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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.|
Brigadier General Everett W Holstrom (deceased)
*Signature Value : £55
|I was Captain and pilot of a B-25 that met stiff resistance from Japanese fighter opposition. Our guns and turrets were inoperative. We flew on and bailed out 40 miles south west of Shinghsi. I landed by parachute in a driving rainstorm about 10.00 p.m. On the third day I was picked up by Chinese guerrillas who escorted me through free China. The rest of my crew were one day behind me! I later spent 20 years in Strategic Air Command, and flew and commanded B-47s, B-52s and the worlds first supersonic bomber - the B-58. - Everett Holstrom died 2nd December 2000.|
Captain J Royden Stork (deceased)
*Signature Value : £55
|I was co-pilot on a B-25 detailed to attack the chemical plant at the base of the Heneda River. I was designated photographic officer on the raid and had installed 16mm cameras in each bomb bay. After an attack we flew on to China, and the crew bailed out. I knocked myself out on landing, and after regaining consciousness, rolled up my parachute and waited for sunrise. After walking all day I was befriended by a local magistrate who helped me to get to the preassigned rendezvous point some dree days later. I wound up in the 10th Air Force in India where I flew missions over Japanese occupied territory until Air Force intelligence learned that the Japanese had put a $5,000 reward on all who had participated in the Tokyo raid. - Royden Stork died 2nd May 2002.|
Major Griffith P Williams (deceased)
*Signature Value : £55
|I was co-pilot oil Don Sinths aircraft, our detail being to attack waterfront targets in Kobe. After the attack we crash-landed in the sea off the coast of China, coming ashore with the aid of life vests and a partially deflated life raft, we landed on the small Chinese island of Tantou Shan. We made contact with Chinese fishermen who in turn put us in contact with resistance fighters who guided us out of Japanese held territory. We were eventually picked up by a US army transport plane for return to the US. I was reassigned to a newly formed bomb group for training and subsequently deployed to England and North Africa. I was later shot down and taken prisoner by Germans while operating out of North Africa. Sadly, Major Griffith P Williams passed away in 1998.|
Major Howard A Sessler (deceased)
*Signature Value : £50
|As the navigator and bombardier on Don Smiths aircraft we attacked targets in Kobe. When the raid was completed we flew on and eventually ditched our aircraft in the sea off the coast of China. We swam to an island where Chinese guerrillas took us through enemy lines into China. We got to Chungking from where we were sent home through India and across the South Atlantic. I later flew all through Africa after the invasion until the war was over, a total of 103 missions, all in B-25s. Sadly, Howard Sessler passed away in February 2001.|
|The Aircraft :|
|Mitchell||On April 18, 1942, Lt. Col. James H. Doolittle led a group of 16 B-25 bombers on a carrier-launched raid on industrial and military targets in Japan. The raid was one of the most daring missions of WW II. Planning for this secret mission began several months earlier, and Jimmy Doolittle, one of the most outstanding pilots and leaders in the United States Army Air Corps was chosen to plan, organize and lead the raid. The plan was to get within 300 or 400 miles of Japan, attack military and industrial targets in Tokyo, Osaka, and Kobe shortly after nightfall, and then fly on to a dawn landing at secret airfields on the coast of China. The twin engine B-25 Mitchell bomber was selected by Doolittle for the mission and practice indicated that it should be possible to launch these aircraft from a carrier deck with less than 500 feet of runway. On April 2, 1942 the USS Hornet and a number of escorts set sail from Alameda, California with the 16 B-25s strapped to its deck. This task force rendezvoused with another including the USS Enterprise, and proceeded for the Japanese mainland. An element of surprise was important for this mission to succeed. When the task force was spotted by a Japanese picket boat, Admiral Halsey made the decision to launch the attack earlier than was planned. This meant that the raiders would have to fly more than 600 miles to Japan, and would arrive over their targets in daylight. It also meant that it would be unlikely that each aircraft would have sufficient fuel to reach useable airfields in China. Doolittle had 50 gallons of additional fuel stowed on each aircraft as well as a dinghy and survival supplies for the likely ditchings at sea which would now take place. At approximately 8:00 AM the Hornets loudspeaker blared, Now hear this: Army pilots, man your planes! Doolittle and his co-pilot R.E. Cole piloted the first B-25 off the Hornets deck at about 8:20 AM. With full flaps, and full throttle the Mitchell roared towards the Hornets bow, just barely missing the ships island superstructure. The B-25 lifted off, Doolittle leveled out, and made a single low altitude pass down the painted center line on the Hornets deck to align his compass. The remaining aircraft lifted off at approximately five minute intervals. The mission was planned to include five three-plane sections directed at various targets. However, Doolittle had made it clear that each aircraft was on its own. He insisted, however, that civilian targets be avoided, and under no circumstances was the Imperial Palace in Tokyo to be bombed. About 30 minutes after taking off Doolittles B-25 was joined by another piloted by Lt. Travis Hoover. These two aircraft approached Tokyo from the north. They encountered a number of Japanese fighter or trainer aircraft, but they remained generally undetected at their low altitude. At 1:30 PM the Japanese homeland came under attack for the first time in the War. From low altitudes the raiders put their cargoes of four 500 pounders into a number of key targets. Despite antiaircraft fire, all the attacking aircraft were unscathed. The mission had been a surprise, but the most hazardous portion of the mission lay ahead. The Chinese were not prepared for the raiders arrival. Many of the aircraft were ditched along the coast, and the crews of other aircraft, including Doolittles were forced to bail out in darkness. There were a number of casualties, and several of the raiders were caught by Japanese troops in China, and some were eventually executed. This painting is dedicated to the memories of those airmen who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country and the thousands of innocent Chinese citizens which were brutally slaughtered as a reprisal for their assistance in rescuing the downed crews.|
|Artist Details : Nicolas Trudgian|
|Click here for a full list of all artwork by Nicolas Trudgian|
Cranston Fine Arts have now taken over all remaining stocks of Nicolas Trudgian prints from his previous publishers. We have made available a great many prints that had not been seen for many years, and have uncovered some rarities which lay unnoticed during this transition.
