America's Century by Robert Bailey


September 11th., 1944. B-17's of the 'Bloody Hundredth' attack a target at Ruhland, Germany.

Main subject is 'Mason and Dixon.'

High over the European continent lies a battlefield of immense size that has no markers, no monuments and no evidence that any struggle between men and nations ever took place just sixty short years ago. It has no borders or road signs to enlighten anyone where these battles raged, battles involving young men from opposing forces that exacted a toll of a quarter million casualties and changed the course of humanity forever.

Among the young American men who rose to the challenge, no finer examples can be found than those in the 100th Bomb Group, or as they came to be known, ‘The Bloody Hundredth’. Facing overwhelming odds, particularly in 1942-43, when aircrews could not expect to survive more than 10 missions, the Hundredth faced the worst that the Germans could throw at them. Raging flak and Luftwaffe tactics aside, they faced the fear of the unknown, often unescorted by fighters.

Despite all of this, the result was a victory that reverberates around the world to this day. As memories fade and the ranks grow fewer and fewer, their legacy lives on, and stands as a marker for future generations.

Depicted in Robert Bailey’s newest air combat painting is a mission flown by the 100th Bomb Group on September 11th, 1944, to Ruhland, Germany. Elements of the aircraft emerge from the bomb run, having delivered their payloads over the target.

The official group history reads: "At 26,000 feet the C Squadron was attacked by approximately 40 enemy aircraft, Fw190s and Me109s. The e/a came in a ‘schwarm’ from 6 o’clock, opening fire with 20mm from 400 yards. After this one mass attack, a few single e/a broke away from the ‘schwarm’ and made a 360-degree turn and again attacked crippled aircraft in the 100th C Squadron. In a few moments, all but one of our aircraft disappeared beneath the under-cast, about half of them appearing to be under control.”

This attack destroyed the Low Squadron of B-17’s, and then German fighters returned to attack from the front and rear. Many of these fighters were shot down, but the 100th lost twelve crews this day. It is this second wave attack by the Luftwaffe which is depicted here. Valiant ‘Mason and Dixon’, shown in America’s Century was in the B (High) Group, low element, and is seen fending off an attack by a Fw190. She claimed four German fighters during her missions over Europe.

Sheet size: 33" wide x 21 1/2" high.

The Signatures:

