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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
Free
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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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 The F.4c Phantom II of Colonel Robin Olds of the 8th Tactical Fighter Wing tucks the landing gear up as he blasts out of a forward airfield in January 1967.

Gear Up - Go! by Ivan Berryman. (P)
Half Price! - 750.00
P40 Kittyhawks of No.3 Squadron RAAF based at Ta Qali Airfield, Malta.

Over Grand Harbour by Anthony Saunders.
Half Price! - 20.00
 A Mosquito Mk.BIX above the clouds in late 1943. Mosquito B.IX LR503 holds the record for the most combat missions flown by a single Allied bomber in the Second World War, serving 213 sorties.

A De Havilland Beauty by Ivan Berryman. (C)
Half Price! - 45.00
 Squadron Leader J R Baldwin passes above a section of Mulberry Harbour near Arromanches, late in June 1944, his personalised Hawker Typhoon bearing the codes JBII.

JBII - Hawker Typhoon of Wing Commander J R Baldwin by Ivan Berryman.
Half Price! - 75.00

 The Short Stirling was the RAFs first four-engined bomber to enter service and it served throughout WWII in many roles including bomber, minelayer, troop carrier and glider-tug. The lack of power produced by its engines severely limited the loads carried by Stirlings. On long-range trips such as Italy, even with a greatly reduced bomb load the aircraft could barely clear the Alps. Despite very large losses due to its operational limitations, those that flew this big, agile aircraft, came to respect and look upon it with it with affection.

The Night Shift by Philip West. (Y)
Half Price! - 55.00
 Pushing the concept of the Spitfire almost to the limit, the sleek F Mk212 represented the ultimate in fighter design at the end of the Second World War. Powered by the mighty Griffon 61 engine driving a five blade propeller, its armament consisted of four 20mm British Hispano Cannon, two in each wing. This example is LA200 (DL-E) of 91 Sqn in 1945.

Spitfire F Mk21 by Ivan Berryman. (E)
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Two F14 Tomcats of VF-1 pass in close formation over the stern of the veteran USS Ranger (CV-61)

USS Ranger by Ivan Berryman. (Y)
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 A pair of 272 Squadron Bristol Beaufighters roar over the extensively rebuilt battleship HMS Valiant as she lies at anchor at Alexandria late in 1941, accompanied by the cruiser HMS Phoebe and Valiants sister ship HMS Queen Elizabeth (in the extreme distance)

HMS Valiant and HMS Phoebe at Alexandria, 1941 by Ivan Berryman (Y)
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NAVAL PRINTS

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 The Leander class cruiser HMS Orion is shown departing Grand Harbour Malta late in 1945.

HMS Orion by Ivan Berryman. (P)
Half Price! - 500.00
 Spearheading the Falklands Task Force as it heads south in 1982, the carrier HMS Hermes is shown in company with two Type 21 frigates, HMS Arrow on the left and HMS Ardent in the near foreground.  In the far distance, HMS Glamorgan glints in the sun as Type 42 HMS Sheffield cuts across behind Hermes.

HMS Hermes by Ivan Berryman.
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 Ships of the South Atlantic Task Force gather in San Carlos water during the Falklands Campaign of 1982. LCMs from HMS Fearless (L10) manoeuvre around their mother ship, with the logistic Ship RFA Sir Galahad (L3005) and the frigate HMS Argonaut (F56) in close attendance.

HMS Fearless by Ivan Berryman (P)
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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 (P)
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 Lieutenant of the Royal Navy commands marines and crew during a sea battle with the French during the battle of Cape St Vincent.

In the Thick of Battle by Chris Collingwood.
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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. (AP)
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 Sunset over Aboukir Bay on 1st August 1798 as ships of the Royal Navy, led by Nelson, conduct their ruthless destruction of the anchored French fleet. Ships shown from left to right. HMS Orion, Spartiate, Aquilon, Peuple Souvrain, HMS Defence, HMS Minotaur and HMS Swiftsure.

Battle of the Nile by Ivan Berryman. (Y)
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RFA Fort Austin makes a leisurely rendezvous at sunset with the Polaris submarine HMS Renown on patrol somewhere in mid ocean. Soon a rubber inflatable will be launched from the Fort, and mail and fresh fruit and vegetables will be transferred before darkness sets in and makes the operation more hazardous.

The Rendezvous by Robert Barbour.
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WORLD WAR TWO MILITARY PRINTS

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

David and Goliath, Vernon, France, 27th August 1944 by David Pentland. (GS)
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 Panzer IIs and IIIs of the African Korps, 15th Panzer Division drive towards Arcoma during the epic battles for the Gazala line.

Battle for Gazala by David Pentland. (Y)
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 Lieut-Colonel W, Scott, the Kings (Liverpool) Regiment leads his men from the first glider, during operation broadway.

Chindits landing at Broadway, Burma, 5th / 6th March 1944 by David Rowlands (Y)
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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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 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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 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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