In the early days of the USAAF daylight bombing campaign, before the arrival of long-range fighter escorts, rarely was a mission flown without Luftwaffe interception, and the ever-present barrage of anti-aircraft fire. The Eighth Air Force crews literally fought their way through swarms of enemy fighters and thick flak to hit their targets, then fought their way home again. A formation seldom returned without losses and casualties, but the American bomb groups relentlessly struck deeper and deeper into enemy territory.
Bomber crews would be lucky to survive a complete tour. They knew this when they first arrived in England and the overwhelming task they faced banded the flyers together like brothers. They flew and fought for each other, their country and for liberty with determination and a camaraderie that only those who shared the experience could fully appreciate.
In his powerful tribute to the USAAF bomber crews, Robert Taylor has selected the 381st Bomb Group to represent, and pay tribute to all those who flew the perilous daylight raids out of bases in England into the hostile skies above enemy occupied Europe.
B-17 Flying Fortresses of the 381st Bomb Group return to Ridgewell on a summer afternoon in 1944. It was a period when the unit was at the peak of its effectiveness – for several months it was the highest ranked Group in the Eighth Air Force. Between June 1943 and the end of hostilities the 381st completed 297 combat missions, hit almost every important target in German hands, and was credited with the destruction of 223 enemy aircraft.
THE LIMITED EDITION
Along with the artist Robert Taylor, each print is personally signed by three distinguished crew who flew B-17s with the 381st Bomb Group during WWII:
First Lieutenant VINCENT J. PETERS
Major EDWARD A. KLEIN
Captain TURNER G. BRASHEAR
THE MIGHTY EIGHTH EDITION
With all the signatures of the Aircrew Edition, each print is issued with the matching numbered companion pencil print entitled “Another Mission Completed”