Size: 36" x 24" Edition: 75 Subject: F4 Phantom over North Vietnam.
Giclee canvas proof supplied mounted onto stretchers in the traditional fashion, ready for final framing. These canvases are spectacular and really need to been seen in the flesh to fully appreciate the impact they have.
"After letting down through solid cloud, we made the run-in to the target right down on the deck. For forty miles we raced over rice paddies studded with rocky hillocks each covered with guns of every calibre shooting for all they were worth. Air bursts flashed and smoked everywhere, shrapnel and short rounds roiled the water in the paddies, and sheets of tracers came at us blurring our vision ahead. We flew right through this barrage much as the Kamikaze pilots had against our carriers in World War II, and for the only time in 900 hours of combat flying, it flashed through my mind that none of the three of us would survive the mission."
Seconds before reaching the target, Robin Olds pulled up to 200 feet to release his 500lb M-82 high drag bombs, his two wingmen praying the 10 second delay fuses would work, allowing numbers two and three to release their own bombs and clear before the lead's bombs detonated!
Robert Taylor's detailed interpretation of the Phantom attack on the steel mills at Thai Nguyen on March 30, 1967 shows Robin Olds and his two wingmen seconds after the strike. Clearing the target all three F-4s let down to the deck as they hurtle through another onslaught of intense, accurate ground fire and flack. The two lead aircraft collect hits as they exit the area - number three miraculously escaping unscathed. "I'd opted not to take the usual fourth ship knowing he would be far too vulnerable during the entire mission profile."
With the infamous "Thud Ridge" mountain in the background, the airspace in the valley is filled with 100, 85, and 57mm shell bursts, brightly coloured tracer, smoke and cordite. Behind them the F-4 crews leave a trail of destruction, the steel mill's blast furnaces billowing flame and dense smoke. In the words of mission leader Robin Olds "It was the most dangerous, hair-raising mission of all that I flew in both World War II and South East Asia"
Each print in Robert Taylor's Limited Edition, Phantom Strike - Giclee Canvas, is individually signed on the front by the artist and is stamped and numbered on the back.