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PHANTOM FURY

by Robert Taylor

The biggest, fastest, and most powerful fighter of its day, the McDonnell Phantom was an awesome war machine that came to dominate aerial combat for over two decades. It may have been the size of many World War II bombers but it could out-perform anything that crossed its path; it was quicker, could turn faster, and was better equipped with electronics, carried more ordnance than anything comparable, and had an unbelievable rate of climb. The F-4 Phantom was the benchmark against which every fighter in the World came to be judged; it was simply the best.

 And when it saw combat for the first time, in Vietnam in 1961, it was the

lucky Navy & Marine Corps pilots who were the first to fly it. So impressed were the Air Force they bought it to, and three years later, in 1964, the USAF received their Phantoms. The Airforce pilots just couldn't wait to get their hands on it.

And one of those itching to take it into combat was a young, then Captain Steve Ritchie. Flying with the 555th TFS, the illustrious 'Triple Nickle', Ritchie would, in the space of a few weeks during Operation Linebacker in the summer of 1972 become a legend - the only USAF fighter pilot Ace of the Vietnam War.

Robert Taylor's powerful new painting shows Steve Ritchie, first into

action, flying his lead F-4 Phantom through a hail of deadly enemy flak as he exits the target area after a typical FAST FAC mission on enemy installations in North Vietnam, 1972. Behind him a vast trail of devastation marks the mission's progress, as his fellow Phantom crews continue to wreak havocwith their heavy ordnance, the target are exploding in a series of mighty detonations.

THE SIGNATURES

PHANTOM FURY LIMITED EDITIONS

These superb limited edition prints of this dramatic painting by Robert Taylor the worlds premier aviation artist- have been personally signed by the legendary USAF fighter Ace, Brigadier General Steve Ritchie, together with is special guest signer Captain John Madden.

With TWO Signatures

Brigadier General Richard Ritchie

Brigadier General RICHARD 'STEVE' RITCHIE

5 victories

Born in June 1942 during World War II, Steve Ritchie graduated and was commissioned from the USAF Academy in June 1964. He flew his first combat tour in Vietnam in 1968 on Fast FAC operations, before transferring to the 555th Tactical Fighter Squadron, 432nd TRW for his second tour. It was with the 555th TFS - the famed 'Triple Nickle' Squadron that he achieved Ace status. His first combat kill came on 10 May 1972 when he downed a MIG-21 forty miles northwest of Hanoi, with his second a few weeks later just thirty miles south of the Chinese border. At the beggining of July he downed two MIG-21s west of Hanoi. It must have been his lucky area for on the 28th August he scored his fifth and final victory in the same spot, thus becoming the USAF's only Ace pilot of the Vietnam War, and the last US pilot to Achieve Ace. status.

SPECIAL GUEST SIGNER- in tribute to the outstanding achievements of Steve Ritchie and the 555th TFS, every print is additionally signed by a fellow highly distinguished 'Triple Nickle' combat pilot, who flew on many of the units most dangerous missions.

Colonel JOHN MADDEN 3 victories and 1 damaged

Flying his first combat mission on 5 October 1965, leading fighter pilot John Madden flew three combat tours in Vietnam, notching up an impressive record of 3 kills and 1 damages, flying F-4s. On 28 August 1972 he was part of the same mission whrn Steve Ritchie made Ace. That same year Madden led over 50 combat flights and he never lost a wingman. Flights under his leadership accounted for 5 enemy aircraft downed, and 1 damaged. He left Vietnam in 1975, and retired from the USAF in 1984.

750   Limited Edition Prints   US$    320 / UK£     200

  50   Artists Proofs                 US$    520 / UK£     325

  10   Remarques                     US$ 1195 / UK£     795

THE GICLÉE CANVAS PROOFS

Only 25 of these superb Canvas Giclée Proofs will be issued in this new print edition. Each individually signed by Robert Taylor, BOTH Steve Ritchie and John Madden will individually sign the unique Presentation Certificate issued with each Giclée Canvas Proof.

25   Portfolio Giclée Proofs      US$   1095 / UK£   695

Overall Print Size : 34½" wide x 23½" high

Image Size : 28" wide x 16" high