"DEBDEN EAGLES" by JOHN SHAW
Signed Limited Edition: $245
Signed by Col. Don Blakeslee
Special Edition: $395
Each individually numbered &
signed by the artist, plus Col. Donald Blakeslee and
18 additional 4th FG veterans
Artist Proof Edition: $475
Each includes all signatures listed above,
plus legendary 4th FG Ace James Goodson.
Also Includes b&w portrait of Donald Blakeslee by the artist
The Fourth Fighter Group, based at RAF Debden in England, was one of World War II’s finest outfits. Originally comprised of American “Eagle” Squadron pilots, the young men who enlisted in the Royal Air Force prior to the U.S. entry into the war, the Fourth would produce some of the greatest aces in history. Leading and inspiring this group was its illustrious commander, Colonel Donald J.M. Blakeslee. With more credited victories than a triple ace (in fact, many of his contemporaries maintained he’d probably gotten twice his credited score), Blakeslee was one of the rare ones to whom keeping track of the number of ‘kills’ was not important. He exhibited consistent brilliant leadership and by war’s end had flown more combat hours than any U.S. pilot. Considered by many to be the U.S.’s greatest Fighter Group commander, Blakeslee’s Debden Eagles officially achieved the highest official number of enemy aircraft destroyed in Europe during World War II.
The painting Debden Eagles was completed in 2005. The original 4’ x 5’ oil painting is owned by the Cavanaugh Flight Museum, located just north of Dallas, Texas, in the city of Addison. Among their magnificent collection is a P-51D Mustang bearing Don Blakeslee’s markings, as shown in the painting. The following year, the museum commissioned John Shaw to create a “companion” painting to feature another of the Cavanaugh collection’s aircraft, entitled Semper-Fi Skies, to make a “matching set” with Debden Eagles. This painting, of similar size and design, depicts the F4U Corsair of Marine Corps ace Archie Donahue in action over Guadalcanal. The two large original oils make an impressive set of ‘bookends’ within what is one of the world’s finest collections of flyable restored World War II aircraft in the world.
DEBDEN EAGLES by JOHN SHAW (P-51 Mustang: 4th Fighter Group: Don Blakeslee: 8th Air Force)@vbader.com/virginiabaderfinearts