Between 3 and 13 September 1944, the 55th Fighter Group flew eight arduous, highly successful, bomber escort missions to Germany for which the group received a Distinguished Unit Citation.
Like those the group had flown before, and would fly again and again until the end of hostilities, each mission took them deep into enemy airspace, involved desperate combat with Luftwaffe fighters, and culminated in rapid descent to low level to strafe enemy airfields on the way home. In that ten day period of intense fighting the 55th covered themselves in glory, destroying large numbers of enemy fighters in the air and on the ground, one of their pilots becoming the top-scoring ground attack pilot of the campaign.
Long-range combat missions were typical of the assignments flown by the fighters of the 8th Air Force during that period of the air war. Not content with dog-fighting at altitude, when escort duty was complete, the Eighth's aggressive fighter pilots relished the opportunity to hurtle down to tree-top height and, ignoring the inevitable barrage of anti-aircraft fire, shoot up any target of opportunity upon which they could bring their guns to bear.
Robert Taylor's painting depicts the king of the Eighth's ground attack Aces, Colonel Elwyn Righetti. Flying his P-51D Mustang, the 55th's CO of 338 Squadron, already with 20 plus victories to his credit, leads his pilots through the Rhine Gorge, skimming the ancient Castle of Stableck standing above Bacharach, as they seek out enemy targets on their way back to base at Wormingford, England, in the spring of 1945.
Image size: 22" x 40"
Available in the following editions
Giclée on canvas
Signed by the artist
Giclée on canvas - framed (see below)
Note: The canvas is supplied mounted on a stretcher frame as standard, but it is also available rolled. If you prefer this option please type 'Rolled' in the addittional comments section of our order form, or specify when calling us.
All canvases are shipped rolled if delivered to an address outside the U.S.
Robert Taylor had this to say about the Studio proofs: “These Giclée proofs are so impressive, they are as close to my original painting in colour and texture as it is possible to achieve in reproduced format.”
Each canvas is signed by the artist, stamped on the back, hand-numbered and issued with a Certificate of Authenticity.