With the success of Operation Cobra on July 27, 1944, and the Normandy breakout n full swing, the German army retreat began in earnest. This had been accomplished in no small measure by employing the strategic and tactical air doctrines of the air forces of Britain and the United States with the allied ground forces. The result was air supremacy and control over the battlefield of Normandy and France.
The tactical missions of the Eighth and Ninth Air Forces supported the advancing allied armies though a network of FAC's (Forward Air Controllers), that would work directly with ground echelons on the advance. Air strikes terrorized the German armor and ground forces, and few encounters between the fighters and fighter-bombers came out in favor of the Germans. Throughout the daylight hours of August and September of 1944, these attacks hounded and paralyzed the supply lines and logistics of the enemy. Moving war materiel and troops at night under the cloak of darkness offered one of the few opportunities for the Germans to make any progress. Few targets escaped the punishing attacks of these fighters, who used their bombs, rockets and .50 caliber machine guns to pulverize the surprised Germans. The level of intensity of these attacks were such that 56 years later, surviving German soldiers still speak in hushed tones of the ferocity of fighter attacks and feelings of hopelessness and fear that became increasingly an everyday occurrence.
In Robert Bailey's latest painting "Mustang Menace", just such a scenario unfolds. A German tank column moving to the front has had the unfortunate luck to cross paths with a Kriegslok train carrying petro chemicals. Alerted by an FAC, fighters of the 357th F.G. attack with a vengeance at the target-rich environment. The ensuing conflagration is just another day on the job for the 357th.
The 'Yoxford Boys' scored the second most air victories (595) in the 8th Air Force, had the most enemy aircraft destroyed in air combat in one day (55.5), most enemy jet aircraft (262's) destroyed in air combat (18.5), was the fastest scoring fighter group during the last year of the war, and had 42 Aces!
350 Limited Edition prints w/Five co-signatures.
Overall SheetSize: 23" high x 33.25" wide.