Red Tail Escort by Richard Taylor features Tuskegee 'Red Tail' P-51 Mustangs of the 332nd Fighter Group.
"Your sole mission is to protect the bombers - not chase enemy aircraft for personal glory" - Colonel Benjamin O. Davis Jr. Group Commander 332nd Fighter Group.
With the words of his Group CO ringing in his ears, a pilot of the 332nd Fighter Group returns to protect a crippled American B-17 bomber after downing two Me109s in quick succession. Agonisingly, two more enemy fighters were left to escape but the pilot knew that under the strict leadership of Colonel Benjamin O. Davis, his mission, and that of the other all-black pilots of the 332nd, was solely to protect the bombers. That iron discipline was to earn this famous unit the respect and admiration of hundreds of bomber crews, and to create a legend.
Despite lingering racial prejudice and some opposition within the Air Force, President Roosevelt had ordered the USAAF to form an all-black fighter pilot unit, its crews to be trained at Tuskegee in Alabama. To the surprise of their critics, the Tuskegee Airmen were to prove their detractors spectacularly wrong from the first day they went into action in Italy in May 1943. Flying first with the Twelfth Air Force, then the Fifteenth, the four squadrons of the 332nd completed over 15,000 combat sorties, destroyed over 250 Luftwaffe aircraft in the air and on the ground, 950 railway trucks and locomotives, and even sunk a destroyer by machine gun fire! The Group was awarded a Presidential Unit Citation, their pilots decorated with over 1000 medals for gallantry. But above all, with the spinners and tails of their P-51 Mustangs brightly painted red, the "The Red Tails" as they were affectionately known, became the only US Fighter Group that never lost a bomber in their care.
In Richard Taylor's striking painting, the Tuskegee "Red Tail" pilots of the 332nd Fighter Group are a more than welcome sight as they close in to escort home a damaged B-17 Fortress of the 483rd Bomb Group. Seen high over the Italian Alps during the summer of 1944 this poignant scene conveys precisely the story of the legendary "Red Tails". With every print in Richard's new edition signed by six surviving pilots from this remarkable group of airmen including the legendary Colonel Charles McGee, the pilot of P-51 'Kitten' portrayed in this majestic painting, collectors will surely want to add this spectacular print to their aviation art portfolios.
Each print in Richard Taylor's Limited Edition, Red Tail Escort, is signed by six of the famous Tuskegee pilots:
Colonel Charles McGee
Lieutenant Colonel George E Hardy
Lieutenant Colonel Leo R Gray
Lieutenant Colonel William H Holloman III
Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Jefferson
Second Lieutenant Lowell Steward.
30 x 24 inches overall including borders.
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