200 Limited Editions with pilot's signatures....$135
25" x 21"
Navy Squadron VF-17 was one of the most successful fighting units in the Pacific Theater during WWII. They were known as "The Jolly Rogers" and the skull and crossbones was painted on the cowlings of their Vought F4U-1A Corsairs. Like the Pirates of the high seas, the sight of the Jolly Rogers struck so much fear in the hearts of the enemy, Japanese pilots referred to them as the "Wolves". Led by Skipper "Tommy" Blackburn, VF-17 became the rival of Greg "Pappy" Boyington and the famous Black Sheep squadron, their Marine contemporaries. In only 76 days of combat, VF-17 shot down 152 enemy aircraft - a record no one has beaten. No bomber escorted by the Jolly Rogers was ever lost to enemy aircraft and no ship protected by them was ever hit by a bomb or aerial torpedo. Fighting with their Corsairs, VF-17 became the Top Guns of the PTO. The painting depicts a strafing attack on the Japanese airfield at Lakunai, Rabaul, New Britain, on February 7, 1944.