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Ploesti, The Vital Mission by Robert Taylor.


Ploesti, The Vital Mission by Robert Taylor.

Col Leon Johnson aboard the damaged Suzy Q emerges through an inferno of intense ground fire and dense palls of acrid burning oil. More seriously hit and smoking, another B-24 Liberator completes its bombing run. By the end of that first day of May 1943, the Ploesti oil fields were in ruins and the B-24 crews of the 8th and 9th Air Forces had dealt a vital blow to the Axis war machine.
Item Code : AX0034Ploesti, The Vital Mission by Robert Taylor. - This Edition
TYPEEDITION DETAILSSIZESIGNATURESOFFERSYOUR PRICEPURCHASING
PRINT Signed limited edition of 1250 prints.

SOLD OUT
Paper size 34 inches x 24 inches (87cm x 64cm) Ardrey, Philip
Cameron, William R
Zemke, Hub
Compton, Keith
Potts, Ramsay
+ Artist : Robert Taylor
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OUT
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All prices on our website are displayed in British Pounds Sterling


Signatures on this item
NameInfo


The signature of Colonel Hub Zemke (deceased)

Colonel Hub Zemke (deceased)
Best known as leader of the legendary Zemkes Wolfpack, Hub Zemkes famous 56th Fighter Group was the top scoring Fighter Group in the European Theather of operations. Zemke pioneered the use of the P-38 Droop Snoot as a bomb aiming aircraft which led the bomb-loaded P-47s on to the target with great accuracy and success. He later commanded the 479th Fighter Group P-38s. One of the outstanding fighter leaders of the war, Hub Zemkes personal tally 17.5 victories. Sadly, he passed awway on 30th August 1994.


The signature of Colonel William R Cameron

Colonel William R Cameron
Bill Cameron flew all his 38 combat missions with the 44th Bomb Group. He first saw combat in Nov 1942. He was the only pilot who came over to Europe with 44th BG and returned with them at the end of the war. Described by General Leon Johnson as "one of the best combat leaders we had", Bill was the pilot of "Buzzin' Bear" on the Ploesti Raid. Before the mission he asked British anti-aircraft gunners which plane, in a low flying formation, they would fire at. They told him they would shoot the highest: Bill Cameron took "Buzzin' Bear" through the Ploesti inferno lower than most other pilots and got her home with only minor damage, earning the DSC for his part in the historic raid.
Keith Compton
Major General Ramsay Potts (deceased)Ramsey Douglas Potts Jr was born on October 24 1916 in Memphis, Tennessee. Potts was educated at the local grammar school and at Darlington School before going on to receive a degree in commerce at the University of North Carolina. Ramsey Douglas Potts in September 1942 trained as a bomber pilot and arrived at Alconbury, near Huntingdon. His squadron was blooded in attacks against targets in northern France, but in November it was briefly assigned to convoy protection in the build-up to Operation Torch. On November 21st Potts was patrolling in the Bay of Biscay when five German fighters attacked his B-24. During a fierce encounter his gunners shot down two and damaged a third German aircraft before Potts was able to escape and land the B-24 at an airfield in southern England. Potts was a senior pilot in the 93rd Bomb Group, and commanded one of the groups long-range B-24 Liberator squadrons, which he led on the daring low-level attack against the oil refineries in Romania on August 1st 1943. During the Ploesti raid Potts's aircraft was badly damaged, and some of his crew were wounded. Potts managed to keep his bomber flying despite severe damage to the controls, and he was one of a small number to return to Benghazi after almost 14 hours in the air. Potts's B-24 (Duchess) had more than 50 fist-sized holes in the wings and fuselage. During the Ploesti raid the B-24 squadrons lost 532 men and 54 aircraft, and the damage sustained by the surviving aircraft was such that only 30 of the original force of 178 were serviceable for combat the following day. He completed 38 bombing missions, many as the leader of the mass formation of bombers against targets such as Hamburg, Brunswick and Bremen. Potts was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, two Silver Stars, the Legion of Merit, three DFCs, the Bronze Star and five Air Medals. He was also awarded the British DFC for his outstanding courage and heroism and the French Croix de Guerre. He retired from the Air Force Reserve as a major-general in 1972. Major-General Ramsey Potts died in August 2006 aged 89.
Philip Ardrey
The Aircraft :
NameInfo
Liberator
Artist Details : Robert Taylor
Click here for a full list of all artwork by Robert Taylor


