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Ace of Diamonds by Nicolas Trudgian (Y) - GeraldCoulsonPrints.com

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Ace of Diamonds by Nicolas Trudgian (Y)


Ace of Diamonds by Nicolas Trudgian (Y)

From the day they began their aerial campaign against Nazi Germany to the cessation of hostilities in 1945, the USAAF bomber crews plied their hazardous trade in broad daylight. This tactic may have enabled better sighting of targets, and possibly less danger of mid-air collisions, but the grievous penalty of flying daylight missions over enemy territory was the ever presence of enemy fighters. Though heavily armed, the heavy bombers of the American Eighth Air Force were no match against the fast, highly manoeuvrable Me109s, Fw190s and, late in the war, Me 262 jet fighters which the Luftwaffe sent up to intercept them. Without fighter escort they were sitting ducks, and inevitably paid a heavy price. Among others, one fighter group earned particular respect, gratitude, and praise from bomber crews for their escort tactics. The 356th FG stuck rigidly to the principle of tight bomber escort duty, their presence in tight formation with the bombers often being sufficient to deter enemy attack. Repeatedly passing up the opportunity to increase individual scores, the leadership determined it more important to bring the bombers home than claim another enemy fighter victory. As the air war progressed this philosophy brought about an unbreakable bond between heavy bomber crews and escort fighter pilots, and among those held in the highest esteem were the pilots of the 356th. Top scoring ace Donald J Strait, flying his P-51 D Mustang Jersey Jerk, together with pilots of the 356th Fighter Group, are seen in action against Luftwaffe Fw 190s while escorting B-17 bombers returning from a raid on German installations during the late winter of 1944. One minute all is orderly as the mighty bombers thunder their way homeward, the next minute enemy fighters are upon them and all hell breaks loose.

Published 2003.

Signed by three of the top pilots from the 356th Fighter group.
Item Code : NT0008YAce of Diamonds by Nicolas Trudgian (Y) - This Edition
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EX-DISPLAY
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** (Ex Display) Signed limited edition of 500 prints. (Two copies reduced to clear)

Ex display prints in near perfect condition.
Paper size 35 inches x 24 inches (89cm x 61cm) Beck, Charles E
Burdick, Clinton DeWitt
Strait, Donald
+ Artist : Nicolas Trudgian
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Other editions of this item : Ace of Diamonds by Nicolas Trudgian.NT0008
TYPEDESCRIPTIONSIZESIGNATURESOFFERSPRICEPURCHASING
PRINT Signed limited edition of 500 prints. Paper size 35 inches x 24 inches (89cm x 61cm) Beck, Charles E
Burdick, Clinton DeWitt
Strait, Donald
+ Artist : Nicolas Trudgian
£40 Off!Add any two items on this offer to your basket, and the lower priced item will be half price in the checkout!
Supplied with one or more  free art prints!
Now : £200.00VIEW EDITION...
ARTIST
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Limited edition of 25 artist proofs.

Last 5 copies of this sold out edition.
Paper size 35 inches x 24 inches (89cm x 61cm) Beck, Charles E
Burdick, Clinton DeWitt
Strait, Donald
+ Artist : Nicolas Trudgian
£50 Off!Add any two items on this offer to your basket, and the lower priced item will be half price in the checkout!Now : £200.00VIEW EDITION...
FLYERPromotional Flyer A4 Size Double Sheet 11.5 inches x 8 inches (30m x 21cm)noneAdd any two items on this offer to your basket, and the lower priced item will be half price in the checkout!£2.00VIEW EDITION...
REMARQUELimited edition of 25 remarques.

SOLD OUT (£325)
Paper size 35 inches x 24 inches (89cm x 61cm) Strait, Donald
Burdick, Clinton DeWitt
Beck, Charles E
+ Artist : Nicolas Trudgian
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Signed limited edition of 500 prints.

