SUMMER OF '42
by John Shaw
Print Size: 39¼" x 21"
Edition Size: 100
During 1941, as the cruel cloud of Axis tyranny spread throughout the East, the brave men and women of the American Volunteer Group, under the command of Claire Lee Chennault, were the first Americans to successfully resist Japanese aggressors over China. Nicknamed the Flying Tigers, and armed with little else than a batch of Curtiss P-40 fighters rerouted from lend-lease delivery to Britain, the AVG was divided into three squadrons known as the Adam and Eves, Panda Bears, and Hell's Angels. Living and playing hard, they swung into first action in the skies over Burma and China about 2 weeks following the attack on Pearl Harbor, and immediately began a series of aerial victories which would become the stuff of legend. By the summer of 1942, the U.S. Army Air Corps had established a base at historic and exotic Kweilin, China, and planned to induct as many of the AVG as possible back into official U.S. service.
"SUMMER OF '42" depicts the ancient beauty of the Li River, where for centuries Chinese fishermen would use trained cormorants in their efforts. During these times, the serenity would routinely be disturbed as AVG fighters returned to their nearby Kweilin base, in this case, an assortment of P-40C "Tomahawks" and P-40Es, bearing the familiar shark-mouthed motif the unit was famous for. After achieving a remarkable combat record, the AVG was disbanded July 4, 1942, to be succeeded by the United States Army Air Corps' 23rd Fighter Group, which also served with distinction though the end of the war. The 23rd remains active to this day as the United States Air Force's 23rd Fighter Wing, its aircraft still carrying on the tradition of the Flying Tigers' shark teeth.
In addition to the artist each print in this ARTIST PROOF EDITION is individually hand signed in pencil by TWENTY-ONE distinguished original AVG Flying Tigers:
1st PURSUIT SQUADRON:
2nd PURSUIT SQUADRON:
- Charlie Bond (Vice Squadron Leader)
- Joe Rosbert (Flight Leader)
- Dick Rossi (Flight Leader)
- Morgan Vaux (Communications)
3rd PURSUIT SQUADRON:
- David 'Tex' Hill (Squadron Leader)
- Robert Keeton (Flight Leader)
- Bob Layher (Flight Leader)
- Charlie Mott (Flight Leader)
- Peter Wright (Flight Leader)
GROUP HEADQUARTERS SECTION:
- Frank A. Andersen (Crew Chief)
- Charles Baisden (Armorer)
- Keith Christensen (Armorer)
- Paul Clouthier (Operations)
- Ken Jernstedt (Flight Leader)
- Paul J. Greene (Flight Leader)
- Frank Losonsky (Crew Chief)
- Joe Poshefko (Armorer)
- Leo Schramm (Crew Chief)
- Ed Stiles (Crew Chief)
- Ed Janski (Propeller Specialist)
- 'Red' Foster Petach (Nurse)
Comes with a Certificate of Authenticity.