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Eagle Force by Robert Taylor. - Cranston Fine Arts Aviation, Military and Naval Art
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Eagle Force by Robert Taylor.


Eagle Force by Robert Taylor.

In the dark days of 1940 following Dunkirk, a seemingly defenceless Britain stood starkly alone in Europe, facing the might of an all-conquering Nazi Germany. Protected only by the narrow waters of the English Channel, it was left to a tiny band of young RAF fighter pilots to stem the Luftwaffes onslaught as the country braced itself for invasion. Across the Atlantic, America followed the savage encounters of the Battle of Britain, knowing that soon it too would become involved in the war. Unable to wait, a small band of Americans decided their time had come; some 240 young US pilots, motivated to fight for the cause of freedom, made their way to England to fly with the RAF, and later the USAAF; many paid the ultimate price, more than a third never returning home. By September 1940 these carefree young flyers were united into a re-formed 71 Squadron, the first of three Eagle Squadrons, and the first to go into action, followed shortly after by 121 and 133 squadrons. Showing the same steely determination that had carried their British comrades through the Battle of Britain, they were quickly embraced into the fold of the RAF, their ferocious reputation in combat endearing them to the British people. The legend of the American Eagles was born. Robert Taylors tribute to the young American volunteer pilots who joined the RAF to fight for freedom at the time when Britain stood alone against the Nazi domination in Europe. Robert Taylors painting features Spitfire Vbs of 71 Squadron RAF as they return to their base at North Weald, September 1941, the young American pilots perhaps taking a brief moment to marvel at the myriad colours of the late evening sun - welcome relief from the perils of recent air combat with the Luftwaffe high above the English Channel.
Item Code : DHM1639Eagle Force by Robert Taylor. - This Edition
TYPEEDITION DETAILSSIZESIGNATURESOFFERSYOUR PRICEPURCHASING
PRINT Signed limited edition of 400 prints.

Paper size 32.5 inches x 23.5 inches (82cm x 60cm) Pisanos, Steve
Edwards, Bill
Gray, James
+ Artist : Robert Taylor


Signature(s) value alone : £100
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FREE PRINT : Where Thoroughbreds Play by Ivan Berryman.

This complimentary art print worth £45
(Size : 12 inches x 9 inches (31cm x 23cm))
has been specially chosen by Cranston Fine Arts to complement the above edition, and will be sent FREE with your order.

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Eagle Squadron Scramble by Robert Taylor
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Land, Sea and Air by Ivan Berryman. (APD)
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Land, Sea and Air by Ivan Berryman. (C)
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Fastest Victory by Robert Taylor
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In the Playground of the Gods by Ivan Berryman. (D)
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Spitfire Over Buckingham Palace by John Young. (AP)
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Aviation Art of Robert Taylor and Ivan Berryman.

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Titles in this pack :
Eagle Force by Robert Taylor.  (View This Item)
Billy Drake - First of Many by Ivan Berryman.  (View This Item)
Hurricane Mk.IIC by Ivan Berryman. (F)  (View This Item)

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Other editions of this item : Eagle Force by Robert Taylor. DHM1639
TYPEEDITION DETAILSSIZESIGNATURESOFFERSYOUR PRICEPURCHASING
ARTIST
PROOF
Eagle edition of 25 artist proofs.

Supplied with a pencil companion print.
Paper size 32.5 inches x 23.5 inches (82cm x 60cm) Blakeslee, Don
Goodson, Jim (companion print)
Cambell, John (companion print)
Maxwell, George (companion print)
Miluck, Michael
Nee, Don
Ross, Don
Pisanos, Steve
Edwards, Bill
Gray, James
+ Artist : Robert Taylor


Signature(s) value alone : £340
£395.00VIEW EDITION...
PRINT Eagle edition of 350 prints.

Supplied with a pencil companion print.

Great value : Value of signatures exceeds price of item!
Paper size 32.5 inches x 23.5 inches (82cm x 60cm) Blakeslee, Don
Goodson, Jim (companion print)
Cambell, John (companion print)
Maxwell, George (companion print)
Miluck, Michael
Nee, Don
Ross, Don
Pisanos, Steve
Edwards, Bill
Gray, James
+ Artist : Robert Taylor


Signature(s) value alone : £340
£285.00VIEW EDITION...
PRESENTATION Eagle Tribute edition of 40 prints.

