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Shark Sighting by John D Shaw.- Aviation Art Prints .com
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Shark Sighting by John D Shaw.

Shark Sighting by John D Shaw.

Before the pilots of the legendary American Volunteer Group could take to the skies against the enemy, the all-important task of Bore Sighting the .30 caliber wing guns of their P-40s had to take place! The ingenious armourers of the AVG were often forced to improvise, but as the Tigers incredible combat record can attest, these great Americans got the job done!
AMAZING VALUE! - The value of the signatures on this item is in excess of the price of the print itself!
Item Code : DHM1838Shark Sighting by John D Shaw. - This Edition
PRINTSigned limited edition of 650 prints.

Great value : Value of signatures exceeds price of item!
Paper size 37.5 inches x 23 inches (95cm x 59cm) Image size 32 inches x 16 inches (82cm x 41cm) Richardson, Roland
Poshefko, Joseph
Keeton, Robert B
Brown, Carl
Wright, Peter
Hill, Tex
Rossi, Dick
Bond, Charles R
Baisden, Charles N
Clouthier, Leo Paul
Janski, Edwin A
Jernstedt, Kenneth A
Losonsky, Frank S
Vaux, Morgan H
Stiles, Edward L
+ Artist : John D Shaw

Signature(s) value alone : £610

All prices on our website are displayed in British Pounds Sterling

Signatures on this item
*The value given for each signature has been calculated by us based on the historical significance and rarity of the signature. Values of many pilot signatures have risen in recent years and will likely continue to rise as they become more and more rare.
Carl Brown
*Signature Value : £40

Brown was born in 1917 in Michigan, and joined the Navy in 1939. He was assigned to a torpedo squadron and served aboard the carrier Saratoga. During this time, he joined the AVG, which proved providential, as his entire squadron was lost shortly thereafter at Midway. Assigned to the Adam and Eves squadron, Brown was one of the few who volunteered to fly night patrol shortly after tlie attack on Pearl Harbor. Carl recounts this as a "rather heart-pounding. experience; we'd never employed the P-40 at night, and they had no (exhaust stack) flame suppressors or flame guards. When you went to take off all of a sudden it was like looking into a blast furnace-you couldnt see a damn thing ...like flying into the Sun." Carl was involved in the AVGs first combat experience in December 41, and flew in many notable missions, including the harrowing experience stopping the Japanese in the Salween Gorge, when he recalls pilot Bob Littles plane tragically exploding just 40 feet from his wing. After his AVG days, Carl flew for CNAC until 1945. After the war, he entered pre-med in Los Angeles, and flew for the newly-formed Flying Tiger Air Line. Carl then began a successful medical career, specializing in neurology and anesthetics. Throughout the 90s, Dr. Brown had the unique distinction of being the doctor at the Corcoran State Penitentiary in California, the state which he's called home for many years.
Charles N Baisden
*Signature Value : £35

Chuck Baisden was born in 1920 in Scranton, Pennsylvania. He joined the Army Air Corps in 1939, and by late 1940 he found himself working with aircraft such as the P-36, P-40, YP-37 and Bell Airacuda. When he joined the AVG in 1941, he had his reasons.... "I went from making $72 a month in the Army to $350 a month with the Flying Tigers. That was a lot of money in those days." The new job also provided him an opportunity to travel and work in his field as an ordnance expert and he was assigned to the Hells Angles squadron, to put his talents to good use. One of the youngest to join the AVG, he remembers "I had just turned twenty-one in March before leaving for China in May of 1941.. just bought my first beer." After the AVG, Chuck re-enlisted. He entered pilot training school and it was back to China, now part of the famed 1st Air Commando Group. He eventually flew 58 missions as Engineer / Turret gunner of a B-25 squadron, one of whose pilots was R T Smith, a close friend from his AVG days. After WWII, he flew as a B-29 gunner in the Korean War. By 1960 he had completed some 815 refuelling missions, and in 1964 he retired from the Air Force.

