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


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

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 : DHM2673BRabaul - Fly For Your Life by Robert Taylor. (B) - This Edition
TYPEEDITION DETAILSSIZESIGNATURESOFFERSYOUR PRICEPURCHASING
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
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Gunfight Over Rabaul by Nicolas Trudgian (AP)
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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...
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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£395.00VIEW EDITION...
General descriptions of types of editions :


Signatures on this item
NameInfo


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.
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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 Erich Lowenhardt was already the holder of the Knights Cross 1st and 2nd Class for acts of bravery even before becoming a pilot. After serving as an observer for a year, he was eventually posted to Jasta 10 in 1917 where he immediately began to score victories, sending down balloons and enemy aircraft at a fearsome rate. He was appointed Commander of Jasta 10 one week before his 21st birthday, making him one the youngest pilots to rise to such a rank in the German Army Air Service. He continued to increase his score steadily throughout 1917 and 1918, but was involved in a mid-air collision with a Jasta 11 aircraft on 10th August. Lowenhardt elected to abandon his aircraft, but his parachute failed to deploy and the young ace fell to his death. He flew a number of aircraft, but this yellow-fuselaged Fokker D.VII was his most distinctive and is believed to be the aircraft in which he was killed. His final victory total was 54.

Oberleutnant Erich Lowenhardt by Ivan Berryman. (B)
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 Sqn Ldr Billy Drake is shown in Curtiss Kittyhawk Mk1a ET790 claiming a Ju87 Stuka  on the 31st of October 1942.  Sqn Ldr Drake commanded  112 Squadron flying Kittyhawks at Gambut on 24th May 1942.  He claimed a probable Bf109 on 6th June, another probable on  2nd July, destroyed a Bf109 on the 8th, damaged a Ju88 on the ground on the 19th, destroyed a Bf109 on the 24th, two Ju87s on  the 1st September and another Bf109 on the 13th.  Drake shared a Ju87 and probably destroyed another on 1st October 1942, got a probable Bf109 on the 22nd, destroyed another on the 26th, an Me202 on the 27th, a Ju87 on the 31st, a Bf109 destroyed and another damaged on 5th November, a Bf109 destroyed on the ground on the 11th, an He111 destroyed and a Bf109 damaged on the 15th, a Bf110 destroyed and another damaged on the 19th, an Me202 and a Bf109 destroyed on 11th December and he finally shared a Bf109 on the 13th.  Drake was awarded a Bar to the DFC (28.7.42) and the DSO (4.12.42).

Tribute to Squadron Leader Billy Drake by Ivan Berryman. (P)
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 Jaguar GR3A from 41 (Fighter) Squadron based at RAF Coltishall and flown by Squadron Leader Ian Smith thunders down a Norwegian fjord.  Coltishall Jaguars regularly deploy on exercise in northern Norway as part of NATO's protection of its northern flank.  However, Spring of 2006 saw the closure of RAF Coltishall, the loss of an historic airfield.

Snowcat by Robert Tomlin. (Y)
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 Known among the Taliban forces as the <i>Mosquito</i>, the Apache AH-1 has proved itself a formidable and essential part of the British presence in Afghanistan, operated by 656 and 664 Squadrons of 9 Regiment AAC.  Two AH-1s are depicted here landing after a close support mission in 2010.

A Brace of Hunters by Ivan Berryman. (P)
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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. (GL)
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 Westland Wessex of No.72 Squadron based at RAF Aldergrove, flying over the Copeland Islands in Belfast Lough.

Wessex Over the Copelands by David Pentland.
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 If you had the height, you controlled the battle. If you came out of the sun, the enemy could not see you. If you held your fire until you were very close, you seldom missed. These three basic rules contributed to the prowess in aerial combat of some of the most successful fighter pilots in history and seldom were they more valuable than when outnumbered. Between July and October 1940 the brave young pilots of RAF Fighter Command were under intense pressure from the constant attacks of the Luftwaffe and the Hawker Hurricane was <i>the</i> machine of the Battle of Britain, accounting for 80 percent of Allied victories.  In this painting, Hurricanes of 32 Sqn climb high into the morning sky, gaining Height and Sun in an attempt to take the advantage over the onslaught of enemy fighters - August, 1940.  This image captures the surreal calmness above the clouds, belying the fury of action and ultimate sacrifices made in those crisp blue skies.

Height and Sun by Robert Taylor.
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 Hurricanes of 607 County of Durham Squadron diving down and attacking Heinkels over the Needles on the Isle of Wight, after a raid on the southern coast. 607 squadron were stationed at nearby Tangmere from the start of September 1940 and saw continuous action throughout the Battle of Britain until the 16th October, when it withdrew to Scotland having raised its total victory to 102. Also aiding in the pursuit are Spitfires of 602 City of Glasgow Squadron based at Westhampnett.

Hurricanes Over the Needles by Graeme Lothian. (Y)
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NAVAL PRINTS

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B111AP. The Pursuit of the Graf Spee by Ivan Berryman.

The Pursuit of the Graf Spee by Ivan Berryman (AP)
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 The mighty Tirpitz demonstrates the effectiveness of her splinter camouflage, surrounded by her net defences at Kaafjord in the Winter of 1943-44.

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

Bismarck Entering Hamburg Harbour by Ivan Berryman
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B61AP.  USS Oakland Escorting the Damaged USS Lexington by Ivan Berryman.
USS Oakland Escorting the Damaged USS Lexington by Ivan Berryman (AP)
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DHM1449. Tirpitz Passing Through Kiel Canal by Ivan Berryman.

Tirpitz Passing Through Kiel Canal by Ivan Berryman
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B64.  HMS Centaur Departing Devonport by Ivan Berryman.

HMS Centaur Departing Devonport by Ivan Berryman.
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 Viewed from beneath the blistered guns of the damaged X and Y turrets of her sister HMS Ajax, Achilles come sunder fire from the pocket battleship Admiral Graf Spee during what was to become known as the Battle of the River Plate on the 13th December 1939. Shells from Achilles are closing on her opponent as the Graf Spee alters course at the start of the doomed battleships flight to Montevideo.

The Pursuit of the Graf Spee by Ivan Berryman.
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 Admiral von Spees Flagship SMS Scharnhorst leads SMS Gneisenau in the opening stages of engaging the Royal Naval ships east of the Falklands, 8th December 1914.

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

Taming the Tiger by Geoff Lea. (Y)
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 Central Russia, 4th-12th July 1943. For Operation Citadel the Heavy tank battalion 503 was split into separate companies and attached to various panzer divisions. Rubbels 1st company went to 6th Panzer Division, and as such take part in the epic breakthrough on the 10th and 11th which came close to the collapse of the soviet southern front!

Alfred Rubbel at Kursk by David Pentland.
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 Sturmtigers of Sturmmorser Company 1002, commanded by Lieutenant Zippel, take on ammunition in preparation for the battle to come. These fearsome monsters 38cm rocket projectors could penetrate up to 2.5m of reinforced concrete. Luckily for the Allies only 18 were completed by the wars end.

Preparing for the Day, the Reichswald, February 1945 by David Pentland.
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 Northern France, 22nd May 1940.  Sdkfz 222 light armoured cars of the SS Leibstandarte Regiment drive along French lanes on a reconnaissance patrol for the forces of General Heinz Guderian on their advance towards the French coast.

Eyes of the Army by David Pentland. (P)
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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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