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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 pair of Spitfire Mk.IXs of 402 Squadron Royal Canadian Air Force, based at Kenley, practise combat manoeuvres in the skies above Kent in May, 1943.

Spitfire Alley by Ivan Berryman.
Half Price! - £75.00
 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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DHM683.  Alouette III Helicopter of Rhodesian Fireforce 1979 by John Wynne Hopkins.

Alouette III Helicopter of Rhodesian Fireforce 1979 by John Wynne Hopkins.
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In 1944 Berlin was probably the most defended city in the world.  The Luftwaffe had kept what reserves it had for planes to defend Berlin.  On March 6th, 1944, The USAAF were involved in the massive air raid on Berlin, 69 B17s were lost – but the Luftwaffe lost 160 planes.  Whereas the US 8th Air Force could recover from these aircraft losses, the German Luftwaffe could not.  By the end of the war, the 8th Air Force and the Royal Air Force had destroyed 70% of Berlin.

Berlin Bound by Anthony Saunders.
Half Price! - £25.00

 The pilot of a Fairey Swordfish MKII guides his aircraft towards the landing ramp of HMS Victorious following a sortie in the Mediterranean Sea 1940

Safe Return by Ivan Berryman.
Half Price! - £15.00
 The Short Stirling won the distinction as the RAFs first purpose built four engine monoplane bomber.  A strong, highly complex design it gained a reputation as a pilots aircraft to fly being agile for a big bomber and demonstrating great character.  Well over 2000 Stirlings provided stout service for the RAF in a variety of extremely important roles throughout WW2.
Stirling Service by Philip West.
Half Price! - £70.00
  A Vought A-7 Corsair of VA-146 makes its  final approach to the sprawling deck of the USS America, (CVA-66) as she skirts Vietnamese waters in company with a little Rock-class missile / command cruiser. The A-7 became the Navys prime weapon toward the end of the war, playing a vital role in the anti-radiation Linebacker Raids.

USS America by Ivan Berryman (P)
Half Price! - £3000.00
 R-Robert was dramatically retrieved after nearly forty years on the bed of Loch Ness in Scotland. It is being restored at the Brooklands Museum.

The Loch Ness Wellington by Ivan Berryman. (Y)
Half Price! - £65.00

NAVAL PRINTS

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 Royal Fleet Auxiliary Olna prepares to receive HMS Active (F171) during the Falklands campaign of 1982.  HMS Coventry (D118) is in the background
RFA Olna by Ivan Berryman (AP)
Half Price! - £25.00
On Sunday October 25th 1992, HMS Vanguard, the Royal Navys first Trident equipped submarine, arrived off the Clyde Submarine Base, Faslane on the Gareloch. She was escorted by a Sea King helicopter from HMS Gannet, the RN shore base at Prestwick Airport, and a mixed surface flotilla, including Defence Police and Royal Marines.

Trident by Robert Barbour.
Half Price! - £45.00
 The key to Nelsons victories always lay in his meticulous planning and the Battle of Copenghagen was no exception as he used his fleet to first destroy the Danish floating defences so that his bomb vessels could be brought up to bombard the city itself. The Danes eventually capitulated, but they had fought hard and over 2,000 men had died on both sides before the end of the battle. In this view, HMS Elephant, carrying the flag of Vice Admiral Horatio Nelson, dominates the scene as the battle gathers intensity. British ships depicted, left to right, are the Glatton (54), Elephant (74), Ganges (74) and Monarch (74)

The Battle of Copenhagen, 2nd April 1801 by Ivan Berryman. (Y)
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Seen here from the deck of an escorting destroyer.
HMS Prince of Wales by Ivan Berryman.
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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 (The End of the Bismarck) by Ivan Berryman. (P)
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 Of the three E-Class cruisers proposed at the end of World War 1, only two were ever completed, Euphrates being cancelled when the war with Germany ended in 1918.  The two sisters, Emerald and Enterprise, enjoyed long and varied careers, the former remaining largely unchanged from her original appearance, the latter being much modified.  The two ships are shown together at anchor off Trincomalie between the wars.

HMS Emerald and HMS Enterprise by Ivan Berryman. (P)
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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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B103AP.  HMS Royal Sovereign and HMS Warspite departing Malta by Ivan Berryman.

HMS Royal Sovereign and HMS Warspite departing Malta by Ivan Berryman (AP)
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WORLD WAR TWO MILITARY PRINTS

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 Cheux, Normandy, 25th June 1944.  Royal Armoured Corps Recce troops of the 15th (Scottish) Infantry Division set up a temporary observation post to locate 12th SS Panzer Division positions, prior to Operation Epsom.  The 15th Division comprised of 9th Cameronians, 2nd Glasgow Highlanders, 7th Seaforth Highlanders, 8th Royal Scots, 6th Royal Scots Fusiliers, 6th King's Own Scottish Borderers, 10th Highland Light Infantry, 2nd Gordon Highlanders and the 2nd Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders.

Enemy in Sight by David Pentland. (P)
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 St Mere Eglise, Normandy, 6th June 1944.  U.S. Paratroops of the 82nd <i>All American</i> Airborne Division, descend on occupied France.

First to Fight by David Pentland. (AP)
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 Commandos of 1st Special Service Brigade, led by Lord Lovat, are piped past the defenders of the Caen canal (Pegasus) bridge by piper Bill Millin. The bridge was originally taken in a coup de main attack by the gliders of 6th Airborne Divisions D Company, 2nd battalion Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, led by Major John Howard earlier that morning. Shortly afterwards the glider troops were reinforced by 7 Parachute Battalion, and together they held the area against German attacks until the main British forces landing at Sword beach could fight through to join them.

Piper Bill, Pegasus Bridge, Normandy, 13.00hrs, 6th June 1944 by David Pentland. (Y)
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 The men of the US 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment ambushed the German 1st Battalion, 6th Fallschrimjager Regiment making their way to Carentan, the Battle of Hells Corner ensued.

Hells Corner, 7th June 1944 by David Pentland. (GL)
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 Superb figure study of the 82nd Airborne in 1944.

82nd Airborne by Chris Collingwood. (Y)
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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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 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)
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 Goch-Gennep, Germany, 9th February 1945.  The Sturmgeschutz III of Leutnant Heinz Deutsch, Stug-Brigade XII, and paratroops of 7th Fallschirmjager Division counterattacking the Allied advance into the Reichswald forest in the final months of the war.  The small Stug brigade numbering at its peak only 30 assault guns was responsible for the destruction of 250 allied tanks, Deutsch's gun claiming 44 of that total.

Defenders of the Reichswald by David Pentland. (P)
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