Rabaul - Fly for your Life

Robert Taylor





Rabaul Fly for your Life Robert Taylor

For their outstanding contribution to the war in the South Pacific, the 'Black Sheep' were awarded one of only two Presidential Unit Citations accorded to Marine Corps squadrons during the war in the Pacific.

Desperate for new pilots in the South Pacific, in August 1943 the First Marine Wing appointed the unconventional fighter ace Major Greg Boyington to pull together a newly formed squadron from a mix of experienced combat veterans and untested novice pilots. The Marine Corps gave him just four weeks to turn this motley group into a fighting force ready for combat - Boyington succeeded beyond all expectations and the rest is history. Equipped with the Chance Vought F4U Corsair, they called themselves 'The Black Sheep', and under Boyington's leadership, saw action at Guadalcanal, Munda, the northern Solomons, Vella Lavella, Bourganville, and Tokokina Kahili, and were the first to lead fighter sweeps over the major Japanese base of Rabaul.

In a period of just eighty - four days Boyington's pilots recorded 273 Japanese aircraft destroyed or damaged, 97 confirmed air victories producing eight fighter Aces, sank several ships, destroyed many ground installations and numerous other victories. With typical mastery, Robert Taylor has brought to life an encounter over Rabaul in late December 1943, paying tribute to one of the US Marine Corps most famous fighter squadrons, and its outstanding leader. With the Japanese airbase at Rabaul visible in the distance, 'Pappy' Boyington and his fellow pilots of VMF-214 tear into a large formation of Japanese Zekes and a series of deadly dogfights have started, one Zeke already fallen victim to their guns.



The Limited Edition

This edition is signed by the artist Robert Taylor and Two of the leading 'Black Sheep' F4U Corsair pilots.

Brigadier General BRUCE J. MATHESON USMC

The Black Sheep Edition

This Commemorative edition is additionally signed by five legendary 'Black Sheep' pilots who flew Corsairs with VMF-214, and is issued with a matching-numbered pilot signed companion print of Robert Taylor's working drawing 'Black Sheep'.
A total of Seven signatures on this edition.

Lieutenant Colonel HENRY M. BOURGEOIS USMC (Companion Print)
Lieutenant Colonel W. THOMAS EMRICH USMC
Colonel EDWIN A. HARPER USMC (Companion Print)
Lieutenant Colonel JAMES J. HILL USMC

Black Sheep Companion Print
Black Sheep Companion Print


The Black Sheep Portfolio

Issued with an original pencil drawing by Robert Taylor and including the Companion Print pictured above. A total of Three prints in this superb edition.

This is a very special Commemorative Portfolio issued with the signatures of no less than Fourteen of the famous 'Black Sheep' pilots, including four of the squadron's eight Aces. Released to include an individual Original pencil drawing by Robert Taylor, widely acknowledged as the world's premier aviation artist, each pilot signed drawing is double-matted to include yet further signatures, including that of their legendary commander - 'Pappy' Boyington. Each drawing is a unique example of Robert's highly-prized creative skill with the pencil, and will feature the F4U Corsairs of VMF-214. There is no doubt at all that this rare 'Black Sheep' Portfolio, signed by over half of the original squadron, will become highly sought after by all aviation art collectors interested in the War in the Pacific.


Lieutenant Colonel JOHN F. BOLT USMC (Matted Signature)
Captain GLENN BOWERS USMC (Original pencil drawing)
Lieutenant Colonel WILLIAM D. HEIER USMC (Original pencil drawing)
Major MARION 'RUSTY' MARCH USMC (Original pencil drawing)
Lieutenant Colonel ROBERT W. McCLURG (Matted Signature)
Major EDWIN L. OLANDER USMC (Original pencil drawing)

Matching numbered certificate of authenticity included.

Overall Print Size 36"x 23 1/2" (inches) Printed in lightfast inks on acid free archival paper.


To complement the purchase of your fine art print, we are now able to offer a professional Picture Framing service. For further details please click Here



Signed and Numbered Print
UK £200.00
Edition Size - 400

The Black Sheep Edition
UK £275.00
Edition Size - 350

The Black Sheep Edition Artist Proof
UK £395.00
Edition Size - 25

The Tribute Portfolio Edition
UK £1895.00
Edition Size - 15

Subject to availability (Please call)


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Helpful information regarding our Limited Edition Prints

Limited edition print:

An edition of identical prints, numbered sequentially and individually signed by the artist, having a stated limit to the quantity in the edition. Following publication the printing plates are destroyed. Almost all the aviation art and aircraft prints featured on this website are authenticated with the original signatures of distinguished military personnel.

Artists Proof:

An old tradition of reserving a quantity of prints for the artist's use, usually equal to about 10 % of the edition. In the early days of printing, these prints were the only remuneration the poor artist received. Proofs are signed by the artist and numbered showing the quantity of Artist's Proofs issued in the edition. Because of their highly restricted number, Artist's Proofs are sold at a higher value than the regular prints in the edition.

Publishers Proof:

A quantity of prints, not always announced or issued at the time of publication, usually equal to no more than 10% of the edition. These are reserved for the publisher's use, mostly for donation to Museums, Service establishments, Service Associations, and the like. Quantities of Publishers Proofs, sometimes issued with a supplementary print, may be made available to collectors either at the time of publication, or at a later date, depending upon availability.

Remarqued print:

A print issued with an original pencil drawing by the artist in the margin, each numbered out of the quantity of individually remarqued prints in the edition. The quantity of remarqued prints in any one edition generally is between 25 and 50. Each remarque drawing made by the artist is slightly different, thus making each print totally unique. Remarqued prints may be available at the time of publication, or announced at a later date, depending upon the artist's work load at the time .Please be aware that Remarque prints can take up to six weeks for delivery. An artist remarqued print is the ultimate collector item in terms of reproduced work.

Companion print:

An additional print, usually issued with smaller dimensions, published to compliment a limited edition, and usually issued at the same time.

Matted (or mounted) print:

A print fitted into an acid-free or conservation matt (or mount), ready for framing.

Original drawing:

An original work individually drawn by the artist, completed in pencil, ink, or other medium, and personally signed by the artist. Being an original work each drawing is unique and different.

Certificate of Authenticity:

A certificate issued by the publisher stating the total quantity of prints issued in the edition, confirming authenticity of the signatures, and in the case of a limited edition, inscribed with the matching unique number inscribed on the individual print. Collectors are advised to keep certificates safely as a future means of provenance. All our aviation art and aircraft prints are issued with a certificate of authenticity.



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