SCRAMBLE FOR THE MARIANAS
by Nicolas Trudgian
Overall Print Size: 36" x 24"
Edition Size: 1000
Soon after dawn on June 19, 1944, the flight deck of the U.S.S. Lexington has become a frenzied blur of moving color. Blue-shirted plane handlers merge with the yellow of the plane directors, hookmen in green, chockmen in purple, and firefighters in red, all darting about readying aircraft for launching. Pilots haul themselves into their cockpits and fire up their big radial engines, then, with a great howl of noise and rush of power, hurl themselves into the sky. Radar has already picked up a large number of bogies approaching the American carrier force and TF-58 Commander, Rear Admiral Mitscher, has ordered every available Hellcat into the air. Immediately they are airborne, the Hellcat pilots will be vectored towards the intercept; 90 miles out the two mighty aerial forces will collide. On that historic day, American Navy pilots ripped into wave after wave of enemy aircraft. As each new onslaught arrived there were more fighters there to meet them. Other squadrons joined in the melee and the radio circuits crackled with shouts, curses, warnings and cries of encouragement. "Hell this is like an old time turkey shoot!" yelled one pilot - and thus the battle became known as the Great Marianas Turkey Shoot. By the late afternoon the sky over TF-58 was swept clear of enemy aircraft, two Japanese carriers had been sunk by submarines and an incredible 373 enemy planes shot down. Mitscher lost only 23 aircraft and not one of his task force was seriously damaged. The U.S. Navy pilots had won an historic victory that paved the way to the final onslaught upon Japan.
Seen hurtling off the deck of the U.S.S. Lexington in Nicolas Trudgian's highly dramatic "SCRAMBLE FOR THE MARIANAS" is the F6F Hellcat of Lt. Alex Vraciu of Fighting Squadron VF-16. With 12 victories already to his credit, Vraciu would add a further six to his tally in the space of just eight minutes on that momentous day. Joining Alex Vraciu in signing Nick's remarkable new limited edition are three distinguished Navy Hellcat Aces, making this a true collector's item.
In addition to the artist this print is individually signed in pencil by:
- Captain Richard "Zeke" CORMIER
- Commander Hamilton "Mac" McWHORTER
- Captain Armistead "Chick" SMITH
- Commander Alex VRACIU
Comes with a Certificate of Authenticity.