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Bomb Away! The Third Assault by Robert Taylor. (AP)


Bomb Away! The Third Assault by Robert Taylor. (AP)

On the night of 16th - 17th May 1943 nineteen specially modified Lancasters of No.617 Squadron departed from RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire on one of the most secret and daring bombing operations undertaken during World War Two. The ultra-secret operation to destroy the huge hydro-electric dams that powered a significant part of Germany's industrial war machine in the Ruhr valley, codenamed Operation Chastise, had been planned in stealth for months. Using a revolutionary 10-ton 'bouncing bomb' designed by the brilliant designer Barnes-Wallis, a special squadron comprised of the most talented crews that RAF Bomber Command could muster would be formed to attack primarily the Möhne, Eder and Sorpe dams. Using highly modified Lancaster bombers to carry the secret bomb, Operation Chastise.was to become one of the most dangerous precision bombing raids ever undertaken, and Robert Taylor astutely captures all the atmosphere in his drawing Bomb Away!. At 00.38 hrs the attack on the Möhne dam is already well underway. The Commander of No.617 Squadron and leader of the raid, Wing Commander Guy Gibson, had made the first successful attack, but the dam wall held firm. Tragedy then struck as Flight Lieutenant Hopgood's Lancaster, hit by flak during his attack, exploded in a ball of flame. Gibson called in Flick Lieutenant Mick Martin to make the third assault. As enemy flak and tracer illuminate the night sky, Guy Gibson boldly attempts to draw the enemy's fire as Martin holds Lancaster AJ-P steady at 60ft above the waters of the Möhne dam to release the cylindrical, bouncing bomb and send it spinning towards the dam wall. In a few moments a huge explosion will erupt up into the night sky as the hydrostatic bomb detonates against this might granite wall. Once again though, the Möhne dam held, but not for long. Following Martin, Squadron Leader Dinghy Young would approach in Lancaster AJ-A, his bomb also successfully hitting the target but this time the dam, already weakened, will slowly crack. Water will start to seep through the granite wall as Squadron Leader David Maltby in Lancaster AJ-J finishes the job. With a thunderous roar the Möhne dam was breached, its waters unleashed like a giant tidal wave sweeping through the valley below.
Item Code : DHM6039APBomb Away! The Third Assault by Robert Taylor. (AP) - This Edition
TYPEEDITION DETAILSSIZESIGNATURESOFFERSYOUR PRICEPURCHASING
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Limited edition of 25 artist proofs.

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Paper size 23.5 inches x 19 inches (60cm x 48cm) Grayston, Raymond E
Johnson, George L
Lucas, Kenneth
McDonald, Grant S
Munro, Les
Sutherland, Frederick E
+ Artist : Robert Taylor
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Other editions of this item : Bomb Away! The Third Assault by Robert Taylor.DHM6039
TYPEEDITION DETAILSSIZESIGNATURESOFFERSYOUR PRICEPURCHASING
PRINT Signed limited edition of 300 prints. Paper size 23.5 inches x 19 inches (60cm x 48cm) Grayston, Raymond E
Johnson, George L
Lucas, Kenneth
McDonald, Grant S
Munro, Les
Sutherland, Frederick E
+ Artist : Robert Taylor
Free
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£145.00VIEW EDITION...
PRINT Publishers Proof edition of 50 prints.

SOLD OUT.
Paper size 23.5 inches x 19 inches (60cm x 48cm) Grayston, Raymond E
Johnson, George L
Lucas, Kenneth
McDonald, Grant S
Munro, Les
Sutherland, Frederick E
Johnson, Edward (matted)
Chambers, George (matted)
Boorer, Norman (matted)
+ Artist : Robert Taylor
Free
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SOLD
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VIEW EDITION...
PRINT Studio Proof edition of 15 prints.

SOLD OUT.
Paper size 23.5 inches x 19 inches (60cm x 48cm) Grayston, Raymond E
Johnson, George L
Lucas, Kenneth
McDonald, Grant S
Munro, Les
Sutherland, Frederick E
Johnson, Edward (matted)
Chambers, George (matted)
Boorer, Norman (matted)
Martin, Harold Mick (matted)
Townsend, Bill (matted)
Shannon, David J (matted)
+ 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 Corporal Kenneth Lucas (deceased)

Corporal Kenneth Lucas (deceased)
*Signature Value : £30

Ken Lucas joined the RAF in June 1940, and trained as ground crew for bomber Command. He was sent first to 49 Squadron at RAF Scampton, before transferring to 617 Squadron upon its formation, Involved in all the major servicing of the aircraft before the raid including fitting the motors that drove the belt that spun the bomb, and attaching the critical lamps to the underside of the aircraft. Sadly, Ken Lucas passed away in January 2011.


Flight Sergeant Grant S McDonald RCAF (deceased)
*Signature Value : £45

Grant McDonald was the rear gunner on Lancaster AJ-F flown by Ken Brown. On the way to the Ruhr, the gunners shot up and damaged three trains in an eventful trip before reaching the Sorpe Dam. Sadly, we have learned that Grant S McDonald passed away in May 2012.


The signature of Sergeant Frederick E. Sutherland RCAF

Sergeant Frederick E. Sutherland RCAF
*Signature Value : £45

 Doc Sutherland was the front gunner on Les Knights Lancaster AJ-N that went to the Mohne Dam, and then successfully attacked and breached the Eder Dam. Shot down four months later, he managed to evade capture and escape back to England with the help of the Resistance movements, returning through Holland, France and Spain.


The signature of Sergeant Raymond E. Grayston (deceased)

Sergeant Raymond E. Grayston (deceased)
*Signature Value : £45

Ray Grayston had been serving in 50 Squadron when he was posted to 617 Squadron in March 1943. The flight engineer of Les Knights Lancaster AJ-N, they attacked and successfully breached the Eder Dam, Ray was shot down on 16th September 1943, and was taken to Stalag Luft III as a POW. Sadly, we have learned that Ray Grayston passed away on 15th April 2010.


The signature of Squadron Leader George L. Johnson DFM

Squadron Leader George L. Johnson DFM
*Signature Value : £40

Joining the RAF in 1940, George Johnson served with 97 Squadron before joining 617 Squadron. Bomb aimer on American Joe McCarthys Lancaster AJ-T, they attacked the Sorpe Dam, for which he was awarded the DFM. Commissioned a few months later, George retired from the RAF in 1962.


The signature of Squadron Leader Les Munro DSO DFC RNZAF

Squadron Leader Les Munro DSO DFC RNZAF
*Signature Value : £45

New Zealander Les Munro was the Captain and pilot of Lancaster AJ-W assigned to attack the Sorpe Dam, but was forced to turn back en-route to the target after heavy flak damage over Holland had rendered his aircraft unable to carry on with the operation.
The Aircraft :
NameInfo
LancasterThe 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


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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