Spitfire Vbs of 71 Squadron returning to North Weald - Robert Taylor’s tribute to the young American volunteer pilots who joined the RAF to fight for freedom at the time when Britain stood alone against the Nazi domination in Europe.
In the dark days of 1940 following Dunkirk, a seemingly defenceless Britain stood starkly alone in Europe, facing the might of an all conquering Nazi Germany. Protected only by the narrow waters of the English Channel, it was left to a tiny band of young RAF fighter pilots to stem the Luftwaffe's onslaught as the country braced itself for invasion. Across the Atlantic, America followed the savage encounters of the Battle of Britain, knowing that soon it too would become involved in the war. Unable to wait, a small band of Americans decided their time had come. Some 240 young US pilots, motivated to fight for the cause of freedom, made their way to England to fly with the RAF. Volunteers all, many were to become leading Aces in the RAF, and later the USAAF; many paid the ultimate price, more than a third never returning home.
By September 1940 these carefree young flyers were united into a re-formed 71 Squadron, the first of three 'Eagle' Squadrons, and the first to go into action, followed shortly after by 121 and 133 squadrons. Showing the same steely determination that had carried their British comrades through the Battle of Britain, they were quickly embraced into the fold of the RAF, their ferocious reputation in combat endearing them to the British people. The legend of the American Eagles was born. Robert Taylor's magnificent painting features Spitfire Vbs of 71 Squadron RAF as they return to their base at North Weald, September 1941, the young American pilots perhaps taking a brief moment to marvel at the myriad colours of the late evening sun - welcome relief from the perils of recent air combat with the Luftwaffe high above the English Channel.
Adding great significance to this outstanding limited edition - created by the world's premier aviation artist - each print is signed by some of the most highly regarded Eagle Squadron pilots to have flown with the RAF. A wonderful tribute to the legendary American Eagles.
Each print in Robert Taylor's Limited Edition, Eagle Force, is signed by:
Colonel BILL EDWARDS
Flight Lieutenant JAMES GRAY
Colonel STEVE PISANOS.
32 x 24 inches overall including borders.
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