"COMING IN OVER THE ESTUARY"

BY ROBERT TAYLOR

Autographed by Frank Hurlbut, Jack M. Ilfrey, Thomas E. Maloney, Newell O. Roberts and Darrell Welch.

L/E of 1,250. Signed and numbered by the artist.

Size: 34 1/2" x 25"

Price: $295


First they would appear as small, fast-moving specks on the distant horizon. Jinking over the treetops, they closed on their target at frightening speed. By the time the distinctive shape of the P-38 Lightning became recognisable it was often too late for evasive action and within seconds another strafing mission would add to the devastation, disruption and confusion meted out by the marauding P-38 pilots of the Eighth Air Force.

From February through to the early summer of 1944, Allied pilots played havoc with the German forces amassing in preparation for the inevitable invasion. Flying from bases in England every day that weather permitted, they struck at the operational nerve-centers, destroying or seriously damaging over 1500 enemy aircraft, 1000 locomotives, hundreds of vital bridges and critically disrupting the enemy's communications. There was no let-up.

At the forefront of these daring low-level attacks were P-38 Lightnings. Lockheed's twin-boomed, twin-engined fighter having already proved its worth as a long-range fighter escort, quickly became the scourge of the German ground forces in Northern Europe. It was a specially nerve-wracking form of combat. Highly dangerousgyet exhilarating and, unlike escort missions, guaranteed that pilots would use up their ammunition before a hair-raising low-level journey home across the: Channel. In Robert Taylor's new panoramic painting COMING IN OVER THE ESTUARY, P-38J Lightnings of the 364th Fighter Group return from a strafing mission over France in the summer of 1944. Making their land-fall at just 100 feet, they skim across an estuary on England's south coast near the old village of Bosham. With his unmistakeable skill and vivid imagination Robert cleverly contrasts the exhilaration of the low-level combat flying, with the peaceful atmosphere of a quiet coastal setting, emphasising that curious blend of war and peace that was the daily lifestyle of the World War II flyer. Full of interesting detail, this classic aviation painting provides collectors with a wonderful study of a memorable warbird. Adding great importance to these super prints, each is individually signed by five Aces who flew the P-38 in combat during World War II, making this the first print in a new series of Aviation Masterworks, one for the true collector of aviation art.