Autographed by Maj.Gen. Marion Carl, Com. Randy Cunningham and Col. Manfred Rietsch.

L/E of 1000. Signed and numbered by the artist.

Size: 24" x 36"

Price: $125.00

The first print in a new series of CLASSIC JET FIGHTERS by award winning aviation artist Robert Watts, featuring the legendary F-4 Phantom. Each print is signed by three famous F-4 combat pilots.

A pair of Navy F-4 Phantoms of VF84 prepare to recover aboard the carrier U.S.S. Independence. A beautifully proportioned painting by one of the most accomplished American aviation artists, provides a spectacular view of the legendary Phantom. Seen against a beautiful Yankee Station sundown, an element of F-4s decelerate in preparation for deck landing, following a combat mission m 1965.

Revered by all who flew it, the classic F-4 Phantom served the Navies and Air Forces of more Western world countries than any other combat jet. Robert Watts' superb print edition pays tribute to this legendary aircraft, as it phases out of front-line duties after over 30 years of service.

Awarded BEST OF SHOW at the 1993 American Society of Aviation Artists annual juried exhibition - the second year running that Robert Watts has lifted this prestigious award - FLYING THE JOLLY ROGER is a truly outstanding piece of aviation art.

In a 25 year career beginning as an illustrator for the Ryan Aeronautical Company in 1966, Robert Watts has established an enviable reputation professionally illustrating for leading aerospace corporations, including Hughes, Teledyne, General Dynamics, and Northrop. In 1971 he was asked to join the Naval Art Program and served as a Naval Combat Artist during the Vietnam years. Turning to fine art painting just two years ago, he astonished the American aviation art world with the high quality of his paintings, taking the coveted BEST OF SHOW award at the 1992 A.S.A.A. exhibition at his very first attempt. Winning the award two consecutive years, in competition with America's finest aviation artists, is a feat no other artist has ever achieved, and gives notice that a new star has firmly established himself on the aviation art scene.

Representative of thousands of F-4 Phantoms that flew active combat with the three American Services, and in the front lines of a dozen major Air Forces around the world when peace often hung on a knife edge, Robert Watts' new limited edition provides for collectors a nostalgic reminder of a truly great jet fighter. With each print individually signed by three outstanding F-4 pilots, Robert Watts' exciting award winning art will appeal to a wide discerning audience.


Major General MARION CARL
Marion Carl was one of the few VMF-221 Wildcat pilots to survive the climatic Battle of Midway. He was the first Marine Fighter Ace of the war, and had 18 1/2 victories in total. In 1947 he broke the world speed record and in 1953 held the world altitude record. He was the first pilot to be launched from a carrier by catapult. He had 490 hours in the Phantom I, flying combat recon flights over Red China. Commanding air wings in Vietnam and later at Cherry Point, he flew the F-4 regularly - one of the few Generals to do so.

After joining the U.S. Navy in 1966, Randy Cunningham went to Vietnam with VF96, flying the F-4 Phantom. He became the conflict's first fighter Ace, and one of the most highly decorated Aces of the war. He later assumed command of the elite Navy Adversary Squadron of the Miramar Top Gun program. Retiring from the Navy, Randy Cunningham was elected to Congress where he now serves in the House of Representatives.

Manfred Rietsch joined the U.S. Marine Corps in 1966, later joining VMFA-513 in Vietnam. Flying the F-4 Phantom he had his first combat in 1968, and by the end of his tour had flown 653 combat missions - more than any other F-4 pilot in Vietnam. He became the first Marine instructor at Top Gun in 1973, and more recently flew 66 combat missions in the F/A-18 during Desert Storm. In all he has 7000 hours in tactical jets.