Robert Taylor

The name Robert Taylor has been synonymous with aviation art over a quarter of a century. His paintings of aircraft, more than those of any other artist, have helped popularise a genre which at the start of this remarkable artist's career had little recognition in the world of fine art. When he burst upon the scene in the mid-1970s his vibrant, expansive approach to the subject was a revelation. His paintings immediately caught the imagination of enthusiasts and collectors alike . He became an instant success. As a boy, Robert seemed always to have a pencil in his hand. Aware of his natural gift from an early age, he never considered a career beyond art, and with unwavering focus, set out to achieve his goal. Leaving school at fifteen, he has never worked outside the world of art. After two years at the Bath School of Art he landed a job as an apprentice picture framer with an art gallery in Bath, the city where Robert has lived and worked all his life. Already competent with water-colours the young apprentice took every opportunity to study the works of other artists and, after trying his hand at oils, quickly determined he could paint to the same standard as much of the art it was his job to frame. Soon the gallery was selling his paintings, and the owner, recognising Roberts talent, promoted him to the busy picture-restoring department. Here, he repaired and restored all manner of paintings and drawings, the expertise he developed becoming the foundation of his career as a professional artist. Picture restoration is an exacting skill, requiring the ability to emulate the techniques of other painters so as to render the damaged area of the work undetectable. After a decade of diligent application, Robert became one of the most capable picture restorers outside London. Today he attributes his versatility to the years he spent painstakingly working on the paintings of others artists. After fifteen years at the gallery, by chance he was introduced to Pat Barnard, whose military publishing business happened also to be located in the city of Bath. When offered the chance to become a full-time painter, Robert leapt at the opportunity. Within a few months of becoming a professional artist, he saw his first works in print. Roberts early career was devoted to maritime paintings, and he achieved early success with his prints of naval subjects, one of his admirers being Lord Louis Mountbatten. He exhibited successfully at the Royal Society of Marine Artists in London and soon his popularity attracted the attention of the media. Following a major feature on his work in a leading national daily newspaper he was invited to appear in a BBC Television programme. This led to a string of commissions for the Fleet Air Arm Museum who, understandably, wanted aircraft in their maritime paintings. It was the start of Roberts career as an aviation artist. Fascinated since childhood by the big, powerful machines that man has invented, switching from one type of hardware to another has never troubled him. Being an artist of the old school, Robert tackled the subject of painting aircraft with the same gusto as with his large, action-packed maritime pictures - big compositions supported by powerful and dramatic skies, painted on large canvases. It was a formula new to the aviation art genre, at the time not used to such sweeping canvases, but one that came naturally to an artist whose approach appeared to have origins in an earlier classical period. Roberts aviation paintings are instantly recognisable. He somehow manages to convey all the technical detail of aviation in a traditional and painterly style, reminiscent of the Old Masters. With uncanny ability, he is able to recreate scenes from the past with a carefully rehearsed realism that few other artists ever manage to achieve. This is partly due to his prodigious research but also his attention to detail: Not for him shiny new factory-fresh aircraft looking like museum specimens. His trade mark, flying machines that are battle-scarred, worse for wear, with dings down the fuselage, chips and dents along the leading edges of wings, oil stains trailing from engine cowlings, paintwork faded with dust and grime; his planes are real! Roberts aviation works have drawn crowds in the international arena since the early 1980s. He has exhibited throughout the US and Canada, Australia, Japan and in Europe. His one-man exhibition at the Smithsonians National Air and Space Museum in Washington DC was hailed as the most popular art exhibition ever held there. His paintings hang in many of the worlds great aviation museums, adorn boardrooms, offices and homes, and his limited edition prints are avidly collected all around the world. A family man with strong Christian values, Robert devotes most of what little spare time he has to his home life. Married to Mary for thirty five years, they have five children, all now grown up. Neither fame nor fortune has turned his head. He is the same easy-going, gentle character he was when setting out on his painting career all those years ago, but now with a confidence that comes with the knowledge that he has mastered his profession.

More about Robert Taylor

 

AVIATION PRINTS

Click above to see all of our half price aviation prints - Eight random items are displayed to the right.

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The B-17 Flying Fortress 'Memphis Belle' returns from one of her 25 mission over France and Germany.  Memphis Belle, a  B-17F-10-BO, USAAF Serial No.41-24485, was supplied to the USAAF on July 15th 1942, and delivered to the 91st Bomb Group in September 1942  at Dow Field, Bangor, Maine.  Memphis Belle deployed to Scotland at Prestwick on September 30th 1942 and went to RAF Kimbolton on October 1st, and then to her permanent base at Bassingbourn on October 14th.1942.  Memphis Belle was the first United States Army Air Force heavy bomber to complete 25 combat missions with her crew intact.  The aircraft and crew then returned to the United States to promote and sell war bonds.  The Memphis Belle B-17 is undergoing extensive restoration at the National Museum of the United States Air Force at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio.

