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Opening Sky by Robert Taylor.


Opening Sky by Robert Taylor.

With the morning sun glinting on their fuselages, P-51 Mustangs of the 78th Fighter Group cross the Dutch coastline far below, as they head back towards their base at Duxford, England at the end of a long sweep east of the Rhine crossing, Spring 1945. The final months of the war in Europe lie ahead, and for the P-51 pilots victory is within sight. Finally, after years of toil, the sky was theirs.
Item Code : DHM1845Opening Sky by Robert Taylor. - This EditionAdd any two items on this offer to your basket, and the lower priced item will be half price in the checkout! Buy 1 Get 1 Half Price!
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PRINTLimited edition of 300 prints 

Paper size 27.5 inches x 17 inches (70cm x 43cm) Image size 21 inches x 8 inches (53cm x 20cm) Anderson, C E Bud
East, Clyde B
Fiedler, Arthur C
+ Artist : Robert Taylor
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(Size : 12 inches x 8 inches (31cm x 20cm))
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FREE PRINT : Dove of Peace by David Pentland.

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Other editions of this item : Opening Sky by Robert Taylor. DHM1845
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ARTIST
PROOF
Limited edition of 75 artist proofs  Overall matted size 31.5 inches x 19 inches (80cm x 48cm) Image size 21 inches x 8 inches (53cm x 20cm) Mahurin, Walker Bud
Blakeslee, Don (matted)
Olds, Robin (matted)
Pisanos, Steve
Hill, Tex (matted)
Cummings, Donald
Goebel, Bob
Gabreski, Gabby (matted)
Green, Herky (matted)
Steward, Lowell
Peterson, Richard Bud (matted)
McColpin, Carroll W (matted)
Carson, Leonard Kit (matted)
Burdick, Clinton DeWitt
Drew, Urban
Coleman, Wayne L
Johnson, Robert S (matted)
Conlin, Raymond T
Skara, John
Karr, Robert A
Hurlbut, Frank D (matted)
Ilfrey, Jack M (matted)
Bond, Charles R (matted)
Brown, Gerald (matted)
White, Clint
Walsh, Kenneth A (matted)
Allen, Bill
Berg, Russ (matted)
Brooks, Jim
Anderson, C E Bud
East, Clyde B
Fiedler, Arthur C
+ Artist : Robert Taylor
£80 Off!
Supplied with one or more free art prints!
Now : £450.00VIEW EDITION...
PRINTP-51 Tribute edition of 175 prints 

SOLD OUT
Paper size 27.5 inches x 17 inches (70cm x 43cm) Image size 21 inches x 8 inches (53cm x 20cm) Mahurin, Walker Bud
Pisanos, Steve
Cummings, Donald
Goebel, Bob
Steward, Lowell
Burdick, Clinton DeWitt
Drew, Urban
Coleman, Wayne L
Conlin, Raymond T
Skara, John
Karr, Robert A
White, Clint
Allen, Bill
Brooks, Jim
Anderson, C E Bud
East, Clyde B
Fiedler, Arthur C
+ 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 Colonel Arthur C Fiedler

