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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 Ashley Woolridge (deceased)|
*Signature Value : £35
|Ashley Woolridge was involved in training and combat with the B-26 Marauder continuously for three years. Assigned to the 319th Bomb Group he arrived in North Africa at the time of the invasion there, beginning low-level combat missions in November 1942. Flying over 100 missions in the B-26, Woolridge became one of the leading exponents of the Marauder, and was responsible for devising the logistics of the 6-ship abreast take-off - a procedure that extended range by reducing join-up time. The technique was used extensively in North Africa, without accident. By November 1944, Woolridge was appointed Commanding Officer of the 320th Bomb Group, a position held until the wars end. His many decorations include two Croix de Guerre, one awarded by General de Gaulle, the other by General Pleven. Ashley Woolridge passed away on 3rd May 2004.|
|Colonel Roland Scott (deceased)|
*Signature Value : £35
|Roland Scott joined the Service in 1933, trained as a pilot in 1941 and arrived in England in March 1943. Flying with the 450th Squadron 322nd Bomb Group, Scott was to lead a 12 ship formation on May 14th, 1943, to bomb the power plant at Ijunuiden, Holland - the first combat mission flown in Europe by the B-26 in World War Two. The orders were to go in at zero feet. Coming in over the Dutch coast they were met with ground fire, and several aircraft were hit. Scott somehow got through the intense wall of tracer and flak, and laid his bombs on the target, but a 20mm shell exploded in the cockpit, blinding him in one eye; however with the aid of his crew managed to get his B-26 back to his base. In spite of the loss of an eye Roland Scott checked out on a large number of World War Two American and British combat aircraft. Roland Scott passed away on 21st November 2002.|
|General John Moench|
*Signature Value : £35
|After gaining his wings in 1943, John Moench was checked out on the B-26 Marauder, and arrived in England in early 1944 joining the 323rd Bomb Group, based at Earls Coln. His first combat mission was on May 7th, and by the end of the month he had racked up 13 missions. The following month he was made flight leader of a six ship formation, and by the wars end he had flown lead aircraft on 17 of his 62 B-26 Marauder missions. John Moenchs last mission with the 323rd was to bomb Erding Aerodrome, near Munich on April 25th, 1945. In spite of a determined attack by Me262s every aircraft got home without a single man lost or wounded - a testimony to the level of skill of the B-26 pilots by the wars end, and to the quality of the Marauder as a fine medium range combat aircraft.|
|The Aircraft :|
|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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