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|General descriptions of types of editions :|
|Signatures on this item|
|Bill Esders (deceased)||Commander Bill Esders was one of the few pilots able to launch his torpedo at the Japanese fleet. He was one of only two survivors of the carrier borne TBD assault by VT-3. With his gunner fatally wounded, Esders ditched his TBD-1 in sight of the battle and was later rescued by a friendly destroyer.|
Captain Robert M Elder USN (deceased)
|Robert M. Elder was born in Saskatchewan, Canada on December 5, 1918. He attended the University of Washington in Seattle as a Naval ROTC student, where he majored in Aero Engineering. Elder commenced his flight training at Pensacola, and was commissioned as an Ensign in the USNR in May of 1941. In June, Elder was assigned to Bombing Squadron 3, the Mlack Panthers," who were at that time were equipped with Douglas Dauntless S1313-3 bombers, and were assigned to the USS Saratoga (CV-3) based in San Diego. With the attack on Pearl Harbor, Elder and his squadron mates from V13-3 would be soon be involved in the heat of battle in the Pacific. Elder flew numerous bombing missions during the Battle of the Coral Sea. During the Battle of Midway, V13-3 flying off the USS Yorktown, along with bombers from the USS Enterprise, sunk three Japanese aircraft carriers in a matter of minutes. This would prove to be the turning point in the War in the Pacific. Elder would later fly in both the Guadacanal and Easter Solomons campaigns. He was awarded two Navy Crosses, the Distinguished Flying Cross, and received two Presidential Unit Citations. Following the War, Elder remained in the Navy. He was one of the first graduates from the Navy's test pilot training school in 1950. He was also one of the first Naval aviators to fly jet aircraft, and he participated in developmental flights on both the F8F Bearcat and the F7F Tigercat. On the former Elder carrier qualified the aircraft. In 1953 Elder returned to combat duty with VF-191 flying off the USS Orinskany. Subsequently he commanded Carrier Air Group 12, the USS Waccamaw, and the USS Coral Sea. Following the Korean War, Elder continued to fly. In 1957 Bob was assigned as Director of the Flight Test Division at the Navy's Air Test Center at Patuxent River, Maryland. Here Bob personally conducted initial test flights on many of the Navy's new supersonic fighter aircraft including the F3 Demon, F-1 1 Tiger, the F-4 Phantom 11, the A-5 Vigilante, and the F8U-3 Crusader 11. Elder retired from the Navy in 1963. He then worked for the Northrop Corporation for 23 years, holding the positions of Chief Test Pilot, Director of Flight Operations, and Head of Flight Test and Evaluation. He was one of the driving forces behind the programs which evolved into the F/A- 18 Hornet. Bob also was founder of the Tailhook Association, and received its Lifetime Achievement Award in 1964. During his amazing flying career, Bob Elder has flown more than 8,000 flight hours in 142 different types of aircraft. He has become carrier qualified in 35 different aircraft, and has made almost 1,000 carrier landings. Bob s also served as President of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots. He died 12th September 2008.|
|Dick Best||Lt. Commander Dick Best led attacks on Wake Island and Marcos Island and flew escort flights for the Doolittle Raid on Tokyo as Commanding Officer of VB-6. Commanding VB-6 on June 4, 1942 he led his squadron of SBD dive-bombers against the Japanese carriers Akagi and Hiryu and was consequently awarded the Navy Cross.|
Major General Marion Carl (deceased)
|Born in Hubbard, Oregon on the 1st ofNovember 1915, Carl learned to fly when he was at college and went solo after only 2 and half hours of instrruction. Marion Carl went to Oregon State College to study engineering and graduated in 1938 as a Lieutenenat in the Army Reserve, but resigned his commission to become a naval aviation cadet and in December 1939 he received his "wings of gold" and a Marine Corp commission. Marion Carl was posted to (VMF- 1) Marine Fighting Squadron One in Virginia at Quantico. In 1940 he became a instructor to train new pilots for Marine Fighting Squadron 221 (VMF-221 ) at NAS North Island in San Diego, California. When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on