Coming Home by Tim Fisher.
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 Following the initial parachute drops at Maleme (West) and Canea (Middle) Group East, comprising of Fallschirmjager Regiment 1 and 2nd battalion FJR2, prepared for their descent on Crete. Charged with the capture of Heraklion and its aerodrome, their departure was postponed until late afternoon due to the repairs and refuelling needed for the returning Junker 52 transports.

The Second Wave, Greece, 20th May 1941 by David Pentland. (Y)
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Hurricane LK-M of No.87 Squadron piloted by Flt Lt Alex Thom DFC limps over the south coast of England on 19th August 1942. While supporting troops on the ground at Dieppe, the Hurricane was hit by ground fire and lost oil pressure. Alex Thom got the damaged aircraft back to Britain, making a forced landing at East Den. Ferried back to 87 Sqn's airfield, he immediately set off once more for Dieppe in Hurricane LK-A.

A Welcome Shore by Ivan Berryman. (AP)
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 A pair of Focke Wulf 190A4s of 9./JG2 Richthofen based at Vannes, France during February 1943. The nearest aircraft is that of Staffelkapitan Siegfried Schnell. The badge on the nose is the rooster emblem of III./JG2 and the decoration on Schnells rudder shows 70 of his eventual total of 93 kills.

Looking for Business by Ivan Berryman. (C)
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 On 20th October 1943, Wildcat and Avenger aircraft from the Carrier US Core, on patrol north of the Azores, surprised U378, a type VIIC U-boat which had been active in that area. The element of surprise was so complete that the submarines guns remained unmanned throughout the action.
The Element of Surprise by Robert Barbour.
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 Whilst flying with A Flight of 85 Squadron on 30th July 1940, Geoffrey Allard encountered a pair of Messerschmitt Bf.110s about 40 miles from the coast, apparently patrolling near a convoy.  After Squadron Leader Townsend, flying  Red 1, had made two unsuccessful attacks, Allard closed to 150 yards and began to fire continuously, eventually closing to just 25 yards, whereupon the starboard engine of the Bf.110 began to disintegrate. This was just one of eight victories that Allard claimed during the Battle of Britain to add to a previous eight that he had scored flying Hurricanes during the Battle of France.

Close Combat by Ivan Berryman. (B)
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 Just as the name Zeppelin had become the common term for almost every German airship that ventured over Britain, so the name Gotha became generically used for the enemy bombers that droned across the English Channel during 1917-1918, inflicting considerable damage to coastal ports and the capital. As the massed raids of Bombengeschwader 3 increased, a public inquiry in England brought about the formation of the Royal Air Force as an independent service to counter this new threat and fighters from Europe were brought home to defend against these marauding giants. As a result, heavy losses on the German side meant that daylight raids had to be abandoned and all operations were henceforth conducted by night. Here, a pair of Gotha G.Vs begin to turn for home as searchlights play fruitlessly over distant fires, the grim result of another successful nights work.

Gothas Moon by Ivan Berryman.
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 An Avro Anson comes under attack from an Me109.

Avro Anson by Ivan Berryman. (AP)
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NAVAL PRINTS

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 It is September 18th, 1805, off Plymouth. Led by the 74-gun HMS Thunderer, with HMS Ajax astern, HMS Victory, with Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson aboard, begins her journey south to join the rest of the British fleet off Cadiz where the combined French and Spanish fleets lay blockaded. This was the prelude to the Battle of Trafalgar and the last time Nelson would see his beloved England.

Hearts of Oak Ivan Berryman. (Y)
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Having taken terrible punishment from the guns of the allied French and Spanish fleet as she broke through the line, HMS Victory found herself engaged by the French Redoutable, a bitter battle that saw the two ships locked together, pouring shot into one another with terrifying ferocity and which left the British Admiral, Lord Horatio Nelson fatally wounded. In the background, HMS Neptune is emerging through the gunsmoke and is about to pass the wreck of the French flagship Bucentaure which Victory so spectacularly routed as she passed through the allied line. HMS Temeraire, which followed Victory through, and which was also to become embroiled on the Redoutables fight, is obscured by the smoke beyond the British flagship.

The Battle of Trafalgar, 1.00pm by Ivan Berryman. (Y)
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B216AP.  HMS Colossus by Ivan Berryman.  Together with her sister ship, Hercules, HMS Colossus acquitted herself well at the Battle of Jutland where she fired 93 12in rounds, but received only two hits from enemy fire which caused minor damage and left nine crew injured.  She was sold for scrap in 1928.

