by Robert Bailey
Overall Print Size: 33" x 23"
Edition Size: 350
With the success of Operation Cobra on July 7, 1944, and the Normandy breakout in full swing, the German army retreat began in earnest. This had been accomplished in no small measure by employing the strategic and tactical air doctrines of the air forces of Britain and the United States with the allied ground forces. The result was air supremacy and control over the battlefield of Normandy and France. The tactical missions of the Eighth and Ninth Air Forces supported the advancing Allied armies through a network of FAC's (Forward Air Controllers) that would work directly with ground echelons on the advance. Air strikes terrorized the German armor and ground forces, and few encounters between the fighters and fighter bombers came out in favor of the Germans. Throughout the daylight hours of August and September of 1944, these attacks hounded and paralyzed the supply lines and logistics of the enemy. Moving war material and troops at night under the cloak of darkness offered one of the few opportunities for the Germans to make any progress. Few targets escaped the punishing attacks of these fighters, who used their bombs, rockets, and .50 caliber machine guns to pulverize the surprised Germans. The level of intensity of these attacks were such that 56 years later, surviving German soldiers still speak in hushed tones of the ferocity of fighter attacks and the feelings of hopelessness and fear that became increasingly an everyday occurrence.
In "MUSTANG MENACE" just such a scenario unfolds. A German tank column moving to the front has had the unfortunate luck to cross paths with a Kriegslok train carrying petro chemicals. Alerted by an FAC, fighters of the 357th FG attack with a vengeance at the target-rich environment. The ensuing conflagration is just another day on the job for the 357th. The lead airplane is 'Passion Wagon,' flown by 1st. Lieutenant Arval Roberson.
In addition to the artist this print was individually signed by FIVE Mustang pilots of the 357th Fighter Group.
- First Lieutenant Arval "Robie" Roberson
- First Lieutenant Bill Dunlop
- First Lieutenant "Chuck" Weaver
- First Lieutenant Harve Mace
- First Lieutenant Raymond "Ted" Conlin
Comes with a Certificate of Authenticity