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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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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

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 Over three years of continuous air combat the 91st Bombardment Group The Ragged Irregulars were based at Bassingbourn in England. They flew 340 missions with honor and bravery, over occupied Europe and bore such B-17 legends as Memphis Belle, Shoo Shoo Baby, General Ike and Nine O Nine. On this day, however, the Memphis Belle is going to have to wait for the snow to be cleared before it can depart on yet another dangerous mission over enemy territory. In the meantime, to enable the Memphis Belle to leave at the earliest opportunity when the weather clears, ground crew carry on with their maintenance work in support of a crew and aircraft they all look upon with affection and admiration.
The Memphis Belle by Philip West. (Y)
Half Price! - £80.00
During the early 1930s, Imperial Airways of London introduced to its European and Eastern routes the HP42, an enormous four-engined Handley Page biplane carrying up to 38 passengers at a sedate 100mph.  For the first time air travellers could enjoy Pullman comfort, the wicker-work chairs finally being dispensed with.  Eight of these outstanding aircraft were built and operated from 1931 to the start of the Second World War.  The European services were flown by the four known as the Heracles class with fleet names Horatius, Hengist and Helena.  The Hannibal class with Horsa, Hanno and Hadrian serviced the Empire routes.  They accumulated over 10 million miles of peacetime operations wthout harm to a single passenger or crew member.  Safety became their byword. Depicted here is Horatius, bound for Paris from Croydon.  What a sight to behold, truly a galleon of the clouds.
Croydon Departure by Gerald Coulson.
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 Hurricane Mk.IIC Z3971 of 253 Sqn, closing on a Heinkel 111.

Hurricane Mk.IIC by Ivan Berryman.
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 210 Squadron RAF 1918.

Homeward Bound - Sopwith Camel by David Pentland. (Y)
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 En route to the dams of the Ruhr Valley, the first wave of three specially adapted Avro Lancasters roar across the Dutch wetlands on the night of 16 -17th May 1943 led by Wing Commander Guy Gibson, their mission to breach the Mohne and Eder dams, thus robbing the German war machine of valuable hydro-electric power and disrupting the water supply to the entire area.  Carrying their unique, Barnes Wallis designed 'Bouncing Bomb' and flying at just 30m above the ground to avoid radar detection, 617 Squadron's Lancasters forged their way into the enemy territories, following the canals of the Netherlands and flying through forest fire traps below treetop height to their targets.  Gibson's aircraft ('G'-George) is nearest with 'M'-Mother of Fl/Lt Hopgood off his port wing and 'P'-Peter (Popsie) of Fl/Lt Martin in the distance.

Dambusters - The First Wave by Ivan Berryman.
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 On 31st August 1944, 6 Mosquitoes of 305 Polish Squadron, Lasham, 2nd TAF were led by Wing Commander Orlinski to attack oil refineries at Nomexy, south of Nancy, France. Diving down and releasing their bombs before escaping at tree top height they destroyed 4 large containers and several smaller ones. All aircraft safely returned after their four and a half hour sortie. Fl Lt Eric Atkins DFC(bar) KW(bar) and his navigator Fl Lt Majer can be seen exiting the area to reform on the other 3 Mosquitoes who have already finished their bombing run. This was Atkins 61st operation, finishing the war with 78 ops over 3 tours.

Mosquito Attack by Graeme Lothian. (YB)
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 With his personal emblem of black and white fuselage band adorning his Fokker E.V, 153/18, Richard Wenzl briefly commanded Jasta 6, based at Bernes in August 1918, and claimed a modest 6 victories during his career with JG 1. The Fokker E.V was both fast and manoeuvrable, but a series of engine and structural failures meant that these exciting new machines saw only brief service before being re-worked to emerge as the D.VIII, sadly too late to make any impression on the war. Wenzl is shown here in combat with Sopwith Camels of 203 Sqn, assisted by Fokker D.VIIs, which served alongside the E.Vs of Jasta 6. The D.VII shown is that of Ltn d R Erich Just of Jasta 11, also based at Bernes.

Leutnant d R Richard Wenzl by Ivan Berryman. (AP)
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 Wing Commander J R Baldwin is depicted flying Typhoon MN934 whilst commanding 146 Wing, 84 Group operating from Needs Oar Point in 1944, en route to a bombing raid on 20th June with other Typhoons of 257 Sqn in which both ends of a railway tunnel full of German supplies were successfully sealed.

