Robert Taylor Catalogue

PHANTOM FURY

by Robert Taylor

Phantom Fury-robert-taylor-aviation-art-prints F4 Phantom

Phantom! - the name that struck terror into the hearts of the North Vietnamese


The biggest, fastest, most powerful fighter of its day, the McDonnell Phantom was an awesome war machine that came to dominate aerial combat for over two decades. It may have been the size of many World War II bombers but it could out-perform anything that crossed its path; it was quicker, could turn faster, was better equipped with electronics, carried more ordnance than anything comparable, and it had an unbelievable rate of climb. The F-4 Phantom was the benchmark against which every fighter in the world came to be judged; it was simply the best.
When it saw combat for the first time, in Vietnam in 1961, it was the lucky Navy and Marine Corps pilots who were the first to fly it. Whether it was carrier-based attack with the Navy, land-based bombing missions with the Marines, air combat sorties, or Forward Air Control missions, it was unbeatable. So impressed were the Air Force that they bought it too, and three years later, in 1964, the USAF received their Phantoms. The Air Force pilots just couldn't wait to get their hands on it.
One of those just itching to take it into combat was a young, then Captain, Steve Ritchie. Flying with the 555th TFS, the illustrious 'Triple Nickel', Ritchie would, in the space of a few weeks during Operation Linebacker in the summer of 1972 become a legend - the only USAF fighter pilot Ace of the Vietnam War.
Robert Taylor's powerful new painting shows Steve Ritchie, first into action, flying his lead F-4D Phantom through a hail of deadly enemy flak as he exits the target area after a typical FAST FAC mission on enemy installations in North Vietnam, 1972. Behind him a vast trail of devastation marks the mission's progress, as his fellow Phantom crews continue to wreak havoc with their heavy ordnance, the target area exploding in a series of mighty detonations.
Superb limited edition prints of this dramatic painting by Robert Taylor - the world's premier aviation artist — have been personally signed by the legendary USAF fighter ace, Brigadier General Steve Ritchie, together with his special guest signer Captain John Madden.

Overall Print Size: 34½” wide x 23½” high

Each print is personally signed by the highly decorated Vietnam USAF fighter pilot Ace Steve Ritchie, together with his special guest, Capt. John Madden,

Please read about Brigadier General RICHARD ‘STEVE’ RITCHIE and Captain JOHN MADDEN below.

The Limited Edition
Edition Size - 750

The Artist Proofs
Edition Size - 50

The Giclee Canvas Proofs
Edition Size - 25

 

THE GICLEE CANVAS PROOFS
Only 25 Canvas Giclee Proofs will be issued in this new print edition, each individually signed by the artist Robert Taylor. BOTH Steve Ritchie and John Madden will individually sign the unique Presentation Certificate issued with each Giclee Canvas Proof.

When artist Robert Taylor first saw these state-of-the-art Giclee Canvas Proofs, he had this to say: "These giclee prints are about as near to the original painting in colour and texture as it is possible to achieve in reproduced format. I am deeply impressed. "
To replicate the artist's original painting so faithfully, each print is individually worked by a specialist master printer laying down solid colour on canvas, so that only the experienced eye can distinguish them from the original. So life-like is the result it is necessary for us to imprint the words "this is a giclee print reproduction" on the reverse of the canvas to ensure they are never mistaken for the original.

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Brigadier General RICHARD 'STEVE' RITCHIE

Born in June 1942 during World War II, Steve Ritchie graduated and was commissioned from the USAF Academy in June 1964. He flew his first combat tour in Vietnam in 1968 on Fast FAC operations, before transferring to the 555th Tactical Fighter Squadron, 432nd TRW for his second tour. It was with the 555th TFS - the famed 'Triple Nickel' Squadron, that he achieved Ace status. His first kill came on 10 May 1972 when he downed a MiG-21 forty miles northwest of Hanoi, with his second a few weeks later just thirty miles south of the Chinese border. At the beginning of July he downed two MiG-21s west of Hanoi. It must have been his lucky area for on 28 August he scored his fifth and final victory in the same spot, thus becoming the USAF's only pilot Ace of the Vietnam War, and the last US pilot to achieve Ace status.
SPECIAL GUEST SIGNER - in tribute to the outstanding achievements of Steve Ritchie and the 555th TFS, every print is additionally signed by a fellow highly distinguished 'Triple Nickel' combat pilot, who flew on many of the units most dangerous missions:

Colonel JOHN MADDEN
Flying his first combat mission on 5 October 1965, leading fighter pilot John Maddenflew three combat tours in Vietnam, notching up an impressive record of 3 kills and 1 damaged, flying F-4s. On 28 August 1972 he was part of the same mission when Steve
.Ritchie made Ace. That same year Madden led over 50 combat flights and he never lost a wingman. Flights under his leadership accounted for 5 enemy aircraft downed, and 1 damaged. He left Vietnam in 1975, and retired from the USAF in 1984.