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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
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£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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A Royal Air Force Wessex HC2 Helicopter picks up troops somewhere in Northern Ireland.

Pup Northern Ireland by John Wynne Hopkins (P)
Half Price! - £3000.00
 Lieutenant Robert C Wattenburger shows off the unique lines of the Vought F.4U Corsair 124723 (NP-8) of VC-3 during a low-level fly-by of USS Valley Forge in May, 1952.

Valley Forge Fly-By by Ivan Berryman. (P)
Half Price! - £600.00
 B-17G 42-37755 NV-A 325th Bomb Squadron, 92nd Bomb Group from Poddington crash landing in Switzerland on 25th February 1944 after sustaining damage over enemy territory after a raid on Augsburg and Stuttgart.

Safe Pastures by Mark Postlethwaite. (Y)
Half Price! - £45.00
 From the day they began their aerial campaign against Nazi Germany to the cessation of hostilities in 1945, the USAAF bomber crews plied their hazardous trade in broad daylight. This tactic may have enabled better sighting of targets, and possibly less danger of mid-air collisions, but the grievous penalty of flying daylight missions over enemy territory was the ever presence of enemy fighters. Though heavily armed, the heavy bombers of the American Eighth Air Force were no match against the fast, highly manoeuvrable Me109s, Fw190s and, late in the war, Me 262 jet fighters which the Luftwaffe sent up to intercept them. Without fighter escort they were sitting ducks, and inevitably paid a heavy price. Among others, one fighter group earned particular respect, gratitude, and praise from bomber crews for their escort tactics. The 356th FG stuck rigidly to the principle of tight bomber escort duty, their presence in tight formation with the bombers often being sufficient to deter enemy attack. Repeatedly passing up the opportunity to increase individual scores, the leadership determined it more important to bring the bombers home than claim another enemy fighter victory. As the air war progressed this philosophy brought about an unbreakable bond between heavy bomber crews and escort fighter pilots, and among those held in the highest esteem were the pilots of the 356th. Top scoring ace Donald J Strait, flying his P-51 D Mustang Jersey Jerk, together with pilots of the 356th Fighter Group, are seen in action against Luftwaffe Fw 190s while escorting B-17 bombers returning from a raid on German installations during the late winter of 1944. One minute all is orderly as the mighty bombers thunder their way homeward, the next minute enemy fighters are upon them and all hell breaks loose. <br><br><b>Published 2003.<br><br>Signed by three of the top pilots from the 356th Fighter group.</b>

Ace of Diamonds by Nicolas Trudgian (Y)
Half Price! - £105.00

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.
Half Price! - £50.00
 A Douglas C-47 of the 91st Troop Carrier Squadron, 439th Troop Carrier Group gets away from the Devon airfield of Upottery on 5th June 1944 carrying paratroops of 101st Airborne Division.  The company departed from Upottery airbase in Devon, England, and dropped over the Cotentin Peninsula of Normandy, France in the early hours of the morning of June 6th, 1944 at the start of the Normandy invasion.

101st Airborne en route to Normandy by Ivan Berryman. (P)
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 The German High Command entered World War II with the notion that the war would be quickly won, and certainly without the need to fight at night.  The RAF changed all that when Bomber Command, having suffered appalling losses in daylight, turned to attacking under the cloak of darkness.  By mid-1940 the Luftwaffe was forced to hurriedly form its first night fighter wing utilising the Messerschmitt Bf110.  Without specialised equipment, initially Luftwaffe pilots relied on visual acquisition, detecting enemy aircraft with the aid of searchlights.  To combat intensifying RAF night attacks, new electronic methods of navigation and detection were developed, and by the end on 1942 the German night fighter force had almost 400 aircraft contesting the night skies.  Almost 1300 British aircraft were destroyed in that year alone.The Bf110G-4 of 47-night victory pilot Oberleutnant Martin Drewes at dusk in March 1944, heading out to intercept in-bound British four-engined bombers over north west Germany. Equipped with the latest FuG220 and 218 radars, the experienced crew will lie in wait, carefully choose their prey, stalk and close for the kill. The deadly game of hide and seek is about to begin.

Night Hunters of the Reich by Nicolas Trudgian.
Half Price! - £120.00
 Douglas C47 Dakotas fly into the landing and drop zone at Renkum Heath, September 17th 1944.

Arnhem by Simon Smith (Y)
Half Price! - £30.00

NAVAL PRINTS

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HMS Coventry comes under air attack from aircraft off Tobruk, 14th September 1942.  As well as losing the anti-aircraft cruiser HMS Coventry, the Allies also lost  HMS Zulu and six coastal craft sunk by bombing as they were returning from Tobruk.  HMS Coventry was rated as one of the most effective anti-aircraft ships in the entire British navy, downing more aircraft than any other ship.

