by John D. Shaw

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In late November 1941, Clark Field, Philippine Islands the insufficiently-equipped crews of the 19th Bomb Group prepare their B-17s for the day’s practice missions.

John D. Shaw pays tribute to the U.S. Army Air Corps pilots and crewmen who fought a hopeless but heroic defense of the Philippine Islands against the Japanese invasion after the attacks on Clark Field and Pearl Harbor in December, 1941. As the title implies, the airmen would fight their first and, for many, their last battles, with obsolete equipment, inadequate supplies and no hope of reinforcements or relief. Their sole purpose was to slow the Japanese onslaught and buy the United States precious time to prepare for war.

The image shows a Boeing B-17C being readied for a mission at Clark Field in late November, 1941. Just days after this tranquil scene, Clark Field would be devastated by a surprise bombing attack and the world would be at war. In the foreground are some of the men who would soon become the first American heroes of the war, including Colin Kelly, Robert Altman, Ed Jaquet, Harl Pease, Emmett O'Donnell and Joe Moore. In the background, P-40 fighters take off; a P-36, other B-17s and a B-18 bomber can be seen on the field.

Limited Edition

This edition has been personally autographed by the artist and THREE of the following aircrew that fought in the Philippines during WWII:

  • Staff Sergeant Robert Altman
  • Colonel Ed Jackfert
  • Colonel Edward M. Jacquet
  • Lieutenant Colonel Melvin McKenzie
  • Robert Phillips
  • Colonel John A. Wallach
37.5 x 21.75 inches

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