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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.|
Flight Lieutenant Bill Reid VC (deceased)
*Signature Value : £80
|Volunteering for RAF aircrew in 1940, Bill Reid learned to fly in California, training on the Stearman, Vultee and Harvard. After gaining his pilots wings back in England he flew Wellingtons before moving on to Lancasters in 1943. On the night of Nov 3rd 1943, his Lancaster suffered two severe attacks from Luftwaffe night fighters, badly wounding Reid, killing his navigator and radio operator, and severely damaging the aircraft. Bill flew on 200 miles to accurately bomb the target and get his aircraft home. For this act of outstanding courage and determination he was awarded the Victoria Cross. Died 28th November 2001.|
Group Captain Hamish Mahaddie DSO DFC (deceased)
*Signature Value : £70
|Group Captain Thomas Gilbert "Hamish" Mahaddie. DSO, DFC, AFC.. CzMC. Nos 7, 55, and 77 Squadrons. Born In Keith, Edinburgh, on 19 March 1911. He joined the RAF as a part of the 17th Entry at Halton in 1928 and trained as a metal rigger, after which he was posted to Cranwell on ground servicing duties. In 1933 he boarded a troopship bound for the Middle East where he joined No 4 FTS at Abu Suler for pilot training. He gained his wings in 1935 and his first air crew posting was to No 55 Squadron at Hinaldi flying Westland Wapitis. On his return to England in 1937 he joined No 77 Squadron flying Whitleys from Driffield. During World War II he completed a tour of operations with No 77 Squadron before moving to Klnloss to instruct with No 14 OTU. He completed another tour, this time with No 7 Squadron at Oakington on Stirlings, before joining HQ Staff of No 8 (Pathfinder) Group. Group Captain Mahaddie finished the war as Station Commander at RAF Warboys, home of PFF Navigation Training Unit. In June 1945 he was appointed to command No 111 Wing in Germany followed by a spell at the Staff College, Haifa, In 1947. His postwar duties also included two tours of duty at the Air Ministry, as OC Flying Wing at Binbrook, and also as Station Commander at Sylt and Butzwellerhof in Germany. He finally retired from the RAF in 1958 and has since been involved with the film Industry as an aviation consultant specialising in electronics for all three services. Hamish Mahaddie died 16th January 1997.|
Squadron Leader Norman Scrivener DSO DFC (deceased)
*Signature Value : £55
|One of the top RAF navigators of the war who went on more than 100 sorties in Bomber Command. Squadron Leader Norman Scrivener was born in Birmingham in November 1915 and joined the Royal Air Force in early 1939. Norman Scrivener trained at Staverton Aerodrome, in Gloucestershire, where he discovered he suffered from air sickness. He joined 97 (New Zealand ) Squadron, became a pilot officer and was one of the first navigators to use the developing radar systems and later flew with Wing Commander Guy Gibson (before Gibson moved to the Dambusters.) with 106 Squadron and in 1943 joined the Pathfinders of 83 Squadron as navigator to the Squadron Commander John Searby and took part in the raid on the German radar facilities in Peenemunde where the German V2 and V1 rockets were produced and tested. Squadron Leader Norman Scrivener was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Distinguished Flying Order. Sadly Squadron Leader Norman Scrivener died in Worcester aged 91 in May 2007.|
Wing Commander Roderick Learoyd VC (deceased)
*Signature Value : £80
|On the day that war was declared Rod Learoyd was on patrol flying Hampdens with 49 Sqn. Continually involved with low level bombing, on the night of 12th August 1940, he and four other aircraft attempted to breach the heavily defended Dortmund - Ems canal. Of the four other aircraft on the mission, two were destroyed and the other two were badly hit. Learoyd took his plane into the heavily defended target at only 150 feet, in full view of the searchlights, and with flak barrage all around. He managed to get his very badly damaged aircraft back to England, where he circled until daybreak when he finally landed the aircraft without inflicting more damage to it, or injuring any of his crew. For his supreme courage that night he was awarded the Victoria Cross. He later joined 44 Sqn with the first Lancasters, and then commanded 83 Sqn. He died 24th January 1996.|
|The Aircraft :|
|Lancaster||The Avro Lancaster arose from the avro Manchester and the first prototype Lancaster was a converted Manchester with four engines. The Lancaster was first flown in January 1941, and started operations in March 1942. By March 1945 The Royal Air Force had 56 squadrons of Lancasters with the first squadron equipped being No.44 Squadron. During World War Two the Avro Lancaster flew 156,000 sorties and dropped 618,378 tonnes of bombs between 1942 and 1945. Lancaster Bomberss took part in the devastating round-the-clock raids on Hamburg during Air Marshall Harris' "Operation Gomorrah" in July 1943. Just 35 Lancasters completed more than 100 successful operations each, and 3,249 were lost in action. The most successful survivor completed 139 operations, and the Lancaster was scrapped after the war in 1947. A few Lancasters were converted into tankers and the two tanker aircraft were joined by another converted Lancaster and were used in the Berlin Airlift, achieving 757 tanker sorties. A famous Lancaster bombing raid was the 1943 mission, codenamed Operation Chastise, to destroy the dams of the Ruhr Valley. The operation was carried out by 617 Squadron in modified Mk IIIs carrying special drum shaped bouncing bombs designed by Barnes Wallis. Also famous was a series of Lancaster attacks using Tallboy bombs against the German battleship Tirpitz, which first disabled and later sank the ship. The Lancaster bomber was the basis of the new Avro Lincoln bomber, initially known as the Lancaster IV and Lancaster V. (Becoming Lincoln B1 and B2 respectively.) Their Lancastrian airliner was also based on the Lancaster but was not very successful. Other developments were the Avro York and the successful Shackleton which continued in airborne early warning service up to 1992.|
|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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