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|Brigadier General Henry Huglin (deceased)||Henry Huglin was Born in Iowa, in 1915. After being director of B-24 training, in 1944 Henry Huglin became deputy group commander of the 9th Bombardment Group at McCook, Nebraska, which in that year was organized and trained as a B-29 Group. In February 1945 he accompanied the group in its overseas deployment to Tinian in the Marianas Islands where it became part of the 20th Air Force conducting the strategic air campaign against Japan. In March 1945 he became group commander and remained as the group commander through the end of World War II six months later. During this period, he led his Group on 17 of their 75 bombing and mining missions (comprising more than 2,000 sorties of 3,000 miles each) in the war against Japan, including participating in the first low-level fire raid on Tokyo March 5, 1945. Promoted to Colonel in June 1945, he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with oak leaf cluster and the Bronze Star. After the end of World War II, Colonel Huglin served as chief of the Operations Branch in the U.S. Strategic Air Force Headquarters on Guam, a month with Headquarters, Far East Air Forces in the Philippines, a year as chief of staff of the 308th Bomb Wing in Korea, and seven months as commanding officer of Nagoya Air Base, Japan. In January of 1948, Colonel Huglin reported to Air Force Headquarters in the Pentagon where he served until October of that year as chief of the Personnel Statistics Division, Office of the Comptroller, Headquarters U.S. Air Force. On the 10th of June 1959, Colonel Huglin was promoted to Brigadier Generaland became deputy U.S. representative to the NATO Military Committee and Standing Group, Nov. 1, 1959. Sadly Brigadier General Huglin died on the 10th of December 2005.|
Colonel Bob Morgan (deceased)
|The 24 year old Captain and pilot Bob Morgan skippered the Memphis Belle on every one of her 25 combat missions over the skies of occupied Europe and Nazi Germany. His renowned skill as a B-17 pilot, his courage under fire, and his leadership welded his crew into one of the best fighting units in the 8th Air Force. Bob Morgan later commanded a squadron of B-29s in the Pacific and led the first B-29 raid on Tokyo. He completed a total of 26 missions against Japan, and became the most celebrated American bomber pilot of WWII. On 21 April 2004, Morgan broke his neck when he fell at the Asheville Regional Airport. He was admitted to a hospital in Asheville, where he remained in critical condition for several weeks. On 10 May, Morgan came down with pneumonia, and that combined with a massive infection brought him face-to-face with one final combat that he lost. Robert Morgan died on Friday, 15 May 2004. He was 85. He was buried on 22 May with full military honours including an Air Force flyover at the NC State Veterans Cemetery.|
|Colonel Ray Brashear (deceased)||Flew with the 499th Bomb Group (73rd Wing). Ray completed 35 missions to Japan including the first raid on Tokyo. He passed away peacefully on December 24th, 2009.|
Jay Zeamer (deceased)
|Jay Zeamer was born in Carlisle Pennsylvania and grew up in Orange County, New Jersey. He became an Eagle Scout at the age of thirteen, and at 14 enrolled in Culver Military Academy in Indiana. He attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology after graduating high school and enrolled in the Reserve Officers Training Corps. One of the USAAFs most highly decorated bomber pilots, Jay Zeamer was awarded the Medal of Honor on his 47th mission. Badly injured when attacked by Japanese fighters, he got his B-17 crew safely home. Zeamer died in a nursing home at the age of 88 on March 22nd, 2007.|
|Lieutenant Chester Marshall||Acknowledged as one of the great exponents of the B-29, Chester flew 30 missions against Japan, including the first raid on Tokyo, November 1944, and the first low-level raid on March 9th 1945.|
|Red Erwin||Red Erwin received the only Medal of Honor awarded to a B-29 crewman. On his 17th mission a phosphorous bomb exploded in the aircraft. He picked it up and tossed it out, saving the aircraft and crew. He has since had 43 plastic surgery operations.|
|The Aircraft :|
|Mustang||The 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.|
|Superfortress||The largest and most powerful bomber of WW II, the Boeing B-29 Super Fortress, played a major role in bringing about the defeat of Japan. In addition to accelerating Japans surrender following the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki with atomic bombs, thousands of B-29 crews flew tens of thousands of bombing missions against Japan from bases in China, India, and later in the War from recaptured islands in the Pacific. B-29s entered service in 1943 following a lengthy, problem-filled, development process of three years in response to the governments request for a long range strategic bomber. Only Boeing and Douglas (the B-32 Dominator) responded to the governments requests, and the B-32 had even greater development problems than the B-29. Powered by four giant Wright R-3350-23 radial engines generating a total horsepower of 8,924, the Super Fortresses typically carried crews of ten. They were capable of a top speed of 357-MPH, and at slower cruising speeds had a range of more than 3,200 miles. The B-29 was a large aircraft for its time with a wingspan in excess of 140 feet and a length of just under 100 feet. The Super Forts also had pressurized forward and aft hulls, which made the long distance missions a bit more comfortable for the flight crews. B-29s typically carried defensive armament which included ten machine guns and a single tail-mounted canon. Because of the pressurized hull, the guns were operated by remote control. The first operational B-29 wing was the 58th which flew out of the China-Burma-India theater. On March 9, 1945 General Curtis LeMay ordered an unusual low altitude attack on Tokyo by hundreds of B-29s carrying incendiary bombs. Five such low level missions were scheduled over a ten-day period, and the combined destruction of these missions exceeded that of either of the atomic bomb missions. B-29s were also effectively used to mine Japanese ports and shipping lanes.|
|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.
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