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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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 Undoubtedly one of the truly great Aces of the First World War, William Billy Bishop became celebrated for his technique of actively seeking out the enemy and bringing the fight to him, rather than the more usual practice of patrolling in search of enemy activity. An example of this was his single-handed attack on a German airfield in June 1917 when he destroyed not only a number of aircraft on the ground, but then successfully despatched another seven Albatross scouts that took off to engage him. For this action, he was awarded the Victoria Cross in August 1917 and his final tally when the war ended was 72 confirmed victories. He is depicted here in his Nieuport Scout B1566 in combat with a Pfalz D.III.

Captain William Billy Bishop by Ivan Berryman. (GL)
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DHM925.  Harrier in a Hyde by Geoff Lea.

Harrier in a Hyde by Geoff Lea.
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On an RAF airfield in the early evening, a squadron of Lancaster bombers of Bomber Command prepare for another bombing sortie against targets of the German war machine.  A fitting tribute to all Bomber Command aircrew who flew in the Avro Lancatser.

Distant Dispersal by Graeme Lothian. (E)
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 Douglas C-47s of the 439th Troop Carrier Group from Upottery, East Devon, try to hold steady amid a barrage of flak and anti aircraft fire as troops of 101st jump into the unknown above Normandy on the night of 5th / 6th June 1944.  These aircraft are of the 94th Troop Carrier Squadron.

Hell Below Us by Ivan Berryman.
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 British Midlands 737 (300 series) en route from London to Belfast. 1993.

Boeing 737 by David Pentland.
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 Designed by the great Ernst Heinkel, the diminutive D.1 was an essential stop-gap that provided the Austro-Hungarian pilots with a front line fighter until they were able to re-equip with Albatros scouts in the Summer of 1917. This little aircraft performed well and was generally held in high regard by its pilots, although it did have some shortcomings, namely that forward vision was extremely limited and the Schwarzloses gun was completely concealed in the overwing pod that made it inaccessible in the air. Most unusual of all was its interplane strut arrangement, designed to reduce drag, which gave it the nicknames Starstrutter or Spider. These examples are shown passing above the German cruiser Derfflinger. 

Brandenburg D.1 by Ivan Berryman. (APB)
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 It was in 1941 that the remarkable Focke-Wulfe FW190 first appeared in the skies of Europe, quickly establishing itself as a most formidable adversary. It proved to be the supreme weapon against all allied bomber forces. Here FW190A-8 of 1 Gruppe, Jagdgesschwader 1 is shown attacking a B17G of 381st Bomb Group during a critical defence of the Reich in 1944.

Cat Among the Pigeons (FW190) by Ivan Berryman. (D)
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 R5689 (VN-N) - a Lancaster B.1 of 50 Squadron based at Swinderby. This aircraft crash-landed in Lincolnshire while returning from a mission on 19th September 1942, after both port engines failed as the aircraft was preparing to land.  The aircraft never flew again.  The crew on the final mission were : <br>Sgt E J Morley RAAF,<br>P/O G W M Harrison,<br>Sgt H Male,<br>Sgt S C Garrett,<br>Sgt J W Dalby,<br>Sgt J Fraser<br>and<br>Sgt J R Gibbons RCAF, the sole member of the crew killed in the crash.

Avro Lancaster B.1 by Ivan Berryman. (C)
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NAVAL PRINTS

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 The greatest naval battle of the First World War took place on the 31st of May and the 1st of June 1916, near the Danish province of Jutland.  It was the first and only sea battle between the British and German fleets, and certainly proved to be the clash of the Titans that the First Lord of the Admiralty, Winston Churchill, had long planned.  Decisive victory was claimed by both sides, but, desperately fought though it was, the outcome was indecisive.  The Royal Navy suffered higher losses in both men and ships, but the German fleet never ventured out of harbour to seek battle again.  During the daylight fighting HMS Barham, under Rear Admiral Evan-Thomas, lead the 5th Battle Squadron (Valiant, Warspite and Malaya) and is seen here at 4.50pm exchanging with Hippers battle-cruisers to the south.

