CLOUD COMPANIONS (ARTIST PROOF)
by Robert Taylor
Overall Print Size: 34" x 24"
Edition Size: 125
Many World War II bomber stations shared Lancaster and Mosquito squadrons, and a healthy rivalry developed between the respective crews. Often Lancasters and Mosquitos would set off from the same airfield to attack the same target, the Mosquitos taking off an hour after the Lancasters and usually managing to get back to base an hour ahead of them. Much good natured ribbing between the crews took place in the local hostelries, which led to firm friendships between aviators flying the two different types. Over the target they became 'blood brothers' and fought tooth and nail to protect each other in the event of attack by enemy fighters. On more than one occasion the bond between crews was such that a Mosquito crew would stay behind to escort home a damaged Lancaster. Usually the sight of a Mosquito 'riding shotgun' was enough to deter any further attack, and many Lancaster crews had their friendly Mosquito companions to thank for their safe return.
"CLOUD COMPANIONS" depicts just such an event. A Lancaster has been damaged and is left far behind the main force to make its own perilous way home as best it can. Seeing the vulnerability of their friends, a Mosquito crew exposes themselves to the same dangers, and throttle back to stay alongside the injured war bird. Perhaps tonight they will all drink and laugh together in the local pub%u2026 perhaps. Meanwhile the drama unfolds: Dawn has broken, the visibility is unlimited. They have yet to make that Channel crossing and enemy fighters are in the area. The crew of the Lancaster struggle to maintain flying speed and enough height to bring their large four engine aircraft home. Robert Taylor conveys the desperate urgency of the situation with masterful strokes of his brush, providing an image of war that is poignant, emotive, yet beautiful to behold.
In addition to the artist this print was individually signed by a complete Lancaster crew of seven (7) distinguished aviators:
- Pilot BILL REID. V. C.
- Navigator JOHN COSTELLO
- Bomb Aimer LEN SUMPTER
- Flight Engineer LYNDON SIMS
- Signaller/Gunner ROLY HAMMERSLEY
- Mid Upper Gunner FRED CONEY
- Rear Gunner HOWIE WIN
Comes with Certificate of Authenticity.