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Eagles on the Rampage by Robert Taylor. - Cranston Fine Arts Aviation, Military and Naval Art
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Eagles on the Rampage by Robert Taylor.


Eagles on the Rampage by Robert Taylor.

Dominating the skies over Germany, P-51s of the 4th Fighter Group - The Eagles - sweep across the cloud tops, their pilots scanning the distant horizon for any signs of the Luftwaffe. They are ready for trouble should the enemy decide to chance their luck. The greatness of the Mustang is beyond doubt; it was the fighter pilot's ultimate machine. Tough, hard-hitting, it handled beautifully and - once the mighty Merlin engine had been included - possessed a performance unrivalled by any single piston-engined fighter of World War II. British inspired and American built, the P-51 was the aircraft the eager young pilots of the Eighth Air Force had been waiting for. Formed in September 1942 from the RAF Eagle Squadrons, the Fourth Fighter Group was the oldest fighter unit in the Eighth Air Force. Under the command of Don Blakeslee, described as probably the best fighter leader of the war, the combined air and ground victories notched up by 'The Eagles' during World War II surpassed any other fighter group. They were the first to penetrate German air space, and the first to engage the Luftwaffe over Berlin. Hermann Goering later remarked 'When I saw those Mustangs over Berlin, I knew that the war was lost'. Each print in this outstanding edition is signed by some of the most famous Mustang pilots that flew in the European Theatre during World War II. Every signatory in the edition has reached Ace status, creating a historic new collectors' edition which may never be surpassed.
AMAZING VALUE! - The value of the signatures on this item is in excess of the price of the print itself!
Item Code : DHM6353Eagles on the Rampage by Robert Taylor. - This Edition
TYPEEDITION DETAILSSIZESIGNATURESOFFERSYOUR PRICEPURCHASING
PRINTAmerican Aces Edition : Signed limited edition of 600 prints.


Great value : Value of signatures exceeds price of item!
Paper size 30.5 inches x 27 inches (78cm x 69cm) Anderson, C E Bud
Brooks, Jim
Cummings, Donald
Davis, Barrie S
East, Clyde B
Fiedler, Arthur C
Karr, Robert A
Loving, George
Pisanos, Steve
Strait, Donald
+ Artist : Robert Taylor


Signature(s) value alone : 395
£60 Off!
Supplied with one or more free art prints!
Now : £200.00

Quantity:
EXCLUSIVE website offer from Cranston Fine Arts - FREE art print(s) supplied with the above item!


Exclusive Offer for Online Orders Only

FREE PRINT : Guardian Angel by Anthony Saunders

This complimentary art print worth £50
(Size : 12 inches x 8 inches (31cm x 20cm))
has been specially chosen by Cranston Fine Arts to complement the above edition, and will be sent FREE with your order.

This item can be viewed or purchased separately in our shop, HERE


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Mustang Aviation Art Print Pack.

Pack price : £300 - Save £250

      
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2 other prints in this pack :
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Pack price : £300 - Save £250

Titles in this pack :
Ace of Diamonds by Nicolas Trudgian.  (View This Item)
Eagles on the Rampage by Robert Taylor.  (View This Item)
Guardian Angel by Anthony Saunders.  (View This Item)

Mustang Aviation Art Prints.

Pack price : £295 - Save £265

      
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2 other prints in this pack :
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Pack price : £295 - Save £265

Titles in this pack :
Opening Sky by Robert Taylor.  (View This Item)
Eagles on the Rampage by Robert Taylor.  (View This Item)
Guardian Angel by Anthony Saunders.  (View This Item)

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Other editions of this item : Eagles on the Rampage by Robert Taylor. DHM6353
TYPEEDITION DETAILSSIZESIGNATURESOFFERSYOUR PRICEPURCHASING
ARTIST
PROOF
American Aces Edition : Limited edition of 25 artist proofs.
Great value : Value of signatures exceeds price of item!
Paper size 30.5 inches x 27 inches (78cm x 69cm) Anderson, C E Bud
Brooks, Jim
Cummings, Donald
Davis, Barrie S
East, Clyde B
Fiedler, Arthur C
Karr, Robert A
Loving, George
Pisanos, Steve
Strait, Donald
+ Artist : Robert Taylor


Signature(s) value alone : 395
£50 Off!
Supplied with one or more free art prints!
Now : £375.00VIEW EDITION...
PRINTEagles edition of 15 prints.

