Robert Taylor has been one of the most collected aviation artists in the industry for over 40 years and the opportunity to acquire his original work doesn’t often come along.
This outstanding piece features a Corsair of the legendary Black Sheep taxiing out for another mission from Vella Lavella, December, 1943. It has been framed and conservation matted to include the original autographs of Five iconic Black Sheep Pilots:
Lieutenant Colonel W. THOMAS EMRICH USMC
Thomas Emrich joined VMF-214 on August 7, 1943, flying two combat tours with them. On October 15th, 1943, he shot down two Zeros in aerial combat over Kahili, but the next day, on a fighter sweep, had to ditch off Vella Lavella and be rescued by a PT boat. He flew 68 missions with the “Black Sheep” and then a third tour with VMF-211 with other former “Black Sheep” pilots.
Colonel EDWIN A. HARPER USMC
Born in Canada, Ed Harper joined VMF-214 on August 7th, 1943 and flew both tours until January 1944, scoring a victory and 2 probables on sweeps over Kahili and Rabaul. Wounded on October 17th, the next day he flew a mission and scored a probable over a Zero. Ed was reassigned to VMF-211 for a third tour after VMF-214 were disbanded in January 1944.
Lieutenant Colonel WILLIAM D. HEIER USMC
Bill Heier joined the RCAF in 1941 and transferred to the US Navy in 1942. He flew both “Black Sheep” combat tours, joining the Squadron on August 7th, 1943. During the strafing of Kahili on September 21, 1943, Bill’s Corsair was damaged and he had to make a water landing off Vella Lavella. He was picked up by a PT boat and returned to the Squadron. By the end of his two tours he would shoot down 4 enemy aircraft, and 3 probables and would also fly a third combat tour with VMF-211 along with the other “Black Sheep” pilots.
Lieutenant Colonel JAMES J. HILL USMC
James Hill was born in Chicago in 1920. he arrived in the South Pacific on June 5, 1943, after completing flight school in Pensacola, and joined VMF-214 on August 7th, 1943. He flew both combat tours with the “Black Sheep.” On October 18th, 1943, on a fighter sweep over Kahili Airdrome he shot down a Zero in aerial combat. During his two tours with the “Black Sheep” he flew a total of 70 combat missions, and also flew a third combat tour with VMF-211 on Green Island.
Lieutenant Colonel ROBERT W. McCLURG USMC
Bob McClurg left for the South Pacific on May 2nd, 1943, joining the VMF-214 “Black Sheep” on August 7th, 1943. He flew both the “Black Sheep” combat tours and was then transferred to VMF-211 for his third combat tour after the “Black Sheep” were disbanded. During the Squadron’s first aerial combat on September 16th, 1943 – an escort mission of torpedo and dive-bombers – Bob shot down a Zero over Ballale for one of the unit’s early victories, and his first. By the end of both his combat tours with VMF-214, he achieved 7 confirmed aerial victories and 2 probables, making him one of the unit’s top Aces.