L/E of 550. Signed and numbered by the artist.
Size: 29"x 161/2"
(Call for aftermarket price)
In this beautiful new print release, Bill Phillips returns to his first love of historical aviation scenes to create this stunning image in the tradition of the sold-out "Low Pass For The Home Folks". According to Bill, "The aircraft are P-51D Mustangs of the 55th Fighter Group, 343rd Squadron, making a low pass over the German countryside at the end of World War II. The castle in the background is symbolic of "Fortress Europe", while the green sunlit fields respesent the passing storms of war and new beginnings."
The 55th fighter group came to England in 1943 and had the distincton of being the first American figher planes to fly over Berlin during World War II on March 3rd, 1944. The first P-38 group in the 8th Air Force, they were originally asigned bomber escort duty; they transitioned to P-51s in 1944. In the Mustangs, they conducted dangerous low-level strafing missions, where they ranged far and wide over occupied Europe hitting enemy airfields, trains and other tactical targets while engaging the Luftwaffe in the air.
The 55th destroyed more locomotives than any other figher group and earned a Distinguished Unit Citation for enemy aircraft destroyed in the air. 181 of their pilots were lost through enemy action. After the war they stayed in Germany for occupation duty at Geibelstadt, one of the airfields they had "beat up" so often during hostilities.