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Return from Schweinfurt by Robert Taylor.


Return from Schweinfurt by Robert Taylor.

B-17 Fortresses of the American 8th Air Forces 1st Wing, fighting their way back from Schweinfurt on 17th August 1945.
AMAZING VALUE! - The value of the signatures on this item is in excess of the price of the print itself!
Item Code : AX0039Return from Schweinfurt by Robert Taylor. - This Edition
TYPEEDITION DETAILSSIZESIGNATURESOFFERSYOUR PRICEPURCHASING
PRINT Signed limited edition of 1250 prints.

One secondary market print available, numbered 910 / 1250.
Paper size 36 inches x 26 inches (91cm x 66cm) LeMay, Curtis
Johnson, Johnnie
Galland, Adolf
Zemke, Hub
+ Artist : Robert Taylor


Signature(s) value alone : £355
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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.
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The signature of Air Vice Marshal Johnnie Johnson CB, CBE, DSO**, DFC* (deceased)

Air Vice Marshal Johnnie Johnson CB, CBE, DSO**, DFC* (deceased)
*Signature Value : £70

James Edgar Johnson was born in Barrow on Soar near Loughborough on 9th March 1915. He lived in Melton, the first house on the left of Welby Lane as you leave Nottingham Road, with his parents - his father being a local Police Inspector. Johnnie qualified as a Civil Engineer at Nottingham University in 1937. He joined the RAFVR and did his flying training at 21 E&RFTS, Stapleford before enlisting for full-time service in the RAF at the beginning of WWII. He first went to ITW at Jesus College, Cambridge, completed his ab initio flying at 22 EFTS, Cambridge and his intermediate and advanced flying at 5 FTS, Sealand. Johnnie Johnson joined 92 Spitfire squadron in August 1940, but it was with 616 squadron that he scored his first victory on June 26th 1941 while flying with Douglas Baders Tangmere Wing. He was squadron leader of 610 squadron in July 1942, but it was as Wing Commander of the Kenley Wing in 1943 that his scores really started to mount. He was W/C of 144 wing during D-Day and led 127 and 125 wings until the end of the war when we has the topscoring allied fighter pilot with 38 air victories. Inspired by the great British WW 1 aces like Bishop and Ball, Johnnie Johnson dreamed often as a child of becoming an R.A.F. pilot. The young Johnson enthusiastically joined the Volunteer Reserve at the first opportunity. After completing his initial flight training Johnson was posted to 616 Squadron at Kenley. However, this Squadron had been hit hard with the loss of six pilots and five wounded, and the unit was withdrawn to Coltishall prior to Johnson encountering combat. With only 12 hours of flight time in a Spitfire this was no doubt advantageous. In February 1941 Billy Burton moved the Squadron to Tangmere. Douglas Bader then arrived to take over the Tangmere Wing, and fly with the 616 Squadron. Johnnie, Alan Smith and Cocky Dundas were chosen to fly with Bader. During the summer of 1940 the Battle of Britain was at its peak. Bader took the time to instruct Johnson carefully in both the art of flying and the skills necessary to attain success in aerial combat. Baders idea of an afternoon off duty, according to Johnson, was to take his section over the Channel in hopes of running into Adolph Galland and his Abbeyville Boys. On August 19, 1941 Bader failed to return from a mission when 616 Squadron was hit hard by a group of Messerschmitt 109s. Johnson flew on in Baders absence, and in the summer of 1942 he was promoted to command of the 610 Squadron. In 1943 he was promoted again to Wing Commander of the Canadian Spitfire Wing in Kenley. By that time Johnson had attained eight confirmed victories. During the spring and summer of 1943 Johnnie led the Canadian unit on more than 140 missions over Northwest Europe. Johnsons squadron attained more than 100 victories during this period, and Johnnies own personal score rose to 25. After a short leave, Johnson was posted to lead the 144 Canadian Spitfire Wing. On D-Day Johnson led his Wing on four missions in support of the Allied invasion. On June 8, Johnsons Wing was the first Spitfire group to land in newly liberated France. Johnson continued fighting in France through September 1944 when he achieved his 38th and final victory. Patrolling the Rhine Johnsons unit jumped nine 109s which were flying beneath them in the opposite direction. Five of the 109s were downed. Early in 1945 Johnson was promoted to Group Captain and put in command of the 125 Wing, which was equipped with the Spitfire XIV. Flying from former Luftwaffe airfields the 125 Wing assisted in the final Allied push to Berlin. Johnson attributed much of his aerial combat success to his ability to make tight turning maneuvers. Johnsons tightest call came on August 19, 1942 when he was unable to dislodge an Me-109 from his tail during the raid on Diepppe. Johnson raced his Spitfire flat out at a group of Royal Navy ships. The usual barrage of flak and tracer fire came right at him, and fortunately for the ace, missed his Spitfire but effectively eliminated the brave pilot on his tail. During the Korean War Johnson flew fighter-bombers with the USAF. Following his retirement from the R.A.F. in 1966 Johnson founded the Johnnie Johnson Housing Trust that has provided homes for more than 4000 disabled and elderly persons, and his sixth book Winged Victory was published in 1995. Johnson flew many of the Spitfire models. His favorite was the beautiful Mark IX, the best of them all. Johnnie passed away in 2001 at the age of 85, in Derbyshire, England.


