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Spitfires Over Darwin by Robert Taylor.


Spitfires Over Darwin by Robert Taylor.

Mark Vc tropicalized Spitfires of No 1 wing RAAF returning from a Scramble over the city of Darwin in early 1943. The bombing of Darwin by Japanese aircraft shortly before 10:00 am on the morning of February 19, 1942, brought the northern region of Australia directly into the war in the South Pacific. The surprise attack caught the Royal Australian Air Force with only a handful of Wirraway trainers and a squadron of Hudson twin-engine bombers to defend the Northern Territories, and a Japanese invasion looked a possibility. Fortunately the USAAF 49th Group were transiting through Darwin at the time, en route to Java and, flying their P-40E fighters, they were able to hold the line until 77 Squadron Kittyhawks arrived to defend the Top End in the latter part of 1942. At the time Australias only Spitfire squadrons were operating successfully in Europe as part of RAFs 11 Group, but Churchill, recognizing the Japanese threat to Australia, dispatched three Spitfire squadrons to Darwin in the Northern summer of 1942. Simultaneously a group of talented young Australian pilots returned home from service in North Africa and Malta to join the newly formed Wing. Number One Fighter Wing, known as the Churchill Wing, became operational in January 1943, scoring their first victory on February 6th. Shortly after on March 2nd, the Wings Spitfires led by the legendary Wing Commander Clive Caldwell came up against Zeros - the first time the two types had met over Australian skies. The Spitfire pilots immediately took the upper hand, bringing down two Zeros without loss - a portend of what was to come. These early encounters were the start of what became a highly successful air defence campaign, and by the end of the year the seasoned fighter pilots of No 1 Fighter Wing had gained total air superiority, and had claimed over 100 victories. The Japanese withdrew and the attacks of Darwin ceased.
Item Code : DHM2683Spitfires Over Darwin by Robert Taylor. - This Edition
TYPEEDITION DETAILSSIZESIGNATURESOFFERSYOUR PRICEPURCHASING
PRINT Flight Commnders edition of 400 prints.

SOLD OUT.
Paper size 25 inches x 19 inches (64cm x 48cm) Henshaw, Alex
Foster, Bob
Hall, Ted
MacLean, Don
+ Artist : Robert Taylor
SOLD
OUT
NOT
AVAILABLE
All prices on our website are displayed in British Pounds Sterling



Other editions of this item : Spitfires Over Darwin by Robert Taylor. DHM2683
TYPEEDITION DETAILSSIZESIGNATURESOFFERSYOUR PRICEPURCHASING
PRINT Commanding Officers Edition of 150 prints.

SOLD OUT
Paper size 25 inches x 19 inches (64cm x 48cm) Cundy, W R
Bisley, John
James, Ken
MacDonald, Ron
Henshaw, Alex
Foster, Bob
Hall, Ted
MacLean, Don
+ Artist : Robert Taylor
SOLD
OUT
VIEW EDITION...
PRINT Guardian Top End Edition of 75 prints.

Special presentation copy available - Print supplied with signed pencil print with the signature of Rt Hon John Gorton. SOLD.
Paper size 25 inches x 19 inches (64cm x 48cm) Cundy, W R
Bisley, John
James, Ken
MacDonald, Ron
Gorton, John (companion print)
Henshaw, Alex
Foster, Bob
Hall, Ted
MacLean, Don
+ Artist : Robert Taylor
SOLD
OUT
VIEW EDITION...
General descriptions of types of editions :

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.
NameInfo


The signature of Chief Test Pilot Alex Henshaw (deceased)

Chief Test Pilot Alex Henshaw (deceased)
*Signature Value : £70

Alex Henshaw perhaps understands the Spitfire better than any other pilot - for he was Vickers Chief Test Pilot on Spitfires at the new Spitfire factory at Castle Bromwich during World War II. By the end of the war he had personally test flown a total of 2360 different Spitfires and Seafires - more than ten per cent of the entire production. It is often stated that those lucky enough to have seen Alex handle the Spitfire in flight, that it is an experience that can never be forgotten, he was acknowledged as a virtuoso in aerobatics. Alex Henshaw died 24th February 2007.
Flight Lieutenant Don MacLean DFC MID
*Signature Value : £45

Flight Commander, 457 Squadron. In mid 1940 Don Maclean joined the RAAF, arriving in the UK in April 1941. Commissioned two months later he joined 457 Squadron, which, based at Redhill, became part of the Kenley Wing. By the time the squadron departed for Australia in July 1942, when he was made a Flight Commander, he had claimed 3 Fw190s destroyed. His tour of operations in Darwin began on 16th January 1943 and during the next 12 months his total score had risen to 4 destroyed, 3 probables and 5 damaged. After a short tour as an instructor, Don finished the war back with 457 Squadron in Borneo, and was acting C.O. until disbandment. Don was awarded the DFC.
Flight Lieutenant Ted Hall
*Signature Value : £35

Flight Commander, 452 Squadron. Ted Hall joined the RAAF in 1940 and went to England where he was posted to 129 Squadron at Tangmere flying Spitfires. As Flight Commander he claimed his first victory on 24th July 1942. In the next month he destroyed two more and one shared. He returned to Australia, joining 452 Squadron in Darwin again as Flight Commander. In March 1943 he claimed two Japanese aircraft damaged and on 30th Jun destroyed a Zeke.


The signature of Wing Commander Bob Foster DFC

Wing Commander Bob Foster DFC
*Signature Value : £35

605 Sqn Battle of Britain, flying Hurricanes throughout the Battle of Britain with much success. 54(F) Sqn Spitfire 1942-1944 in Australia. Flew some missions in aircraft R4118, which saw a total of 49 combat missions, shooting down several enemy aircarft. It was in this aircraft that Bob Foster damaged two Ju88s and shared in the destruction of a third. He finished the war with 7 confirmed victories and 3 probables.
The Aircraft :
NameInfo
SpitfireRoyal Air Force fighter aircraft, maximum speed for mark I Supermarine Spitfire, 362mph up to The Seafire 47 with a top speed of 452mph. maximum ceiling for Mk I 34,000feet up to 44,500 for the mark XIV. Maximum range for MK I 575 miles . up to 1475 miles for the Seafire 47. Armament for the various Marks of Spitfire. for MK I, and II . eight fixed .303 browning Machine guns, for MKs V-IX and XVI two 20mm Hispano cannons and four .303 browning machine guns. and on later Marks, six to eight Rockets under the wings or a maximum bomb load of 1,000 lbs. Designed by R J Mitchell, The proto type Spitfire first flew on the 5th March 1936. and entered service with the Royal Air Force in August 1938, with 19 squadron based and RAF Duxford. by the outbreak of World war two, there were twelve squadrons with a total of 187 spitfires, with another 83 in store. Between 1939 and 1945, a large variety of modifications and developments produced a variety of MK,s from I to XVI. The mark II came into service in late 1940, and in March 1941, the Mk,V came into service. To counter the Improvements in fighters of the Luftwaffe especially the FW190, the MK,XII was introduced with its Griffin engine. The Fleet Air Arm used the Mk,I and II and were named Seafires. By the end of production in 1948 a total of 20,351 spitfires had been made and 2408 Seafires. The most produced variant was the Spitfire Mark V, with a total of 6479 spitfires produced. The Royal Air Force kept Spitfires in front line use until April 1954.
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

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