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Launch Against the Bismarck by Robert Taylor.


Launch Against the Bismarck by Robert Taylor.

Late in the day on May 26, 1941, in deteriorating weather, 15 Fairey Swordfish biplanes launched from the heaving deck of the aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal. Each was armed with a single torpedo, its task to halt the escape of the battleship Bismarck. The navy pilots knew they must succeed before dark: by the following morning the German battleship would reach the protection of Luftwaffe aircraft based in France. Contending with turbulence and sea spray, one by one the Swordfish made their attack, running in just feet above the waves. The frail biplanes were met with a barrage of murderous gunfire, Bismarck bringing all possible armament to bear. Attempting to avoid the in-coming attack, the 42,000 ton battleship was in a high-speed turn when a torpedo from a Number 2 subflight Swordfish struck her steering gear. The explosion irreparably jammed her rudder over 12 degrees sealing the fate of the mighty warship. Unable to steer, all she could do was await the dawn and the arrival of the British Home Fleet.
Item Code : RST0029Launch Against the Bismarck by Robert Taylor. - This Edition
TYPEEDITION DETAILSSIZESIGNATURESOFFERSYOUR PRICEPURCHASING
PRINTSigned limited edition of 500 prints.

SOLD OUT.
Paper size 34 inches x 26 inches (86cm x 66cm) Moffat, John William Jock
Bailey, Leslie Bill
Jackson, Patrick Bernard Pat
Glick, Philip David Percy
+ Artist : Robert Taylor
SOLD
OUT
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All prices on our website are displayed in British Pounds Sterling


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
Commander Patrick Bernard Pat Jackson RN (deceased)
*Signature Value : £40

HMS Victorious - 825 Squadron FAA. Pilot H. Born 25th May 1917, Pat Jackson became a Fleet Air Arm Pilot and on the 6th of August 1940 joined 825 Squadron onbaord HMS Furious until February 1941. He transferred to HMS Victorious where on the 24th of May 1941, Jackson along with his crew A/S-Lt. David Anthony Berrill, RN and LA F. G. Sparkes participated in the attack on the Bismarck in Swordfish 5H:V4337 along with another 8 Swordfish from 825 squadron. On the 5th of July 1941 Jackson transferred to 768 Squadron at HMS Condor (air station at Arbroath) and on the 15th of March 1942, Patrick Bernard Jackson became Commanding Officer of 768 Squadron. He moved to HMS Daedalus (RN air station at Lee-on-Solonet) in February 1943 and again transferred in March 1943 to HMS Saker (as part of the British Admiralty Delegation, Washington, DC) until March 1944. when he became Lieutenant Commander (Flying), HMS Searcher (escort carrier) until July 1945. Sadly Commander Patrick Bernard Jackson passed away on the 2nd of October 2004.


The signature of Lieutenant Commander John William Jock Moffat RN

Lieutenant Commander John William Jock Moffat RN
*Signature Value : £70

John Moffat was born in Kelso in 1919 and at the outbreak of WWII, was sent to Sydenham, Belfast where a training school, set up by Short Brothers, was based. John learnt to fly in a Miles Magister. During 1939, he was sent to No.1 Flying Training School at Netheravon and here he was taught to fly advanced open-cockpit aircraft such as Hawker Hinds and Audaxes. Commissioned into the RNVR as a sub-lieutenant he was moved to Eastlee (now Southampton Airport) to the Naval Fighter School, learning fighter techniques in Blackburn Skuas and Rocs and the well-known Gloster Gladiator. In 1940, John was moved to Sanderling, the Royal Naval air station at Abbotsinch (now known as Glasgow Airport). In 1941, on board HMS Ark Royal stationed at Gibraltar, they were ordered to assist in the hunt for Bismarck and Prinz Eugen. The aircraft headed first to HMS Sheffield who gave them signals by Aldis Lamp on the position of the Bismarck. John Moffat served on HMS Ark Royal, HMS Argus, HMS Furious and HMS Formidable, and served with 759 Sqn, 818 Sqn, 820 Sqn and 824 Sqn.
Lieutenant Leslie Bill Bailey RN
*Signature Value : £40

HMS Victorious - 825 Squadron FAA Observer
Rear Admiral Philip David Percy Glick CBE OBE DSC
*Signature Value : £30

