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They Landed by Moonlight by Robert Taylor.


They Landed by Moonlight by Robert Taylor.

To fly a small aircraft at the dead of night, without radio communication or navigational assistance, deep into enemy-occupied territory, was an extremely perilous task. To then land on an unlit remote field, deliver secret agents, collect Resistance leaders, or downed airmen and fly them home without attracting the attentions of enemy night fighters, was appallingly risky work. Yet throughout World War II the prime function of the pilots of the RAFs Special Duties Squadrons was to fly time and again into occupied France, in utmost secrecy, under the cover of darkness. It was acutely dangerous work requiring inordinate flying and navigational skills, and supreme courage. Most suited to these clandestine operations was the rugged Westland Lysander, operations being conducted, weather permitting, during the moons fullest phase. Guided only by torch light, the pilot made a hazardous night landing into an isolated field at a pre-arranged time, trusting that agents on the ground had checked the field for cart tracks and loitering Gestapo. Every mission required ice cool bravery and nerves of steel.
Item Code : RT0310They Landed by Moonlight by Robert Taylor. - This Edition
TYPEEDITION DETAILSSIZESIGNATURESOFFERSYOUR PRICEPURCHASING
PRINT Signed limited edition of 750 prints.

Paper size 31 inches x 24 inches (79cm x 61cm) Anderson, Murray
Cammaerts, Francis
Hodges, Lewis
Ratcliff, Len
Verity, Hugh
+ Artist : Robert Taylor


Signature(s) value alone : £150
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FREE PRINT : A Westland Lysander by Gleed.

This complimentary art print worth £38
(Size : 18 inches x 14 inches (46cm x 36cm))
has been specially chosen by Cranston Fine Arts to complement the above edition, and will be sent FREE with your order.

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Stealth 1944 by Steve Gibbs.
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Lysander Pick Up by Graeme Lothian (AP)
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Other editions of this item : They Landed by Moonlight by Robert Taylor RT0310
TYPEEDITION DETAILSSIZESIGNATURESOFFERSYOUR PRICEPURCHASING
ARTIST
PROOF
Limited edition of artist proofs.

Supplied with companion print Special Duties.
Paper size 31 inches x 24 inches (79cm x 61cm) Anderson, Murray
Cammaerts, Francis
Hodges, Lewis
Ratcliff, Len
Verity, Hugh
+ Artist : Robert Taylor


Signature(s) value alone : £150
Free
Shipping!
£325.00VIEW EDITION...
PRINTLimited edition of 25 remarques.

Supplied with companion print Special Duties.
Paper size 31 inches x 24 inches (79cm x 61cm) Anderson, Murray
Cammaerts, Francis
Hodges, Lewis
Ratcliff, Len
Verity, Hugh
+ Artist : Robert Taylor


Signature(s) value alone : £150
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 Air Chief Marshal Sir Lewis Hodges KCB CBE DSO DFC* (deceased)

Air Chief Marshal Sir Lewis Hodges KCB CBE DSO DFC* (deceased)
*Signature Value : £45

Lewis Hodges flew with 49 Sqn from June 1940 until he was shot down over occupied France in Sept 1940 and taken prisoner by the Vichy French. He managed to escape and made his way back to England, rejoining 49 Sqn. He took part in the attacks against the German Channel dash operation in Feb 1942. In Nov of that year he joined 161 (Special Duties) Sqn, flying Halifaxes, Lysanders and Hudsons landing and parachuting agents into German occupied territory. Among the people he brought out of France were two future Presidents - Vincent Auriol and Francois Mitterand. He died 4th January 2007.
The signature of Captain Murray Anderson DFC*

Captain Murray Anderson DFC*
*Signature Value : £20

Commissioned in the Royal Tank Regiment from RMA Woolwich in 1939, Murray Anderson was seconded to the Royal Air Force in 1940. He flew Spitfires with No.1 Photo Reconnaissance Unit at RAF Benson until 1943. He then joined 161 (Special Duties) Squadron flying Lysanders, and was the most successful pick up pilot for the whole of that year even though in May 1944 he was posted to 65 Squadron 2nd Tactical Air Force, flying Mustangs. After a rest period he was posted to 52 Sqn at Dum Dum in May 1945.