The signature of Colonel Hub Zemke (deceased)

Colonel Hub Zemke (deceased)
*Signature Value : £180

Best known as leader of the legendary Zemkes Wolfpack, Hub Zemkes famous 56th Fighter Group was the top scoring Fighter Group in the European Theather of operations. Zemke pioneered the use of the P-38 Droop Snoot as a bomb aiming aircraft which led the bomb-loaded P-47s on to the target with great accuracy and success. He later commanded the 479th Fighter Group P-38s. One of the outstanding fighter leaders of the war, Hub Zemkes personal tally 17.5 victories. Sadly, he passed awway on 30th August 1994.
Curtis LeMay
*Signature Value : £25



The signature of General Adolf Galland (deceased)

General Adolf Galland (deceased)
*Signature Value : £80

Adolf Galland fought in the great Battles of Poland, France and Britain, leading the famous JG26 Abbeville Boys. He flew in combat against the RAFs best including Douglas Bader, Bob Stanford Tuck and Johnnie Johnson. In 1941, at the age of 29, he was promoted to Inspector of the Fighter Arm. In 1942 Hitler personally selected Galland to organise the fighter escort for the Channel Dash. He became the youngest General in the German High Command but open disagreements with Goering led to his dismissal at the end of 1944. He reverted to combat flying, forming the famous JV44 wing flying the Me262 jet fighter, and was the only General in history to lead a squadron into battle. With 104 victories, all in the West, Adolf Galland received the Knights Cross with Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds. Born 19th March 1912, died 9th February 1996. Born in 1911, Adolf Galland learned to fly at a state-sponsored flying club in the early 1930s. In 1933 he was selected to go to Italy for secret pilot training. Galland flew for a brief time as a commercial airline pilot prior to joining the clandestine Luftwaffe as a Second Lieutenant. In April of 1935 he was assigned to JG-2, the Richtofen Fighter Wing, and in 1937 he joined the ranks of the Condor Legion flying the He-51 biplane fighter in support of General Franco during the Spanish Civil War. Despite flying 280 missions, Galland attained no aerial victories, a rather inauspicious start for a pilot would go on to attain more than 100 aerial victories - the highest for any pilot who flew on the Western Front. During Germanys invasion of Poland, Galland was assigned to an attack squadron and he flew over fifty ground sorties. He was promoted to Captain for his efforts, but Galland was anxious to return to a fighter squadron, and he got his wish in October of 1939 when he was transferred to JG-27. It was with JG-27 that Galland first learned to fly the Bf-109. In May of 1940 JG-27 flew in support of the invasion of Belgium, and Galland achieved his first combat victory on May 12. Two months later his score had risen to more than a dozen, and at this time he was once again transferred to JG-26 situated on the Channel Coast. Engaging the RAF on a daily basis during the Battle of Britain, Gallands score rose steadily until it exceeded 40 victories by September. After a short leave Galland rejoined JG-26 in Brittany, where the squadron played a defensive role. Following Germanys invasion of Russia in June of 1941, JG-26 became one of only two German fighter squadrons left on the Channel Coast. This resulted in plenty of flying, and by late in 1941 Gallands victory totals had reached 70. Following a near brush with death when the fuel tank of his 109 exploded, Galland was grounded for a time, and sent to Berlin where he was made the General of the Fighter Arm, reporting directly to Goring and Hitler. Galland spent most of the next few years carrying out inspection tours, and was at odds with his superiors about the need for an adequate fighter defense to negate ever-increasing Allied bombing of Germanys cities. He continued to fly combat missions when the opportunity presented itself, despite Gorings orders to the contrary. In January of 1945 almost 300 