated town. The sunlight-illuminated cross at the spire symbolizes the reinstatement, through the Allied liberation, of a society based upon the principals of human dignity and freedom.

Historical Note

During WW II Canada played a vital role in the success of the Allied efforts in overthrowing the Third Reich. This was illustrated during the Normandy campaign by the devastating effect of Allied ground attack aircraft upon the German panzer divisions that threatened to push through the fragile Allied lines to the invasion beaches. The German tanks and supply columns were ravaged by airpower with the Typhoon earning the special respect of its enemies because of the hitting power of Typhoon squadrons.

For more about Canadians in the D-Day invasion go to:
Juno Beach Centre