Edition: 199 + 10 artist's proofs
Overall size: 24'' x 34.5''
Image size: 17.5'' x 28.5''
Secondary imagery: 5 USAAF badge; 345TH Bomb Group badge; Title and text block; Artist's signature and print number.
Price: $175 + S&H $14 U.S. / $45 International
Copyright Date: 1995
aircraft are a little like racehorses….they can only
go around the track a certain amount of times before they
are worn out. An airplane that has attained an advanced state
of decrepitude, such that it is no longer considered safe
for combat missions is considered to be “war-weary”.
In the Southwest Pacific Theater of operations, consignment
of worn-out aircraft to the boneyard was an unaffordable luxury
in 1944, for utility was still to be squeezed out of an airplane
which could still wheeze down the runway and struggle into
the air, and enough optimists could be found to fly her.
the painting, a war weary B-25D with over 100 combat missions
to its credit, “Wolf Pack”, retired to utility
flights by the 498th Bomb Squadron, 345th Bomb Group, drops
into the Ramu River valley in the jungles of western New Guinea,
September 11, 1944, after losing an engine. The B-25 was unable
to maintain level flight on the remaining engine, so a controlled
crash-landing in the valley, an area known to be inhabited
by cannibals, became a necessity. Pilot Lt. John Fabale, and
co-pilot Lt. Harrison Beardsley managed to land in a swamp
without any injuries to themselves or the crew. After a five-day
odyssey through the jungle, the crew arrived at an Allied
jungle outpost, whereupon they were airlifted the rest of
the way out by L-5 Stinson liaison aircraft. Many aircraft
and their crews simply vanished into the jungles of New Guinea,
never to be seen again, as the weather and the uncertainties
of flight in aircraft which have mechanical failure as a recurring
theme, took their toll on optimist and pessimist, alike.