fighters were lost in an all-out attack on Allied airfields in France, a mission Galland did not support. He was dismissed as General of the Fighter Arm for his insubordination, but reflecting his flying abilities Hitler ordered Galland to organize JV-44, Germanys first jet-equipped fighter squadron. By March of 1945 Galland had recruited 45 of Germanys best surviving fighter pilots, and this new squadron was given the difficult task of trying to counter the daily onslaught of 15th Air Force bombers coming at Germany from the South. Gallands final mission of the War occurred on April 26 when he attained his 102nd and 103rd confirmed aerial victories prior to crash landing his damaged Me262. Several days later the War was over for both Galland and Germany. General Galland died in 1996.
The Aircraft :
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Flying FortressIn the mid-1930s engineers at Boeing suggested the possibility of designing a modern long-range monoplane bomber to the U.S. Army Air Corps. In 1934 the USAAC issued Circular 35-26 that outlined specifications for a new bomber that was to have a minimum payload of 2000 pounds, a cruising speed in excess of 200-MPH, and a range of at least 2000 miles. Boeing produced a prototype at its own expense, the model 299, which first flew in July of 1935. The 299 was a long-range bomber based largely on the Model 247 airliner. The Model 299 had several advanced features including an all-metal wing, an enclosed cockpit, retractable landing gear, a fully enclosed bomb bay with electrically operated doors, and cowled engines. With gun blisters glistening everywhere, a newsman covering the unveiling coined the term Flying Fortress to describe the new aircraft. After a few initial test flights the 299 flew off to Wright Field setting a speed record with an average speed of 232-mph. At Wright Field the 299 bettered its competition in almost all respects. However, an unfortunate crash of the prototype in October of 1935 resulted in the Army awarding its primary production contract to Douglas Aircraft for its DB-1 (B-18.) The Army did order 13 test models of the 299 in January 1936, and designated the new plane the Y1B-17. Early work on the B-17 was plagued by many difficulties, including the crash of the first Y1B-17 on its third flight, and nearly bankrupted the Company. Minor quantities of the B-17B, B-17C, and B-17D variants were built, and about 100 of these aircraft were in service at the time Pearl Harbor was attacked. In fact a number of unarmed B-17s flew into the War at the time of the Japanese attack. The German Blitzkrieg in Europe resulted in accelerated aircraft production in America. The B-17E was the first truly heavily armed variant and made its initial flight in September of 1941. B-17Es cost $298,000 each and more than 500 were delivered. The B-17F and B-17G were the truly mass-produced wartime versions of the Flying Fortress. More than 3,400 B-17Fs and more than 8,600 B-17Gs would be produced. The American daylight strategic bombing campaign against Germany was a major factor in the Allies winning the War in Europe. This campaign was largely flown by B-17 Flying Fortresses (12,677 built) and B-24 Liberators (18,188 built.) The B-17 bases were closer to London than those of the B-24, so B-17s received a disproportionate share of wartime publicity. The first mission in Europe with the B-17 was an Eighth Air Force flight of 12 B-17Es on August 12, 1942. Thousands more missions, with as many as 1000 aircraft on a single mission would follow over the next 2 years, virtually decimating all German war making facilities and plants. The B-17 could take a lot of damage and keep on flying, and it was loved by the crews for bringing them home despite extensive battle damage. Following WW II, B-17s would see some action in Korea, and in the 1948 Israel War. There are only 14 flyable B-17s in operation today and a total of 43 complete airframes
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.