The signature of Colonel Tex Hill (deceased)

Colonel Tex Hill (deceased)
*Signature Value : £75

Tex Hill was born in Korea on 13th July 1915. Tex Hill graduated as a Naval Aviator in 1939, and after serving as a Navy Pilot, Tex Hill volunteered for the A.V.G., becoming Squadron Leader in the 2nd Sqn (Panda Bears) until disbandment in 1942, by which time he had 12.25 air victories, making him the second highest ranking Ace in the American Volunteer Group. He remained in China, as the first squadron commander of the 75th F S /23rd F G before returning to the U.S. He went back to China to command the 23rd F G, increasing his total to 18.25 victories. In late 1943 he led a group of 30 aircraft on the first strike against Formosa. During this mission, 42 enemy aircraft were confirmed destroyed, with a possible 12 more, while all 30 aircraft under Tex Hill's command returned safely. Returning to the US, he commanded the 412th Fighter Group, the first jet aircraft group. Here, he flew P-80 Shooting Stars and YP-59 Airacomets. His decorations include a Distinguished Service Cross, Silver Star, Legion of Merit, 4 Distinguished Flying Crosses, 2 Air Medals, 2 Presidential Unit Citations, 6 decorations awarded by China, and a Distinguished Flying Cross from the UK. Sadly, Tex Hill died on 11th October 2007.
Edward L Stiles
*Signature Value : £35

Edward Lee Stiles was born in McCaysville, Georgia in 1919. He entered the Army Air Corps in 1938, and after a time at Langley Field, joined the AVG in 1941. One of the first thirty ground crew personnel to arrive in Toungoo, Burma, Ed became a crew chief with the Hells Angels squadron. Of these turbulent days, he recalls many moves: "We went from Toungoo, Burma up the road to Kunming, China, down to Magwe, Burma, bombed out! Up the road to Loiwing, bombed out! To Mangshi, China to Poashan to Kunming. We left China in June to Karachi, Bombay, Ceylon and Capetown; then from to Trinidad to New York City--home September 13, 1942!" After the AVG, Ed re-entered the USAAF, and soon entered the cadet training program. By 1944, he was an instructor on B-25 bombers. After the war, he stayed in the AF Reserve, attaining captain in 1959. Flying C-119 aircraft in the 910th Air Reserve Carrier Group, Major Stiles retired in 1971.
Edwin A Janski (deceased)
*Signature Value : £20

Edwin A. Janski was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1916. At age seventeen, Ed entered into military service, and began training as an aircraft mechanic. Specializing in the operations of engines and propellers, this area of expertise would carry throughout his long and adventurous career. In 1941 Ed joined the AVG, and was one of only four who specialized in propellers, and was often forced to use great ingenuity to keep the P-40s as combat-ready as possible, given the limited resources available. Following his days with the Flying Tigers, Ed continued his career with the Air Force as an engineering officer in China with the 14th Air Force, still under the command of Claire Chennault. After the war, he returned to Chicago and served in the Air Force Reserve Unit at OHare Field. His talents were soon required again during the Korean War, after which he served several years in Japan, and finally back to OHare. Ed retired a Colonel after a 30-year military career. Sadly, Ed Janski died on 17th May 2009.

The signature of Flight Leader Dick Rossi (deceased)

Flight Leader Dick Rossi (deceased)
*Signature Value : £65

Dick Rossi was born in 1915 in Placerville, California. He entered the Navy for flight training in the fall of 1939 and soon became a Flight Instructor at Pensacola. Dick responded to the allure of adventure and resigned his Navy commission in 1941 to join the AVG. Serving with the First Pursuit Adam & Eves squadron, he engaged in his first combat mission over Burma in January 1942. Most of his missions were flown over Rangoon, although he was also assigned detached duty for the 2nd and 3rd squadrons as well, serving under all three AVG squadron commanders. His last AVG mission was flown over the East China front in July 1942, by which time he had achieved an official tally of 6.25 confirmed kills. After the AVG, Dick flew for CNAC and spent much of the remainder of the war flying critical supplies over The Hump. By wars end, he had flown this perilous route over 735 times. Since the war, Dick Rossi has been involved in many various aspects of aviation and has carried on the AVG legacy, speaking worldwide and serving many years as President of the Flying Tigers Association. He died April 17th 2008.
Flight Leader Peter Wright (deceased)
*Signature Value : £45

