Dual Victory by Richard Taylor features Clyde East in his P-51 Mustang taking on six Me109s.
Photo Reconnaissance called for very special skills and qualities in a pilot. Almost always flying alone, the recon pilot had to penetrate deep behind enemy lines to gather vital information, his primary ally being height and speed.
"I am delighted to have been involved with this outstanding painting, Richard has done a remarkable job, capturing the event exactly as I remember it" - Lieutenant Colonel Clyde. B. East.
Many reconnaissance aircraft, including the Spitfire and Mosquito, were stripped of all armament in the quest for speed, leaving only the pilot's flying skills to get him out of a jam. The P-51 Mustang F-6 had the best of both worlds. Powered by the Merlin engine it had fantastic performance, yet was equipped with the same armament as its fighter escort brothers. With cameras fitted into the side of the fuselage, and alignment marks painted on the wings, the pilot flew over the target at a predetermined altitude and precise angle of bank, to record the vital images required by the boffins back home. The Mustang F-6 variant became the outstanding recon aircraft of World War II.
Equipped for battle as the F-6 was, it was the recon pilot's job to avoid aerial combat and get his photographs home. But looking at one 10th Tactical Recon Group pilot's record, Captain Clyde East, it seems he was unable to resist the chance of a fight whenever it presented itself. Few recon pilots became Aces but Clyde East destroyed 14 and a half enemy aircraft, mostly Me109s and Fw190s, just missing out on achieving the Ace distinction three times over! Clyde East flew daily, and almost always alone, recording photographs and making notes of enemy road, river, and rail traffic, reporting conditions of marshalling yards, docks and airfields, and results of air strikes. He holds the distinction of recording the first air victory over the Normandy beaches on D-Day, and on one occasion shot down three German aircraft in a single morning.
Richard Taylor brings to life a spectacular dogfight over Eisenach on 24 March 1945 when the doughty Clyde East, returning from a recce over Schweinfurt with his wingman 2nd Lieutenant Larson, and with photos already in the can, takes on a group of six Me109s. Flying his legendary 'Lil Margaret’ and having already dispatched one, he peels round to line up his second Me109 to add two more victories to his remarkable tally.
Each print in Richard Taylor's Limited Edition, Dual Victory (Fighter Pilots Edition), is signed by four P-51 fighter pilots who flew combat in Europe during WWII:
Lieutenant Colonel Clyde B East
Lieutenant Colonel Ernest Bankey
Colonel Art Fiedler
First Lieutenant Clint White.
30 x 24 inches overall including borders.
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