More about Robert Taylor

This Week's Half Price Art

 Hannes Truatloft is shown here leading Fw190s of JG54 over the Russian Front.  Hannes Trautloft is one of the Luftwaffes great fighter leaders, scoring his first air victory in the Spanish Civil War in August 1936. Returning to Germany in 1937 he joined the national aerobatics team flying the Me109. Soon after the outbreak of World War II, Hannes took command of I./JG20 taking part in the Battle of Britain, before moving to the Balkans as Kommodore of JG54. Now leading the group on the Russian Front, JG54 took part in the heavy fighting, first in the Me109, then the Fw190. In the summer of 1943 Hannes Trautloft joined General Gallands staff. As a mutineer he was sacked by Goering, thus ending an illustrious combat career comprising 550 combat missions and 57 aerial victories.

Hannes Trautloft by Graeme Lothian. (P)
Half Price! - £1500.00
 Shortly after mid day on 26th August 1940, a Bolton-Paul Defiant of 264 Sqn claimed a victory that was to make history many decades later.  Dornier Do.17Z2, Wk No 1160 of 7/III KG.3 had been part of a raiding force sent to attack targets in Essex.  Attacked from below, the Do.17 suffered terminal damage and came to rest in the shallow waters of the Goodwin Sands, near Deal in Kent.  Two of her crew died in the incident, but two others survived and became prisoners of war.  In June 2013, over seventy years later, 5K+AR was raised from the water to be put on display at the RAF Museum in Hendon, becoming the only example of its type to survive anywhere in the world.

5K+AR Sole Survivor by Ivan Berryman.
Half Price! - £50.00
 The C-17 Globemaster III is the newest, and the most flexible cargo aircraft to enter the airlift force.  It is capable of rapid strategic delivery of troops and all types of cargo to main operating bases or directly to forward bases in the deployment area.  The aircraft is also able to perform tactical airlift and airdrop missions when required.  The inherent flexibility and performance characteristics of the C-17 force improve the ability of the total airlift system to fulfill the worldwide air mobility requirements of the United States.  The ultimate measure of airlift effectiveness is the ability to rapidly project and sustain an effective combat force close to a potential battle area.  Threats to U.S. interests have changed in recent years, and the size and weight of U.S.-mechanized firepower and equipment have grown in response to improved capabilities of potential adversaries.  This trend has significantly increased air mobility requirements, particularly in the area of large or heavy outsize cargo.  As a result, newer and more flexible airlift aircraft are needed to meet potential armed contingencies, peacekeeping or humanitarian missions worldwide.  The C-17 was designed and built with this new world order in mind.