HMS Victorious - 825 Squadron FAA. Pilot F
The Aircraft :
NameInfo
SwordfishTorpedo bomber and reconnaissance biplane, crewed by three, with a top speed of 154mph, reduced to 136mph as a float plane. Maximum ceiling 19,000 feet, reduced as a float plane. Armed with a .303 Vickers machine gun fixed forward and one in the rear cockpit. One 1610lb torpedo or up to 1500lb bomb load. At the outbreak of world war two the fleet air arm had 13 operational squadrons. The Fairey Swordfish has earned its place in history for major contributions to naval warfare, during the Norwegian campaign, and especially during the raid on Taranto. In November1940, twenty Swordfish took off from HMS Illustrious to attack the Italian fleet in their Harbour of Taranto. At Least nine torpedoes hit their targets. Seven Italian ships were badly damaged including the battleships, Caio Duillio, Littorio and Conte De Cavour. This was followed in February 1942, by a heroic but suicidal attack on German battlecruisers in the English Channel by six Swordfish of 825 squadron from RAF Manston. All aircraft and crews were lost. This resulted in a Victoria Cross for the leader Lieutenant Commander E Esmonde. The next major event was the torpedo attack on the Bismarck by Swordfish from HMS Ark Royal, which badly damaged the steering gear of the Bismarck which helped in the final destruction of the German battleship by Royal Navy battleships. The Fairey Swordfish was also used in anti-submarine and anti-shipping roles. The Swordfish sunk more enemy ships (by tonnage) than any other aircraft acting in the same role. By the end of the war the Fleet Air Arm still had nine active squadrons, but these were finally disbanded in May 1945. A total of 2399 Swordfish were built.
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

 Portsmouth August 26th 1940, the lone spitfire of Squadron Leader Sandy Johnstone breaks the ranks and picks off one of the menacing Heinkels only to encounter an equally determined attack from a BF109. <br><br>We were brought to readiness in the middle of lunch and scrambled to intercept mixed bag of 100+ Heinkel IIIs and DO 17s approaching Portsmouth from the South.  The controller did a first class job and positioned us one thousand feet above the target. with the sun  behind us, allowing us to spot the raiders from a long way off. No escorting Messchersmitts were in sight at the time, although a sizable force was to turn up soon after. then something strange happened.  I was about to give a ticking off to our chaps for misusing the R/T when I realised I was listening to German voices. It appeared we were both using the same frequency and, although having no knowledge of the language it sounded from the monotonous flow of the conversation that they were unaware of our presence. as soon  as we dived towards the leading formation, however we were assailed immediately to loud shouts of  Achtung Spitfuern Spitfuern! as our bullets began to take their toll.  In spite of having taken jerry by surprise our bag was only six, with others claimed as damaged, before the remainder dived for cloud cover and turned for home. In the meantime the escorting fighters were amongst us when two of our fellows were badly shot up. Hector Maclean stopped a cannon shell on his cockpit, blowing his foot off above the ankle although, in spite of his grave injuries, he managed to fly his spitfire back to Tangmere to land with wheels retracted. Cyril Babbages aircraft was also badly damaged in the action. forcing him to abandon it and take to his parachute. He was ultimately picked up by a rescue launch and put ashore at Bognor, having suffered only minor injuries.  I personally accounted for one Heinkel III in the action (Sandy Johnson) . <br><br>No. 602 City of Glasgow auxiliary squadron was a household name long before WWII began. It had been the first auxiliary squadron to get into the air in 1925, two of its members, Lord Clydeside and David McIntyre  were the first to conquer Mount Everest in 1933, the squadron sweeped the board in gunnery and bombing in 1935, beating the regular squadrons at their own game. It was the first auxiliary Squadron to be equipped with Spitfire Fighters as far back as March 1939 and it was the first squadron to shoot down the first enemy aircraft on British soil.  The squadron moved south from Drem airfield in East Lothian on August 14th 1940 to relieve the already battered no. 145 squadron at Westhampnett, Tangmeres satelitte station in Sussex. The squadron suffered 5 casualties during the battle. The squadron remained at Westhampnett until December 1940 to be replaced by no. 610 auxiliary airforce squadron. No 602 squadron itself remained active up until 1957 when it was put into mothballs.

