Cross Junction, VA
One Off At Darwin
Painting - Oils On Portrait Canvas
This painting depicts the exploits of Capt. Andrew J. Reynolds (10 victories) 9th Fighter Squadron, 49th Fighter Group, 5th Air Force. Col. James Watkins, Reynolds squadron mate and 4th highest scoring ace in the 49th has counter-signed a special edition of only 350 of these prints. Both Reynolds and Watkins flew in defense of the port of Darwin, Australia in 1942. They were based there as a response to Japanese bombings on the port from the enemy's newly won bases in Rabaul. The Japanese were virtually unopposed in their pre-invasion raids of Australia except for the interference by the stalwart men of the 49th.
The 49th F.G., which would foster such aces as Dick Bong (40 kills), George Preddy (26.83 kills), and Gerald Johnson (24 kills), had the distinction of being the first American fighter group to reach a combat zone since the start of hostilities on 7 December, 1941. They wasted little time in bringing American tactics to bear against an experienced and determined enemy. Reynolds & Watkins exemplified the fighting courage and 'espirit de corps' of those Americans who held the line against the early Japanese victories in the South-West Pacific.
April 9th, 2015
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