Peter Wright was born in 1917 in Portland, Oregon and grew up in the Philidelphia, Pennsylvania area. After attending Yale for 2 years, he joined the Navy and earned his wings by 1940. He served as a dive-bomber pilot aboard the USS Yorktown, Ranger and Wasp. When he joined the AVG in 1941, Peter was assigned to the Panda Bears squadron, and participated in what would prove to be some of the AVG s more significant battles, including the dive-bombing mission in the Salween River Gorge. After the AVGs disbandment, Peter volunteered to remain in China for 2 extra weeks, helping check out new incoming American pilots. During this time, he added an additional enemy aircraft to his score, giving him a total of 3.65 victories. After the war, Peter became highly involved with the helicopter industry, acquiring a number of prestigious awards, and ultimately being instrumental in establishing the American Helicopter Museum in Westchester, Pennsylvania, the nations first of its kind. Peter has remained extremely active with his AVG companions throughout the years, and always recalled those days with great fondness. Peter Wright sadly died 1st June 2007.
Flight Leader Robert B Keeton (deceased)
*Signature Value : £35

Robert "Buster" Keeton was born in 1915 in Manzanola, Colorado. Following college graduation, he entered Naval flight training at Pensacola and received his wings and commission in 1938. As a member of VP-12, he was assigned to a patrol/bomber station at North Island, CA. Bus resigned his naval commission in mid-1941 to join the AVG. Assigned to the Panda Bears squadron, he scored his first of 3.5 confirmed and 4 probable victories on February 3, 1942. Bus flew a number of significant AVG combat missions, including the March 24 raid on the airfield at Chiang Mal, Thailand, in which squadron leader Jack Newkirk was killed. "I was flying on Frank Lawlors wing," he remembers. "We shot up a lot of trains, train stations and warehouses. I saw Newkirk go in as I was making a climbing turn after strafing a row of warehouses." After the AVG, he joined the Naval Reserve and flew as a contract carrier, delivering war supplies in C-54s across the North Atlantic. Once the war had ended, he flew for several commercial carriers before beginning a career with Pan American Airlines until 1975. He retired at age 60, having accumulated 27,320 hours at the controls of a wide variety of aircraft during his 40 years of flying. Robert Keeton passed away on 25th January 2011.
Frank S Losonsky
*Signature Value : £25

Frank Losonsky was born in 1920 in Detroit, Michigan. After college, he entered the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1939 and in 1941 found himself on a ship to Burma and China to join the AVG. Assigned as crew chief in the Hells Angels squadron, Frank was generally responsible for 3 to 4 aircraft at a time. He was also called upon to carry out memorable tasks such as delivering bombs via truck from Kunming to Poashan, and salvaging parts from ill-fated P-40s. On one such occasion, he was part of a salvage crew sent out to recover 4 wrecked Tomahawks which had made forced landings near the Indochina border, led by the famed Pappy Boyington. After his AVG days, Frank was married and returned to the far East as a mechanic with CNAC. After the Air Corps, he took a civil-service job in the Philippines at Clark Field. Following the war, Frank found himself on the ground floor of the new TransAsiatic Airlines, which flew the Manila, Hongkong, Bangkok, Rangoon route. He soon became a commercial pilot and left TAA in 1950. Frank soon joined the Allison Division of General Motors as a jet engine service engineer. He spent the next 30 years with GM, travelling all over the world. After retiring from GM, he joined his sons restaurant business In Georgia.