SOLD OUT (£425, April 2010)
Paper size 32.5 inches x 23.5 inches (82cm x 60cm) Blakeslee, Don
Goodson, Jim (companion print)
McColpin, Carroll W (matted on companion print)
Tilley, Reade F (matted on companion print)
Cambell, John (companion print)
Maxwell, George (companion print)
Miluck, Michael
Nee, Don
Ross, Don
Coen, Oscar (matted on companion print)
Allen, Luke (companion print)
Crowe, Steve (companion print)
Slade, Bill (companion print)
Pisanos, Steve
Edwards, Bill
Gray, James
+ Artist : Robert Taylor


Signature(s) value alone : £560
SOLD
OUT
VIEW EDITION...
General descriptions of types of editions :



Signatures on this item
NameInfo


Colonel Bill Edwards (deceased)
*Signature Value : £25

Bill Edwards applied to the USAAF but was turned down because of two missing molars. He volunteered for the RAF in 1940, and was readily accepted and was shipped to Tulsa's Spartan School for RAF training. Upon graduation, he was sent to an OTU in England flying Hurricanes and Spitfires. He was assigned to the 133 Squadron, last of the famed 'Eagle Squadrons.' He flew convoy escort duty out of Northern Ireland and delivered all types of British aircraft to and from operational units. By September 1942, Lt. Edwards joined the USAAF along with most other Eagle Squadron pilots who wore the wings of both the RAF and USAAF. Assigned to the 8th Air Force Fighter Command, Bill's job was to ensure that newly arriving fighter units received first hand information on British navigating systems, aircraft, maps etc. As a Major, Bill commanded the first P-51 / P-38 OTU in England providing intensive flying in all combat and weather conditions. In June, 1944, Major Edwards was assigned with his Eagle Squadron friends to the Fourth Fighter Group flying P-51Ds escorting bombers on deep missions into Germany. During one escort mission to Munich, which bill was leading, Bill's Mustang was hit by German '88 flack' and downed near the French and German border. Bill spent the remainder of the war as a POW at Stalag Luft I, Barth, Germany until liberated in June 1945. Bill Edwards flew a total of 37 combat operations with 133 Squadron, the third Eagle Squadron to be formed. He retired from the USAF in 1968. Sadly Colonel Bill Edwards died on the 7th of August 2009.


The signature of Colonel Steve Pisanos (deceased)

Colonel Steve Pisanos (deceased)
*Signature Value : £45

Born Nov. 10, 1919, in the Athens suburb of Kolonos, Spiros Nicholas 'Steve' Pisanos, the son of a subway motorman, arrived in America in April 1938 as a crew member on a Greek merchant tramp steamer. Arriving in Baltimore speaking no English, he worked in a bakery and hotels to earn money for flying lessons at Floyd Bennett Field. In August 1940, he settled in Plainfield, New Jersey, and continued flying lessons at Westfield Airport. He earned a private pilot's license and, though still a Greek national, in October 1941 he joined the British Royal Air Force sponsored by the Clayton Knight Committee in New York City. Pisanos began his military flight training at Polaris Flight Academy in Glendale. Upon graduation, Pilot Officer Pisanos was transferred to England where he completed RAF Officers Training School at Cosford, England, and OTU (Operational Training Unit) at Old Sarum Aerodrome in Salisbury. Pisanos was posted to the 268 Fighter Squadron at Snailwell Aerodrome in Newmarket flying P-51A's. He later transferred to the 71 Eagle Squadron, one of three Eagle squadrons in the RAF, comprised of just 244 American volunteers flying Spitfires at Debden RAF Aerodrome. When the USAAF 4th Fighter Group absorbed the American members of the Eagle Squadrons in September and October 1942, Pisanos was commissioned a lieutenant in the U.S. Army Air Forces. Flying his first mission in his P-47 'Miss Plainfield' out of Debden Aerodrome with the 334th Fighter Squadron, 4th Fighter Group, Lt. Pisanos, 'The Flying Greek,' scored his first shootdown on May 21, 1943, when he targeted a German FW-190 over Ghent, Belgium. By Jan. 1, 1944, he had become an ace with five confirmed downings. On March 5, 1944, he obtained his 10th shootdown and while returning from that B-17 escort mission to Limoges and Bordeaux, France, Pisanos experienced engine failure in his P-51B and crash-landed south of Le Havre. For six months he evaded the Germans and fought with the French Resistance and the American OSS, sabotaging the German war machine in occupied France. Lt. Pisanos returned to England on Sept. 2, 1944, following the liberation of Paris. Because of his exposure and knowledge of the French Resistance operations, Pisanos was prohibited from flying additional combat missions because the Air Force could not risk him being captured. Upon returning to the United States, Capt. Pisanos was assigned to the Flight Test Division at Wright Field, Ohio. He attended the USAF Test Pilot School and served as a test pilot at Wright Field and Muroc Lake, California, testing the YP-80 jet aircraft, America's first operational jet. During his Air Force career, Pisanos graduated from the University of Maryland, attended the Air Command and Staff College and the Air War College. Pisanos also served tours of duty in Vietnam (1967-68) and with NORAD before retiring from the USAF with the rank of colonel in in December 1973. Colonel Steve Pisanos died on 6th June 2016.