Colonel Arthur C Fiedler
*Signature Value : £35

Arthur Charles Fiedler was born in Oak Park, Illinois on August 1, 1923. In April of 1942, five months after America entered WW 11, Fiedler enlisted in the Army Air Corps. He was sent to Avon Park, Florida for primary training, followed by basic training at Macon, Georgia, and advanced training at Marianna, Florida. He graduated with Class 43G in July of 1943, and was assigned as a flight instructor, flying Republic P-47 Thunderbolts at Dover, Delaware. In April of 1944 Second Lieutenant Feidler was assigned to combat duty, and was assigned to the 317th Fighter Squadron of the 325th Fighter Group (the "Cheekertails"), based in Lesina, Italy. He transitioned to the North American P-51 Mustang, naming his assigned aircraft after his wife "Helen" whom he had married in 1943. On June 24, Fiedler claimed a probable. On June 28 he attained his first two aerial victories. At that morning's briefing Fiedler was elated to learn that his squadron's mission would be a fighter sweep over Polesti, Rumania, in advance of a bombing mission targeting the massive oil refining operations in that area.. When flying fighter escort for bombers the fighters were prohibited from flying below 15,000-feet. This gave the Germans a dog fighting advantage, as the early Allison-powered Mustangs were good performers at low altitudes but relatively poor performers at higher altitudes. Forty P-5 Is from the 325th 17G took off at 0725 hours for the fighter sweep. Sweeping the target area at 25,000-29,000 feet for about 45 minutes a total of 47 enemy aircraft were encountered. During this mission Fiedler would earn his first two victories. Fiedler became an ace on July 26 when he downed his fourth and fifth aircraft, a Fw- 190, south of Vienna, and a 109 several minutes later. Promoted to Captain, Fiedler attained his eighth and final victory on January 20, 1945 while escorting B-17s to Regerisbuurg. His flight of four P-51s broke-up an attacking force of 40 German fighters. Following the War Fiedler left the military and attended the University of Illinois, earning a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering. He was recalled for active duty during the Korean War, and decided to make a career in the Air Force. In addition to his 66 combat missions flown in WW 11, Fiedler would fly 247 combat missions in C-130s during the Vietnam War Col. Fiedler retired from the USAF in 1975, and currently resides in Southern California. His decorations include the Silver Star, the Legion of Merit, the Distinguished Flying Cross with one OLC, the Air Medal with 22 OLCs, and the Partisan Star.


The signature of Colonel C E Bud Anderson

Colonel C E Bud Anderson
*Signature Value : £50

Bud Anderson went to England with the 357th Fighter Group in 1943, the first Eighth Air Force Group to be equipped with the P-51 Mustang. He got himself on the score sheet on one of the first Berlin missions, dog fighting with a bunch of Me109s who had set upon a straggling B-17. On 29th June 1944, leading his squadron on a mission to Leipzig, they ran into a formation of Fw190s. In the ensuing battle Anderson shot down the leader, and two more Fw190s. After a short rest in the U.S., Bud returned for a second tour, just in time for the 357th's big day on 27th November 1944. With the 353rd they took on a huge formation of some 200 enemy fighters, Anderson adding three more to his score. He finished the war with 16 air victories and many more probables.


