A pair of Navy F-4 Phantoms of VF84, The Jolly Rogers, prepare to recover aboard the carrier U.S.S. Independence.
This superb painting by one of the America’s most accomplished 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 in 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 and provides collectors a nostalgic reminder of a truly great jet fighter.
Awarded BEST OF SHOW at the 1993 American Society of Aviation Artists annual exhibition – the second year running that Robert Watts won the prestigious award – Flying the Jolly Roger is a truly outstanding piece of aviation art.
Each print has been signed by three legendary F-4 pilots:
Major General MARION CARL
Marion Carl was one of the few VMF-221 Wildcat pilots to survive the climactic Battle of Midway. He was the first Marine Fighter Ace of the war, and accumulated 18 ½ victories in total. 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.
Commander RANDY CUNNINGHAM
After joining the Navy in 1966, Randy Cunningham went to Vietnam with VF96, flying the F-4 Phantom. He became the first Fighter Ace of the conflict and was 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.
Colonel MANFRED RIETSCH
After joining the US Marine Corps in 1966 he later joined VMFA-513 in Vietnam. Flying the F-4 Phantom, he experienced 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 went on to fly 66 combat missions in the F/A-18 during Desert Storm.
This is an incredible piece for aviation art collectors and autograph hunters alike: