Flying his P-51C 'Kitten', Lt. Charles McGee and Mustangs of the 332nd. Fighter Group escort B-24 Liberators of the 459th. Bomb Group back to their base in Italy after a daylight bombing mission, Summer 1944.
Known as the 'Red Tails' these all black pilots gained a reputation for their unparalleled record of safety protecting their bombers, often being specifically requested for this duty by the bomber crews themselves.
Overall size: 24" x 35"
Available in the following editions
Signed by Charles McGee & B-24 tail-gunner Corliss Norton
Giclée Studio proof
20" x 36" - stretched (overseas orders are shipped rolled)
Giclée Exhibition proof
33" x 60" - un-stretched - ships rolled
Col. Charles McGee
McGee graduated from flight school and shipped out to Italy in December 1943 as a Flight Lieutenant in the 302nd. Fighter Squadron, 332nd. Fighter Group. He flew missions in North Africa, Italy and Germany, and scored his first victory on the 24th. of August, flying escort on the Ploesti oil field raid. After the war this outstanding flyer commanded fighter squadrons throughout the United States, Italy, the Philippines and Germany, logging more than 6,100 hours in 409 combat missions spanning WWII, Korea and Vietnam. Serving in the armed forces for thirty years he holds the record of flying more combat missions than any other U.S. fighter-pilot in history.
Sgt. Corliss Norton
Corliss Norton entered the Army Air Corp in June of 1942. He trained as the tail gunner on B-24’s prior to being assigned to the 15th Air Force, 459th Bomb Squadron based in Creganola, Italy. On his third mission, his plane was hit by flak leaving the Ploesti Oil Fields and crash landed into the Adriatic Sea. After being rescued by a PBY, he and the surviving crew members rehabilitated from their injuries and returned to combat missions later in the year. Corliss completed thirty-nine combat missions and participated in some of the most important air missions of the war. These included a return mission to Ploesti as well as multiple trips to Budapest, Vienna, and Blechhammer. After the completion of his European tour and a subsequent return to the states, he qualified as a B-29 gunnery trainer in preparation for the anticipated invasion of Japan. Corliss was honorably discharged in October, 1945. He was awarded the Purple Heart as well as the Air Medal with three Oak Clusters amongst other citations.
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