"THE BLACK SHEEP"

BY NICOLAS TRUDGIAN

Autographed by 2 - 7 Black Sheep pilots.

Limited edition signed and numbered by the artist.

Size: 24" x 35.5"

Price: $175 - 325

— SOLD OUT —


Few fighter units in World War II gained as much notoriety or served with a much distinction as the VMF-214 "Black Sheep" Squadron. One of only two Marine Corps fighter squadrons to win the coveted Presidential Unit Citation, the "Black Sheep" are remembered today as a legendary unit.

With American forces pushing up through the South Pacific, the First Marine Air Wing was looking for a seasoned leader to form a unit to take the new F4U fighter into combat. Marine ace "Pappy" Boyington had the combat experience and rank to lead a squadron and was a natural choice.

Recruiting pilots from the reserve pool and others awaiting assignment to squadrons, Boyington knocked them into one of the most effective fighter units in the South Pacific. In the first twelve weeks of operation they brought down 97 Japanese aircraft, of which 95 were fighters. During this period they lost only 11 pilots.

VMF-214 saw action at Guadalcanal, the northern Solomons and Vella Lavella. They were the first to strafe Kahili, the first to operate from the field at Munda while it was still under enemy artillery fire and the first to lead fighter sweep over Rabaul. Trudgian's outstanding new painting captures the scene at Vella Lavella as Boyington leads the "Black Sheep" off the island strip to escort a B-17 Flying Fortress raid on Rabaul in December, 1943. Boyington led his "Black Sheep" pilots through two combat tours before he was brought down and taken prisoner.

Nicolas Trudgian's fine new image pays tribute to one of the most illustrious fighter squadrons in U.S. Marine Corps history. Each print in this limited edition is personally signed by the "Black Sheep" fighter pilots of VMF-214.


The Fighter Pilots Edition

2 signatures:

  –  Lieutenant Colonel Robert W. McClurg
  –  Brigadier General Bruce J. Matheson USMC

125 Signed and Numbered $175


The Black Sheep Edition

All signatures from the Fighter Pilots Edition, plus:

  –  Lieutenant Colonel W. Thomas Emrich USMC
  –  Colonel Edwin A. Harper USMC
  –  Lieutenant Colonel William D. Heier USMC
  –  Lieutenant Colonel James J. Hill USMC
  –  Captain Fred S. Losch USMC

(7 total signatures)

500 Signed and Numbered $225


Artist Proof

All signatures from the Black Sheep Edition

25 Signed and Numbered $325