HMS Coventry by Ivan Berryman (AP)
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Key ships of the British task force sail in close formation in the Mediterranean sea during the build up to the coalition invasion of Iraq in march 2003, nearest is the flagship HMS Ark Royal with the commando carrier HMS ocean to her port side. other ships include a Type 42 destroyer , the Fleet Auxiliary Fort Victoria and an LSL  

NTG03 - Task Force to Iraq by Ivan Berryman (AP)
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Originally constructed as a Home Fleet Repair Ship, HMS Cyclops was later converted into a submarine depot ship and enjoyed a long career, both in the Mediterranean and in home waters.  Here she prepares to receive HMS Sceptre.  Another S-class submarine is already tethered alongside.

HMS Cyclops Prepares to Receive HMS Sceptre by Ivan Berryman (P)
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 The lead ship of the Royal Navy's Vanguard Class SSBNs, HMS Vanguard (S28) was commissioned on 14th August 1993 and is based at HMNB Clyde at Faslane.

HMS Vanguard in the Gareloch by Ivan Berryman. (P)
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 Forming part of the Eastern Task Force covering the landings at Normandy in June 1944, the cruiser HMS Mauritius is shown in company with the monitor HMS Roberts and the cruiser HMS Frobisher shelling German batteries at Merville, Houlgate and Benerville as the combined British and American forces embark upon what would become known forever as D-Day.

Operation Neptune by Ivan Berryman (P)
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 Japanese Torpedo destroyers, rush in to finish off the Russian battleships near the end of the Battle of Tsushima.

Battle of Tsushima by Anthony Saunders. (Y)
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The pride of the Royal Navy, HMS Hood, passes Gibraltar on her way to join HMS Prince of Wales at Scapa Flow and onto her short and tragic engagement with the German battleship Bismarck.

HMS Hood Passing Gibraltar by Brian Wood (P)
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Hawker Sea Furies buzz the stern of HMAS Sydney during fleet exercises off Jervis Bay 1956.

Fly Past by Randall Wilson.
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WORLD WAR TWO MILITARY PRINTS

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 Men of the US 381st Infantry Regiment, 96th Division supported by the tanks of 763rd and 713th Flamethrower Tank Battalions, during the assault on Yaeju Dake. This escarpment, known as Big Apple was the last in a series of tough Japanese defence lines on the south of the Island.

Taking of Big Apple, Okinawa, 10th - 14th June 1945 by David Pentland.
Half Price! - £90.00
 Captain R. Blair Paddy Mayne, and men of L detachment SAS, stop to discuss their location en route to Sidi Haneish airfield. The raid was a major victory, especially for the newly acquired jeeps, which played an important part in the destruction of some 40 enemy aircraft for the loss of one man.

Paddys Troopers, The Sidi Haneish Road, 17th July 1942 by David Pentland. (GL)
Half Price! - £300.00
 Troops of the 1st Hampshires assaulting Gold Beach during the Normandy Landings. Gold beach was one of the British beaches on D-Day. Gold beach was the western most beach of the British beaches, on D-Day. Gold beach was between two twenty metre high cliffs where German fortifications had been built. The beach had been protected by concrete casemates which took some time to break through. This happened with support form British tanks in the afternoon of D-day 6th June. The British tanks and reinforcements moved off the beaches towards Saint-Come-de-Fresene and Arromanches which were both liberated by 9pm.

D-Day Gold Beach, 6th June 1944 by Simon Smith.
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DHM289P.   Arnhem Drop 17th September 1944 by Simon Smith.

Arnhem Drop 17th September 1944 by Simon Smith (P)
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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. (AP)
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 British Crusader MK1 tanks of the 4th County of London Yeomanry Regiment, 22nd Armoured Brigade, charge Axis positions during the opening days of the offensive Bir El Gubi.

Operation Crusader, 18th November 1941 by David Pentland. (P)
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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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 El Alamein, October 28th 1943, Field Marshal Erwin Rommel discusses the critical battle situation with the Commanding Officer of the 21st Panzer Division, in front of his Kampfstaffel.  This personal mobile headquarters comprised a variety of vehicles including a radio Panzer III, SDKfz 232 radio armoured car, Rommels famous SDKfz 250/3 communications half-track GREIF and captured British Honey light tanks.

The Desert Fox by David Pentland. (GL)
Half Price! - £300.00

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