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|Colonel Darrell G Welch||Commissioned in 1941, Darrell Welch was assigned to the 27th Squadron of the 1st Fighter Group, which became the first squadron to be equipped with the new P38 Lightning. Arriving in England in August 1942, the 1st Fighter Group was part of a large American force despatched to Algiers in November for the North African campaign, where he made his first kill in January 1943 while escorting B17s over Tripoli. A few months later, whilst leading the 27th on a big intercept mission, Welch became an Ace when he notched up a further three victories in the space of just twenty five minutes, bringing his tally up to five confirmed victories. He later saw service in the Pacific, and retired the service in 1970.|
Colonel Jack M Ilfrey (deceased)
|Posted to North Africa with the 94th Fighter Group, Jack Ilfrey lost a belly tank transiting from England and force-landed at Lisbon. He avoided internment by conning some fuel and making an unauthorised take-off. He became one of the early P-38 Aces, and historians now say the very first P-38 Ace. Back in England in 1944 he commanded the 79th P-38 Squadron, 20th Fighter Group, at Kingscliffe, and ended his tow-tour war with 8 victories. Sadly, Jack Ilfrey died on 15th October 2004.|
Lt Colonel Frank D Hurlbut
|Frank Hurlbut joined the National Guard in early 1940 before being activated following the Japanese Attack at Pearl Harbor. He was posted to the 82nd Fighter Group, 96th FS flying P38s in Europe. He became a P38 Ace on 10th July 1943 during a notable fighter sweep in which his Group was credited with 10 kills. Frank Hurlbut flew over 50 combat missions and scored nine confirmed victories, all in Europe, making him the second highest Ace in the 12th Air Force. In Italy, in the summer of 1944, where he flew P38s with the 96th FS. Attacking targets of opportunity and strafing trains, the squadron escorted the heavy bombers that attacked aircraft|
|Major Newell O Roberts (deceased)||Capt. Newell O. Roberts, 94th Fighter Squadron with 5 victories. His first victory was one of two Me110 over Gabes in Southern Tunisia. Passed away 6th June 2010.|
|Major Thomas E Maloney (deceased)||Maj. Thomas E. Maloney, the highest scoring ace in 27th Fighter Squadron history with 8 victories. By scoring five kills during the war, he became an ace May 31, 1944, and by August 15th he had racked-up eight air victories. On August 19th he was already on his second combat mission of the day, his 64th, and last. After the dive-bombing, Maloney's flight looked for targets of opportunity. Repeatedly strafing a German train, Maloney's bullets caused secondary explosions sending debris and rolling stock higher into the air than his attacking aircraft. One of his engines was hit. It started losing oil pressure and he shut it off. With an escort of three other 27th fighters he headed for the Mediterranean Sea. His other engine began failing, and he was down to 800 feet above the water, too low to bail out. He bellylanded the aircraft in the water. Maloney said his P-38 floated like a crowbar. It started to sink immediately, even before it had stopped moving forward, almost taking him to the bottom. The tall pilot squeezed into his inner tube-size dinghy and waved to his circling flight to let them know he was OK. He expected a quick rescue, but he actually spent 10 days evading enemy forces until rescued by French soldiers and returned to the U.S. As Major Maloney recovered from his wounds in the hospital, Col. R.S. Richard, 1st Pursuit Group commander, decreed that any 27th Fighter Squadron aircraft bearing the number 23 would permanently be known as Maloney's Pony, the colorful moniker Major Maloney chose for his P-38. After rehabilitation Maloney was medically retired as a major in October 1947. He went back to school, then went on to become president of his own oil and gas drilling company. On December 5th 2008 Maloney was inducted into the Oklahoma Aviation and Space Hall of Fame. Tom Maloney passed away on November 16th, 2008.|
|The Aircraft :|
|Lightning||Designed by Kelly Johnson the P38 made its maiden flight on the 27th January 1939 and introduced into service in 1941. they cost $134,284 at the time each and a total of 10,037 were built. The Lockheed P-38 was introduced as a inceptor fighter but soon proved a valuable long range bomber escort for the 8thUS Air Force's B-17 and-24 bombers as they bombed targets further into Germany.|
|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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