The signature of Lieutenant Colonel Clyde B East

Lieutenant Colonel Clyde B East
*Signature Value : £55

Born in Pittsylvania County, Virginia on July 19, 1921, raised on a rural family farm. At 19, Clyde East traveled to Hamilton, Ontario, Canada and enlisted into the Royal Canadian Air Force. Soon after, East was admitted to pilot training and completed his training in 1942. Clyde East went on active servcie to England, where he flew interdiction missions in the P-51A Mustang, attacking ground targets in France, Belgium, and Holland. He also searched for U-boats over the water. Clyde East flew P51 Mustangs with 414 Fighter / Reconnaissance Squadron RCAF in England, before transferring to the USAAF in January 1944. He joined the 15th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron on 2nd February flying F-6C Mustangs. On June 6, 1944, East participated in the D-Day invasion of Normandy in the Mustang. It was during this mission that East and his wingman stumbled upon several FW-190s landing and promptly dispatched them with their .50 caliber machine guns, claiming the first aerial victories of the invasion. During one mission East claimed three aerial victories and, on another, was able to jump a German Messerschmitt 109 flying low. In late 1944, East fought against a German counteroffensive in what is now known as the Battle of the Bulge. Becoming a confirmed ace in March 1945, East would go on to claim a total of 13 aerial kills against the German Luftwaffe and flew over 200 combat missions with them during the war. He later served in Korea, flying 100 missions in RF-51s and RF-80s. After his return from Korea East was given command of several different tactical recon squadrons, one of which flew an additional 100 visual and photo missions over Cuba. He retired from the Air Force as a Lieutenant Colonel in February 1965.
The Aircraft :
NameInfo
MustangThe ubiquitous North American P-51 Mustang, which many consider to be the best all-around fighter of WW II, owes its origins to the British Air Ministry. Following Britains entry into WW II in 1939, the RAF was interested in purchasing additional fighter aircraft from American sources, particularly the Curtiss P-40. Curtiss, which was busy, was unable to guarantee timely delivery so the British approached North American Aviation as a possible second source for the P-40. North American chose to propose its own fighter design which would use the same Allison engine as the P-40. Utilizing new laminar flow wings, the North American fighter was expected to have performance better than the P-40. Developed in record time the new aircraft was designated as a Mustang I by the Brits, whereas the USAAF ordered two for evaluation which were designated XP-51 Apaches. Intrigued with the possibility of using this aircraft also as a dive bomber, North American proposed this to the USAAF which decided to order 500 of the P-51 aircraft to be modified for dive bombing use. Designated as the A-36 Invader, this version of the Mustang utilized dive flaps, and bomb racks under each wing. Some reinforcing of the structural members was also required because of the G-forces to be encountered in dive bombing. A-36s entered combat service with the USAAF prior to any P-51s. In early 1943 the 86th and 27th Fighter Bomber Groups of the 12th Air Force began flying A-36s out of Northern Africa. Despite some early problems with instability caused by the dive flaps, the A-36 was effective in light bombing and strafing roles. It was not, however, capable of dog fighting with German fighters, especially at higher altitudes. Despite these drawbacks one USAAF pilot, Captain Michael T. Russo, who served with the 16th Bomb Squadron of the 27th Fighter Bomber Group, was credited with five confirmed aerial victories in the A-36, thereby becoming the first mustang ace.
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

The military trained many of their first world war pilots on the Jenny.  Several thousand Jennies were produced and after the war many of these aircraft were purchased by some of the 20,000 airmen which left the armed services after world war one, paying a fraction of the cost for these aircraft.  Barnstorming began.  These pilots would make a living from Barnstorming across the US, giving rides to civilians for as much at 15 to 20 dollars a trip.  This was a time when most people had not seen an aircraft let alone go up in one.  Barnstorming gradually became saturated with pilots and aircraft and over a short peiod of time the prices paid for a trip in a Jenny went down toas low as 2 to 3 dollars, and making a living became hard for the pilots who could hardly pay for the fuel and living costs let alone aircraft maintenance.  There were a number of fatal accidents, but Barnstorming played a vital role in aviation and probably put the idea of becoming a pilot in the minds of many young boys who would later go on to fly in combat during world war two.

Balmy Days by Ivan Berryman.
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DHM925.  Harrier in a Hyde by Geoff Lea.

Harrier in a Hyde by Geoff Lea.
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 During a patrol on 6th July 1918, Christiansen spotted a British submarine on the surface of the Thames Estuary. He immediately turned and put his Hansa-Brandenburg W.29 floatplane into an attacking dive, raking the submarine C.25 with machine gun fire, killing the captain and five other crewmen. This victory was added to his personal tally, bringing his score to 13 kills by the end of the war, even though the submarine managed to limp back to safety. Christiansen survived the war and went on to work as a pilot for the Dornier company, notably flying the giant Dornier Do.X on its inaugural flight to New York in 1930. He died in 1972, aged 93.

Kapitanleutnant zur See Friedrich Christiansen by Ivan Berryman.
Half Price! - £60.00
 Pushing the concept of the Spitfire almost to the limit, the sleek F Mk212 represented the ultimate in fighter design at the end of the Second World War. Powered by the mighty Griffon 61 engine driving a five blade propeller, its armament consisted of four 20mm British Hispano Cannon, two in each wing. This example is LA200 (DL-E) of 91 Sqn in 1945.

