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Early Morning Arrival by Robert Taylor. - Cranston Fine Arts Aviation, Military and Naval Art
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Early Morning Arrival by Robert Taylor.

Early Morning Arrival by Robert Taylor.

V-RA is seen on final approach to RAF Colerne early on the morning of 6 June 1944.
AMAZING VALUE! - The value of the signatures on this item is in excess of the price of the print itself!
Item Code : RST0028Early Morning Arrival by Robert Taylor. - This Edition
PRINTSigned limited edition of 1250 prints.

Paper size 33 inches x 25 inches (84cm x 64cm) Breyne, A de
Brophy, P
Friday, J
Bodie, A
Reid, Bill
Jackson, Norman
Kelly, James
Learoyd, Roderick
+ Artist : Robert Taylor

Signature(s) value alone : 435
All prices on our website are displayed in British Pounds Sterling

General descriptions of types of editions :

Signatures on this item
A Bodie
*Signature Value : £40

A de Breyne
*Signature Value : £35

Pilot of 'Mynarski's Lanc', the Lancaster in which Andrew Mynarski earned his VC after attempting to rescue the rear gunner of the Lancaster, which was on fire as it lurched towards its doom after losing two engines to a Ju88. After allowing time for the crew to escape, De Breyne parachuted out of the doomed Lancaster at about 800ft.

The signature of Flight Lieutenant Bill Reid VC (deceased)

Flight Lieutenant Bill Reid VC (deceased)
*Signature Value : £80

Volunteering for RAF aircrew in 1940, Bill Reid learned to fly in California, training on the Stearman, Vultee and Harvard. After gaining his pilots wings back in England he flew Wellingtons before moving on to Lancasters in 1943. On the night of Nov 3rd 1943, his Lancaster suffered two severe attacks from Luftwaffe night fighters, badly wounding Reid, killing his navigator and radio operator, and severely damaging the aircraft. Bill flew on 200 miles to accurately bomb the target and get his aircraft home. For this act of outstanding courage and determination he was awarded the Victoria Cross. Died 28th November 2001.
J Friday
*Signature Value : £35

P Brophy (deceased)
*Signature Value : £40

Brophy was the rear gunner in 'Mynarski's Lanc', the Lancaster in which Andrew Mynarski earned his VC after a failed attempt to save the trapped tailgunner. Mynarski, with his parachute and clothing on fire, jumped clear of the aircraft, mortally burned. Brophy survived the subsequent crash without injury, being thrown miraculously clear of the fully laden bomber. Pat Brophy died in 1991. More recollections of the Lancaster crash :

They took off and joined up with a large group of aircraft before heading for German occupied France. They crossed the English Channel loaded with bombs to be dropped at a predetermined target. However, this operation soon took a different turn from the previous twelve. Soon the sky came alive with searchlights and anti-aircraft gunfire. Brophy, being the rear gunner, was busy trying to see if there were any enemy aircraft trying to attack them from behind. At the same time, Andy Mynarski was busy trying to defend the aircraft from the mid-upper gun turret. I might add the rear gunner's entry to the turret is a very small slit and when he moves left or right during firing, his exit to the fuselage is totally cut off. If the hydraulics fail, the only way to turn the turret is by a hand crank operated within the turret. They hadn't gone far when they sustained a direct hit. The pilot told the crew to bail out because, 'Our big girl has been hurt and she will not be taking us home.' Andrew Mynarski immediately knew Brophy was in trouble, with no hydraulic power. How could he help free Brophy from the tail turret? He went back to see if the crank would work the turret, but the turret was jammed tight. During the hit, the lines that carried brake fluid were ruptured and they were pouring fluid down the side of the aircraft which was now burning along with the engines. Mynarski had stayed too long trying to free Brophy and save his life. Mynarski's clothes were getting so hot that he had to leave. He saluted his buddy and mouthed, 'Good night Broph' and proceeded to leave the aircraft. As soon as he hit the outside air, his clothes started to burn and in turn, started burning his parachute as he descended. Brophy was now alone on a burning aircraft and steadily going down with the aircraft which was still loaded with bombs. He thought his time was near, so as a Catholic, he repeated, 'Hail Mary, full of grace' over and over again as fast as he could. He could make out tall trees even although it was dark as the burning aircraft gave him enough light to see. Suddenly, he could feel the aircraft breaking up as the aircraft hit trees. He felt as if he was still in his turret but somehow he was flying in a different direction than the main part of the aircraft. All Brophy felt before he lost consciousness was the ground shaking twice probably from some of the bombs they had on board. When Brophy regained consciousness, he took stock of his body and everything seemed to be okay. He was lying in a small ditch with no water. He then checked to see if he still had his revolver and his toothbrush, the only personal things he took with him when flying on an operation. No need for an overnight bag!! As he became more familiar with his situation, he removed his helmet and noticed all of his hair remained in it. At that moment, he thought nothing of it. Off in the distance, he saw lights of a small village. He stumbled along, moving carefully as it was nearing daylight. When he arrived at the village, he found himself on a street with homes built close together. Each door was indented from the rest of the walls and in from the sidewalk. He guessed the time to be close to six a.m. From around the corner he heard approaching steps, much like marching soldiers. He stepped back into one of the doorways and drew his revolver. Suddenly, he felt a strong arm around his neck and another covering his mouth and he was yanked into the house. The man spoke English and told him to be quiet. He informed him that he was a member of the French Underground. Days went by slowly as Brophy came to be more acquainted with the man who saved him and it also gave him time to mentally review all that had happened to him on the day of their mission that ended like a bad dream. He quickly found out just how the Underground worked when he was told that they were already working on getting him out of the area and back to England before the Germans found him and made him a prisoner of war. He knew now that three of his comrades were already being held as prisoners. So the Underground put a plan into motion. The man that saved Brophy, took him the first leg of the journey, moving by darkness only and sleeping during the daylight hours. A second man took him on the longest journey yet, travelling by night and sleeping during daylight hours. A third man knew his way well so they covered their trip somewhat faster, again travelling by night and sleeping during daylight. Then the smell of salt water told Brophy that they were near the end of their trip. They stayed back from the water as daylight was approaching. They waited well into the next night before they left their hiding place, entering near waters-edge. It seemed forever until they could make out a boat. Soon, Brophy was leaving France behind. A second, much larger boat took Brophy to England. He was guided back in daylight by an Englishman to a drop off point, close to Brophy's home base in England. Back at home base, there was a pub nearby and at this pub, one of the tables was considered by Pat and his buddies to be 'theirs.' He just had to go back and see if it was the same. As he approached the table, sitting alone was his pilot, sipping a beer. The pilot looked up and thought he saw a ghost and asked Brophy to, 'Go away, don't bother me'. After all, Brophy was still listed as missing. He knew that Mynarski had stayed to help Brophy but there Pat stood, bald, his black curly hair gone. In a short while Pat was able to settle the pilot down. He ordered a round, sat down and started telling him the story about how close he came to losing his life but had been lucky enough to return in one piece. Brophy was sent to Scotland with the RCAF for nearly two months of Rest and Relaxation. Soon after he returned to duty. He was sent back to Canada, where he managed to get a leave to see his loved ones. Soon after, he was back flying and preparing to enter the Japanese theatre of war. However, luckily the war ended before he had to enter a war zone again.

