Available as Artist's Proofs-only-signed by the artist
Overall print size: 31 7/8" x 26 1/4"
Image size: 25 5/8" x 19"
Artist's Proof: $195.00 + S&H $14 U.S. / $45 International
Remarqued: $310.00 + S&H $14 U.S. / $45 International
TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT
Elements of the CACTUS AIR FORCE, including 70th Fighter Squadron (347th Fighter Group/13th USAAF) P-38 pilot Lt. Rex Barber and F4U-1 Corsair pilot B. Eben Dale, Lt. USMC of VMF-124 are seen here on 29 March, 1943, returning from a dawn fighter-sweep mission to the Imperial Japanese Navy's floatplane base in the Shortland Island group near the southern tip of Bougainville Island (in the Northern Solomons) as they have a chance encounter with an enemy patrol craft underway near Ballalle Island. The strike package of five 13th USAAF P-38s and Dale's one Corsair repeatedly strafe the patrol craft, causing considerable damage. On Lt. Barber's final pass over the target, his port wing contacted the ship's radio mast, severing four feet off the wing and nearly causing a loss of control. Lt. Barber's combat-honed flying skill allowed him to shepherd the badly damaged fighter back to Guadalcanal Island's Fighter Two airstrip, where the mission originated.
Lt Dale (far left) and Lt. Barber (4th from left) examine the damaged outer port wing panel of Barber's P-38 Lightning, after ground personnel had removed it from his aircraft.
Nearly three weeks later on 18 April, 1943, Lt. Barber shot down the Mitsubishi "BETTY" bomber aircraft carrying the Imperial Japanese Navy's chief naval strategist (and architect of the Pearl Harbor attack on Dec. 7, 1941), Adm. Isoroku Yamamoto. The crash killed all aboard, a considerable blow to the Japanese' strategic planning capabilities and to their morale, as well.
Included with each print is a copy of the United States Pacific Fleet- Aircraft South Pacific Force-WAR DIARY for 29 March, 1943