HMS Colossus by Ivan Berryman (AP)
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B219.  Deutschland Passing Through the Kiel Canal by Ivan Berryman.

Deutschland Passing Through the Kiel Canal by Ivan Berryman.
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 The largest and fastest of all the ships that took part in the Battle of Jutland, the elegant battle cruiser HMS Tiger was launched in 1913 and is easily recognisable by the unusual position of Q turret just aft of the third funnel, She is shown about  to pass beneath the Forth Bridge as she departs Rosyth for a sea trial

HMS Tiger by Ivan Berryman (AP)
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B64.  HMS Centaur Departing Devonport by Ivan Berryman.

HMS Centaur Departing Devonport by Ivan Berryman.
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 17th February 1943, U-201 with U-69 were ordered to intercept the westbound convoy ONS165. With fuel low U-201 was eventually forced to surface following a depth charge attack and rammed by the Destroyer HMS Fame.

U-201 Deadly Chase by Anthony Saunders. (Y)
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 The Flower Class corvette HMS Sunflower at sea in 1942. One of thirty ordered on 31st August 1939, K41 was built by Smiths Dockyard in just 9 months and 6 days, completed on 25th January 1941.

HMS Sunflower by Ivan Berryman.
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WORLD WAR TWO MILITARY PRINTS

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 Braving intense enemy fire, Lt. Col. RB Mayne, Commanding Officer 1st SAS Regiment devastated a German ambush and subsequently rescued wounded troops of his own unit who had been pinned down while on a reconnaissance mission for the 4th Canadian Armoured Division.

Paddys Fourth DSO, The Olderburg Raid, 9th April 1945 by David Pentland. (GS)
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 The Pak 40 - a hard hitting 75mm German anti-tank gun-seen here mounted on an SPW for greater battlefield mobility was essentially a scaled up version of the PaK 38 debuted in Russia where it was needed to combat the newest Soviet tanks there.  It was designed to fire the same low-capacity APCBC, HE and HL projectiles which had been standardized for usage in the long barreled KwK 40 tank guns.

Pak40 Mounted on SPW Half-Track by Jason Askew. (P)
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 Although in the process of regrouping after their escape from the Cherkassy Pocket, Panthers and Panzer Grenadiers of the crack 5th SS Panzer Division Wiking are part of the relief force hastily assembled and thrown in to free the strategically important city of Kowel in the Pripet Marshes. By April 10th the Soviet encirclement of the city was broken and Wiking were pulled out of the line to continue refitting.

Fight for Kowel, Poland, March/April 1944 by David Pentland.
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The Allied breakthrough into the Normandy plain, against heavy German opposition. Filed marshall Montgomery claimed that Operation Goodwood had two major aims – the first being to break out from the beaches and the other to destroy the German armoured reserves and draw them away from the US forces that were preparing for Operation Cobra in the western sector.  The plan for the breakout began with a massive aerial bombardment, using the strategic air forces large bombers to decimate the German defending forces then Lt-General Richard OConnors VIII Corps comprising three whole armoured divisions – 11th, 7th and Guards - and spearheaded by Major-General Pip Roberts 11th would then rush forward, overwhelm the defending Germans and causing the armoured forces to move forward and break out from the beach areas. To cover the flanks the Canadians would fight their way to Caen, while the British 3rd Infantry and 51st Highland Divisions would cover the left flank,  and move further eastward.

Operation Goodwood, Caen, Normandy, 18th-19th July, 1944 by David Rowlands (C)
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 88mm AA guns of the 23rd Flak Regiment, used as anti-tank guns by orders of Rommel himself, are shown firing on British Matilda tanks of 4th/7th Royal Tank Regiment.

Action at Arras, France, 21st May 1940 by David Pentland. (Y)
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 German forces encircled in the fortress town of Konigsberg by 3rd Ukranian front prepare to break through the besieging Soviet lines to re-establish a supply line to the Baltic. Here some Stug III assault guns move up to their assembly area next to the towns World War One memorial. From here the attack was launched on February 18th 1945 and successfully opened a supply corridor which remained in place until 8th April.

Counter Attack at Konigsberg by David Pentland. (B)
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 OT34 Flamethrower tank and men of Col. Krickmans 6th Guards Tank Brigade take part in the Soviet counter attacks of 13th-27th September in defence of the southern factory district of Stalingrad before the final offensive in October.

Motherland, The Battle of Stalingrad, September 1942 by David Pentland.
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 The men of the US 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment ambushed the German 1st Battalion, 6th Fallschrimjager Regiment making their way to Carentan, the Battle of Hells Corner ensued.

Hells Corner, 7th June 1944 by David Pentland. (GL)
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