Gauntlet by Anthony Saunders (P)
Half Price! - £2750.00
 Willi Reschkes Fw190A8 of III./JG301 during October 1944.
Willi Reschkes Fw190A8 of III./JG301 during October 1944.†by Ivan Berryman. (P)
Half Price! - £250.00
 Hurricanes of 607 County of Durham Squadron diving down and attacking Heinkels over the Needles on the Isle of Wight, after a raid on the southern coast. 607 squadron were stationed at nearby Tangmere from the start of September 1940 and saw continuous action throughout the Battle of Britain until the 16th October, when it withdrew to Scotland having raised its total victory to 102. Also aiding in the pursuit are Spitfires of 602 City of Glasgow Squadron based at Westhampnett.

Hurricanes Over the Needles by Graeme Lothian. (Y)
Half Price! - £310.00
 On the night of 12th September 1944, Lancaster NF958 (LS-M) of No.15 Sqn was lost in the skies above Mannheim when it was attacked by the Messerschmitt Bf.110G-2 of Ofw Ludwig Schmidt of II/NGJ 6, the bomber receiving hits to the bomb bay which ignited the incendiaries still in their racks.  Five of the crew bailed out and were taken prisoner of war once captured.  The pilot, F/O Norman Overend RNZAF, did not escape the aircraft.  Flt Sgt Harry A Beverton was seen to leave the stricken Lancaster but was not seen again.<br><br><b>Crew of <i>Lancaster LS-M</i> :</b><br><br>F/O Norman Overend RNZAF<br>Sgt Barry J Howarth <i>(survived)</i><br>Sgt George B Thomson <i>(survived)</i><br>Flt Sgt John D Jones <i>(survived)</i><br>Flt Sgt Robert P E Kendall <i>(survived)</i><br>Flt Sgt Harry A Beverton<br>Sgt I Spagatner <i>(survived)</i>.

Incident over Mannheim†by Ivan Berryman.
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 With 39 confirmed victories to his credit, Major John Gilmour is also recognised as the joint highest scoring pilot on the Martinsyde G.100 Elephant, an unusual score given the poor performance of this aircraft in one-on-one combat. He was awarded the DSO, MC and 2 Bars during the course of his flying career and in 1917 was posted to 65 Squadron as Flight Commander flying Sopwith Camels. On 1st July 1918, he downed three Fokker D.VIIs, a Pfalz and an Albatros D.V in the space of just 45 minutes.  In 1918 he was promoted to the rank of major and posted to command 28 Squadron in Italy, staying with the trusty Camel, but he did not add further to his score, although his final un-confirmed total may have been as high as 44. He is depicted here claiming his second kill on 24th September 1916 when he destroyed a Fokker E.1 whilst flying Elephant No 7284.

Major John Gilmour by Ivan Berryman. (GS)
Half Price! - £300.00
Lancaster CF-X (LM384) of 625 Squadron.  On the Leipzig raid on the evening of 19th/20th February 1944 approx 47 Lancasters were shot down or failed to return, that is over 300 airmen.  Lancaster CF-X (LM384) was taking part in the bombing raids that were a build up to the D-Day landings of June 1944.  Leipzig was seen as a high value target due to its oil and synthetic fuel production.  The Lancaster took off from Kelstern in Lincolnshire just before midnight.  Unfortunately LM384 did not come back as was the case with many others - the aircraft was lost and crashed just outside the tiny village of Bledeln in Germany.  The Pastor of the village, Herr Duncker, kept a diary throughout the war and has an account of the plane crash and the subsequent burial of the crew.  All of the crew died in the crash except one - bomb aimer George Paterson who was interned in Stalag 357 Kopernikus.  The rest of the crew were given a Christian burial and stayed there until the end of the war, when the war graves commission disinterred the crew and reburied them in the Hannover war cemetery.

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 R5689 (VN-N) - a Lancaster B.1 of 50 Squadron based at Swinderby. This aircraft crash-landed in Lincolnshire while returning from a mission on 19th September 1942, after both port engines failed as the aircraft was preparing to land.  The aircraft never flew again.  The crew on the final mission were : <br>Sgt E J Morley RAAF,<br>P/O G W M Harrison,<br>Sgt H Male,<br>Sgt S C Garrett,<br>Sgt J W Dalby,<br>Sgt J Fraser<br>and<br>Sgt J R Gibbons RCAF, the sole member of the crew killed in the crash.

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 Special Forces Lynx 657 Squadron Army Air Corps and Chinooks from 7 Squadron Royal Air Force in direct fire support to the United Kingdom Special Forces hostage rescue mission in Sierra Leone

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