Limited Edition Lithographic Print: 950 Copies
Overall size: 23 1/4" X 28"
Image size: 17 1/2" X 23 1/2"
Two signatures: Pilot, R M De Haven; Artist, Jack Fellows, ASAA
Limited Edition: $125 + S&H $14 U.S. / $45 International
Limited Edition w/ Remarques: additional $250 + S&H $14 U.S. / $45 International
ESCAPE FROM CAPE MOEM
On January 23rd, 1944 the Fifth USAAF continued its heavy pressure upon the primary base of the Imperial Japanese 4th Air Army in New Guinea with a major strike against their airfield complex at Wewak and Cape Boram. 36 Liberators from the 43rd and 90th Bomb Groups, which were strongly escorted by P-40Ns from the 49th Fighter Group and P-38s from the 8th and 475th Fighter Groups, struck during the late morning. 51 Japanese Army "Oscar" and "Tony" fighters arose from the four airfields in the area to intercept, but were unable to prevent the bombing of anti-aircraft gun sites and troop positions.
A ferocious air battle spread over the entire area, with each side suffering losses, the Japanese losses being the more serious. Actual Japanese losses totaled 7 fighters shot down or missing, including the executive officer of the 59th Sentai, Captain Shigeo Nango…one of the most outstanding fighter pilots in the theater. It is believed that Nango fell victim to Lt. Robert M. De Haven, 7th Fighter Squadron, 49th Fighter Group…shown in this painting moments after he intercepted Nango's Ki-43 "Oscar". Cap. Nango, concentrating on attacking another 49th FG P-40 was unaware of Lt. De Haven's approach and suffered the consequences when the 7th Fighter Squadron ace's bullets ripped into the "Oscar's" cockpit, killing or disabling Nango before his burning fighter crashed into the sea.
At the time of his death, Nango had at least 15 aerial victories to his credit and his loss was a serious blow to the 4th Japanese Air Army, amongst which he was considered to be nearly invincible.
This was the 8th confirmed aerial victory for De Haven, whose total score eventually reached 14 (most of which were acquired in the P-40). He is seen here in his personally marked P-40N, #13 (with the orchid motif which adorned all the aircraft assigned to De Haven), over the coconut palm plantation on Cape Moem, making a rapid withdrawal from the area. A wise decision, considering the proximity of Nango's wingman.
Robert M. De Haven (now Captain) in a Curtiss P-40N, sometime after acquiring his 10th confirmed aerial victory in New Guinea.