TWO PRINTS ONLY IN THIS SPECIAL PROMOTION
Paper size 35 inches x 24 inches (89cm x 61cm) Beck, Charles E
Burdick, Clinton DeWitt
Strait, Donald
+ Artist : Nicolas Trudgian

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Extra Details : Ace of Diamonds by Nicolas Trudgian (Y)
About all editions :

A photogaph of an edition of the print :

Signatures on this item
NameInfo




Captain Clinton DeWitt Burdick
Clinton Burdicks father, Lt Howard Burdick, had been an Ace with 8 victories during the First World War. So perhaps it was natural that Clinton signed up for the service on his 18th birthday in 1942. After pilot training he transferred to join the 361st Fighter Squadron, 356th Fighter Group at Martlesham Heath in England, in October 1944. Flying his first combat mission in Noveber, his first victory came quickly on the 25th of that month, and like his father, he too was to become an Ace. Clinton flew 53 combat missions during his tour with the 356th, his last coming on 20th February 1945, and with 6 victories was one of only five aerial Aces in the 356th.




Lieutenant Colonel Charles E Beck (deceased)
Charles Beck joined the service in November 1942, and after gaining his pilots wings, was posted to the 361st Fighter Squadron, 356th Fighter Group at Martlesham Heath in July 1944. He flew his first combat mission with the, in a P47, on 29th August 1944. He then flew Mustangs as the group converted over to P51s from the P47. He took part in the Groups big mission to Misbourg, Germany, on 26th November, when the Group scored 110 victories against a big Luftwaffe attack on the bomber stream. Charles finished his combat tour on 7th May 1945, the last day of the war. He returned home and continued his service, flying with the Van Nuys Air National Guard, flying P-51, F-86 Sabre and F-102 Delta Dagger aircraft. He was one of the first people to break the sound barrier, using an F-86 Sabre. He later served on active duty in the Korean War, and during the Vietnam conflict. He served for three years with the US Navy as a liaison officer on the F4U Corsair. Sadly, Charles Beck died on 25th March 2009.




