Size: 37" x 24" Edition: 500 Subject: Doolittle's P38 over the D-Day beaches.
Flying his P-38 Lightning over the battlefront during the early moments of the Normandy landings, Jimmy Doolittle provided General Eisenhower with the first eyewitness report of the D-Day invasion.
By any military standards, it is difficult to imagine the Supreme Commander of the largest air force of the day, piloting himself over the battlefront during the early moments of one of history's greatest military operations. But General Jimmy Doolittle was no ordinary commander.
Already awarded America's highest decoration for valour, General Doolittle was, by the summer of 1944, in command of the American 8th Air Force. On the morning of 6 June, D-Day, he dispatched 1350 bombers together with his entire fighter force to attack enemy ground installations near the beachheads. Sitting around waiting for intelligence reports was not Jimmy Doolittle's style. He was going to see for himself what was happening! With Pat Partridge as wingman, they took off flying P-38 Lightnings - chosen for their distinctive profile in the hopes they would deter friendly fire - and climbed above the overcast. Having observed the 8th Air Force's operations at first hand, as they turned for home, Doolittle spotted a hole in the clouds, flick-rolled through it and disappeared beneath the cloud layer.
Pat Partridge had his head in the cockpit, probably changing his gas tanks, and when he looked up there was no sign of his Supreme Commander. He circled around for a while, then headed for home. Beneath the clouds Doolittle saw "the most impressive and unforgettable sight I could have possibly imagined". As some 5000 ships of all shapes and sizes landed 176,000 troops on the enemy-held beaches of Northern France, Doolittle flew up and down the battlefront assessing how the invasion was progressing, and after a two and a half hour sortie, headed back to base.
After landing, Doolittle hurried over to General Eisenhower's headquarters to provide the first report Eisenhower received, beating his own intelligence information by several hours.
In his inimitable way, Robert Taylor has recreated the image of General Doolittle's memorable flight over the Normandy beaches on the morning of 6 June, 1944. A superb study of one of World War II’s great fighter aircraft, being flown by one of history's greatest aviators. A true collectors' piece.
Each print in Robert Taylor's Limited Edition, Doolittle's D-Day, is signed by: Colonel Hubert M Childress Lt Colonel Frank D Hurlbut First Lieutenant Richard Ostronik First Lieutenant Mel Roalsvig Colonel Richard Willsie.