the 7th December 1941, Carl's squadron VMF-221 were preparing to embark aboard the USS Saratoga (CV-3) bound for Oahu, Hawaii. Carl along with the rest of the squadron were rushed to Hawaii and became part of the Wake Island Relief Task Force. He was still onboard the carrier Saratoga when the relief force was cancelled, and VMF-221 went to Midway Atoll on Christmas Day. Carl's first combat occured on June 4th 1942 during the Battle of Midway, when 15 of the 25 aircraft of VMF-221 were shot down but, Carl was credited with destroying one enemy aircraft, a Mitsubishi Zero. Carl was reassigned to VMF-223 Marine Fighting Squadron 223 which was commanded by a former squadron mate from VMF-221, Capt. John Smith. On August 20th, VMF-223 was deployed to Guadalcanal and was the first fighter sqaudron ashore with the Cactus Air Force. Between the end of August and the end of October Marion Carl became the Marines' first ace, when Carl had reached 16.5 victories though he was shot down once and was forced to bail out. It is believed Marion Carl was the pilot who shot down the famous Japanese Navy Tainan Kokutai ace Junicho Sasai over Henderson Field. By the end of the war Carl would increase his air victories to 18.5 victories. In 1947 he broke the speed record and in 1953 held the world altitude record. During a second test pilot tour, Carl set an unofficial altitude record of 83,000 feet in the Douglas D-558/II. He was the first pilot to be launched from a carrier by catapult. He had 490 hours in the Phantom I, flying combat recon flights over Red China. Commanding air wings in Vietnam in 1965, he took the First Marine Brigade to Danang, South Vietnam. Despite his seniority, he repeatedly flew combat missions in Helicopter gunships and jet fighters. General Carl received his second star as a Major General in 1967. In 1968 he commanded the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing at Herry Point until 1970. Subsequently he served as Inpector General of the Marine Corps until retiring in 1973. At that time he had logged some 13,000 flying hours, more than twice as much as most. He flew the F-4 regularly - one of the few Generals to do so. In 1998, on June 28th at age 82, Major General Marion Carl was shot to death with a shotgun during a robbery, defending his wife Edna from a home invader. He was buried with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetary.|
|Scott McCuskey||E. Scott McCuskey was Born in February, 1915 in Little Rock, Arkansas. He was the top-scoring fighter pilot during the Battle of Midway and one of the Navys early aces. Lt. E. Scott McCuskey enlisted in 1938 and won his wings and ensigns commission in the Reserves in October 1939. He began the war with VF-42, originally a Ranger squadron, which was temporarily assigned to Yorktown (CV-5) in late 1941 for Atlantic Ocean neutrality patrols. Fighting 42 was equipped with some of the first F4F-3 Wildcats to roll off Grummans production lines. After Pearl Harbor, the new Wildcats and Yorktown were urgently needed in the Pacific, so VF-42s assignment to Yorktown became more or less permanent. He later joined VF-3 on Enterprise and then switched to Hellcats on Bunker Hill with VF-8.|
|The Aircraft :|
|Dauntless||The Douglas SBD Dauntless was a naval Dive Bomber and was the US Navys main dive bomber from mid 1940 to late 1943. The Douglas SBD Dauntless, which earned the nickname Slow, But Deadly entered service with the USN and USMC in 1940. Powered by a 1,000 HP, 9-cylinder, Cyclone radial engine the SBD was capable of a maximum speed of 250 MPH. The Dauntless could stay airborne for a long time with its 1,300 mile range and slow cruising speed, The Douglas SBD Dauntless was capable of delivering a 1,200 pound bomb load. Because of its slow speed the SBD needed armament to discourage attack by enemy fighters. Two forward firing machine guns and either one or two rear firing guns mounted in the gunners cockpit behind the pilot, gave the SBD enough firepower to make it a challenging target for enemy fighters. The aircraft was also operated by the United States Army as the A-24 Banshee|
|Artist Details : Robert Taylor|
|Click here for a full list of all artwork by 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
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