The Globemasters by Dru Blair.
Half Price! - £60.00
 From the day they began their aerial campaign against Nazi Germany to the cessation of hostilities in 1945, the USAAF bomber crews plied their hazardous trade in broad daylight. This tactic may have enabled better sighting of targets, and possibly less danger of mid-air collisions, but the grievous penalty of flying daylight missions over enemy territory was the ever presence of enemy fighters. Though heavily armed, the heavy bombers of the American Eighth Air Force were no match against the fast, highly manoeuvrable Me109s, Fw190s and, late in the war, Me 262 jet fighters which the Luftwaffe sent up to intercept them. Without fighter escort they were sitting ducks, and inevitably paid a heavy price. Among others, one fighter group earned particular respect, gratitude, and praise from bomber crews for their escort tactics. The 356th FG stuck rigidly to the principle of tight bomber escort duty, their presence in tight formation with the bombers often being sufficient to deter enemy attack. Repeatedly passing up the opportunity to increase individual scores, the leadership determined it more important to bring the bombers home than claim another enemy fighter victory. As the air war progressed this philosophy brought about an unbreakable bond between heavy bomber crews and escort fighter pilots, and among those held in the highest esteem were the pilots of the 356th. Top scoring ace Donald J Strait, flying his P-51 D Mustang Jersey Jerk, together with pilots of the 356th Fighter Group, are seen in action against Luftwaffe Fw 190s while escorting B-17 bombers returning from a raid on German installations during the late winter of 1944. One minute all is orderly as the mighty bombers thunder their way homeward, the next minute enemy fighters are upon them and all hell breaks loose. <br><br><b>Published 2003.<br><br>Signed by three of the top pilots from the 356th Fighter group.</b>

Ace of Diamonds by Nicolas Trudgian (Y)
Half Price! - £105.00

 Of the five Lancasters that formed the Second Wave of Operation Chastise, just one aircraft made it to the target, the Sorpe Dam, on the night of 16th/17th May 1943.  American pilot Joe McCarthy had been forced to switch to the reserve aircraft due to technical difficulties and subsequently took off slightly later than his less fortunate comrades, all of whom fell either to German flak or to mishaps on their perilous journey.  Upon arrival, McCarthy found the view of the dam itself to be unobscured, although mist in the surrounding valleys made it difficult to gauge his approach.  As this was not a masonry dam, a different tactic was employed to the Möhne and Eder which involved flying along the length of the dam and dropping the Upkeep bomb, unspun, directly onto it.  Their task was made all the more difficult by the fact that their approach necessitated McCarthy bringing AJ-T low over the hilltop village of Langsheid whose Church spire occupied the very point at which the aircraft had to pass to get a good run upon the dam.  Undaunted and with great skill, ED825(G) made its run and released the bomb onto the dam, unassisted by the spotlight altimeter device that had proved so useful at the Möhne and Eder as AJ-T had not been fitted with this aid.  Nevertheless, the Upkeep struck the dam and exploded as planned, sadly with little effect.  McCarthy and his brave crew returned safely to Scampton, their landing made slightly difficult by a tyre that had been damaged by light flak on the return journey. The Sorpe was attacked again in the small hours of the morning when Flight Sergeant Ken Brown's aircraft, AJ-F of the Third Wave arrived, once more striking the dam successfully, but again without breaching it.

Attack on the Sorpe by Ivan Berryman. (GS)
Half Price! - £250.00
 Historic RNAS bombing raid on the German Zepperlin base at Cuxhaven, on Christmas day 1914.

Christmas Surprise by David Pentland.
Half Price! - £35.00
 Bf109 G2 of Major Gunther Rall pursues and downs an unidentified Soviet aircraft over the Caucasus, Russia, early Autumn 1943. Rall went on to become the third highest scoring ace of all time, with 275 victories in only 621 missions.

No Escape by David Pentland.
Half Price! - £40.00
 A veteran of the Spanish Civil War, Lieutenant Commander Carlo Fecia Conte di Cossato was one of the most successful and formidable Italian submarine commanders of WWII.  In charge of the <i>Tazzoli</i> , he destroyed almost 18,000 tons of shipping on his first mission, steadily adding to this total as they prowled the Atlantic.  The <i>Tazzoli</i> is depicted as its tenacious crew retaliate with machine gun fire against a marauding Bristol Beaufort of 217 Sqn on 23rd May 1941, an encounter that left both protagonists with some damage.

Exchange of Fire by Ivan Berryman. (P)
Half Price! - £1000.00
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