Flight Lieutenant James Gray (deceased)
*Signature Value : £30

James Gray was in college and taking a civilian pilot training course when the European war began. "I tried for the U.S. Army Air Corps and couldn’t pass the physical," he says. "I heard that the British were recruiting pilots for the Royal Air Force. I wanted to fly a fast fighter." Like many prospective Eagle Squadron pilots, Gray went to a special school in the United States and learned flying from former U.S. Army Air Corps pilots before shipping off to England. James Gray joined the RAF as an American volunteer in September 1941, and was posted to 71 Eagle Squadron flying Spitfire Vbs. Gray’s first missions in the Spitfire were mostly convoy patrols over the English Channel. By September of 1941, the faster Spitfire Mk.V had replaced No.71 Squadron’s Mk. IIs, and along with the aircraft change came Eagle missions of a little more range - sweeps across the Channel into France. These missions were dubbed Rhubarbs, Circuses and Rodeos, depending on the number of aircraft used, their tactics and varied methods of enticing the Luftwaffe to fight. Gray says he shot down his first enemy plane in the spring of 1942. The day before, some RAF bombers had been badly shot up on a major operation. Rescue boats went out looking for aircrew that might still be floating in dinghies, and Spitfires were sent to provide air cover for the operation. While on this patrol they were attacked by a number of Fw190's. Gray attacked one of the Fw190s which was pursuing Wing Leader Bob Sprague's Spitfire, Gray opened fire with his cannons and sent the Fw190 plunging into the sea. Staying in the RAF throughout the war, he flew Spitfires in North Africa and the Mediterranean, first with 93 Squadron, and later 111 Squadron. His luck eventually ran out in Italy when he was shot down early in 1945 whilst serving with 72 Squadron. Flight Lieutenant James Gray was shot down on January 4th, 1945, his 26th birthday. Gray's Squadron’s Spitfire IXs were carrying 500-pound bombs in ground attacks against German troops in northern Italy. He was taken POW for four months in Stalag-Luft I, north of Berlin. Among Flight Lieutenant James Gray's awards and decorations is the prestigious British Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC). After the war Flight Lieutenant James Gray became a pilot for United Airlines, started flying the DC-3, then flew the Convair 340 and, after a long successful career, retired as a Captain in DC-8 jets. He was also the historian for the Eagle Squadrons. James Gray at the age of 90 passed away on the 25th of November 2009.
The Aircraft :
NameInfo
SpitfireRoyal Air Force fighter aircraft, maximum speed for mark I Supermarine Spitfire, 362mph up to The Seafire 47 with a top speed of 452mph. maximum ceiling for Mk I 34,000feet up to 44,500 for the mark XIV. Maximum range for MK I 575 miles . up to 1475 miles for the Seafire 47. Armament for the various Marks of Spitfire. for MK I, and II . eight fixed .303 browning Machine guns, for MKs V-IX and XVI two 20mm Hispano cannons and four .303 browning machine guns. and on later Marks, six to eight Rockets under the wings or a maximum bomb load of 1,000 lbs. Designed by R J Mitchell, The proto type Spitfire first flew on the 5th March 1936. and entered service with the Royal Air Force in August 1938, with 19 squadron based and RAF Duxford. by the outbreak of World war two, there were twelve squadrons with a total of 187 spitfires, with another 83 in store. Between 1939 and 1945, a large variety of modifications and developments produced a variety of MK,s from I to XVI. The mark II came into service in late 1940, and in March 1941, the Mk,V came into service. To counter the Improvements in fighters of the Luftwaffe especially the FW190, the MK,XII was introduced with its Griffin engine. The Fleet Air Arm used the Mk,I and II and were named Seafires. By the end of production in 1948 a total of 20,351 spitfires had been made and 2408 Seafires. The most produced variant was the Spitfire Mark V, with a total of 6479 spitfires produced. The Royal Air Force kept Spitfires in front line use until April 1954.
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.

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