Spitfire F Mk21 by Ivan Berryman. (C)
Half Price! - £70.00

 With Italys entry into WW II on June 10, 1940, the epic two-and-one-half-year siege of Malta began. Symbolizing the defiant resistance of the people and defenders of that tiny island, the legend of Faith, Hope, and Charity grew from a handful of Gloster Sea Gladiators which initially comprised Maltas sole aerial defense. Until the arrival of the more modern Hawker Hurricanes, these obsolescent biplanes fought the Regia Aeronautica alone in the skies above Malta. Only six or seven Gladiators were assembled from the shipment of eighteen crated aircraft which had been delivered by the HMS Glorious. Others were utilized for spare parts, and three had been dispatched, still crated, to Egypt. Though hugely outnumbered, the defenders fought on, raising the morale of the citizens of Malta, and denying the Italians mastery of the sky. Suffering from a constant shortage of spare parts, tools and equipment, the devoted ground support crews were never able to keep more than three Gladiators operational at any point in time. Only one of these Gladiators was totally lost in aerial combat, and the sole surviving aircraft was presented to the people of Malta, and today stands in their National War Museum as a proud symbol of courage and endurance. In Stan Stokes painting, a Sea Gladiator, piloted by Flight Lt. James Pickering, tangles with a Fiat C.R. 42 over Malta in 1940 while an Italian Savoia S.79 tri-engined bomber passes by in the background. The Gloster Gladiator represented the zenith of development of the classic biplane fighter aircraft, a design formula which characterized an entire era from WW I until the advent of the monoplane fighter just before WW II. Glosters naval model of the Gladiator was equipped with a Bristol Mercury VIIIA engine providing a maximum speed of 253 MPH, a rate of climb of 2300 feet per minute, an operational ceiling of 32,200 feet, and a range of 415 miles. The Gladiator was armed with four .303 inch Browning machine guns, and incorporated several advanced features including an enclosed cockpit and wing flaps. One top RAF ace, Sqd. Ldr. Pattle, attained eleven victories flying the Gladiator. A total of 527 Gladiators were produced, and the aircraft served in twelve different countries. The Italians were overly persistent in their emphasis on biplane fighters, stemming from their successes with these highly maneuverable machines during the Spanish Civil War. Employing distinctive Warren-truss type interplane bracing the C.R. 42 was powered by a Fiat A74 R.C. 38 engine providing a maximum speed of 274 MPH and a range of 485 miles. The C.R. 42 was more lightly armed than the Gladiators it opposed, possessing only two 12.7mm Breda machine guns. The C.R 42 served on all of Italys fronts including North and East Africa, France, Britain, the Balkans, and Russia. Exported to Hungary, Sweden and Belgium, the C.R. 42 ironically served alongside the Gladiator in other theaters of operation during WW II.
Faith Hope and Charity by Stan Stokes. (C)
Half Price! - £65.00
 Erich Lowenhardt was already the holder of the Knights Cross 1st and 2nd Class for acts of bravery even before becoming a pilot. After serving as an observer for a year, he was eventually posted to Jasta 10 in 1917 where he immediately began to score victories, sending down balloons and enemy aircraft at a fearsome rate. He was appointed Commander of Jasta 10 one week before his 21st birthday, making him one the youngest pilots to rise to such a rank in the German Army Air Service. He continued to increase his score steadily throughout 1917 and 1918, but was involved in a mid-air collision with a Jasta 11 aircraft on 10th August. Lowenhardt elected to abandon his aircraft, but his parachute failed to deploy and the young ace fell to his death. He flew a number of aircraft, but this yellow-fuselaged Fokker D.VII was his most distinctive and is believed to be the aircraft in which he was killed. His final victory total was 54.

Oberleutnant Erich Lowenhardt by Ivan Berryman. (B)
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 Focke-Wulf FW.190A-5/U8 of 1 Gruppe, Schnellkampfgeschwader 10 in 1943. All national markings were painted out, except for the call sign C on the fuselage and repeated, crudely sprayed, on the engine cowling.

Focke-Wulf Fw190A-5/U8 by Ivan Berryman. (C)
Half Price! - £45.00
 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)
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