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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

 Shown in the colours of Jasta Boelke and carrying Baumers personal red / white /  black flash on the fuselage, Fokker DR.1 204/17 was the aircraft in which he scored many of his 43 victories. Although the Sopwith Triplane had been withdrawn from service, German pilots frequently found their DR.1s being mistakenly attacked by their own flak batteries and, sometimes, by other pilots. For this reason, in march 1918, Baumers aircraft bore additional crosses on the centre of the tailplane and on the lower wings to aid identification. For some reason, his rudder displayed what appeared to be an incomplete border to the national marking. Nicknamed Der Eiserne Adler - The Iron Eagle - Paul Baumer survived the war, but died in a flying accident near Copenhagen whilst testing the Rohrbach Rofix fighter.  He is shown in action having just downed an RE.8 while, above him, Leutnant Otto Lofflers DR.1 190/17 banks into the sun to begin another attack.

Leutnant Paul Baumer by Ivan Berryman. (GL)
Half Price! - £300.00
 Aircraft of Jasta 10 prepare to taxi out for a dawn patrol, led by the fearless Leutnant Werner Voss in his Fokker F1 103/17 in September 1917. Arguments still rage concerning the colour of the engine cowling on his Triplane. Certainly, when the aircraft was delivered, its upper surfaces were painted factory finish streaked green and, it is recorded that it was flown as delivered with Voss personal mechanic noting that no extra painting was undertaken, aside from Voss Japanese kite face which occupied the nose.  However, research shows that by the time of Voss death on 23rd September 1917, after his epic battle with SE5s of 56 Sqn, the cowling was probably yellow in keeping with all Jasta 10 aircraft. Renowned by pilots from both sides for his bravery and extraordinary abilities with his diminutive Triplane, the young ace scored a total of 48 confirmed victories before being brought down by Lieutenant Rhys Davids on the very day that he was due to go on leave.  The Fokker F1 differed from the production DR.1 in detail only, Voss machine being fitted with a captured 110hp Le Rhone engine, his aircraft not being fitted with the outer wing skids common to the DR.1.

Leutnant Werner Voss by Ivan Berryman. (GS)
Half Price! - £250.00
 The Jasta was part of the Flying Circus, and one of the first units to receive and be fully equipped with the new Pfaltz DIII aircraft. In their capable hands this elegant aircraft proved an effective weapon.

Jasta 10, Northern France Early September 1917 by David Pentland. (GL)
Half Price! - £300.00
 The Bristol F.2b (or Bristol Fighter, as it was more popularly known) first entered service with the RFC in March 1917 and quickly established itself  as a useful and reliable fighting machine in the capable hands of the crews who quickly exploited its many attributes. The teamwork between pilot and gunner / observer yielded many success stories, both in the roles of air combat and ground attack. Here, Captain W E Staton has a stab at a   Fokker DR.1 during an intense battle in April 1918 in the skies above France,  whilst his pilot, Lieutenant John R Gordon keeps their 62 Squadron machine  out of harms way. The combination of Gordon and Staton scored a total of 9 confirmed victories, 1 shared destroyed and 5 out of control.

Deadly Partnership - Captain W E Staton and Lieutenant John R Gordon, Bristol F.2b by Ivan Berryman. (GS)
Half Price! - £250.00

 Eight minutes after the gliders had touched down at LZ-Z the first of the paratroops started to arrive at 1353.  Thirty six C47s over DZ-X dropped the 1st Battalion Parachute Regiment at 1403.  On the ground are the discarded chutes of the 2nd Battalion dropped ten minutes earlier.  In the middle distance can be seen the blue smoke used to identify DZ-X, left by the 21st Independent Para Company.  Dropped by the 14 and 59 Sqn/ 61 Troop Carrier Group which had taken off from Barkston Heath, Lincolnshire, the 2nd and 3rd Para Battalions, which dropped slightly earlier had enplaned at Saltby airfield.  Between 1353 and 1408 2276 paratroops jumped at an altitude of between 700 to 900ft..

Arnhem - September 17th 1944 by Graeme Lothian (GS)
Half Price! - £250.00
 Lockheed Vega PV-1 VB32 Squadron in the Santaren Channel. From this point on the U-boat was hunted and harassed only to be sunk in the Bay of Biscay.

The Hunt for U-Boat 134 by David Pentland. (GS)
Half Price! - £250.00
Lieutenant Leefe-Robinsons BE2C, converted to single-seater night-fighter configuration, destroying the German SL11 over Hertfordshire on the night of 2/3 September, 1916. Robinson attacked the SL11 from below, raking it with incendiary fire, before turning and diving past the airship for another attack. As he did so, the airship exploded into flames and crashed into a field near Cuffley, killing all sixteen crew. For this action, Leefe-Robinson was awarded the VC.

William Leefe-Robinson by Ivan Berryman. (GL)
Half Price! - £300.00
 Fw190A-4/U8 night bomber variant of SKG.10.

Focke Wulf Fw190A-4/U8 by Ivan Berryman.
Half Price! - £70.00
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