In early April 1942, under the command of General Ralph Royce, and almost a week before the Doolittle raid – seven B-25C Mitchells and three B-17 Fortresses of the 5th Air Force, lifted off from their base in Australia and headed for the staging field at Del Monte on Mindanao, in the Philippines. For three days from 12 April, this small fleet of intrepid aircrews flew bombing missions against Japanese shipping, docks, and ground installations in Manila, Cebu, and Davao, the Royce Raids being among the very first to inflict air strikes against the Japanese in World War II.
Richard Taylor’s painting depicts one of 5th Air Force B-25C Mitchells taking off from the Del Monte on the island of Mindanao on Sunday 12 April 1942, en-route to hit the harbor and shipping targets at Cebu. In the three days of Royce’s raids, the Mitchells flew over twenty sorties, sinking and seriously damaging three Japanese transport ships, and shooting down three enemy fighters. In a triumph of surprise aerial strikes, all seven B-25s and their crews returned safely to base.
The print is personally signed by one of the original aircrew on the raid who flew on the B-25 depicted in this exciting release.
Senior Master Sergeant VERNON MAIN
This copy has been returned to Richard’s studio to be further enhanced with a stunning double size and unique original pencil remarque, hand created in the lower margin of the print, before being conservation matted and framed.