The 357th Fighter Group achieved a faster rate of air victories than any other group in the Eighth Air Force and spawned a raft of top Aces, their ranks including Kit Carson, Bud Anderson, John England, Chuck Yeager, and Robert Foy.
The 357th Fighter Group was thrown into action soon after arriving in England in February 1944. Being the first fighter group equipped with P-51 Mustangs, great things were expected of them, and they didn't disappoint: in the final year of the war they achieved a faster rate of air victories than any other group in the 8th Air Force, and the record for the highest number of enemy aircraft shot down in a single mission - in excess of 50 - during a great air battle on 14 January, 1945.
Serving primarily as fighter escorts, the 357th provided penetration, target, and withdrawal support for the bombers attacking strategic objectives in occupied Europe, and played a major part in the 8th Air Force's first attack on Berlin on 6 March 1944. They also conducted fighter sweeps, strafing and dive-bombing missions, attacking enemy airfields, bridges, fuel dumps, and numerous other ground targets. They took part in the Normandy invasion, the Battle of the Bulge, and the airborne assault across the Rhine.
The 357th spawned a raft of air Aces, including Kit Carson, Bud Anderson, John England, and Robert Foy - all triple Aces. Among the Aces of the 357th was also a determined young pilot who, in spite of being shot down on his eighth mission and, with the aid of the French Resistance, evaded capture to return and fly combat, would end the war with 11.5 air victories. This intrepid aviator would later become the first pilot to fly faster than the speed of sound in level flight, and a legend in aviation history: Chuck Yeager.
Robert Taylor's new painting provides a wonderful study of the P-51D Mustang. In the hands of Chuck Yeager, and in company with other P-51s of the 357th Fighter Group, Glamorous Glen III heads out from Leiston, Suffolk, over the unmistakable countryside of East Anglia, as they race to the bomber rendezvous point, and onwards to Germany. An aviation painting of panoramic proportion that relives the spirit that pervaded throughout the US fighter groups in their quest to overcome the Luftwaffe and the German war machine, over 60 years ago.
Each print in Robert Taylor’s Limited Edition, American Eagles, has been signed by:
Captain Harvey Mace
Major James McLane
Captain Charles E Weaver.