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VF-17

Founded :
Country : US
Fate :

VF-17

VF-17 Artwork



Jolly Rogers by Nicolas Trudgian.

Aces for : VF-17
A list of all Aces from our database who are known to have flown with this squadron. A profile page is available by clicking the pilots name.
NameVictoriesInfo
John Thomas Blackburn13.00The signature of John Thomas Blackburn features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.
Roger R Hedrick12.00The signature of Roger R Hedrick features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.
Daniel G Cunningham7.00The signature of Daniel G Cunningham features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.
John T Crosby6.00The signature of John T Crosby features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.
Aircraft for : VF-17
A list of all aircraft known to have been flown by VF-17. A profile page including a list of all art prints for the aircraft is available by clicking the aircraft name.
SquadronInfo

Corsair



Click the name above to see prints featuring Corsair aircraft.

Manufacturer : Chance-Vought
Production Began : 1940
Number Built : 12000

Corsair

The 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.

Hellcat

Click the name above to see prints featuring Hellcat aircraft.

Manufacturer : Grumman
Number Built : 12000

Hellcat

The Grumman F6F-5 Hellcat was to become the US Navys primary carrier borne fighter plane during World War II. Over 12,000 Hellcats were produced, and the Hellcat was credited with 4,947 of the 6,477 kills of enemy planes downed by carrier pilots during the War. The Hellcat had a top speed of 375 MPH, a range of 1,089 miles and was armed with six machine guns. The aircraft was powered by an 18-cylinder Pratt and Whitney, air-cooled, radial engine which generated 2,000 horsepower.
Signatures for : VF-17
A list of all signatures from our database who are associated with this squadron. A profile page is available by clicking their name.
NameInfo


Captain Tom Blackburn
Click the name above to see prints signed by Captain Tom Blackburn

21 / 4 / 1994Died : 21 / 4 / 1994
21 / 4 / 1994Ace : 13.00 Victories
Captain Tom Blackburn

From a naval family, Tom Blackburn joined the service in 1929. In 1942 he took part in Operation Torch, the Allied landings in North Africa, commanding VF-29. His first mission ended by ditching in the Atlantic, and 60 hours adrift in a dinghy. Surviving this, Tom Blackburn went on to command VF-17, leading the squadron to become one of the most distinguished naval fighter units of the Pacific War. With the accent on teamwork and mission accomplishment, the success of Tom Blackburns Jolly Rogers are legend in the lore of naval aviation. Sadly, Tom Blackburn died on 21st April 1994.



Commander John Ted Crosby USN
Click the name above to see prints signed by Commander John Ted Crosby USN
21 / 4 / 1994Ace : 6.00 Victories
Commander John Ted Crosby USN

Ted Crosby joined the Navy in 1942, and was commissioned in May 1943. Serving on board USS Bunker Hill with VF-18 flying F6F Hellcats, he shared in downing a Betty bomber. Transferring to VF-17 he served on USS Hornet from January 1945 where he scored a further five victories, including three in a day on 16th April, to become a Hellcat Ace.




Lieutenant Dan Cunningham
Click the name above to see prints signed by Lieutenant Dan Cunningham
21 / 4 / 1994Ace : 7.00 Victories
Lieutenant Dan Cunningham

Dan Cunningham joined the service in December 1942, being posted to VF-17, his first operational squadron. He later flew with VBF-10. A valuable member of the Jolly Rogers air fighting team, Dan Cunningham scored 7 aerial victories flying the F4U, and a number of unconfirmed probables. His combat career was confined to the south west Pacific theater, where he took part in some of the major air battles of the Solomons.




Rear Admiral Roger Hedrick
Click the name above to see prints signed by Rear Admiral Roger Hedrick

10 / 1 / 2006Died : 10 / 1 / 2006
10 / 1 / 2006Ace : 12.00 Victories
Rear Admiral Roger Hedrick

After joining the US Navy in 1936, Roger Hedrick served aboard the USS Ranger before joining VF-17 on USS Bunker Hill as Executive Officer to Tom Blackburn. With over 200 hours in fighters before his first combat, Hedrick brought considerable experience to the squadron. Regarded by Blackburn as the top fighter pilot he flew with in World War Two, Hedrick completed over 100 combat missions and shot down 12 Japanese aircraft, with a number of probables unconfirmed. Flying the F4U he took part in the campaigns in the Solomons, Iwo Jima, Okinawa and Japan. Sadly, he passed away on 10th January 2006.


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AVIATION PRINTS

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 Concorde G-BOAC climbing steadily towards its operational height of nearly 60,000 feet and cruising speed of Mach 2.