The signature of Warrant Officer James Kelly

Warrant Officer James Kelly
*Signature Value : £45

Radio Operator Jim Kelly served RAF 419 Moose Squadron. James Kkelly was the wireless operator on the fateful Mynarksi Lancaster bomber. They were flying a mission over Cambrai on the night of June 12th and 13th when the aircraft was hit. Four of the crew members: Brophy, navigator Robert Bodie, radio operator James Kelly and pilot de Breyne were hidden by the French and, except for Brophy, returned to England shortly after the crash.

The signature of Warrant Officer Norman Jackson VC (deceased)

Warrant Officer Norman Jackson VC (deceased)
*Signature Value : £80

Norman Jackson joined 106 Squadron as a flight engineer, and his 30th operational raid earned him the Victoria Cross. While climbing out of the target area over Schweinfurt, his Lancaster was hit by an enemy night-fighter and the inner starboard engine set on fire. Although injured by shrapnel he jettisoned the pilots escape hatch and climbed out on to the wing clutching a fire extinguisher, his parachute spilling out as he went. He succeeded in putting out the fire just as the night-fighter made a second attack, this time forcing the crew to bale out. Norman was swept away with his parachute starting to burn but somehow survived the fall to spend 10 months as a POW in a German hospital. Sadly, Norman Jackson died on 26th March 1994.

Wing Commander Roderick Learoyd VC (deceased)
*Signature Value : £80

On the day that war was declared Rod Learoyd was on patrol flying Hampdens with 49 Sqn. Continually involved with low level bombing, on the night of 12th August 1940, he and four other aircraft attempted to breach the heavily defended Dortmund - Ems canal. Of the four other aircraft on the mission, two were destroyed and the other two were badly hit. Learoyd took his plane into the heavily defended target at only 150 feet, in full view of the searchlights, and with flak barrage all around. He managed to get his very badly damaged aircraft back to England, where he circled until daybreak when he finally landed the aircraft without inflicting more damage to it, or injuring any of his crew. For his supreme courage that night he was awarded the Victoria Cross. He later joined 44 Sqn with the first Lancasters, and then commanded 83 Sqn. He died 24th January 1996.
The Aircraft :
LancasterThe Avro Lancaster arose from the avro Manchester and the first prototype Lancaster was a converted Manchester with four engines. The Lancaster was first flown in January 1941, and started operations in March 1942. By March 1945 The Royal Air Force had 56 squadrons of Lancasters with the first squadron equipped being No.44 Squadron. During World War Two the Avro Lancaster flew 156,000 sorties and dropped 618,378 tonnes of bombs between 1942 and 1945. Lancaster Bomberss took part in the devastating round-the-clock raids on Hamburg during Air Marshall Harris' "Operation Gomorrah" in July 1943. Just 35 Lancasters completed more than 100 successful operations each, and 3,249 were lost in action. The most successful survivor completed 139 operations, and the Lancaster was scrapped after the war in 1947. A few Lancasters were converted into tankers and the two tanker aircraft were joined by another converted Lancaster and were used in the Berlin Airlift, achieving 757 tanker sorties. A famous Lancaster bombing raid was the 1943 mission, codenamed Operation Chastise, to destroy the dams of the Ruhr Valley. The operation was carried out by 617 Squadron in modified Mk IIIs carrying special drum shaped bouncing bombs designed by Barnes Wallis. Also famous was a series of Lancaster attacks using Tallboy bombs against the German battleship Tirpitz, which first disabled and later sank the ship. The Lancaster bomber was the basis of the new Avro Lincoln bomber, initially known as the Lancaster IV and Lancaster V. (Becoming Lincoln B1 and B2 respectively.) Their Lancastrian airliner was also based on the Lancaster but was not very successful. Other developments were the Avro York and the successful Shackleton which continued in airborne early warning service up to 1992.
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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