RABAUL - FLY FOR YOUR LIFE
By Robert Taylor
Desperate for new pilots in the South Pacific, in August 1943 the First Marine Wing appointed the unconventional fighter ace Major Greg Boyington to pull together a newly formed squadron from a mix of experienced combat veterans and untested novice pilots. The Marine Corps gave him just four weeks to turn this motley group into a fighting force ready for combat -Boyington succeeded beyond all expectations and the rest is history.
Equipped with the Chance Vought F4U Corsair, they called themselves ‘The
Black Sheep’, and under Boyington’s mercurial leadership,
saw action at Guadalcanal, Munda, the northern Solomons, Vella Lavella,
Bourganville, and Tokokina; Kahili, and were the first to lead fighter
sweeps over the major Japanese base of Rabaul. In a period of just eighty-four
days Boyington’s pilots recorded 273 Japanese aircraft destroyed
or damaged, 97 confirmed air victories producing eight fighter Aces, sank
several ships, destroyed many ground installations and numerous other
A few days later. on 3 January 1944, during a massive engagement, Boyington
and his wingman took on a force of ten Japanese Zeros. After destroying
three, a swarm of twenty more Japanese joined the fray, downing his wingman.
Hopelessly outnumbered, Boyington finally fell victim and was shot down.
to be taken prisoner by the Japanese. His final victory tally stood at
28. With their leader gone, and eleven other pilots lost in action over
the preceding weeks, VMF-2 14, one of the US Marine Corps’ most
illustrious yet short-lived squadrons, was disbanded a few days later.
Overall print size: 36" x 23 1/2"
THE LIMITED EDITION
400 Signed & Numbered - £200 inc vat (£170.21inc vat)
THE 'BLACK SHEEP' EDITION
Brigadier General BRUCE J. MATHESON USMC
THE 'BLACK SHEEP' EDITION With SEVEN signatures including Companion print.
350 'Black sheep' Edition
25 Artist Proofs
This is a very special Commemorative Portfolio issued with the signatures of no less than FOURTEEN of the famous 'Black Sheep' pilots, including four of the squadron's eight Aces. Released to include an individual ORIGINAL pencil drawing by Robert Taylor, widely acknowledged as the world's premier aviation artist, each pilot signed drawing is double-matted to include yet further signatures, including that of their legendary commander - 'Pappy' Boyington. Each drawing is a unique example of Robert's highly-prized creative skill with the pencil, and will feature the F4U Corsairs of VMF-214. There is no doubt at all that this rare 'Black Sheep' Portfolio, signed by over half of the original squadron, will become highly sought after by all aviation art collectors interested in the War in the Pacific.
Lieutenant Colonel JOHN F. BOLT USMC (Matted Signature)
15 Tribute Proofs
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