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Escort for the Straggler by Robert Taylor. - Cranston Fine Arts Aviation, Military and Naval Art
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Escort for the Straggler by Robert Taylor.


Escort for the Straggler by Robert Taylor.

On April 25th 1945, the RAF despatched over 300 Lancasters to attack The Eagles Nest, Hitlers private mountain top castle at Berchstegaden. It was a symbolic raid, for the war was almost over, but it seemed appropriate that, after almost six years of continual combat, crews of the Royal Air Force should be allowed this almost final gesture of the air war in Europe. After the Spitfires and Hurricanes of Hugh Dowdings Fighter Command had won the Battle of Britain, and gained vital air supremacy, Arthur Harris Bomber Forces were able to mount the systematic devastation of Germanys mighty war machine, which in turn paved the way for the D-Day invasion, and the final liberation of Nazi dominated Europe. The Lancaster had become the mainstay of RAF Bomber Command, and its crews were typically representative of the men who had fought the six year aerial campaign in Europe. Every one a volunteer, they came from Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Rhodesia, and many European countries under the threat of Nazi rule. Magnificently brave, they endured overwhelming odds, frightening losses, and some of the worst flying conditions imaginable, never flinching in their task until victory was finally achieved. Their valiant efforts, together with the legendary exploits of the pilots of RAF Fighter Command, led the way towards Victory in Europe. Two aircraft, above all others, came to symbolise the deeds of the men and machines of the Royal Air Force : the Spitfire, magnificent in defence, lethal in attack, and the mighty Lancaster, the awesome heavy bomber that took the war to the heart of Nazi Germany.
Item Code : RST0011Escort for the Straggler by Robert Taylor. - This Edition
TYPEEDITION DETAILSSIZESIGNATURESOFFERSYOUR PRICEPURCHASING
PRINTRAF Edition of 600 prints.

Supplied with companion print Winter Homecoming.
Paper size 33 inches x 25 inches (84cm x 64cm) Reid, Bill
Tait, J B (companion print)
Dundas, Hugh
Lucas, Laddie
Scrivener, Norman
Mahaddie, Hamish (companion print)
+ Artist : Robert Taylor
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General descriptions of types of editions :

Extra Details :
About this edition :

Companion print Winter Homecoming :


Signatures on this item
NameInfo


The signature of Flight Lieutenant Bill Reid VC (deceased)

Flight Lieutenant Bill Reid VC (deceased)
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.


The signature of Group Captain Hamish Mahaddie DSO DFC (deceased)

Group Captain Hamish Mahaddie DSO DFC (deceased)
Group Captain Thomas Gilbert "Hamish" Mahaddie. DSO, DFC, AFC.. CzMC. Nos 7, 55, and 77 Squadrons. Born In Keith, Edinburgh, on 19 March 1911. He joined the RAF as a part of the 17th Entry at Halton in 1928 and trained as a metal rigger, after which he was posted to Cranwell on ground servicing duties. In 1933 he boarded a troopship bound for the Middle East where he joined No 4 FTS at Abu Suler for pilot training. He gained his wings in 1935 and his first air crew posting was to No 55 Squadron at Hinaldi flying Westland Wapitis. On his return to England in 1937 he joined No 77 Squadron flying Whitleys from Driffield. During World War II he completed a tour of operations with No 77 Squadron before moving to Klnloss to instruct with No 14 OTU. He completed another tour, this time with No 7 Squadron at Oakington on Stirlings, before joining HQ Staff of No 8 (Pathfinder) Group. Group Captain Mahaddie finished the war as Station Commander at RAF Warboys, home of PFF Navigation Training Unit. In June 1945 he was appointed to command No 111 Wing in Germany followed by a spell at the Staff College, Haifa, In 1947. His postwar duties also included two tours of duty at the Air Ministry, as OC Flying Wing at Binbrook, and also as Station Commander at Sylt and Butzwellerhof in Germany. He finally retired from the RAF in 1958 and has since been involved with the film Industry as an aviation consultant specialising in electronics for all three services. Hamish Mahaddie died 16th January 1997.


The signature of Group Captain J B Tait DSO*** DFC* ADC (deceased)

