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Alan Rawlinson (deceased)
|Alan Rawlinson was born on 31st July 1918 in Fremantle, Western Australia. Alan Rawlinson was a keen aviator and at the age of 19 in 1937 received a private pilots licence while learning to fly in DH60 Gypsy Moths. In 1938 Alan Rawlinson enlisted in the RAAF and in 1939 graduated as a Pilot Officer and was posted to 3 Squadron at Richmond, New South.Wales. When World War ll broke out 3 squadron was posted to the Western Desert and Pilot Offcier Alan Rawlinson was involved in combat flying in September 1940 to April 1941. From May 1941 to August 1941 he was stationed at Cyprus then returning to the Western Desert , Rawlinson became commanding Officer of 3 squadron soon after. It was while he served in the western desert that Rawlinson received the DFC. He returned to Australia in 1942 as Chief Flying Instructor at Mildura and was promoted to Squadron Commander and Wing Leader in 1943 and served in the Pacific campaign. In 1947 Alan Rawlinson transferred to the RAF flying the new jet aircraft Vampires and Meteors, finally retiring in 1961. Alan Rawlinson passed away 28th August 2007.|
Bobby Gibbes (deceased)
|Born 6th May 1916. Bobby Gibbes began pilot training in 1940, and by June 1941 was flying Tomahawks with No3 RAAF Sqn. By February 1942, he was commanding the squadron. Upgrading to the Kittyhawk, he had more aerial victories, before being forced to bale out on May 26th 1942. On December 21st 1942, during an action in the Western Desert, an aircraft from the squadron was forced to crash land a few miles from the target. Gibbes landed his aircraft in the rocky desert, aiming to pick up the downed pilot. He ditched his own parachute, sitting on the pilots lap in the cockpit. On take-off, one wheel fell off the aircraft after colliding with an object on the groud, but he managed to land the aircraft on the one remaining wheel, avoiding a damaging belly landing. He was then shot down behind enemy lines, evading capture for three days before being rescued. He returned to Australia, and was injured during a training flight crash. He died 11th April 2007.|
|Peter Jeffrey (deceased)||Fought in North Africa with 3 Sqn RAAF. In April 1941 he shot down a Ju52 as it landed, before destroying another 3 on the ground. Two months later he shot down a Ju88 and a Martin 167 within three days of each other. He was awarded the DFC. He managed to return to base after being shot down in November 1941, sharing a Bf110 later in the month. He was then awarded the DSO. He died 6th April 1997.|
|Wing Commander Nicky Barr (deceased)||Born 10th December 1915. Nicky Barr was commissioned as a pilot officer in November 1940, joining No.23 Sqn, patrolling Queensland, but soon joined No.3 Sqn RAAF flying the Tomahawk. During the war in the desert at El Alamein, he was successful against several enemy aircraft before being shot down himself, being wounded and forced to crash land. While escaping the enemy lines he was wounded again, but reached the safety of Allied lines after a three day desert trek. On 30th May 1942, he was again forced to crash land by enemy fire, but again he returned to fly again. During the fighting around Tobruk, he was shot down once more, baling out injured from his burning aircraft, but this time he became a prisoner of the Italians. Months later he attempted to escape, reaching the Swiss border before being captured once more. Whilst being moved to Germany as a POW, he jumped from a moving train to escape, only to be recaptured weeks later by the Germans. Once more he escaped, conducting sabotage operations, and in March 1944, organising escapes for other POWs. Later in 1944 he became an instructor in Australia, leaving the RAAF after the war. He died 12th June 2006.|
|The Aircraft :|
|Kittyhawk||Curtiss Kittyhawk, single engine fighter with a top speed of 362mph, ceiling of 30,000 feet and a range of 1190 miles with extra fuel tanks but 900 miles under normal operation. Kitty Hawk armaments was four or six .50in machine guns in the wings and a bomb load of up to 1,000 lb's. A development of the earlier Tomahawk, the Kitty Hawk saw service in may air force's around the world, American, Australian, New Zealand, and the Royal Air Force. which used them in the Mediterranean, north Africa, and Malta. from January 1942/ apart from the large numbers used by the Us Air Force, over 3,000 were used by Commonwealth air force's including the Royal air Force.|
|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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