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Mustangs on the Prowl by Robert Taylor.


Mustangs on the Prowl by Robert Taylor.

Between 3 and 13 September 1944, the 55th Fighter Group flew eight arduous, highly successful, bomber escort missions to Germany for which the group received a Distinguished Unit Citation. Like those the group had flown before, and would fly again and again until the end of hostilities, each mission took them deep into enemy airspace, involved desperate combat with Luftwaffe fighters, and culminated in rapid descent to low level to strafe enemy airfields on the way home. In that ten day period of intense fighting the 55th covered themselves in glory, destroying large numbers of enemy fighters in the air and on the ground, one of their pilots becoming the top-scoring ground attack pilot of the campaign. Long-range combat missions were typical of the assignments flown by the fighters of the 8th Air Force during that period of the air war. Not content with dog-fighting at altitude, when escort duty was complete, the Eighths aggressive fighter pilots relished the opportunity to hurtle down to tree-top height and, ignoring the inevitable barrage of anti-aircraft fire, shoot up any target of opportunity upon which they could bring their guns to bear. Robert Taylors spectacular new limited edition print, the third in his acclaimed Collector Portfolio commemorating the great Air Commands of World War II, depicts the king of the Eighths ground attack Aces, Colonel Elwyn Righetti. Flying his P-51D Mustang, the 55ths CO of 338 Squadron, already with 20 plus victories to his credit, leads his pilots through the Rhine Gorge, skimming the ancient Castle of Stableck standing above Bacharach, as they seek out enemy targets on their way back to base at Wormingford, England, in the spring of 1945. A classic Robert Taylor edition endorsed with the signatures of Aces who flew and fought the legendary P-51 Mustang in the greatest air war in history.
Item Code : DHM2265Mustangs on the Prowl by Robert Taylor. - This Edition
TYPEEDITION DETAILSSIZESIGNATURESOFFERSYOUR PRICEPURCHASING
PRINT Signed limited edition of 500 prints.

SOLD OUT.
Image size 16 inches x 29 inches (41cm x 74cm) Brown, Gerald
Allen, Bill
Cummings, Donald
+ Artist : Robert Taylor
SOLD
OUT
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AVAILABLE
All prices on our website are displayed in British Pounds Sterling


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


Colonel Donald Cummings (deceased)
*Signature Value : £25

Joining the USAAF in 1941, Don Cummings saw action in England, Africa and Italy, taking part in the Battle of Anzio. Flying first with the 12th Air Force and then posted to the 8th Air Force in England, flying with the 39th Fighter Squadron, 55th Fighter Group out of Wormingford. Don Cummings flew a total of 150 combat missions and on 25th February, 1945, became one of only two fighter Aces to shoot down two Me262 jet fighters on a single mission. He then served in occupied Germany after the war ended. Sadly, we have learned Don Cummings passed away in November 2012.


Colonel Gerald Brown (deceased)
*Signature Value : £50

Gerald Brown arrived in Europe in August 1943, completing his first tour with the 38th Fighter Squadron, 55th Fighter Group, becoming the first P38 Ace in the 8th Air Force. Volunteering for a second tour, this time flying P-51 Mustangs with the 334th FS, 4th Fighter Group at Debden. In September 1944 he was forced to bail out of his burning P-51 over enemy territory, but escaped to return to his squadron, and completed his second tour in November 1944. Gerry Brown later flew in Korea, but was shot down, spending three years in captivity. Sadly, he passed away on 9th December 2007.


Major Bill Allen
*Signature Value : £25

Commissioned in November 1943, Bill Allen was posted to England, joining the 55th Fighter Group based at Wormingford, on May 15th 1944. Posted into the 343rd Fighter Squadron the following day, Bill flew his first combat mission on 14th June 1944. He flew both P38 Lightnings and P51 Mustangs through his tour, becoming an Ace in one day on 5th September 1944, when he shot down 5 German aircraft whilst flying his P51 'Pretty Patty II'.
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

 Whilst flying with other Hawker Tempests of 274 Sqn on 11th February 1945, Sqn Ldr David Fairbanks spotted a lone Arado Ar234 of the Kommando Sperling 1 (F) / 123 flown by Hauptmann Hans Felde returning to its base at Rheine.  A desperate chase commenced through the cloudbase until the German jet prepared to land, whereupon Fairbanks sent 4U+DH down in flames after a single short burst of his four 20mm cannon.

Tribute to Sqn Ldr David Fairbanks by Ivan Berryman. (P)
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 Of similar configuration, but usually outclassed by its British contemporary, the Bristol F2b, the Luft-Verkehrs-Gesellschaft LVG was essentially a strong and stable observation aircraft that served widely during World War 1. On 21st May 1917, this example became the victim of the guns of Sergeant John H Jones, contributing to his eventual tally of 15 victories. Here, his pilot that day, Captain W G Mostyn, has already had a squirt using his forward-firing Vickers gun before manoeuvring their 22 Sqn machine into position for Jones to finish the job with his twin Lewis guns.

Sergeant John H Jones and pilot Captain W G Mostyn, Bristol F2b Fighter claiming a Luft-Verkehrs-Gesellschaft LVG by Ivan Berryman. (Y)
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 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.

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 Major Hans-Ekkehard Bob is shown claiming his 5th victory – a Blenheim – 60km west of Rotterdam on 26th June 1940.  Bob went on to serve with JG.54, JG.51, JG.3, EJG2.2 and JV.44, scoring a total of 60 confirmed victories in the course of his Luftwaffe service.  The Blenheim claimed as his 5th victory is likely to have been R3776 of No.110 Squadron, which was the only Blenheim recorded to have been lost participating in Operation Soest on that day - while another returned to base damaged and crash landed.  The three crew of the Blenheim were all missing in action - P/O Cyril Ray Worboys, Sgt Gerald Patterson Gainsford and Sgt Kenneth Cooper.

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