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Rabaul - Fly For Your Life by Robert Taylor. (AP)


Rabaul - Fly For Your Life by Robert Taylor. (AP)

For their outstanding contribution to the war in the South Pacific, the Black Sheep were awarded one of only two Presidential Unit Citations accorded to Marine Corps squadrons during the war in the Pacific. With typical mastery, Robert Taylor has brought to life an encounter over Rabaul in late December 1943, paying tribute to one of the US Marine Corps most famous fighter squadrons, and its outstanding leader. With the Japanese airbase at Rabaul visible in the distance, Pappy Boyington and his fellow pilots of VMF-214 tear into a large formation of Japanese Zekes and a series of deadly dogfights have started, one Zeke already fallen victim to their guns.
Item Code : DHM2673APRabaul - Fly For Your Life by Robert Taylor. (AP) - This Edition
TYPEEDITION DETAILSSIZESIGNATURESOFFERSYOUR PRICEPURCHASING
ARTIST
PROOF
Signed limited edition of 25 Black Sheep Edition artist proofs.

Paper size 36 inches x 23.5 inches (91cm x 60cm) Emrich, W Thomas
Harper, Edwin A
Hill, James J
Losch, Fred S
Bourgeois, Henry M
Matheson, Bruce J
Johnson, Harry
+ Artist : Robert Taylor
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Other editions of this item : Rabaul - Fly For Your Life by Robert Taylor.DHM2673
TYPEEDITION DETAILSSIZESIGNATURESOFFERSYOUR PRICEPURCHASING
PRINT Signed limited edition of 400 prints. Paper size 36 inches x 23.5 inches (91cm x 60cm) Matheson, Bruce J
Johnson, Harry
+ Artist : Robert Taylor
£150 Off!Add any two items on this offer to your basket, and the lower priced item will be half price in the checkout!
Supplied with one or more free art prints!
Now : £200.00VIEW EDITION...
PRINT Signed limited edition of 350 Black Sheep Edition prints. Paper size 36 inches x 23.5 inches (91cm x 60cm) Matheson, Bruce J
Johnson, Harry
Bourgeois, Henry M
Emrich, W Thomas
Harper, Edwin A
Hill, James J
Losch, Fred S
+ Artist : Robert Taylor
Free
Shipping!
£275.00VIEW EDITION...
General descriptions of types of editions :


Signatures on this item
NameInfo


The signature of Brigadier General Bruce J Matheson (deceased)

Brigadier General Bruce J Matheson (deceased)
Born in Chicago in 1921, Bruce Matheson enlisted in the US Marine Corps in 1942 and joined the Black Sheep on 7 August 1943. On 17 October 1943 he shot down a Zero over Kahili but was wounded during the aerial combat. He safely landed his badly damaged Corsair at Munda. On 3 January 1944 Bruce got his last aerial victory, and also confirmed Major Boyingtons final aerial victory before Pappy was shot down near Rabaul. By the end of the second Black Sheep tour, Bruce would have 3 confirmed victories and 1.5 probables. For his third combat tour he was transferred along with 14 other Black Sheep pilots to VMF-211 on Green Island. Sadly he died on 29th January 2009.


Captain Fred S Losch
Fred Losch hails from Mifflin Township, Pennsylvania, and was born in 1921. He was posted to become another of the new replacement pilots that joined the Black Sheep on 10 November 1943 for their second combat tour at Vella Lavella. On 2 January 1944 Fred shot down a Zero and damaged another over Rabaul. With VMF-214 he flew 28 combat missions, and then went on to serve a second combat tour with VMF-211 after the Black Sheep were disbanded on 8 January 1944.


Colonel Edwin A Harper
Ed Harper was born in Bassano, Alberta, Canada in 1920. He joined VMF-214, the Black Sheep on 7 August 1943 and flew both combat tours from September 1943 to January 1944. He shot down 1 enemy aircraft and two probables on fighter sweeps over Kahili and Rabaul. On 17 October 1943, Ed was wounded in aerial combat and brought back his damaged Corsair to Munda. The next day he flew a mission and scored a probable over a Zero. Ed was also one of the Black Sheep pilots that were reassigned to VMF-211 for a third combat tour after the Black Sheep were disbanded on 8 January 1944.


