"TWILIGHT CONQUEST"

BY NICOLAS TRUDGIAN

Autographed by Herman Ernst, Robert Graham, Oris B. Johnson and Bob Tierney.

L/E of 600. Signed and numbered by the artist.

Size: 23 1/2" x 33 1/4"

Price: $150

— SOLD OUT —


The Black Widow is a formidable creature. It lurks in the dark, carefully chooses its moment of attack and strikes unseen, cutting down its prey with deadly certainty. Northrop could not have chosen a more apt name with which to christen their new night fighter when the P-61 Black Widow entered service in the spring of 1944.

The first aircraft designed from the start as a night fighter, the P-61 had the distinction of pioneering airborne radar interception during World War II, and this remarkable twin-engined fighter saw service in the ETO, in China, the Marianas and the South West Pacific.

Under the command of Lt. Col. O.B. Johnson, one of the P-61's greatest exponents, the 422nd Night Fighter Squadron was the leading P-61 outfit in the ETO, destroying 43 enemy aircraft in the air, 5 buzz bombs and hundreds of ground-based vehicles, becoming the most successful night fighter Squadron of W.W. II.

Nicolas Trudgian's dramatic study of the predatory Black Widow recreates one of the 422nd's typical air victories: Flying a twilight mission on Oct 24, 1944, Colonel Johnson and his radar operator have picked up a formation of three Fw-190s; stealthily closing on their quarry in the gathering dusk, "O.B." makes one quick and decisive strike, bringing down the enemy leader with two short bursts of fire. Banking hard, as the Fw190 pilot prepares to bale out, he brings his blazing guns to bear on a second Fw-190, the tracer lighting up the fuselage of his P-61.

Each print in Nick's new action-packed limited edition is signed by the 422nd's famous C.O., Colonel Oris B. Johnson, together with three other P-61 night fighter pilots who flew the Black Widow in combat in the European Theater. A fine collectors piece to commemorate one of World War II's most mysterious combat airplanes.


THE SIGNATURES

Lt. Colonel HERMAN ERNST
Enlisting in 1940 Herman Ernst arrived in the ETO with the 422nd during the build up to D-Day. He quickly got into action with his P-41 'Borrowed Time', shooting down a buzz bomb on his first combat mission. He finished the war an Ace with 5 air victories and over 70 combat missions including hazardous ground support missions in the Battle of the Bulge. He retired Lt. Colonel in 1978.

Major ROBERT GRAHAM
Robert Graham was a highly skilled radar operator on the P-61, the first American fighter to be equipped with radar. Posted to England he served with the 422nd Night Fighter Squadron. Robert Graham and his pilot, R.A. Anderson in their P-61 'Double Trouble' had 5 confirmed victories and 65 combat missions. They also participated in the Battle of the Bulge, providing ground cover. He retired as Major in 1965.

Major General ORIS B. JOHNSON
Oris Baker Johnson entered the Army Air Corps in 1940 receiving his wings July 1941. In 1943, at the age of just 23, he assumed commend of the 422nd Night Fighter Squadron and took them into combat in Europe. The Squadron was equipped with the P-61 and under his command they received the Presidential Unit Citation for their combat service during the Battle of the Bulge in the winter of 1944. He led the Squadron throughout its combat operations in Europe. He later served with distinction in Korea and Vietnam, and retired Major General in 1973.

First Lt. BOB TIERNEY
Joining up in 1942, Bob Tierney arrived in Europe with the 422nd in 1944. Flying the P-61 he flew his first combat mission on July 7, 1944, and during his tour completed a total of 53 combat missions of which 16 were train-strafing missions in Germany. He finished the war an Ace with 15 air victories. He retired from active duty in 1945.