The Battle for Milne Bay in New Guinea was a story of true grit, determination, and valor; it was the moment when the Imperial Japanese Army tasted defeat on land for the first time in nearly three centuries.
75 Sqn RAAF was formed in the darkest days of WWII, in March 1942, when Australia had not one fighter squadron in the entire continent, and the Japanese already had attacked Darwin, Broome, the Torres Straight and Port Moresby, and had captured Rabaul. Kittyhawk fighters from US supplies were handed over and two weeks after receiving them, 75 Sqn was in action in New Guinea. For 44 Days, 75 Sqn flew alone as the sole fighter defense for Port Moresby. Reduced to a single Kittyhawk, 75 withdrew to Australia, re-equipped, and moved to Milne Bay, where, with 76 Sqn, it provided the decisive factor in that historic defeat of the Japanese.
In this atmospheric painting Robert Taylor, the world’s most collected Aviation Artist, features Kittyhawks of 75 & 76 Squadrons RAAF returning to No. 1 Strip after strafing enemy positions during the Battle for Milne Bay, August/September, 1942.
The feature aircraft, Polly, A29-133, is a survivor of the battle and now resides in the Australian War Memorial, Canberra.
THE LIMITED EDITION
The edition is individually signed by two P-40 veterans who flew and fought at Milne Bay, each representing 75 & 76 Squadrons RAAF. Each copy is also signed by the artist and hand-numbered.
Flight Lieutenant H.A. “HENRY” KERR MID
Flight Lieutenant ARTHUR D. TUCKER
THE ARTIST PROOFS
The THREE signature Artist Proofs are additionally signed by:
Squadron Leader PETER BOOTH-JONES DFC
THE COLLECTOR’S EDITION
This EIGHT signature Edition is also signed by:
Flight Lieutenant RAIFE J. COWAN
Group Captain ROSS H. GLASSOP DFC* MID
Flight Lieutenant A. J. “NAT” GOULD
Flight Lieutenant NOEL C. TODD
Squadron Leader BRUCE WATSON
PUBLISHER PROOF EDITION
With all the signatures of the “Collectors Edition,” on the main print, the Publisher Proofs are issued with an exclusive matching numbered copy of Patrolling the Top End – reproduced from Robert Taylor’s original pencil drawing. In this NINE signature historic edition, the companion print is personally signed by a very prominent RAAF veteran:
Hon GOUGH WHITLAM AC QC