Supplied with companion original pencil drawing.
Paper size 30.5 inches x 27 inches (78cm x 69cm) Anderson, C E Bud
Brooks, Jim
Cummings, Donald
Davis, Barrie S
East, Clyde B
Fiedler, Arthur C
Karr, Robert A
Loving, George
Pisanos, Steve
Strait, Donald
Burdick, Clinton DeWitt (companion print)
Blakeslee, Don (companion print)
Brown, Gerald (matted on companion print)
Bankey, Ernest E (matted on companion print)
Green, Herky (matted on companion print)
Olds, Robin (matted on companion print)
+ Artist : Robert Taylor


Signature(s) value alone : 650
£50 Off!
Supplied with one or more free art prints!
Now : £1995.00VIEW EDITION...
PRINTEagles tribute edition of 5 prints.

Supplied with two companion original pencil drawing.
Paper size 30.5 inches x 27 inches (78cm x 69cm) Anderson, C E Bud
Brooks, Jim
Cummings, Donald
Davis, Barrie S
East, Clyde B
Fiedler, Arthur C
Karr, Robert A
Loving, George
Pisanos, Steve
Strait, Donald
Burdick, Clinton DeWitt (companion print)
Blakeslee, Don (companion print)
Brown, Gerald (matted on companion print)
Bankey, Ernest E (matted on companion print)
Green, Herky (matted on companion print)
Olds, Robin (matted on companion print)
Allen, Bill (companion print)
Powell, Lawrence (companion print)
Drew, Urban (companion print)
Gailer, Frank L (companion print)
Bryan, Donald (matted on companion print)
Carson, Leonard Kit (matted on companion print)
Goodson, Jim (matted on companion print)
Peterson, Richard Bud (matted on companion print)
Yeager, Charles E (matted on companion print)
+ Artist : Robert Taylor


Signature(s) value alone : 1050
£50 Off!
Supplied with one or more free art prints!
Now : £2995.00VIEW EDITION...
REMARQUEAmerican Aces Edition : Limited edition of 15 remarques. Paper size 30.5 inches x 27 inches (78cm x 69cm) Anderson, C E Bud
Brooks, Jim
Cummings, Donald
Davis, Barrie S
East, Clyde B
Fiedler, Arthur C
Karr, Robert A
Loving, George
Pisanos, Steve
Strait, Donald
+ Artist : Robert Taylor


Signature(s) value alone : 395
£50 Off!
Supplied with one or more free art prints!
Now : £795.00VIEW EDITION...
REMARQUEAmerican Aces Edition : Limited edition of 5 double remarques. Paper size 30.5 inches x 27 inches (78cm x 69cm) Anderson, C E Bud
Brooks, Jim
Cummings, Donald
Davis, Barrie S
East, Clyde B
Fiedler, Arthur C
Karr, Robert A
Loving, George
Pisanos, Steve
Strait, Donald
+ Artist : Robert Taylor


Signature(s) value alone : 395
£50 Off!
Supplied with one or more free art prints!
Now : £1285.00VIEW EDITION...
General descriptions of types of editions :



Signatures on this item
NameInfo


The signature of Captain Jim Brooks

Captain Jim Brooks
*Signature Value : £45

Jim Brooks joined the 31st Fighter Group in Italy in early 1944, flying the P51 against Me109s, Fw190s, and the Italian Macchi Mc202. He scored his first victory on a mission to Ploesti. Later, leading the 307th Fighter Squadron on a Russian shuttle mission, they engaged a large formation of Ju87 Stukas, shooting down 27 enemy aircraft, Jim Brooks accounting for three of them. He ended his tour with 280 combat hours, and 13 confirmed victories.


The signature of Colonel Arthur C Fiedler

Colonel Arthur C Fiedler
*Signature Value : £35

Arthur Charles Fiedler was born in Oak Park, Illinois on August 1, 1923. In April of 1942, five months after America entered WW 11, Fiedler enlisted in the Army Air Corps. He was sent to Avon Park, Florida for primary training, followed by basic training at Macon, Georgia, and advanced training at Marianna, Florida. He graduated with Class 43G in July of 1943, and was assigned as a flight instructor, flying Republic P-47 Thunderbolts at Dover, Delaware. In April of 1944 Second Lieutenant Feidler was assigned to combat duty, and was assigned to the 317th Fighter Squadron of the 325th Fighter Group (the "Cheekertails"), based in Lesina, Italy. He transitioned to the North American P-51 Mustang, naming his assigned aircraft after his wife "Helen" whom he had married in 1943. On June 24, Fiedler claimed a probable. On June 28 he attained his first two aerial victories. At that morning's briefing Fiedler was elated to learn that his squadron's mission would be a fighter sweep over Polesti, Rumania, in advance of a bombing mission targeting the massive oil refining operations in that area.. When flying fighter escort for bombers the fighters were prohibited from flying below 15,000-feet. This gave the Germans a dog fighting advantage, as the early Allison-powered Mustangs were good performers at low altitudes but relatively poor performers at higher altitudes. Forty P-5 Is from the 325th 17G took off at 0725 hours for the fighter sweep. Sweeping the target area at 25,000-29,000 feet for about 45 minutes a total of 47 enemy aircraft were encountered. During this mission Fiedler would earn his first two victories. Fiedler became an ace on July 26 when he downed his fourth and fifth aircraft, a Fw- 190, south of Vienna, and a 109 several minutes later. Promoted to Captain, Fiedler attained his eighth and final victory on January 20, 1945 while escorting B-17s to Regerisbuurg. His flight of four P-51s broke-up an attacking force of 40 German fighters. Following the War Fiedler left the military and attended the University of Illinois, earning a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering. He was recalled for active duty during the Korean War, and decided to make a career in the Air Force. In addition to his 66 combat missions flown in WW 11, Fiedler would fly 247 combat missions in C-130s during the Vietnam War Col. Fiedler retired from the USAF in 1975, and currently resides in Southern California. His decorations include the Silver Star, the Legion of Merit, the Distinguished Flying Cross with one OLC, the Air Medal with 22 OLCs, and the Partisan Star.


Colonel Barrie S Davis
*Signature Value : £20

Mustang pilot with 6 victories. Commissioned and rated a pilot in August 1943, Barrie Davis was posted to Europe where he flew P-51s with the 317th Fighter Squadron, 325th Fighter Group. He got his first victory, an Fw190 over Bucharest, on 28th June 1944 followed by a couple of Me109s four days later. He became an Ace on 22nd August 1944 when he downed another Fw190 and ten minutes later got his sixth and final victory.


The signature of Colonel C E Bud Anderson

Colonel C E Bud Anderson
*Signature Value : £50

Bud Anderson went to England with the 357th Fighter Group in 1943, the first Eighth Air Force Group to be equipped with the P-51 Mustang. He got himself on the score sheet on one of the first Berlin missions, dog fighting with a bunch of Me109s who had set upon a straggling B-17. On 29th June 1944, leading his squadron on a mission to Leipzig, they ran into a formation of Fw190s. In the ensuing battle Anderson shot down the leader, and two more Fw190s. After a short rest in the U.S., Bud returned for a second tour, just in time for the 357th's big day on 27th November 1944. With the 353rd they took on a huge formation of some 200 enemy fighters, Anderson adding three more to his score. He finished the war with 16 air victories and many more probables.


Colonel Donald Cummings (deceased)
*Signature Value : £25

Joining the USAAF in 1941, Don Cummings saw action in England, Africa and Italy, taking part in the Battle of Anzio. Flying first with the 12th Air Force and then posted to the 8th Air Force in England, flying with the 39th Fighter Squadron, 55th Fighter Group out of Wormingford. Don Cummings flew a total of 150 combat missions and on 25th February, 1945, became one of only two fighter Aces to shoot down two Me262 jet fighters on a single mission. He then served in occupied Germany after the war ended. Sadly, we have learned Don Cummings passed away in November 2012.


The signature of Colonel Steve Pisanos

Colonel Steve Pisanos
*Signature Value : £45

Born in Athens, Greece, Spiro Nicolas Steve Pisanos came to America on a tramp steamer. Arriving in New York in 1938 speaking no English, he worked in a bakery and hotels to earn money for flying lessons. Prior to Americas entry into World War II, he joined the Royal Air Force, was trained in California and England and eventually assigned to the 71st Eagle Squadron, comprised of American volunteers. Transferred to the USAAF 4th Fighter Group in September, 1942, he was commissioned a Lieutenant and became an American citizen, the first ever to become such outside the continental U.S. He became an Ace on January 1, 1944. On March 5, 1944, his P-51 crash-landed south of Le Havre, France while returning from an escort mission. He evaded the Germans for 6 months and worked with the French underground and the OSS on sabotaging missions. Following the war he served as a test pilot and in assignments with NATO and the USAF in Europe, followed by a tour in Vietnam and retirement as a Colonel in 1973.