Major General Donald Strait (deceased)
Don Strait was born on April 28th, 1918 and grew up in Verona, New Jersey. From an early age Don Strait wanted to be a pilot, and after working for Prudential Insurance Company for a short period Don Strait enlisted in 1940 in the 119th Observation Squadron of the New Jersey National Guard. Initially Don Strait was an armorer and moved up to become an aerial gunner in the two-seater O-46 and O-47 observation planes. He qualified as an aviation cadet in early 1942 and started his training at Maxwell Field, Alabama. After Basic and in January 1943 Strait received his wings and his commission. Don Strait got his ambition to become a fighter pilot, he began flying the P-47 Thunderbolt at Westover Field, MA. After checking out in the P-47 and completing transition training he was assigned to the 356th Fighter Group, then at Bradley Field, CT. By August, 1943 Don Strait had been promoted to Captain before being transferred to England. Captain Don Strait with the 356th Fighter Group went to Martlesham Heath in England flying first the P-47 Thunderbolt. Martlesham Heath was just five miles from the North Sea, which made it relatively easy to find when returning from a mission in bad weather. The 356th made its first combat sorties in October, 1943, with sweeps over Holland and northern France; sightings of Luftwaffe planes were quite rare, and the group took over a month to score its first aerial victory. Strait's first combat occurred on February 6th, 1944, when his flight bounced a pair of Fw190s while on an escort mission. He immediately attacked. The 190s split apart and he chased one down to the deck. He scored hits on it and the pilot bailed out - Strait's first kill. But he and his wingman had used too much fuel, and barely made it back to base. He shot down a couple more Bf109s while flying Thunderbolts on February 10th and May 19th. Having completed well over 200 combat hours, he was entitled to rotate home, but agreed to continue front-line flying, provided that he was given command of the 361st Fighter Squadron. He took a 30-day leave and returned to Europe in September, 1944. He and Captain George May, the intelligence officer, reviewed daily sightings and disposition of the Luftwaffe, which helped him plan and lead the squadron's missions. Don Strait took part in long range bomber escort and ground support missions, taking part in all the D-Day operations, before converting to P51s. The group flew their first Mustang mission on November 20, the same day that Strait assumed command of the 361st FS. In two combat tours he flew a total of 122 missions. He led the squadron again on November 26, 1944, when it flew an escort mission over the heavily defended Ruhr. After linking up with the B-17s just east of Holland, the pilots were advised of 40 bandits approaching from the south. As Strait's sixteen Mustangs arrived in the Osnabruck area, they spotted the 40 Bf109s at 25,000 feet. They dropped tanks and attacked. Then Strait spotted about another 150 German fighters at various altitudes, preparing to attack the bombers. "We've got the whole damn Luftwaffe!" he radioed. He closed to within 350 yards of an enemy airplane and fired - it dived away smoking. Strait's wingman saw it crash. Strait soon bounced another 109, but it eluded him. He spotted a third and closed to within 300 yards, and exploded it (a shared kill with Lt. Shelby Jett). After this dogfighting, fuel began to be a concern, so they headed home. That day the 356th FG destroyed 23 enemy aircraft without losing a single American. After two more victories on December 5th, Strait found more air combat on Christmas Day. In action again against Bf109s, he had a nasty moment when his first victim left oil and engine coolant all over his windscreen. Skidding away, Strait almost rammed his foe. He continued shooting down German planes in 1945 - an Fw190 on Jan. 14th, another Fw190 on Feb 14th, and three Fiesler Storch light observation planes on Feb 20th. Don Strait commanded the 361st Fighter Squadron, and became the Group's leading fighter Ace with 13 and a half air victories, all but three of these flying the P51. After the war he rejoined the NJ Air National Guard. He later commanded the 108th Tactical Wing in Korea, where he flew the F86, F84, and F105 jet. Participated in the Cuban Missile Crisis, and Vietnam. He retired from the Air Force in 1978 with the rank of Major General, and was inducted into the New Jersey Aviation Hall of Fame in 1989. Donald Strait died on 30th March 2015.

The Aircraft :
NameInfo
MustangThe ubiquitous North American P-51 Mustang, which many consider to be the best all-around fighter of WW II, owes its origins to the British Air Ministry. Following Britains entry into WW II in 1939, the RAF was interested in purchasing additional fighter aircraft from American sources, particularly the Curtiss P-40. Curtiss, which was busy, was unable to guarantee timely delivery so the British approached North American Aviation as a possible second source for the P-40. North American chose to propose its own fighter design which would use the same Allison engine as the P-40. Utilizing new laminar flow wings, the North American fighter was expected to have performance better than the P-40. Developed in record time the new aircraft was designated as a Mustang I by the Brits, whereas the USAAF ordered two for evaluation which were designated XP-51 Apaches. Intrigued with the possibility of using this aircraft also as a dive bomber, North American proposed this to the USAAF which decided to order 500 of the P-51 aircraft to be modified for dive bombing use. Designated as the A-36 Invader, this version of the Mustang utilized dive flaps, and bomb racks under each wing. Some reinforcing of the structural members was also required because of the G-forces to be encountered in dive bombing. A-36s entered combat service with the USAAF prior to any P-51s. In early 1943 the 86th and 27th Fighter Bomber Groups of the 12th Air Force began flying A-36s out of Northern Africa. Despite some early problems with instability caused by the dive flaps, the A-36 was effective in light bombing and strafing roles. It was not, however, capable of dog fighting with German fighters, especially at higher altitudes. Despite these drawbacks one USAAF pilot, Captain Michael T. Russo, who served with the 16th Bomb Squadron of the 27th Fighter Bomber Group, was credited with five confirmed aerial victories in the A-36, thereby becoming the first mustang ace.

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