Personally signed by the legendary Don Blakeslee and veterans of his famous 4th Fighter Group, the unit credited with destroying the highest number of enemy aircraft in WWII Europe!
The Fourth Fighter Group, based at RAF Debden in England, was one of World War II’s finest flying combat units. Originally comprised of American “Eagle” Squadron pilots, the young men who enlisted in the Royal Air Force prior to the U.S. entry into the war, the Fourth would produce some of the greatest aces in history. Leading and inspiring this group was its illustrious commander, Colonel Donald J.M. Blakeslee. With more credited victories than a triple ace (in fact, many of his contemporaries maintained he’d probably gotten twice his credited score), Blakeslee was one of the rare ones to whom keeping track of the number of ‘kills’ was not important. He exhibited consistent brilliant leadership and by war’s end had flown more combat hours than any U.S. pilot. Considered by many to be the U.S.’s greatest Fighter Group commander, Blakeslee’s Eagles officially achieved the highest official number of enemy aircraft destroyed in Europe during World War II.
The painting Debden Eagles was completed in 2005. The original 4’ x 5’ oil painting is owned by the Cavanaugh Flight Museum, located just north of Dallas, Texas, in the city of Addison. Among their magnificent collection is a P-51D Mustang bearing Don Blakeslee’s markings, as shown in the painting. The following year, the museum commissioned John Shaw to create a “companion” painting to feature another of the Cavanaugh collection’s aircraft, entitled Semper-Fi Skies, to make a “matching set” with Debden Eagles. This painting, of similar size and design, depicts the F4U Corsair of Marine Corps ace Archie Donahue in action over Guadalcanal. The two large original oils make an impressive set of ‘bookends’ within what is one of the world’s finest collections of flyable restored World War II aircraft in the world.
THE LIMITED EDITION
Each Limited Edition print has been signed by:
Colonel DON BLAKESLEE
THE SPECIAL EDITION
Every Special Edition print has been additionally signed by the following 18 veterans of the 4th Fighter Group:
DONALD E. ALLEN – 334 Sq. Crew Chief/ Nose Artist
VINCENT J. BAIETTI – 334 Sq. Tech Sgt/ Armament
ROBERT O. BAUMGART – 335 Sq. Crew Chief/ Radio Specialist
DONALD L. GROOMER -336 Sq.Crew Chief,VF-F
KENNETH G. HELFRECHT -334 Sq. Pilot, QP-R
JOSEPH W. HIGGINS -336 Sq. Pilot,VF-D
SYLVESTER KOENIG -335 Sq.Crew Chief, WD-D
CHARLES KONSLER -335 Sq.Pilot,WD-D
ANDREW C. LACY -334 Pilot,QP-P
HENRY A. LEE -335 Sq.Pilot,WD-O
PAUL J. LUCAS -335 Sq.Pilot WD-F
CECIL E. MANNING -335 Sq.WD-H
JAMES W. RATHKEY -334 Sq. Tech.Sgt./Communications
RICHARD J. REINBOLT -335 Sq.Pilot,WD-L
GEORGE F. RUSSEL -33 Sq.,Staff Sgt.
C. DALE SMITH -334 Sq. Pilot, QP-U
WILLIAM G. SPENCER -334 Sq.Pilot, QP-A
LLOYD W. WALLIN -335 Sq. Staff Sgt.
THE ARTIST PROOF
With all the signatures above, the Artist Proof is issued with a Blakeslee portrait and has been further signed by triple ace:
JAMES A. GOODSON – 416 Sq. RCAF/133 Eagle Sq./ 336 Sq.,VF-B
THE GICLÉE PROOFS ON CANVAS
Using the most sophisticated digital Giclée technology, each Canvas Proof is printed directly on to fine canvas creating the look and feel of an original painting.
The Canvas Giclee Edition is available in two different sizes: 30″ x 24″, and 44″ x 36″