The signature of Lieutenant Colonel Clyde B East

Lieutenant Colonel Clyde B East
*Signature Value : £55

Born in Pittsylvania County, Virginia on July 19, 1921, raised on a rural family farm. At 19, Clyde East traveled to Hamilton, Ontario, Canada and enlisted into the Royal Canadian Air Force. Soon after, East was admitted to pilot training and completed his training in 1942. Clyde East went on active servcie to England, where he flew interdiction missions in the P-51A Mustang, attacking ground targets in France, Belgium, and Holland. He also searched for U-boats over the water. Clyde East flew P51 Mustangs with 414 Fighter / Reconnaissance Squadron RCAF in England, before transferring to the USAAF in January 1944. He joined the 15th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron on 2nd February flying F-6C Mustangs. On June 6, 1944, East participated in the D-Day invasion of Normandy in the Mustang. It was during this mission that East and his wingman stumbled upon several FW-190s landing and promptly dispatched them with their .50 caliber machine guns, claiming the first aerial victories of the invasion. During one mission East claimed three aerial victories and, on another, was able to jump a German Messerschmitt 109 flying low. In late 1944, East fought against a German counteroffensive in what is now known as the Battle of the Bulge. Becoming a confirmed ace in March 1945, East would go on to claim a total of 13 aerial kills against the German Luftwaffe and flew over 200 combat missions with them during the war. He later served in Korea, flying 100 missions in RF-51s and RF-80s. After his return from Korea East was given command of several different tactical recon squadrons, one of which flew an additional 100 visual and photo missions over Cuba. He retired from the Air Force as a Lieutenant Colonel in February 1965.


The signature of Lieutenant Colonel Robert A Karr

Lieutenant Colonel Robert A Karr
*Signature Value : £35

Robert Karr was born on January 11, 1924, in Waterloo, Iowa. Robert enlisted in the U.S. Army Reserve on July 31, 1942, and entered the Aviation Cadet Program of the U.S. Army Air Forces on February 8, 1943, receiving his commission as a 2d Lt and pilot wings at Spence Field, Georgia, on November 3, 1943. After completing P-47 Thunderbolt training and serving with the 536th Fighter Squadron of the 87th Fighter Group, Lt Karr was assigned as a P-51C Mustang pilot with the 5th Fighter Squadron of the 52nd Fighter Group in North Africa and Italy from May 1944 to June 1945. Operating out of Madna Airfield in Italy, he got his first victory when he downed an Me109 near Udine on 9th June, adding two more a few weeks later. On 17th July, leading a flight of P51Ds, he shot down three more Me109s in a day near Blata, Poland. A P51 Ace with 6 victories plus 2 more damaged in the air to his credit, he retired from the service in 1976.


