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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.|
Hauptmann Gunther Nordenholtz
*Signature Value : £35
|After joining the Luftwaffe in December 1941 and training as a fighter pilot, Gunther Nordenholz joined JG11 where he flew Messerschmitt Bf-109s and Fw190s, scoring a victory over a P-51 Mustang. He flew against the heavy bombers of the US Eighth Air Force in the “Defense of the Reich”, and fought in combat against B-24s over western France during the Normandy Invasion. Posted to Bremen in late 1944, he was wounded during an air raid at his base, before being transferred to the Eastern Front. He finished the war flying the Bucker Bu181 and was captured by the British on 8 May 1944, later rejoining the new German Air Force as an instructor.|
|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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