Lieutenant Colonel Henry M Bourgeois USMC (deceased)
Henry was the youngest ever Marine Officer when he joined VMF-214, and had flown two combat tours with VMF-122 prior to that, with 2 victories to his credit. On 21st September 1943 he led a division of Corsairs to strafe Kahili Airdrome, where he destroyed 2 aircraft on the ground; the division accounting for 12 aircraft and an AA position destroyed. Sadly, Henry Bourgeois passed away on 14th November 2009.


Lieutenant Colonel James J Hill
James Hill was born in Chicago in 1920. His training involved flying Stearmans, Buffalo and Wildcats. He arrived in the South Pacific on 5 June 1943 after completing flight school in Pensacola, and joined VMF-214 on 7 August 1943, flying Corsairs. He flew both combat tours with the Black Sheep. On 18 October 1943 on a fighter sweep over Kahili Airfield he shot down a Zero in aerial combat. During his two tours with the Black Sheep he flew a total of 70 combat missions, and also flew a third combat tour with VMF-211 on Green Island. He then flew another combat tour with VMF-521 as a pilot instructor, later joining VMF-324 at Midway. In his career he was awarded 3 Distinguished Flying Crosses and 12 Air Medals.


Lieutenant Colonel W Thomas Emrich
Born in Mt. Pulaski, Illinois in 1921, he joined VMF-214 on 7 August 1943 and flew two combat tours with the Black Sheep. On 15 October 1943 Tom shot down two Zeros in aerial combat during a bomber escort to Kahili Airfield. The next day on a fighter sweep to Kahili he had to ditch his Corsair off Vella Lavella, and was rescued by a PT boat. By the end of his Black Sheep combat tours he had flown 68 missions, and then flew a third combat tour with VMF-211 on Green Island - along with 14 other former Black Sheep pilots.
Major Harry Johnson USMCHarry Johnson went to the Pacific in November 1943, joining VMF-214 as a replacement pilot. He destroyed a Zero in combat on 6th January 1944, two days before VMF-214 were disbanded. Serving later with VMF-218 and VMF-253, he flew a total of 84 missions on Corsairs during WWII, and another 69 missions in Korea.
The Aircraft :
NameInfo
Zero
CorsairThe Chance-Vought F4U Corsair was arguably the finest naval aviation fighter of its era. Work on this design dates to 1938 and was headed-up by Voughts Chief Engineer, Rex Biesel. The initial prototype was powered by an 1800-HP Pratt & Whitney double Wasp radial engine. This was the third Vought aircraft to carry the Corsair name. The graceful and highly recognizable gull-wing design of the F4U permitted the aircraft to utilize a 13-foot, three-blade, Hamilton Standard propeller, while not having to lengthen the landing gear. Because of the rigors of carrier landings, this was a very important design consideration. Folding wings were also required for carrier operations. The F4U was thirty feet long, had a wingspan of 41 feet and an empty weight of approximately 7,500 pounds. Another interesting feature was the way the F4Us gear rotated 90 degrees, so it would lay flush within the wing when in the up position. In 1939 the Navy approved the design, and production commenced. The Corsair utilized a new spot welding process on its all aluminum fuselage, giving the aircraft very low drag. To reduce weight, fabric-covered outer wing sections and control surfaces were fitted. In May of 1940 the F4U made its maiden flight. Although a number of small bugs were discovered during early flight tests, the Corsair had exceptional performance characteristics. In October of 1940 the prototype F4U was clocked at 405-MPH in a speed test. The initial production Corsairs received an upgraded 2,000-HP radial giving the bird a top speed of about 425-MPH. The production models also differed from the prototype in having six, wing-mounted, 0.5 caliber machine guns. Another change was a shift of the cockpit about three feet further back in the fuselage. This latter change unfortunately made naval aviators wary of carrier landings with the F4U, due to its limited forward visibility during landings. Other concerns were expressed regarding a severe port wing drop at landing speeds and a tendency of the aircraft to bounce off a carrier deck. As a result, the F4U was initially limited to land-based USMC squadrons. Vought addressed several of these problems, and the Royal Navy deserves credit for perfecting an appropriate landing strategy for the F4U. They found that if the carrier pilot landed the F4U while making a sweeping left turn with the port wing down, that sufficient visibility was available to make a safe landing. With a kill ratio of 11 -to- 1 in WW 11 combat, the F4U proved superior in the air to almost every opposing aircraft it encountered. More than 12,000 F4Us were built and fortunately a few dozen remain in flyable condition to this date.
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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Search Party Reaction by David Rowlands. (Y)
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 Fokker DR.1 Triplane 425/17 of Manfred von Richthofen, accompanied by a Fokker. D.VII wingman, swoops from a high patrol early in 1918. 425/17 was the aircraft in which the Red Baron finally met his end in April of that year, no fewer than 17 of his victories having been scored in his red-painted triplane.