The Queen of the Skies by Adrian Rigby. (Y)
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 Herbert Ihlefelds personal He162 White 23 - the revolutionary Heinkel Peoples Fighter - on patrol with JG1.This aircraft was captured intact and is today preserved in the National Air & Space Museum in Washington DC. <br><br><b>Published 2000.</b>

Jet Interceptor by Nicolas Trudgian. (B)
Half Price! - £125.00
 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
 Undoubtedly one of the truly great Aces of the First World War, William Billy Bishop became celebrated for his technique of actively seeking out the enemy and bringing the fight to him, rather than the more usual practice of patrolling in search of enemy activity. An example of this was his single-handed attack on a German airfield in June 1917 when he destroyed not only a number of aircraft on the ground, but then successfully despatched another seven Albatross scouts that took off to engage him. For this action, he was awarded the Victoria Cross in August 1917 and his final tally when the war ended was 72 confirmed victories. He is depicted here in his Nieuport Scout B1566 in combat with a Pfalz D.III.

Captain William Billy Bishop by Ivan Berryman. (GL)
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 Flying Officer Tom Neil closes on a Dornier Do.17 on 15th September 1940, just one of four victories confirmed on that day, the others being two Bf.109s and another Dornier shared.  He is depicted flying Hurricane Mk1 V7313 of 249 Sqn whilst based at North Weald.

Tribute to Fl Off Tom Neil by Ivan Berryman. (P)
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 Byron Duckenfield and his 501 Squadron wingman struggle to get airborne in their Hurricanes as the spectacle of the scrambling squadron draws a group of passing motorists out of their vehicle to witness the thunderous noise of the aircraft.

501 Sqn Scramble 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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 For Manfred von Richthofen, the air battle in the skies west of Amiens on 20th April 1918 was to yield a final two victories to add to the seventy eight with which he was already credited.  But these were to be his last, the Red Baron finally succumbing the following day.  Just moments before Second Lieutenant David Lewis' 3 Sqn Sopwith Camel fell to the German's guns (the young pilot surviving to tell his story of being the Red Baron's final victim), Major Richard Raymond-Barker was not so lucky, his aircraft burning furiously until it hit the ground in a fireball near the Forest of Hamel.

The 79th Victory by Ivan Berryman. (P)
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NAVAL PRINTS

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 USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63) refuels an Adams class Destroyer during a dusk operation off the Vietnam coast as a pair of E8 Crusaders are readied for launch on the forward catapults.

USS Kitty Hawk by Ivan Berryman. (Y)
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B0344P. Bismarck Leaving Port by Jason Askew.
Bismarck Leaving Port by Jason Askew. (P)
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 Completed in 1916, the Resolution was one of the finest capital ships in the Royal Navy, serving in many theatres with her sister ships, Royal Sovereign, Royal Oak, Ramillies and Revenge, she is shown here in 1936.

HMS Resolution by Ivan Berryman. (Y)
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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 first submarine to carry the name, HMS Vengeance (S31) is the fourth and last of the Vanguard class, entering service with the Royal Navy on 27th November 1999.  This nuclear-powered vessel has 16 tubes for launching the Trident D5 missile and four tubes in her bow, firing Spearfish Torpedoes.

HMS Vengeance by Ivan Berryman. (P)
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 It is September 18th, 1805, off Plymouth. Led by the 74-gun HMS Thunderer, with HMS Ajax astern, HMS Victory, with Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson aboard, begins her journey south to join the rest of the British fleet off Cadiz where the combined French and Spanish fleets lay blockaded. This was the prelude to the Battle of Trafalgar and the last time Nelson would see his beloved England.

Hearts of Oak Ivan Berryman. (Y)
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DHM1306.  Queen Mary at Southampton by Ivan Berryman.

Queen Mary at Southampton by Ivan Berryman.
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Americas first true aircraft carrier, the USS Langley (CV-1) is pictured making way at sea as a pair of Douglas DT-2s pass overhead.

USS Langley by Ivan Berryman (AP)
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WORLD WAR TWO MILITARY PRINTS

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 88mm AA guns of the 23rd Flak Regiment, used as anti-tank guns by orders of Rommel himself, are shown firing on British Matilda tanks of 4th/7th Royal Tank Regiment.

Action at Arras, France, 21st May 1940 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. (GL)
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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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 9th (Irish) Field Battery firing on the Run-in-shoot to Queen Beach. They were the first rounds fired at the Normandy Coast, D-Day 6th June, 1944. Queen Beach, one of the 4 sectors of Sword Beach, where most of the landings of D-Day were carried out. The Queen Beach sector which extended for 1.5km between Lion-sur-Mer and the western edge of Ouistretham. The attack was thus concentrated on a narrow one-brigade front. For once the DD tanks and other armour came in exactly on time and ahead of the infantry. The 8th brigade, with the 1st Battalion of the South Lancashire Regiment on the right and the 2nd East Yorkshire on the left.

Operation Overlord by David Rowlands. (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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 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. (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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 Sturmgeschutz IIIg and Paratroops of the 4th Fallschirmjager Division, driving to the front line, pass one of the two giant 28cm K5 (Eisenbaum) railway guns responsible for the shelling the Allied beacheads at Anzio and Nettuno.

Anzio Annie, Italy, 29th January 1945 by David Pentland. (GL)
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