The M'dala Trust has a number of 20 x 33 inch colour prints depicting Mr Ian Smith's Spitfire raiding over the Po Valley, Italy in July 1944. The painting was done by the renowned Canadian artist Robert Bailey, who specializes in aircraft paintings. Robert Bailey was commissioned by Glenn Pepper, a Zimbabwean now resident in Canada. Glenn, having read Mr Smith's autobiography, Anatomy of a Rebel, followed by an interview with Mr Smith decided on the painting and the production of the prints for sale primarily by the Trust for fundraising.
Mr Smith has signed all the Limited Edition prints and Robert Bailey has signed all the prints. Limited Edition prints are available at R1,200 each. This price is exclusive of packing, registration and postage costs.
These prints are now becoming a valuable collectors item.
Lieutenant Ian Smith flying the Mark IX Spitfire over the Po Valley rail complex where he and his colleagues of 237 (Rhodesia) Squadron, Royal Air Force were tasked with convoy and train busting. Shortly after the Po Valley excursion Lieutenant Smith was shot down over the Ligurian Alps and was cared for and worked with Italian partisans for five months. Thereafter Lieutenant Smith and a colleague or two journeyed across the French Alps for twenty three days in the snow and ice, and eventually stumbled into the American Lines in Cannes.
After a short spell of recuperation Lieutenant Smith went on a refresher course in Shropshire, England and then joined his new unit's 130 Squadron, Royal Air Force, which was the first in to Norway with the British Liberation Army. Hostilities ceased on 8 May 1945.