The signature of Lt Gen George Loving

Lt Gen George Loving
*Signature Value : £40

General George Loving was born in Roanoke, Va., in 1923, graduated from E.C. Glass High School in Lynchburg, Va., and attended Lynchburg College. He is a graduate of the University of Alabama and holds a master's degree from The George Washington University. During the academic year 1969-70, he was a research associate with the Council on Foreign Relations. He entered military service in March 1942 as an aviation cadet and graduated from flying school in 1943 with a commission as second lieutenant and his pilot wings. He flew 151 combat missions as a fighter pilot with the 31st Fighter Group during World War II, flying Spitfires and P-51 aircraft over Italy, Southern France, Germany, Czechoslovakia and the other occupied countries of Eastern Europe. He became a fighter ace during this period, shooting down five enemy aircraft and damaging two others. He returned to the United States in October 1944 and served as a P-47 fighter pilot instructor and base armament officer at Millville Army Air Field, N.J. He was next assigned as squadron commander and instructor at Shaw Field, S.C. In July 1946 he went to Itazuke Air Base, Japan, to serve in the occupation forces. Initially assigned as a personnel staff officer, he later served as commander of the 433d Fighter Squadron and as operations officer of the 475th Fighter Group. In January 1949 he became operations officer at the Air Force Reserve Training Center, Byrd Field, Richmond, Va. He was transferred to Headquarters Ninth Air Force, Langley Air Force Base, Va., in June 1949 and assigned as a staff officer in the Personnel Directorate. Shortly after the beginning of the Korean War, he volunteered for combat duty and in July 1950 went to Taegu, Korea, where he served 13 months, initially as base operations officer, and then as commander of the 9th Fighter-Bomber Squadron. He flew 113 missions against North Korean and Communist Chinese forces and participated in five major campaigns. Between September 1951 and July 1955, he was assigned to the Air Proving Ground Command at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. As a senior project officer, he was responsible for the operational suitability testing of the F-84F, KB-29 Phase II Outing Tanker, KC-97 Drogue Tanker, and various other systems and munitions. After graduation from Air Command and Staff College in June 19569 he joined the faculty as an instructor and curriculum planner with responsibility for the college's correspondence course, which had an enrollment of more than 5,000 students. He was transferred to Taiwan in April 1960 and for two years was U.S. adviser to the Republic of China's National War College. General Loving went to Headquarters Tactical Air Command at Langley Air Force Base, Va., in July 1962 and served for two years as a staff officer with the Policy Division (Plans), during which time he was concerned with formulating tactical air doctrine. He attended the Air War College during 1964-65 and subsequently was assigned to Headquarters U.S. Air Force in the Aerospace Doctrine Division, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Plans and Operations, as a staff officer and branch chief. He was responsible for the development of Air Force and Joint doctrinal publications which form the fundamental basis for war plans and for organizing, training, equipping and employing U.S. military forces. He served as commandant, Air Command and Staff College from June 1970 to January 1973. General Loving was assigned as deputy director of plans in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, Plans and operations at Headquarters U.S. Air Force, in January 1973, and served as director of plans from April 1973 to January 1975. He was appointed Joint Chiefs of Staff Representative for Mutual and Balanced Force Reduction in January 1975 and served as the senior military member of the U.S. delegation to the international conference in Vienna on MBFR. During the period August 1975 to June 1977, he served as commander, Sixth Allied Tactical Air Force, with headquarters at Izmir, Turkey. He was reassigned to Japan and assumed command of U.S. Forces Japan and Fifth Air Force in June 1977. A command pilot, his military decorations and awards include the Distinguished Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, Silver Star, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross with oak leaf cluster, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal with 24 oak leaf clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster, Army Commendation Medal, Presidential Unit Citation with oak leaf cluster, and the Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation. He was promoted to the grade of lieutenant general Sept. 1, 1975, with date of rank Aug. 26, 1975.


The signature of Major General Donald Strait (deceased)

