As America sought to extricate itself from the war in Vietnam, by the beginning of 1972 US troop levels in the country had fallen dramatically from their all-time high in 1968. The United States was now relying primarily on air power to help the South Vietnamese Army, including US Navy units based on carriers operating in the Gulf of Tonkin. One of these was VF-111 – The Sundowners, portrayed in Anthony Saunders’ brilliant painting.
Already internationally renowned for his stunning depictions of World War Two scenes, Anthony has excelled all expectations with his latest work, unbelievably his first-ever jet painting. And what a treat it is; depicting a colourful F-4 Phantom from VF-111 as it launches from the carrier USS Coral Sea. The date was 6 March 1972 and the Phantom was NL201, call sign ‘Old Nick Two Zero One’, flown on this mission by experienced pilot Lt Garry L. Weigand and his back-seater, Radar Intercept Officer Ltjg. William C. Freckleton. They were part of a two-ship team tasked to intercept MiGs that had just clashed with Phantoms of VF-51 on a strike force escorting a photo-reconnaissance RA-5C Vigilante over Quang Lang airfield. They found a MiG-17, and in a ‘nasty turning fight with the scrappy little plane’, Weigand manage to roll in on the MiG from the rear and in a dramatic victory, downed it with a Sidewinder.
Each print is exclusively hand-numbered and personally signed by the artist Anthony Saunders.
Overall Size: 26.5″ x 19.25″