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|Signatures on this item|
|*The value given for each signature has been calculated by us based on the historical significance and rarity of the signature. Values of many pilot signatures have risen in recent years and will likely continue to rise as they become more and more rare.|
Col Perry J Dahl
*Signature Value : £45
|Born 18 February 1923, Colonel Dahl served in the 41st Infantry Division as an enlisted man in the early 1940s. He applied for aviation cadet training shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor, was accepted and graduated as a Second Lieutenant in June 1943. Following transition training in the P-38 Lightning, Dahl was sent to Tumwater, Washington with the 55th Fighter Group, then on to the Pacific Theater as a replacement pilot in the 432nd Fighter Squadron, 475th Fighter Group Satans Angels. Starting in Buna, New Guinea, he fought through the Pacific, ending up at Lingayen Gulf, Philippine Islands. Lieutenant Dahl scored his first victory on 9 November 1943, a Zeke downed near Alexishafen, and destroyed another Zeke over Wewak three days before Christmas. He was credited with a third Zeke on 23 January 1944 and became an ace on 3 April when he shot down a Zeke and an Oscar near Santani Lake. He was credited with one more Oscar on 8 June before the group moved to the Philippines. Promoted to captain, Dahl continued to run up his score, downing a Tony on 10 November. Two weeks later he was involved in a mid-air collision and parachuted into enemy territory. He was captured by a Japanese patrol but was rescued by Filipino guerrillas. He returned to his unit thirty one days later and concluded his scoring in March 1945, credited with a Sally on the 5th and a Hamp on the 28th. Following World War II Dahl attended the University of Washington and Southern Colorado State University, where he graduated with a Batchelor of Science degree. He was employed with the Seattle Post Intelligencer when he was recalled to active duty in February, 1951. Following recall, his duty assignments included: Test pilot, Air Force Depot; Editor Flying Safety Magazine; Student, Air Command and Staff College; Commander 734th Aircraft Warning and Control Squadron; Air Staff, Pentagon, Washington DC; Vice Commandant of Cadets, United States Air Force Academy; Deputy Chief of Staff, North American Air Defense Command and Commander, 56th Special Operations Wing. Colonel Dahl flew two combat tours in Southeast Asia. He retired from the Air Force on June 30 1978.|
Cpt Joseph Forster
*Signature Value : £45
|Born in 1919, Joe Forster enlisted in the Army in 1940, being commissioned as a pilot in 1943, flying the P-38 with 432nd Fighter Squadron. On 3rd April 1944, he was credited with his first 3 confirmed victories, eventually finishing the war with 9 confirmed victories, three probables and one damaged. He retired from the air force in 1971, having one two DFCs among other decorations.|
Cpt Thomas Oxford
*Signature Value : £40
|Tom entered the service in August 1943, and after graduating as a pilot was posted to the Pacific to join his first operational squadron - the 431st Fighter Squadron, 475th Fighter Group, flying P-38 Lightnings. His first combat mission took place in October 1944. He served with the 431st Squadron throughout the remainder of the war in the Pacific, and finally left the service in January 1946.|
|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 : Nicolas Trudgian|
|Click here for a full list of all artwork by Nicolas Trudgian|
Cranston Fine Arts have now taken over all remaining stocks of Nicolas Trudgian prints from his previous publishers. We have made available a great many prints that had not been seen for many years, and have uncovered some rarities which lay unnoticed during this transition.
Having graduated from art college, Nicolas Trudgian spent many years as a professional illustrator before turning to a career in fine art painting. His crisp style of realism, attention to detail, compositional skills and bright use of colours, immediately found favour with collectors and demand for his original work soared on both sides of the Atlantic. Today, more than a decade after becoming a fine art painter, Nicolas Trudgian is firmly established within a tiny, elite group of aviation artists whose works are genuinely collected world-wide. When he paints an aircraft you can be sure he has researched it in every detail and when he puts it over a particular airfield, the chances are he has paid it a recent visit. Even when he paints a sunset over a tropical island, or mist hanging over a valley in China, most probably he has seen it with his own eyes. Nick was born and raised in the seafaring city of Plymouth, the port from which the Pilgrim Fathers set sail in 1620, and where Sir Francis Drake played bowls while awaiting the Spanish Armada. Growing up in a house close to the railway station within a busy military city, the harbour always teeming with naval vessels and the skies above resonating with the sounds of naval aircraft, it was not at all surprising the young Nick became fascinated with trains, boats and aircraft. It was from his father, himself a talented artist, that Nick acquired his love of drawing and surrounded by so much that was inspiring, there was never a shortage of ideas for pictures. His talent began to show at an early age and although he did well enough at school, he always spent a disproportionate amount of time drawing. People talked about him becoming a Naval officer or an architect but in 1975 Nick's mind was made up. When he told his careers teacher he wanted to go to art school the man said, 'Now come on, what do you really want to do? After leaving school Nick began a one-year foundation course at the Plymouth College of Art. Now armed with an impressive portfolio containing paintings of jet aircraft, trains, even wildlife, he was immediately accepted at every college he applied to join. He chose a course at the Falmouth College of Art in Cornwall specialising in technical illustration and paintings of machines and vehicles for industry. It was perfect for Nick, and he was to become one of the star pupils. One of the lecturers commented at the time: Every college needs someone with a talent like Nick to raise the standards sky high; he carried all the other students along with him, and created an effect which will last for years to come. Two weeks after leaving art college Nick blew every penny he had on a trip to South Africa to ride the great steam trains across the desert, sketching them at every opportunity. Returning to England, in best traditions of all young artists, he struggled to make a living. Paintings by an unknown artist didn't fetch much despite the painstaking effort and time Nick put into each work, so when the college he had recently left offered him a job as a lecturer, he jumped at the chance. The money was good and he discovered that he really enjoyed teaching. Throughout the 1970s Nick was much involved with a railway preservation society near Plymouth and it was through the railway society that he had his first pictures reproduced as prints. But Nick felt he needed to advance his career and in summer 1985 Nick moved away from Cornwall to join an energetic new design studio in Wiltshire. Here he painted detailed artwork for many major companies including Rolls Royce, General Motors, Volvo Trucks, Alfa Romeo and, to his delight, the aviation and defence industries. He remembers the job as exciting though stressful, often requiring him to work right through the night to meet a client's deadline. Here he learned to be disciplined and fast. Towards the end of the 1980's Nick had the chance to work for the Military Gallery. This was the break that for years he had been striving towards and with typical enthusiasm, flung himself into his new role. After completing a series of aviation posters, including a gigantic painting to commemorate the seventy-fifth anniversary of the Royal Air Force, Nick's first aviation scene to be published as a limited edition was launched by the Military Gallery in 1991. Despite the fact he was unknown in the field, it was an immediate success. Over the past decade Nick has earned a special reputation for giving those who love his work much more than just aircraft in his paintings. He goes to enormous lengths with his backgrounds, filling them with interesting and accurate detail, all designed to help give the aircraft in his paintings a tremendous sense of location and purpose. His landscapes are quite breathtaking and his buildings demonstrate an uncanny knowledge of perspective but it is the hardware in his paintings which are most striking. Whether it is an aircraft, tank, petrol bowser, or tractor, Nick brings it to life with all the inordinate skill of a truly accomplished fine art painter. A prodigious researcher, Nick travels extensively in his constant quest for information and fresh ideas. He has visited India, China, South Africa, South America, the Caribbean and travels regularly to the United States and Canada. He likes nothing better than to be out and about with sketchbook at the ready and if there is an old steam train in the vicinity, well that's a bonus!
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