HMS Barham leads the 5th Battle Squadon at Jutland by Anthony Saunders.
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 The Type 22 Broadsword Class frigate HMS Cumberland (F85) enters Grand Harbour, Malta, during the evacuation of Libyan refugees in the Spring of 2011, during which time she rescued 454 people from the uprising as well as enforcing an arms embargo before returning to her home port of Plymouth in readiness for decommissioning in June 2011.

HMS Cumberland by Ivan Berryman. (P)
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 HMS Medway was the first Royal navy submarine Depot ship that was designed for the purpose from the outset. She is shown here with a quintet of T-class submarines on her starboard side, whilst an elderly L-Class begins  to move away having completed replenishment. HMS Medway was sunk on 30th June 1940 having been torpedoed by U-372 off Alexandria.

HMS Medway by Ivan Berryman
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VAR346B.  H.M.A.S. Manoora 1940 by Brian Wood.
H.M.A.S. Manoora 1940 by Brian Wood (B)
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HMS Prince of Wales is shown firing on the Bismarck and in the background a huge black cloud is all that is left of HMS Hood.

HMS Prince of Wales by Brian Wood (C)
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B146AP.  HMS Jamaica by Ivan Berryman.

HMS Jamaica by Ivan Berryman (AP)
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 Completed in 1916, the Resolution was one of the finest capital ships in the Royal Navy, serving in many theatres with her sister ships, Royal Sovereign, Royal Oak, Ramillies and Revenge, she is shown here in 1936.

HMS Resolution by Ivan Berryman. (Y)
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 The heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen slips quietly through the waters of Kiel Harbour as one of her own Arado Ar.196s flies overhead. In the background, Bismarck, wearing her Baltic camouflage, is alongside taking on supplies.

Prinz Eugen by Ivan Berryman (AP)
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WORLD WAR TWO MILITARY PRINTS

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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. (GS)
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 Having made contact the previous evening with troops of 4th Infantry Division pushing inland from Utah Beach, paratroopers of the 101st Airborne division The Screaming Eagles help mop up the pockets of German resistance in their general advance towards Carentan.

Screaming Eagles in Normandy, 7th June 1944 by David Pentland. (GL)
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 Churchill MkIV tank of the 6th Guards Tank Brigade (comprised of 4th Battalion Grenadier Guards, 4th Battalion Coldstream Guards and 3rd Battalion Scots Guards), pass infantry of the 2nd Battalion Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders during the Battle for Caumont.

Operation Bluecoat, normandy, 30th July 1944 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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 US Marines of the 2nd Battalion, 2nd RCT, 2nd Marine Division, supported by LVTs and tanks, take part in the successful but bloody assault on Betio Island, part of the Tarawa Atoll. Operation Galvanic as it was known became the first step on the island road to Japan itself.

Red Beach Two, Tarawa Atoll, 20th November 1943 by David Pentland. (GL)
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 Oberfeldwebel Albert Kerscher, commander of 2nd company 511 Heavy Tank Battalion aided by a Panzer IV, two Hetzers, a Kingtiger and a Pak gun, successfully defended against concerted Soviet air and armoured attacks, his action buying valuable time for the evacuation of German wounded from Pilau and scoring his 100th victory in the process.

Kerschers Defence of Neuhauser Forest by David Pentland.
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 A Tiger (P) Ferdinand, 7th Company, 654th Schwere Panzerjager Abteilung passes a knocked out Soviet Su122 on the German advance towards the village of Ponyri.  The fighting around this small agricultural settlement was some of the most savage of the entire battle.

The Battle for Ponyri Station, Kursk, 9th July 1943 by David Pentland.
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 Trapped within a rapidly decreasing perimeter, the exhausted BEF along with elements of the French 1st Army appeared to be at the mercy of the mighty Luftwaffe. No one though had reckoned on the brilliant leadership of Admiral Ramsay nor the gallant and unstinting efforts of the military and civilians who managed to rescue over 330,000 troops in nine days.

Operation Dynamo, Dunkirk, France 24th May - 4th June 1940 by David Pentland. (Y)
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