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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.|
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.|
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.|
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 :|
|Mustang||The 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|
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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