by Robert Bailey
Overall Print Size: 34" x 23"
Edition Size: 300
One of the truly remarkable aeronautical developments of World War II occurred during Britain's darkest hours in 1940. With the Battle of France lost, Dunkirk evacuated and the Battle of Britain about to commence, aircraft development was not a top priority. Constrained by the use of non-strategic materials, the de Havilland Mosquito was born. Constructed of molded plywood and metal, this radical-concept twin engine airplane surpassed everyone's expectations. Initially envisioned as a bomber, it quickly filled the roles of long-range photo reconnaissance, mine-layer, pathfinder, and high speed military transport. But it was in the fighter role for both day and night that this high speed aircraft (378 mph) excelled. Its long range, exceptional fire power, and payload capacity made it into a highly versatile and successful war plane. Fitted with radar and assisted by ground control intercept (code named "Starlight"), the famous Mosquito proved particularly potent against raiding German aircraft at night. The interdiction forays into British airspace during the early 1940's by the FW-190 and twin engine types, were seeking "targets of opportunity."
In "MOONLIGHT STRIKE" a RAF de Havilland Mosquito of 264 Squadron has been vectored toward an enemy raider, and the on-board radar operator has directed the pilot upon the unsuspecting aircraft in the skies over London in 1943. The FW-190 carries a 500 kg bomb that will not find a target on British soil tonight. Instead, the Luftwaffe pilot will be lucky to survive the bale out from his aircraft that is engulfed in flame after having suffered the blistering fire from the attacking Mosquito's 20mm fusillade. The successful missions the Mosquitos completed have become legend, just as the crews who flew them. Robert Bailey is a master at painting aviation night scenes and this is one of his best.
In addition to the artist this print was individually signed by:
- Flight Lieutenant Dallas W. Schmidt
- Warrant Officer Stanley G. Reynolds
- Flight Lieutenant Jack Reilly
- Flight Lieutenant Marie Wright
Comes with Certificate of Authenticity.