"BATTLE FOR THE ISLANDS"
Autographed by Col. Robert M. Baker, Col. Robert Bruce Porter and Col. James E. Swett.
L/E of 600. Signed and numbered by the artist.
Size: 36" x 22 1/2"
By the time VMF 121 received their F4U Corsairs, they had already established a reputation as one of the Marine Corps most feared fighter units. Since their formation in 1941, equipped with F4F Wildcats, they had played a major role as part of the "Cactus Air Force" in the defense of Henderson Field, the vital airfield on the island of Gualalcanal.
With the arrival of the new F4U in April, 1943, the pilots of VMF 121 fought their way agressively up through the Solomon Islands. The sky above New Georgia, Bougainville and Rendova soon became familiar aerial battlegrounds. VMF 121 fought to the end of the war, amassing 209 enemy aircraft destroyed, with 15 of its pilots achieving "ace" status.
In his spectacular painting, Trudgian portrays the Corsairs of VMF 121 providing close air support to the U.S. landings on Rendova on June 30, 1943. Fiercely contested, the invasion force was heavily attacked by Zero fighters and Mitsubishi G4M1 "Betty" bombers flying from their base ar Rabaul.
Dogfighting at treetop level, VMF-121 Corsairs rip into a bunch of Bettys as they try to make their escape following their attack on shipping. On fire, the Betty in the foreground is doomed and will shortly become one of the 19 Japanese aircraft accounted for by VMF 121. Other Marine fighter units brught the total this day to a staggering 58 enemy aircraft destroyed.
In his imcomparable way, Nicolas Trudgian has combined the exciting drama of aerial warfare with the stunning beauty of the Pacific Islands, to produce a truly exquisite rendition. All prints in the edition are personally signed by three highly distinguished World War II Marine Corps fighter aces.
Three leading F4U Corsair marine Corps Aces join artist Nicolas Trudgian in signing this new limited edition print.
Colonel Robert M. Baker, USMC
Colonel Robert Bruce Porter
Colonel James Swett