Major General Donald Strait (deceased)
*Signature Value : £45

Don Strait was born on April 28th, 1918 and grew up in Verona, New Jersey. From an early age Don Strait wanted to be a pilot, and after working for Prudential Insurance Company for a short period Don Strait enlisted in 1940 in the 119th Observation Squadron of the New Jersey National Guard. Initially Don Strait was an armorer and moved up to become an aerial gunner in the two-seater O-46 and O-47 observation planes. He qualified as an aviation cadet in early 1942 and started his training at Maxwell Field, Alabama. After Basic and in January 1943 Strait received his wings and his commission. Don Strait got his ambition to become a fighter pilot, he began flying the P-47 Thunderbolt at Westover Field, MA. After checking out in the P-47 and completing transition training he was assigned to the 356th Fighter Group, then at Bradley Field, CT. By August, 1943 Don Strait had been promoted to Captain before being transferred to England. Captain Don Strait with the 356th Fighter Group went to Martlesham Heath in England flying first the P-47 Thunderbolt. Martlesham Heath was just five miles from the North Sea, which made it relatively easy to find when returning from a mission in bad weather. The 356th made its first combat sorties in October, 1943, with sweeps over Holland and northern France; sightings of Luftwaffe planes were quite rare, and the group took over a month to score its first aerial victory. Strait's first combat occurred on February 6th, 1944, when his flight bounced a pair of Fw190s while on an escort mission. He immediately attacked. The 190s split apart and he chased one down to the deck. He scored hits on it and the pilot bailed out - Strait's first kill. But he and his wingman had used too much fuel, and barely made it back to base. He shot down a couple more Bf109s while flying Thunderbolts on February 10th and May 19th. Having completed well over 200 combat hours, he was entitled to rotate home, but agreed to continue front-line flying, provided that he was given command of the 361st Fighter Squadron. He took a 30-day leave and returned to Europe in September, 1944. He and Captain George May, the intelligence officer, reviewed daily sightings and disposition of the Luftwaffe, which helped him plan and lead the squadron's missions. Don Strait took part in long range bomber escort and ground support missions, taking part in all the D-Day operations, before converting to P51s. The group flew their first Mustang mission on November 20, the same day that Strait assumed command of the 361st FS. In two combat tours he flew a total of 122 missions. He led the squadron again on November 26, 1944, when it flew an escort mission over the heavily defended Ruhr. After linking up with the B-17s just east of Holland, the pilots were advised of 40 bandits approaching from the south. As Strait's sixteen Mustangs arrived in the Osnabruck area, they spotted the 40 Bf109s at 25,000 feet. They dropped tanks and attacked. Then Strait spotted about another 150 German fighters at various altitudes, preparing to attack the bombers. "We've got the whole damn Luftwaffe!" he radioed. He closed to within 350 yards of an enemy airplane and fired - it dived away smoking. Strait's wingman saw it crash. Strait soon bounced another 109, but it eluded him. He spotted a third and closed to within 300 yards, and exploded it (a shared kill with Lt. Shelby Jett). After this dogfighting, fuel began to be a concern, so they headed home. That day the 356th FG destroyed 23 enemy aircraft without losing a single American. After two more victories on December 5th, Strait found more air combat on Christmas Day. In action again against Bf109s, he had a nasty moment when his first victim left oil and engine coolant all over his windscreen. Skidding away, Strait almost rammed his foe. He continued shooting down German planes in 1945 - an Fw190 on Jan. 14th, another Fw190 on Feb 14th, and three Fiesler Storch light observation planes on Feb 20th. Don Strait commanded the 361st Fighter Squadron, and became the Group's leading fighter Ace with 13 and a half air victories, all but three of these flying the P51. After the war he rejoined the NJ Air National Guard. He later commanded the 108th Tactical Wing in Korea, where he flew the F86, F84, and F105 jet. Participated in the Cuban Missile Crisis, and Vietnam. He retired from the Air Force in 1978 with the rank of Major General, and was inducted into the New Jersey Aviation Hall of Fame in 1989. Donald Strait died on 30th March 2015.
The Aircraft :
NameInfo
MustangThe ubiquitous North American P-51 Mustang, which many consider to be the best all-around fighter of WW II, owes its origins to the British Air Ministry. Following Britains entry into WW II in 1939, the RAF was interested in purchasing additional fighter aircraft from American sources, particularly the Curtiss P-40. Curtiss, which was busy, was unable to guarantee timely delivery so the British approached North American Aviation as a possible second source for the P-40. North American chose to propose its own fighter design which would use the same Allison engine as the P-40. Utilizing new laminar flow wings, the North American fighter was expected to have performance better than the P-40. Developed in record time the new aircraft was designated as a Mustang I by the Brits, whereas the USAAF ordered two for evaluation which were designated XP-51 Apaches. Intrigued with the possibility of using this aircraft also as a dive bomber, North American proposed this to the USAAF which decided to order 500 of the P-51 aircraft to be modified for dive bombing use. Designated as the A-36 Invader, this version of the Mustang utilized dive flaps, and bomb racks under each wing. Some reinforcing of the structural members was also required because of the G-forces to be encountered in dive bombing. A-36s entered combat service with the USAAF prior to any P-51s. In early 1943 the 86th and 27th Fighter Bomber Groups of the 12th Air Force began flying A-36s out of Northern Africa. Despite some early problems with instability caused by the dive flaps, the A-36 was effective in light bombing and strafing roles. It was not, however, capable of dog fighting with German fighters, especially at higher altitudes. Despite these drawbacks one USAAF pilot, Captain Michael T. Russo, who served with the 16th Bomb Squadron of the 27th Fighter Bomber Group, was credited with five confirmed aerial victories in the A-36, thereby becoming the first mustang ace.
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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