Group Captain J B Tait DSO*** DFC* ADC (deceased)
One of Bomber Commands most outstanding leaders, James Willie Tait was one of only two RAF officers who had the distinction of being awarded three Bars to his DSO, as well as a DFC and Bar. On the night before D-Day Tait was the 5 Group Master Bomber directing from the air the massed attack by Lancasters on the German defences in the Cherbourg peninsula. By then Tait had already flown more than 100 bomber sorties with 51, 35, 10 and 78 Squadrons. A Cranwell-trained regular officer, he was very much in the Cheshire mould: quiet, bordering on the introspective. He was to go on to command the legendary 617 Dambusters Squadron and lead it on one of its most famous raids which finally destroyed the German battleship Tirpitz. In July 1944 when Leonard Cheshire was replaced by Wing Commander J B Willie Tait, 617 Squadron discovered that it had acquired a Commanding Officer very much in the Cheshire mould. Quiet, bordering on introspection, Tait, who was a Cranwell-trained regular officer, had already flown over 100 bombing operations with 51, 35, 10 and 78 Squadrons before joining 617. Tait had also received a DSO and bar and the DFC. He was 26. In the best traditions of 617 Squadron, Tait wasted no time in adapting to the Mustang and Mosquito for low level marking. He appointed two new Flight Commanders including Squadron Leader Tony Iveson DFC. Although involved in many of 617 Squadrons spectacular operations, Taits name is always associated with the destruction of the Tirpitz. An earlier attack on the ship by the squadron on 15th September 1944 had caused severe damage but Tirpitz was still afloat. On 29th October the Squadron was frustrated on the second attack by cloud over the target. The final attack was launched in daylight on 12th November 1944. Leading a mixed force of 617 and 9 Squadron Lancasters, Tait achieved complete surprise and had the satisfaction of seeing the Tirpitz destroyed at last. He had led all three attacks. On 28th December 1944 Tait received a third bar to his DSO, becoming one of only two RAF men to achieve this distinction. It coincided with his leaving 617 Squadron. Tait served in the post-war RAF, retiring as a Group Captain in 1966. He died 31st May 2007.


The signature of Group Captain Sir Hugh Dundas CBE DSO DFC DI (deceased)

Group Captain Sir Hugh Dundas CBE DSO DFC DI (deceased)
Hugh Dundas was born on the 2nd of July 1920 in Doncaster. Hugh Dundas, like his elder brother John, became fascinated by the idea of flying from childhood, and straight after leaving Stowe School in 1938 joined the Auxiliary Air Force. As a pre-war member of the Royal Auxiliary Air Force, Hugh Dundas was called up early in the war, serving with 616 Squadron. After a promising start as a fighter pilot, Dundas was shot down on 22nd August and wounded during the Battle of Britian, but returned to his squadron in September 1940. His brother John, a 12 victory ace with No.609 Squadron, was killed in action in November 1940 after shooting down the top–scoring German Luftwaffe ace at the time, Helmut Wick. In early 1941 he was at Tangmere and came under the command of Wing Commander Douglas Bader. Dundas became one of the leading members of that Wing and frequently flew with Bader, gradually building his reputation as a fighter pilot and tactician. After receiving the DFC, Dundas became Flight Commander in 610 Squadron. December 1941 brought another promotion as commanding officer of 56 Squadron, the first in the RAF to be converted to Typhoons. Posted to the Mediterranean in 1943, he led 244 Spitfire Wing from Malta and later Italy. In 1944, Dundas was awarded the DSO and became one of the youngest Group Captains in the RAF. For some years after the war, Dundas served once more with the RAuxAF during which time he became CO of 601 Squadron. His war time score was 4 destroyed, 6 shared destroyed, 2 shared probables, and 2 and 1 shared damaged. After the war had ended Dundas served with the RAuxAF as CO of No.601 Squadron and was the air correspondent for the Daily Express newspaper. In 1961 he joined Rediffusion ltd becoming a Director in 1966, and Chairman of Thames Television unitl 1987, when he was knighted. In 1989 he served as High Sheriff of Surrey. Sir Hugh Dundas died on 10th July 1995 at the age of 74.


The signature of Squadron Leader Norman Scrivener DSO DFC (deceased)

Squadron Leader Norman Scrivener DSO DFC (deceased)
One of the top RAF navigators of the war who went on more than 100 sorties in Bomber Command. Squadron Leader Norman Scrivener was born in Birmingham in November 1915 and joined the Royal Air Force in early 1939. Norman Scrivener trained at Staverton Aerodrome, in Gloucestershire, where he discovered he suffered from air sickness. He joined 97 (New Zealand ) Squadron, became a pilot officer and was one of the first navigators to use the developing radar systems and later flew with Wing Commander Guy Gibson (before Gibson moved to the Dambusters.) with 106 Squadron and in 1943 joined the Pathfinders of 83 Squadron as navigator to the Squadron Commander John Searby and took part in the raid on the German radar facilities in Peenemunde where the German V2 and V1 rockets were produced and tested. Squadron Leader Norman Scrivener was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Distinguished Flying Order. Sadly Squadron Leader Norman Scrivener died in Worcester aged 91 in May 2007.


The signature of Wing Commander Laddie Lucas CBE DSO DFC (deceased)

Wing Commander Laddie Lucas CBE DSO DFC (deceased)
Laddie Lucas rose in two years from Aircraftman 2nd class to Command no. 249, the top scoring fighter squadron in the Battle of Malta in 1942. He was then 26. Lucas led two Spitfire squadrons and in 1943 a wing on the Western Front. 1944 switching to Mosquitoes of the 2nd tactical air force. After the war he was a conservative MP for ten years. He was also one of Britains best amateur golfers, captaining Cambridge University, England in the Walker Cup, Great Britain and Ireland against the United States, to date he has written eleven books. Sadly Laddie Lucas passed away in 1998.
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.
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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