Final Days by Ivan Berryman. (AP)
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 An Avro Anson comes under attack from an Me109.

Avro Anson by Ivan Berryman.
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Junker Ju87B-1s of 7 Staffel, Stg 77 swoop down to attack coastal targets. This opening phase of the Battle of Britain was to prove very costly for the Stuka squadrons as they found they could no longer operate unescorted against the RAF.

Stukas over England, South Coast, July 1940 by David Pentland.
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Lancaster CF-X (LM384) of 625 Squadron.  On the Leipzig raid on the evening of 19th/20th February 1944 approx 47 Lancasters were shot down or failed to return, that is over 300 airmen.  Lancaster CF-X (LM384) was taking part in the bombing raids that were a build up to the D-Day landings of June 1944.  Leipzig was seen as a high value target due to its oil and synthetic fuel production.  The Lancaster took off from Kelstern in Lincolnshire just before midnight.  Unfortunately LM384 did not come back as was the case with many others - the aircraft was lost and crashed just outside the tiny village of Bledeln in Germany.  The Pastor of the village, Herr Duncker, kept a diary throughout the war and has an account of the plane crash and the subsequent burial of the crew.  All of the crew died in the crash except one - bomb aimer George Paterson who was interned in Stalag 357 Kopernikus.  The rest of the crew were given a Christian burial and stayed there until the end of the war, when the war graves commission disinterred the crew and reburied them in the Hannover war cemetery.

Last Long Shadow by Anthony Saunders (AP)
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 Depicting a Hercules dropping Paras at low level.

Low Level Para Drop by Tim Fisher.
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In this lovely picture from Graham Bosworth, the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (BBMF) is seen flying past the very famous Boston Stump in Lincolnshire (properly known as St Botolph*#39;s Church).  Called the Boston 'Stump' because the tower was completed over a period of 100 years, appearing as a stump on the horizon (alternative theory is that the tower should have had a spire on top of it and the 'stump' is therefore the base.  St Botolph's is one of the largest parish churches in England.  Founded in 1390, St Botolph's is aiming to raise £3,000,000 by 2009 in time for its 700th birthday and for much-needed restoration.  The BBMF is much beloved by many people of all ages and the sounds of the engines from these World War II aircraft still draws the crowds.  Based at Conningsby in Lincolnshire the formation displays throughout Europe.

Salute to the Stump by Graham Bosworth. (Y)
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 Byron Duckenfield and his 501 Squadron wingman struggle to get airborne in their Hurricanes as the spectacle of the scrambling squadron draws a group of passing motorists out of their vehicle to witness the thunderous noise of the aircraft.

501 Sqn Scramble by Ivan Berryman. (P)
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NAVAL PRINTS

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The USS Colorado holds the all time record of 37 consecutive days of firing at an enemy and the record of 24 direct enemy air attacks in 62 days both while at Okinawa.

USS Colorado Okinawa by Anthony Saunders. 
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Bismarck, now complete and newly painted in full Baltic camouflage, returns to Hamburg for the last time as the harsh winter of 1940/41 relents and the pride of the German Kriegsmarine prepares for real action.  In the distance, the pre-Dreadnought Schleswig-Holstein awaits her next commission, the old ship alternating between vital ice-breaker and air defence duties at this time.  The Bismarck would in May 1941 put to sea and engage and sink HMS Hood only to be caught by the British battleships Rodney and King George V.  Bismarck was pounded into a floating wreck, finally being sunk by the torpedoes of HMS Dorsetshire.  From her crew of 2300 only 110 would be rescued by HMS Dorsetshire and HMS Maori.

Bismarck Entering Hamburg Harbour by Ivan Berryman. (AP)
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 Completed in May 1941, HMS Victorious had been in commission just nine days when her pilots encountered and attacked the Bismarck. She is seen here in August 1942 with HMS Eagle astern of her.