The signature of Group Captain Hugh Verity DSO* DFC (deceased)

Group Captain Hugh Verity DSO* DFC (deceased)
*Signature Value : £35

Learning to fly in the Oxford University Air Squadron in 1938, Hugh Verity flew Beaufighters in Coastal Command and night fighter squadrons before volunteering to join 161 (Special Duties) Sqn. In 1943 he commanded this squadrons Lysander flight and became the Squadron Commander. On his 29 successful pick ups, of which 24 were in Lysanders, he brought back to England a total of 93 people from the meadows of occupied France, lit only by pocket torches. He died in 2001.
The signature of Lieutenant Colonel Francis Cammaerts DSO (deceased)

Lieutenant Colonel Francis Cammaerts DSO (deceased)
*Signature Value : £25

Born in 1916 the son of a Belgian poet Emile Cammaerts, he was a pacifist at the beginning of the war but his views changed when his brother was killed in the RAF, and in 1942 joined the Special Operations Executive (SEO). Flown to France (by Hugh Verity), he was to join a circuit which he soon found to be insecure. Over 15 months in the field he hardly ever stayed in the same house for more than a night or two. By 1944 he was the inspired leader of thousands of well trained and armed resistance fighters in the South of France. His sabotage teams excelled at cutting railway lines when the time was required after D-Day. Before the Allied landings in the South of France in August 1944, he was given command of all Allied missions in SE France. His guerilla army held open the Route Napoleon from Cannes to Grenoble to allow the Allied army to by-pass the strong enemy forces near the lower Rhone. He died 3rd July 2006.
The signature of Wing Commander Len Ratcliff DSO DFC

Wing Commander Len Ratcliff DSO DFC
*Signature Value : £25

Len Ratcliff joined the RAFVR in early 1939 to train as a pilot. In 1941 he completed a full tour of 30 operations in Bomber Command with 49 Squadron. After a rest period he was posted to 161 (Special Duties ) Sqn as Flight Commander flying agents and supplies in and out of France, Belgium, Holland, Norway and Denmark. He then spent a period in charge of A.I.2.C at the very centre of clandestine activities in the whole of occupied Europe. He returned to 161 Squadron in 1943 as Flight Commander and later Squadron commander.
The Aircraft :
NameInfo
Lysander
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

 Douglas C-47s of the 439th Troop Carrier Group from Upottery, East Devon, try to hold steady amid a barrage of flak and anti aircraft fire as troops of 101st jump into the unknown above Normandy on the night of 5th / 6th June 1944.  These aircraft are of the 94th Troop Carrier Squadron.

Hell Below Us by Ivan Berryman.
Half Price! - £30.00
 Three Gloster Meteor F.Mk4s of 222 'Natal' Squadron are depicted on a training sortie over the Forth Bridge in the early 1950s.

222 Sqn Meteors over the Forth Bridge by Ivan Berryman.
Half Price! - £50.00
 Mystery still surrounds just why Manfred von Richthofen risked so much in chasing the novice pilot Wilfred Wop May into Allied-occupied territory on the morning of Sunday, 21st April 1918, but it was to be his last flight, this error of judgement costing him his life. Von Richthofen had broken from the main fight involving Sopwith Camels of 209 Sqn to chase Mays aircraft, but found himself under attack from the Camel of Captain Roy Brown. All three aircraft turned and weaved low along the Somme River, the all red Triplane coming under intense fire from the ground as well as from Browns aircraft. No one knows exactly who fired the crucial bullet, but Manfred von Richthofens aircraft was seen to dive suddenly and impact with the ground. The Red Baron was dead and his amazing run of 80 victories was over. The painting shows Mays aircraft (D3326) in the extreme distance, pursued by DR.1 (425/17) and Browns Camel (B7270) in the foreground.

Captain Roy Brown engages the Red Baron, 21st April 1918 by Ivan Berryman. (GL)
Half Price! - £300.00
 The Sopwith Camel was with the mainstay of the Royal Flying Corps.  It is shown here downing an Albatros over the Western Front.

Sopwith Camel by Anthony Saunders. (GS)
Half Price! - £250.00

Without doubt one of the most outstanding and versatile aircraft in the Allied inventory during World War II, the Bristol Beaufighter was to endure a cautious reception by its crews when it first entered service, not least due to difficulties experienced by crews attempting to abandon a stricken aircraft in an emergency.  Its performance and hard-hitting potential quickly overcame such doubts, however, and it went on to earn a commendable reputation - and the nickname Whispering Death.  Here, two 254 Sqn TF. MkXs attack a captured Norwegian vessel in 1945.

Seastrike by Ivan Berryman (GS)
Half Price! - £250.00
 146 Wing Hawker Typhoons were busy throughout the winter of 1944 / 45, carrying out a wide variety of missions and operations using a combination of rockets and bombs.  Here, Wing Commander J R Baldwin OC of 146 Wing escorts a damaged wingman home as they enter the holding pattern to begin finals into their base at Antwerp.  Baldwin's aircraft is Mk 1B PD521, carrying his personal markings JBII on the nose.

A Friend in Need by Ivan Berryman. (GS)
Half Price! - £250.00
 Bf109 G2 of Major Gunther Rall pursues and downs an unidentified Soviet aircraft over the Caucasus, Russia, early Autumn 1943. Rall went on to become the third highest scoring ace of all time, with 275 victories in only 621 missions.

No Escape by David Pentland. (GS)
Half Price! - £250.00
 Halifax glider tugs of 644 Squadron, Tarrant Rushton, 1944.

Halifax Tugs Towing Hamilcar Gliders by Ivan Berryman. (GL)
Half Price! - £300.00
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