Commemorating the AVG raid at Chiang Mai, Thailand on March 24, 1942. A small group of Claire Chennault's famed AVG embarked on an extremely hazardous early-morning raid against the Southeast Asian headquarters of the Japanese Air Force at Chiang Mai. Shown here is First Vice Squadron leader Charles R. Bond, pulling out of his fourth low-level strafing pass.
The pre-dawn silence was broken at a small grass airstrip in China, lit only by the dim headlights of an old military truck. A small group of shark-mouthed American P-40s bearing the Chinese national insignia roared off into the darkness. Their mission: destroy the enemy squadrons massed at the Southeast Asian headquarters of the Japanese Air Force in Chiang Mai, Thailand, before they have a chance to get off the ground. The very survival of this famous group of American volunteers known as Chennault's Flying Tigers, depended on the success of this extremely dangerous low-level strafing mission. In less than 10 minutes, this intrepid band so incapacitated the enemy forces at Chiang Mai, that it became one of the AVG's most memorable raids.
The painting By the Dawn's Early Light was completed in 1996. The artist worked painstakingly with AVG pilot Charles R. Bond to recreate this dramatic moment in his second of a series of Flying Tigers scenes. This was the second in a series of Flying Tigers scenes by John Shaw, the first painted a year earlier, entitled American Volunteer Group in China. In Dallas Texas of '96, a large group of AVG veterans gathered to sign the lithograph edition. The following day, these men and family members of AVG who had passed on were recognized by the US Air Force, as official American combat veterans for the first time. Air Force Chief of Staff Ronald Fogelman awarded all AVG pilots (or a family representative) the Distinguished Flying Cross, and all AVG support personnel the Bronze Star.
This print is autographed by artist John D. Shaw and has original signatures of 32 AVG members.
1st Pursuit Squadron:
• Carl K. BROWN, Flight Leader
• Irving GOVE, Crew Chief
• Al KAELIN, Admin. Clerk
• Charlie Bond, Vice Squadron Leader
• Joe ROSBERT, Flight Leader
• Dick ROSSI, Flight Leader
• Fritz WOLF, Flight Leader
• Willard MUSGROVE, Crew Chief
2nd Pursuit Squadron:
• George BAILEY, Crew Chief
• Morton 'Twisty' BENT, Operations
• David 'Tex' HILL, Squadron Leader
• Robert 'Buster' KEETON, Flight Leader
• Bob LAYHER, Flight Leader
• Charlie MOTT, Flight Leader
• Ed RECTOR, Vice Squadron Leader
• Peter WRIGHT, Flight Leader
3rd Pursuit Squadron:
• Frank A. ANDERSEN, Crew Chief
• Charles BAISDEN, Armorer
• Paul CLOUTHIER, Operations
• Ken JERNSTEDT, Flight Leader
• Paul J. GREENE, Flight Leader
• Frank LOSONSKY, Crew Chief
• Chuck OLDER, Flight Leader
• Joe POSHEFKO, Armorer
• R.J. 'Catfish' RAINE, Flight Leader
• Erik SHILLING, Flight Leader
• Ed STILES, Crew Chief
Group Headquarters Section:
• "Red" Foster PETACH, Nurse
• John YOUNG, Engineering
• Edwin L. FOBES
• Roland L. "Rich" RICHARDSON
• Robert M. SMITH
Print 2 of the John D. Shaw Flying Tigers series, and part of a limited edition for the Flying Tigers Association. This print is 400 of 850 and comes with a certificate of authenticity. It also comes with a 47 page "Limited-Edition lithography of the pilots and crewmen. The booklet presents detailed information and photographs.
Image size 31" x 17.5"
Overall size 37" x 27"
This is an unframed print that is in mint condition (never been framed) and comes with certificates in the original shrink wrap. This print is out of production and hard to find. We only have this one and when it's gone, it's gone!
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