HMS Victorious 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 English fleet pursued the Armada up the English Channel and, as darkness fell, Vice Admiral Drake broke off and captured the Spanish galleon Rosario, Admiral Pedro de Valdes and the crew.  The Rosario was known to be carrying substantial funds to pay the Spanish Army in the Low Countries.  Drakes ship had been leading the English pursuit of the Armada by means of a lantern.  By extinguishing this for the capture, Drake put the fleet into disarray overnight.  On the night of 29th July 1588, Vice Admiral Drake organised fire-ships, causing most of the Spanish captains to break formation and sail out of Calais . The next day, Drake was present at the Battle of Gravelines.  English losses were comparatively few, and none of their ships were sunk.

Grenvilles Revenge by Brian Wood.
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 The heavy cruiser HMS Dorsetshire is brought up to sink the blazing wreck of the Bismarck with torpedoes at around 10:30 hours on the morning of May 27th 1941.  The once proud German ship had been ruthlessly pounded into a twisted and burning wreck by the British battleships Rodney and King George V.  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.

HMS Dorsetshire by Ivan Berryman (AP)
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USS Oakland Escorting the Damaged USS Lexington by Ivan Berryman
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 HMS Norfolk and HMS Belfast of Force I are shown engaging the Scharnhorst which has already been hit and disabled by both HMS Duke of York and the cruiser HMS Jamaica.  Scharnhorst was never to escape the clutches of the British and Norwegian forces for, having been slowed to just a few knots by numerous hits, fell victim to repeated torpedo attacks by the allied cruisers and destroyers that had trapped the German marauder.

HMS Norfolk at the Battle of the North Cape by Ivan Berryman (AP)
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 After suppressing the initial German defences, the Sherman Crab flail tank of Lance Sgt Johnson, 3 Troop C Squadron the 22nd Dragoons, 79th Armoured Division,  clears a path through a minefield to allow tanks of 27th Armoured Brigade, and men of 3rd Infantry Division to breakout  from the beaches. Fire support from surviving Sherman DD (amphibious) tanks of 13th /18th Hussars (QMO), proved invaluable in the initial push towards Caen

D-Day, Sword Beach, Normandy 1944 by David Pentland. (GS)
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Lieut. George Cairns of the South Staffordshire Regiment at the Battle of Pagoda Hill, Burma, 13th March 1944, along with the 3rd/6th Gurkha Rifles.
Lieutenant George Cairns VC, at the Battle of Pagoda Hill, Burma 13th March 1944 by David Rowlands (GL)
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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. (GL)
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 Sturmtigers of Sturmmorser Company 1002, commanded by Lieutenant Zippel, take on ammunition in preparation for the battle to come. These fearsome monsters 38cm rocket projectors could penetrate up to 2.5m of reinforced concrete. Luckily for the Allies only 18 were completed by the wars end.

Preparing for the Day, the Reichswald, February 1945 by David Pentland.
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 It is August 1944, barely two months since the Allies landed their first troops on the beaches of Normandy. After the failed Operation Lüttich (codename given to a German counterattack during the Battle of Normandy, which took place around the American positions near Mortain from 7 August to 13 August, 1944 ) The German Panzer Divisions were in full retreat, The British and American Generals believed it to be critical to halt them before they cauld regroup. Caught in the Gap at Falaise, the battle was to be decisive. Flying throughout a continuous onslaught, rocket-firing Typhoons kept up their attacks on the trapped armoured divisions from dawn to dusk. The effect was devastating: at the end of the ten day battle the 100,000 strong German force was decimated. The battle of the Falaise Pocket marked the closing phase of the Battle of Normandy with a decisive German defeat. It is believed that between 80,000 to 100,000 German troops were caught in the encirclement of which 10,000 to 15,000 were killed, 45,000 to 50,000 taken prisoner, and around 20,000 escaped . Shown here are German Tiger I tanks under continues attack by Royal Aoir Force Typhoons.

Taming the Tiger by Geoff Lea. (Y)
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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. (GL)
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 M3 Lee tanks and troops from General Slims 14th Army clear Japanese resistance form the village of Ywathitgyi in their drive to Mandalay.

Road to Mandalay, Burma, February 1945 by David Pentland. (Y)
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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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