1st Lieutenant James C. Adair - 349 Squadron
Tech Sergeant Bruce Alshouse - 349 Squadron
1st Lieutenant Dick Ames - 351 Squadron
Staff Sergeant R. C. Anderson - 349 Squadron
Tech Sergeant Gene C. Bankston - 349 Squadron
Major Thomas Barret - 418 Squadron
2nd Lieutenant William Bates - 351 Squadron
Staff Sergeant Joseph H. Blume - 418 Squadron
1st Lieutenant Joseph Bohrer - 349 Squadron
2nd Lieutenant Ralph Bradley - 351 Squadron
Master Sergeant William Burkhart - 350 Squadron
Staff Sergeant Aldo Bussino - 350/418 Squadron
Staff Sergeant Paul Calkin - 349 Squadron
2nd Lieutenant Fortunato A. Carello - 350 Squadron
Captain Joseph T. Carlin - 351 Squadron
Tech Sergeant Carl Carlson - 418 Squadron
Major Bill Carlton - 351 Squadron
1st Lieutenant William Carrillo - 350 Squadron
Colonel E. R. Cassimatis - 418 Squadron
Lieutenant Colonel Hank Cervantes - 349 Squadron
1st Lieutenant Ralph Christensen - 418 Squadron
Master Sergeant D. R. Christofer - 351 Squadron
Captain Lloyd Coartney - 418 Squadron
2nd Lieutenant Ernest F. Jr. Coble - 349 Squadron
Tech Sergeant Francis Dolsen - 349 Squadron
Captain Russ Engel - 349 Squadron
Tech Sergeant R. W. Erickson - 350 Squadron
1st Lieutenant Hal Estill - 350 Squadron
Staff Sergeant Donald Fagen - 351 Squadron
1st Lieutenant Bob Fitzgerald - 350 Squadron
1st Lieutenant Buzz Fitzroy - 350 Squadron
1st Lieutenant Jack Fogle - 349 Squadron
Staff Sergeant Dale E. Francis - 418 Squadron
Staff Sergeant Albert Freita - 350 Squadron
Staff Sergeant Michael R. Gabor - 350 Squadron
Lieutenant Colonel Gus Gaspar - 418 Squadron
Staff Sergeant John Gately - 351 Squadron
Tech Sergeant Leonard Gayle - 350 Squadron
Tech Sergeant Jim George - 349 Squadron
Tech Sergeant Patrick Gillen - 418 Squadron
Staff Sergeant Homer Goudman - 418 Squadron
Tech Sergeant Herb Grand - 418 Squadron
Captain Walter Green - 418 Squadron
Staff Sergeant Joe Griego - 351 Squadron
Staff Sergeant Robert G. Guidi - 418 Squadron
1st Lieutenant Charles R. Hacker - 349 Squadron
1st Lieutenant Ed Hansen - 418 Squadron
Captain Chuck Harris - 418 Squadron
Captain Fred Herres - 349 Squadron
Captain L. D. Hess - 418 Squadron
Captain Lee S. Jacobs - 418 Squadron
1st Lieutenant John R. (Dick) Johnson - 351 Squadron
Staff Sergeant Oscar Johnson - 350 Squadron
Captain Gerry Kane - 418 Squadron
Sergeant Charles Kelly - 456 Sub Depot
Tech Sergeant Russel Kendig - 351 Squadron
1st Lieutenant Bill Kennedy - 351 Squadron
Staff Sergeant Robert J. Kennedy - 350 Squadron
Tech Sergeant Robert King - 350 Squadron
1st Lieutenant John H. Krauter - 350 Squadron
Captain Wilbur Kreamer - 351 Squadron
Staff Sergeant Leroy Kubuske - 350 Squadron
Robert Lafontaine - 456 Sub Depot
1st Lieutenant Robert Landino - 351 Squadron
2nd Lieutenant Wallace Lew - 350 Squadron
Tech Sergeant Albert P. Lochra - 351 Squadron
Colonel David K. Lyster - 350 Squadron
Staff Sergeant Lorenzo Luna - 349 Squadron
Tech Sergeant James Mack - 418 Squadron
1st Lieutenant Carl Martin - 349 Squadron
1st Lieutenant George McLeod - 349 Squadron
Tech Sergeant Norman J. Miller - 349 Squadron
Captain Ray Miller - 350 Squadron
Major Robert Mock - 351 Squadron
Tech Sergeant James Morrow - 349 Squadron
Captain Frank Murphy - 418 Squadron
Captain Gene Muttersback - 418 Squadron
Staff Sergeant Marvin Ollhoff - 349 Squadron
Staff Sergeant Lewis Payne - 349 Squadron
1st Lieutenant Larry Poksay - 349 Squadron
Sergeant Dan Radice - 349 Squadron
Captain Glenn Rake - 351 Squadron
1st Lieutenant James Rasmussen - 349 Squadron
Staff Sergeant Raymond C. Reddy - 351 Squadron
1st Lieutenant Don Reichel - 351 Squadron
Staff Sergeant Bruce Richardson - 349 Squadron
1st Lieutenant Leo D. Ross - 350 Squadron
1st Lieutenant Robert Scherrer - 349 Squadron
Captain Bob Schoens - 351 Squadron
Sergeant Joe Schwab - 351 Squadron
Captain John E. Scharwz - HQ
Lieutenant Colonel Harold H. Sherrard - 351 Squadron
1st Lieutenant Ken Shrewsbury - 349 Squadron
Sergeant Stanley K. Smythe - 412 Squadron
Staff Sergeant James Sorenson - 349 Squadron
Tech Sergeant Philip A. Soto - 349 Squadron
2nd Lieutenant Keith Sprague - 350 Squadron
1st Lieutenant Hal Switzer - 349 Squadron
Staff Sergeant Edward Tatro - 418 Squadron
Master Sergeant Luther Tisdale - 350 Squadron
Staff Sergeant Joe R. Urice - 351 Squadron
Staff Sergeant Harry C. Vaughn - 418 Squadron
Tech Sergeant Bud Vieth - 351 Squadron
Lieutenant Larry Ward - 351 Squadron
Staff Sergeant Earl Wilbur - 350 Squadron
1st Lieutenant Al Willoughby - 350 Squadron
1st Lieutenant Arnold Wimer - 350 Squadron
Sergeant Leroy E. Wolf - 350 Squadron
1st Lieutenant Bill Woods - 349 Squadron