Warm Winters Welcome by Nicolas Trudgian.
As the Autumn of 1944 turned to winter, the USAAF Eighth Air Force bombers were penetrating ever deeper into enemy territory, attacking distant targets in central and south-east Germany. Large formations of seven or eight hundred bombers, escorted by as many fighters, darkened the skies over the Reich. Central to the massive daylight raids was the long-range capabilities of the P-51 Mustang, the most versatile fighter of the war. Despite incessant pounding from the air, the Luftwaffe were putting up determined resistance, particularly in the south, often sending up several hundred fighters to meet the challenge. Huge aerial battles were fought between the opposing groups of fighters, and though the Allied pilots usually gained the upper hand in these encounters, the air fighting was prolonged and furious. Typical of those encounters, on a single mission in November the Allied estimate of Luftwaffe sorties flown against them exceeded 750, but often the German fighters were handicapped by poor direction from the ground, hampering their effectiveness - on the 27th, several Gruppen were vectored directly towards the P-51s of the 357th and 353rd Groups believing them to be in-coming bombers. They paid the price, the Leiston based pilots of the 357th bagging 30 enemy fighters before they knew what hit them. Successful as they were, the long-range escort missions flown by the P-51s were both hazardous and grueling. The weather, particularly in winter, was often appalling, and even an experienced pilot could become disoriented after hectic combat, and lost in the far reaches of the Reich. The return to base in England after combat over distant enemy territory was always exhilarating, and the pilots often hedgehopped gleefully over towns and villages on their way home after crossing the English coast. Nicolas Trudgians painting depicts such a scene, with P-51 Mustangs of the 357th Fighter Group racing over a typical English village as they head for Leiston and home. As the evening light fades, the peace and tranquillity of the snowy village, broken momentarily by the roar of Merlin engines, seems to bid the returning fighter boys a warm winters welcome.
Signed by four P-51 Mustang pilots who flew with the 357th Fighter Group in combat during World War II.
|Item Code : NT0005||Warm Winters Welcome by Nicolas Trudgian. - This Edition|
|TYPE||EDITION DETAILS||SIZE||SIGNATURES||OFFERS||YOUR PRICE||PURCHASING|
|PRINT||Signed limited edition of 500 prints. |
Less than 12 copies remaining.
| Image size 23 inches x 17 inches (58cm x 43cm)|| Anderson, C E Bud|
Winks, Robert P
Conlin, Raymond T
+ Artist : Nicolas Trudgian
Signature(s) value alone : £180
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|General descriptions of types of editions : |
|Extra Details : Warm Winters Welcome by Nicolas Trudgian.|
|About all editions :|
A photograph of one of the 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.|
Captain Robert P Winks (deceased)
*Signature Value : £45
|Robert Winks joined the service in 1943, and after training was posted to England. Flying his first combat mission in July 1944, he served with the 364th Fighter Squadron, 357th Fighter Group. His year long tour in Europe took in the heavy fighting over the Battle of the Bulge, the missions to support the Arnhem operations, and the Battle of Berlin, when the 357th destroyed 56 enemy aircraft. During this time he flew some 69 combat missions. His personal P-51D was 'Trusty Rusty'. His victories included an Me262 jet fighter claimed on 15th January 1945. Sadly, he died on 19th May 2008.|
Colonel C E Bud Anderson
*Signature Value : £50
|Bud Anderson went to England with the 357th Fighter Group in 1943, the first Eighth Air Force Group to be equipped with the P-51 Mustang. He got himself on the score sheet on one of the first Berlin missions, dog fighting with a bunch of Me109s who had set upon a straggling B-17. On 29th June 1944, leading his squadron on a mission to Leipzig, they ran into a formation of Fw190s. In the ensuing battle Anderson shot down the leader, and two more Fw190s. After a short rest in the U.S., Bud returned for a second tour, just in time for the 357th's big day on 27th November 1944. With the 353rd they took on a huge formation of some 200 enemy fighters, Anderson adding three more to his score. He finished the war with 16 air victories and many more probables.|
First Lieutenant John Skara
*Signature Value : £40
|John Skara joined the service in June 1942. After training he was posted to England to join the 357th Fighter Group at Leiston in Suffolk, flying both the P51B and later the P51D. He undertook his first combat mission in March 1944, and took part in the long and hazardous escort missions both to Russia, and to Italy. For most of his combat tour he flew as wingman to Bud Anderson|
First Lieutenant Raymond T Conlin
*Signature Value : £45
|'Ted' Conlin joined the service in July 1942, arriving in england in March 1944 to join the 362nd Squadron, 357th Fighter Group, flying P-51s. He flew the first of his combat missions on 13th May 1944, and the next few weeks saw much activity in the build up to D-Day. In September he took part in the air operations in support of Market Garden, the airborne landings in Holland around Arnhem and Nijmegen, and also escort on the 'Russian Shuttle' missions. He finished his combat tour in November 1944.|
|The Aircraft :|
|Mustang||The 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 : 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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