Rover Patrol by Richard Taylor
After D-Day in June 1944, and the capture of Germanys U-Boat bases in northern France,
Hitler ordered his remaining fleet, and particularly his submarines, to bases in Norway.
Occupied by the Germans since 1940, the Norwegian fjords, with their narrow inlets and steep mountainous backdrops, offered unique protection; however submarines departing and returning to Norway from their oceanic operations immediately attracted the attention of RAF Coastal Command.
Operating from two airfields in northern Scotland were the Banff and Dallachy Strike Wings, their sole purpose was to attack all German shipping along the Norwegian coast, and they fought a bitter and dangerous campaign against Hitlers once mighty submarine fleet. Heavily defended by shore batteries, Flak ships with terrible fire-power, and marauding Luftwaffe fighters, the Mosquitos and Beaufighters of Coastal Command came under intense fire during almost every sortie they flew.
Powered by two big Merlin engines, fastest of these fighter-bombers was the sleek, all-wood highly manoeuvrable two-seat Mosquito. Armed with four 20mm cannon, four .303 Browning machine guns, and with eight 251b solid armour-piercing rockets, this graceful strike aircraft packed a lethal punch.
Typically, sorties began in the dark, with pilots flying loose formation at 50 feet across the North Sea, to arrive over the target area at first light. Then, the ever-present barrage of defensive gunfire as pilots hurtled past sheer cliff faces, twisted and turned through narrow sounds, and dived in pursuit of their prey. Suddenly, from the quiet peace of early dawn, the still air was shattered by the roar of Merlins, rockets, gunfire, and explosions, resounding off mountain sides in a deafening cacophony of battle. And within minutes they were gone, leaving a trail of smoke, twisted metal, and another nail in the coffin of the Third Reich.
Richard Taylors new painting presents a fine study of a lone Mosquito FB MkVI of 143 Squadron, part of a larger formation of the Banff Strike Wing, high over the Norwegian fjords on an armed rover patrol to seek out enemy surface shipping and submarines, in February 1945. The beauty of the early morning sun, glinting on the snow-covered mountain-tops, contrasts with the menacing job in hand. Bravery, inordinate flying skills, and determination were a prerequisite for the crews of Coastal Strike Command - rare qualities admirably conveyed in Richards new rendering.
Acid Free Permanent Paper
Overall Print Size: 30.5" x 23.5"
Every print in this evocotive limited edition is authenticated by THREE crew who flew Mosquitos in the Banff Strike Wing during World War II. Joining them in signing each print is the artist Richard Taylor. Each print is hand-numbered.
Flight Lieutenant FRANK HAWTHORNE
Flight Lieutenant AUBREY HLLLI HLLLIARD
Flying Officer MAURICE WEBB DFM
THE REMARQUE EDITION
In the short period of time that Richard Taylor has been published by the Military Gallery, his pencil remarques have evolved into highly skilled pieces of original art. More and more detailed, these beautiful hand-crafted drawings are quickly growing to be appreciated by collectors, and are becoming increasingly in high demand. Two highly restricted remarque editions of ROVER PATROL will be issued, all with drawings comprehensively researched and relating to the Mosquito; the first limited to 25 copies, will each have an ORIGINAL pencil drawing elegantly hand drawn by Richard Taylor. The second, restricted to just TEN COPIES, will be issued with a
DOUBLE SIZE remarque drawing. Full of content, these double size remarques will measure approximately 10 wide.
400 Signed & Numbered prints
25 Artist Proofs
10 Double Remarques