by Robert Taylor
CANVAS STUDIO PROOF
The steel mill at Thai Nguyen was vital to North Vietnam and in 1967 its destruction was a top priority for the USAF. There was a problem however; it was one of the most heavily and well defended installations in the country.
On 30 March 1967, the mission to attack the Thai Nguyen steel plant fell to the legendary fighter leader and WWII Ace Robin Olds but it turned out to be one of the most hazardous raids of the Vietnam War.
Relying on speed Olds had opted not to take the usual fourth ship for this raid, it was too dangerous. His experience proved right, even the approach was going to prove ugly; “For forty miles we raced over rice paddies studded with rocky hillocks each covered with guns of every calibre shooting for all they were worth. Air bursts flashed and smoked everywhere, shrapnel and short rounds roiled the water in the paddies, and sheets of tracers came at us blurring our vision ahead. We flew right through this barrage much as the Kamikaze pilots had against our carriers in World War II, and for the only time in 900 combat flying, it flashed through my mind that none of us would survive the mission.”
Internationally hailed as one of the finest air combat scenes of the Vietnam War, Phantom Strike portrays the aftermath of the attack. With the infamous ‘Thud Ridge’ in the background, the air is alive with shell bursts and tracer fire as the three-ship strike force hurtles through the concentrated onslaught of flak. Behind them the steel mill billows flame and smoke.
We are delighted to announce that this famous piece has now been authorised as the latest Masterwork to be enhanced by the creation of these new GICLÉE STUDIO PROOF ON CANVAS.
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