RED TAIL PASS
by Robert Bailey
Overall Print Size: 33" x 22"
Edition Size: 20
By March of 1945, Germany was surrounded and fighting a purely defensive war. To the east, the Russian juggernaut, both army and air force, rushed headlong toward Berlin, crushing any resistance in its path. In the west, the Allies had crossed the Rhine River into Germany and were pushing the battered German army further east. To the south the Allies advanced north past Rome and into the Po Valley of Italy, ever closer to her homeland beyond the Italian and Austrian Alps.
The Allied air forces were relentless in their bombing and destruction of any effort put up by the beleaguered Luftwaffe in these final days. Among the fighter squadrons that were involved in the missions were the Tuskegee pilots of the 332nd Fighter Group. Flying out of Ramitelli, Italy, they continued their escort duties, providing the necessary protection for the bombers to hit their targets in central Germany. Many of these missions still met enemy resistance, and some of the air battles were fierce. On some occasions they battled with the new Luftwaffe wonder weapons of jet and rocket design which, though technologically advanced, were too few in number and introduced too late to change the course of the war. Starved of fuel, the German war machine staggered on when it should have ended sooner. But Hitler insisted on battling on to ultimate self-destruction, both for his and the German population.
In Robert Bailey’s air combat painting, “RED TAIL PASS,” Tuskegee Mustangs are seen streaking over southern Germany on April 1, 1945. On this day and the preceding day, they destroyed 25 enemy aircraft with only one lost. It was a historic two-day period for the Tuskegee, of which they will always be proud. Up front are ‘Duchess Arlene’ (1st Lt. Robert W. Williams) of 100 Fighter Squadron, and ‘Creamer’s Dream’ (1st Lt. Charles White), 301 Fighter Squadron.
In addition to the artist this print was individually signed in pencil by THIRTEEN Tuskegee Airmen:
- 1st Lieutenant Spann Watson
- 1st Lieutenant John H. Leahr
- Flight Officer Charles A. Lane Jr.
- Staff Sergeant James A. Sheppard
- 1st Lieutenant John F. Briggs
- 1st Lieutenant Richard D. Macon
- 1st Lieutenant Robert L. Martin
- 1st Lieutenant William H. Holloman III
- 1st Lieutenant George A. Taylor
- Staff Sergeant Levi H. Thornhill
- 1st Lieutenant William B. Ellis
- Lieutenant James H. Harvey
- 2nd Lieutenant George E. Hardy
Comes with Certificate of Authenticity.