INTO THE TEETH OF THE WIND
(Commemorative Proof Set - 12 Signatures)
by Robert Taylor
Overall MAIN Print Size: 30" x 23½"
Edition Size: 300
It was a simple plan with a single objective, yet: impossibly difficult and fraught with danger at every step. Within four short months of the infamous attack on Pearl Harbor, the USS Hornet would sail to within range of the Japanese coast and launch sixteen heavily-laden B-25 bombers, never previously flown off the deck of a carrier, to make a daring strike against major Japanese cities. With each aircraft weighed down by a ton of bombs and fuel to fly 2400 miles, take-off would be marginal; landing a twin engine bomber back on the short deck, impossible. The crews would have to fly on towards China and make the best they could of survival. At 8:00 am on the morning of April 18, 1942 Admiral Halsey flashed a message to Hornet to launch aircraft; the klaxon aboard ship boomed "Army pilots, man your planes!" In worsening weather, and with mountainous waves sending spray over the bow, Hornet s deck was a hive of activity as the crews ran to their aircraft. By 8:20, with engines warmed and magnetos checked, mission leader Lieutenant Colonel Jimmy Doolittle gave the thumbs-up to the deck launching officer. Releasing brakes, he pushed the throttle levers to the stops, and gunned his heavy bomber towards the heaving bow of the ship, timing his run to coincide with maximum pitch of the deck. The B-25 became airborne with feet to spare.
Inspired by his many meetings with survivors of the raid, in "INTO THE TEETH OF THE WIND" Robert Taylor has created a wonderfully faithful recreation of the scene as Jimmy Doolittle lifts his heavily laden B-25 off the deck. Fifteen gallant crews, with engines turning, are lined up and ready to follow. These gallant "Doolittle Tokyo Raiders" struck the first blow to the very heart of the Japanese Empire, putting fear into the minds of the nation's leaders, causing the Japanese to divert aircraft and equipment from offensive operations to the defense of their homeland. A tiny raid by the standards of what was to come, but massively important in the context of the war in the Pacific. Another Robert Taylor masterpiece.
In addition to the artist this print was individually signed in pencil by FIVE Doolittle Raider veterans who took part in the historic Tokyo Raid:
Lieutenant Colonel RICHARD E. COLE
Major THOMAS C. GRIFFIN
Master Sergeant EDWIN W. HORTON JR
Major General DAVID M. JONES
Staff Sergeant DAVID J. THATCHER
This COMMEMORATIVE PROOF edition was also individually signed by TWO additional Doolittle Raiders and by a 24 year-old local Chinese citizen who helped one of the Doolittle crews evade capture by the Japanese:
2nd Lieutenant WILLIAM L. BIRCH
Lieutenant Colonel FRANK A. KAPPELER
Specially commissioned by the Military Gallery, this stunning and historically accurate pencil drawing by Robert Taylor, has been released as a signed companion print to the "INTO THE TEETH OF THE WIND" COMMEMORATIVE PROOF edition. "THE DAY NOW DAWNS" (0700 Hrs aboard the USS Hornet 18 April 1942) measures 16½" wide x 14¾" high..
In addition to the artist this COMPANION print is signed by an additional FOUR veterans, making a total of TWELVE signatures in this remarkable COMMEMORATIVE PROOF edition:
Colonel WILLIAM M. BOWER
Lieutenant Colonel ROBERT L. HITE
Lieutenant Colonel CHASE J
Master Sergeant EDWARD J. SAYLOR
(Though listed on the sales brochure, Captain CHARLES J. OZUK Jr., the Navigator on Plane #3 piloted by Robert Gray was unable to sign.)