Having graduated from art college, Nicolas Trudgian spent many years as a professional illustrator before turning to a career in fine art painting. His crisp style of realism, attention to detail, compositional skills and bright use of colours, immediately found favour with collectors and demand for his original work soared on both sides of the Atlantic. Today, more than a decade after becoming a fine art painter, Nicolas Trudgian is firmly established within a tiny, elite group of aviation artists whose works are genuinely collected world-wide. When he paints an aircraft you can be sure he has researched it in every detail and when he puts it over a particular airfield, the chances are he has paid it a recent visit. Even when he paints a sunset over a tropical island, or mist hanging over a valley in China, most probably he has seen it with his own eyes. Nick was born and raised in the seafaring city of Plymouth, the port from which the Pilgrim Fathers set sail in 1620, and where Sir Francis Drake played bowls while awaiting the Spanish Armada. Growing up in a house close to the railway station within a busy military city, the harbour always teeming with naval vessels and the skies above resonating with the sounds of naval aircraft, it was not at all surprising the young Nick became fascinated with trains, boats and aircraft. It was from his father, himself a talented artist, that Nick acquired his love of drawing and surrounded by so much that was inspiring, there was never a shortage of ideas for pictures. His talent began to show at an early age and although he did well enough at school, he always spent a disproportionate amount of time drawing. People talked about him becoming a Naval officer or an architect but in 1975 Nick's mind was made up. When he told his careers teacher he wanted to go to art school the man said, 'Now come on, what do you really want to do? After leaving school Nick began a one-year foundation course at the Plymouth College of Art. Now armed with an impressive portfolio containing paintings of jet aircraft, trains, even wildlife, he was immediately accepted at every college he applied to join. He chose a course at the Falmouth College of Art in Cornwall specialising in technical illustration and paintings of machines and vehicles for industry. It was perfect for Nick, and he was to become one of the star pupils. One of the lecturers commented at the time: Every college needs someone with a talent like Nick to raise the standards sky high; he carried all the other students along with him, and created an effect which will last for years to come. Two weeks after leaving art college Nick blew every penny he had on a trip to South Africa to ride the great steam trains across the desert, sketching them at every opportunity. Returning to England, in best traditions of all young artists, he struggled to make a living. Paintings by an unknown artist didn't fetch much despite the painstaking effort and time Nick put into each work, so when the college he had recently left offered him a job as a lecturer, he jumped at the chance. The money was good and he discovered that he really enjoyed teaching. Throughout the 1970s Nick was much involved with a railway preservation society near Plymouth and it was through the railway society that he had his first pictures reproduced as prints. But Nick felt he needed to advance his career and in summer 1985 Nick moved away from Cornwall to join an energetic new design studio in Wiltshire. Here he painted detailed artwork for many major companies including Rolls Royce, General Motors, Volvo Trucks, Alfa Romeo and, to his delight, the aviation and defence industries. He remembers the job as exciting though stressful, often requiring him to work right through the night to meet a client's deadline. Here he learned to be disciplined and fast. Towards the end of the 1980's Nick had the chance to work for the Military Gallery. This was the break that for years he had been striving towards and with typical enthusiasm, flung himself into his new role. After completing a series of aviation posters, including a gigantic painting to commemorate the seventy-fifth anniversary of the Royal Air Force, Nick's first aviation scene to be published as a limited edition was launched by the Military Gallery in 1991. Despite the fact he was unknown in the field, it was an immediate success. Over the past decade Nick has earned a special reputation for giving those who love his work much more than just aircraft in his paintings. He goes to enormous lengths with his backgrounds, filling them with interesting and accurate detail, all designed to help give the aircraft in his paintings a tremendous sense of location and purpose. His landscapes are quite breathtaking and his buildings demonstrate an uncanny knowledge of perspective but it is the hardware in his paintings which are most striking. Whether it is an aircraft, tank, petrol bowser, or tractor, Nick brings it to life with all the inordinate skill of a truly accomplished fine art painter. A prodigious researcher, Nick travels extensively in his constant quest for information and fresh ideas. He has visited India, China, South Africa, South America, the Caribbean and travels regularly to the United States and Canada. He likes nothing better than to be out and about with sketchbook at the ready and if there is an old steam train in the vicinity, well that's a bonus!
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