Typhoons Over Normandy by Ivan Berryman. (AP)
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NAVAL PRINTS

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Two F14 Tomcats of VF-1 pass in close formation over the stern of the veteran USS Ranger (CV-61)

USS Ranger by Ivan Berryman. (Y)
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 Admiral Cuthbert Collingwoods flagship the Royal Sovereign comes under intense fire from the black-painted Spanish 3-decker, Santa Ana, and the French 74 Fougueux, just prior to breaking through the Franco-Spanish line at Trafalgar.
HMS Royal Sovereign by Ivan Berryman. (P)
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B69.  HMS Valiant and HMS Queen Elizabeth at Alexandria by Ivan Berryman.

HMS Valiant and HMS Queen Elizabeth at Alexandria by Ivan Berryman.
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DHM1322.  HMS Glasgow by Ivan Berryman.

HMS Glasgow by Ivan Berryman.
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B0344P. Bismarck Leaving Port by Jason Askew.
Bismarck Leaving Port by Jason Askew. (P)
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 Flt. Lt. John Alexander Cruickshank in his consolidated Catalina. Winning his Victoria Cross for sinking U-347.

Sinking of U-Boat 347 by Tim Fisher.
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VAR344B.  H.M.A.S. Nizam 1943 by Brian Wood.
H.M.A.S. Nizam 1943 by Brian Wood (B)
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 The mighty Bismarck returns fire to the fast-approaching HMS Hood at the start of a battle that would see both adversaries tragically sunk. The Bismarck would later be attacked by Swordfish aircraft from HMS Ark Royal, damaging her stearing and allowing her to be caught by the British battleships Rodney and King George V. The once proud German battleship would be ruthlessly pounded into a twisted and burning wreck and finally finished by HMS Dorsetshire with torpedoes at around 10:30 hours on the morning of May 27th 1941. HMS Dorsetshire and HMS Maori combed the area of the sinking for survivors, between them picking up a total of 110 out of an original complement of 2,300.

Bismarck Replies to HMS Hood by Ivan Berryman. (Y)
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WORLD WAR TWO MILITARY PRINTS

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 King Tigers of Kampfgruppe von Rosen, 3rd Company Heavy Tank Battalion 503, preparing to move out from the Tisza bridgehead to counter Soviet pressure on German forces attacking to the northwest at Debrecen during the first battles to defend the Hungarian capital of Budapest.

Tigers in the Mist by David Pentland.
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 Sturmgeschutz IIIg and Paratroops of the 4th Fallschirmjager Division, driving to the front line, pass one of the two giant 28cm K5 (Eisenbaum) railway guns responsible for the shelling the Allied beacheads at Anzio and Nettuno.

Anzio Annie, Italy, 29th January 1944 by David Pentland. (GS)
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 Superb figure study of the 82nd Airborne in 1944.

82nd Airborne by Chris Collingwood.
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Leading 30th Corps assault across the Seine at Vernon, 43rd Wessex Division gained an initial foothold on the east bank.  Heroic efforts however by the Royal Engineers of 71st, 72nd and 73rd Field Companies, succeeded in constructing a Class 9 Bailey bridge (David, shown left) and a Second Class 40 bridge (Goliath, shown right)  Despite constant enemy fire this amazing feat was achieved in only 2 days, and allowed 15/19th Hussars Cromwells and 4.7th Dragoons Guards Shermans to cross just in time to repulse a serious German counter attack by Tiger IIs of SS Panzer Abteilung 101.

David and Goliath, Vernon, France, 27th August 1944 by David Pentland. (GS)
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 After almost two months of continuous fighting in the front line, remnants of the 12th SS Panzer Division, Hitler Jugend, fall back under incessant air attacks by allied fighter bombers for their final battles in France. In their defense of the northern flank of what is to become the Falaise Gap the new Jagdpanzer IV in particular is to prove a formidable foe to the attacking British and Canadian tanks.

The Falaise Gap, Normandy, 12th - 20th August 1944 by David Pentland.
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 Sturmgeschutz IIIF of Stug Battalion Grossdeutschland, and supporting infantry from GD Regiment 1 battle against Soviet forces defending the strategically important city of Voronezh on the Don. Combined arms operations such as this proved the value of the assault gun, which took a terrible toll on enemy armour and men alike.

Assault on Voronezh, Russia, 2nd - 7th July 1942 by David Pentland. (F)
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DHM1079GL.  The 1st Battalion Duke of Wellingtons Regiment at the Battle of Sittang Bridge, Burma, February 1942 by David Rowlands.

The 1st Battalion Duke of Wellingtons Regiment at the Battle of Sittang Bridge, Burma, February 1942 by David Rowlands (GL)
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 British MK1 Grant tanks of the Staffordshire Yeomanry 8th Armoured Brigade, 10th Armoured Division, breakout from El Alamein.

Operation Supercharge, 4th November 1941 by David Pentland. (AP)
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