Into the Teeth of the Wind by Robert Taylor commemorates the famous raid on Japan led by General Jimmy Doolittle and includes the companion print The Day Now Dawns taken from Robert Taylor's pencil sketch.
Bound for Tokyo, Lieutenant-Colonel Jimmy Doolittle launches his B-25 Mitchell from the heaving deck of the carrier USS Hornet on the morning of 18 April, 1942.
It was a simple plan with a single objective, yet impossibly difficult and fraught with danger at every step. Within four short months of the infamous attack on Pearl Harbor, the USS Hornet would sail to within range of the Japanese coast and launch sixteen heavily-laden B-25 bombers, never previously flown off the deck of a carrier, to make a daring strike against major Japanese cities. With each aircraft weighed down by a ton of bombs and fuel to fly 2400 miles, take-off would be marginal; landing a twin engine bomber back on the short deck, impossible. The crews would have to fly on towards China and make the best they could of survival.
At 8:00am on the morning of 18 April, 1942 Admiral Halsey flashed a message to Hornet to launch aircraft; the klaxon aboard ship boomed "Army pilots, man your planes!" In worsening weather, and with mountainous waves sending spray over the bow, Hornet’s deck was a hive of activity as the crews ran to their aircraft. 8y 8:20, with engines warmed and magnetos checked, mission leader Lieutenant-Colonel Jimmy Doolittle gave the thumbs-up to the deck launching officer. Releasing brakes, he pushed the throttle levers to the stops, and gunned his heavy bomber towards the heaving bow of the ship, timing his run to coincide with maximum pitch of the deck. The B-25 became airborne with feet to spare.
Inspired by his many meetings with survivors of the raid, Robert Taylor has created a wonderfully faithful recreation of the scene as Jimmy Doolittle lifts his heavily laden B-25 off the deck. Fifteen gallant crews, with engines turning, are lined up and ready to follow. These gallant "Doolittle Tokyo Raiders" struck the first blow to the very heart of the Japanese Empire, putting fear into the minds of the nation's leaders, causing the Japanese to divert aircraft and equipment from offensive operations to the defence of their homeland. A tiny raid by the standards of what was to come, but massively important in the context of the war in the Pacific.
The Companion Print - The Day Now Dawns
Each print in Robert Taylor's Limited Edition, Into the Teeth of the Wind (Commemorative Proof), is signed by 13 veterans of the Doolittle Raid:
Lieutenant Colonel Richard E Cole
Major Thomas C Griffin
Master Sergeant Edwin W Horton Jr
Major General David M Jones
Staff Sergeant David J Thatcher
2nd Lieutenant William L Birch
Colonel William M Bower
Lieutenant Colonel Robert L Hite
Lieutenant Colonel Frank A Kappeler
Tung-Sheng Liu (Chinese civilian who helped one of the crews to safely and became an honorary Doolittle Raider)
Lieutenant Colonel Chase J Nielson
Captain Charles J Ozuk Jr
Master Sergeant Edward J Saylor.
300 Commemorative Proof
30 x 23 inches overall including borders.
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