Gen. Charles R. Bond (deceased)
*Signature Value : £55

Bond was born in 1915 in Dallas, Texas. His military career began in the Texas National Guard, and he was commissioned in 1939 at Randolph Field, Texas. His first assignment was flying B-17s based at Langley Field, Virginia. During this period, he participated in one of the first good-will flights to South America in 1939. After joining the AVG, he was assigned to the Adam & Eves, and recalls being the first to introduce the painted shark mouth motif on AVG P-40s. One of the Tigers great aces, he was credited with shooting down three Japanese aircraft in one mission in the defense of Rangoon. While serving with the AVG, Bond was shot down twice, and was ultimately credited with 8.77 victories. In 1942, Barld rejoined the U.S. Army Air Corps and began teaching combat skills to new pilots. A year later he served as an Ambassadors aide in the U.S. Military Mission to the U.S.S.R. in Moscow. In 1949, Bond graduated from Texas A&M with a degree in Management Engineering. He then completed nearly 20 years in military leadersnip positions throughout the United States, Europe and Far East. After serving as Commander 12th Air Force, USAF, he retired with at the rank of Maj. General in 1968. Sadly, Charles Bond passed away on 18th August 2009.
Joseph A Poshefko
*Signature Value : £35

Joe Poshefko was born in 1915 in Emmaus, Pennsylvania. He entered the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1937 and was assigned to the 57th Fighter Group. When he joined the AVG, Joe was assigned to the Hells Angels as Armorer. During the famous first day of AVG combat in late 41, he found himself helping civilians to safety during the bombardment of their city of Rangoon. He recalls an April day, Loiwing, China in 1942: "Japanese fighter planes strafed our field at 6:05 A.M. They did some minor damage to some P-40s. In the afternoon about 10 more planes came to complete the job. We had our planes in the air when they arrived and it was one of the finest fighter-to-fighter shows we ever witnessed; none of our planes were shot down, with the Japanese losing 7 out of their 10 planes. After the war, we found out they had lost 2 of their best pilots. They didnt figure that wed be waiting for them. This was a Chennault tactic." After the AVG, Joe and four fellow Tigers built and tested U.S. Navy Fighters in New Jersey. He became Chief of Ordnance and had final inspection responsibility before delivery to the Navy. He was Safety Director with GM until retiring in 1974 in Massachusetts.
Kenneth A Jernstedt
*Signature Value : £35

Ken Jernstedt was born in 1917 in Carlton, Oregon. He entered the Marine Air Corps Reserve in 1939 and served with the 1st Marine Air Group In Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, during which time he became carrier-qualified, and learned to fly front-line Marine fighter of the day, the Grumman F4F Wildcat. In mld-1941, Jernstedts squadron was visited by a recruiter for the AVG. Joined by his friends and fellow Marine pilots Chuck Older and Tom Haywood, he volunteered for duty in China. Arriving in Burma, he was assigned to the Hells Angels squadron, and was soon promoted to flight leader. He was credited with his first aerial victory on December 23,1941. On his most memorable mission, Ken and pilot Bill Reed discovered an airfield near Moulmein crowded with 20 to 30 enemy fighters and bombers, which they repeatedly strafed, destroying or disabling many before breaking off the attack. By July 1942, Ken was credited with 10.5 victories, and was celebrated as the first Oregonian to become a fighter ace. After his AVG days, he became a test pilot with Republic Aviation, and worked with nearly every model of the P-47 Thunderbolt as well as dozens of aircraft types in the U.S. inventory. After the service, Ken embarked on an extremely successful business and polztical career, including twenty years as a $tate Senator in Oregon.
Leo Paul Clouthier (deceased)
*Signature Value : £45

Paul Clouthier was born in 1918 in Worcester, Massachusets. He joined the Navy in 1939, and by late 1941 found himself eastbound to join the Flying Tigers. Assigned to the Hells Angels squadron as operations clerk, Paul maintains that clerical duties were actually a rarity. In addition to keeping the logistics straight on the average 12 to 14 AVG P-40s operating in his squadron at a time, he often perfomed tasks such as driving needed items over the Burma Road or assisting Chinese interpreters in the early-warning radio net plot the approaching enemy. During the AVGs famous 1941 Christmas Day battle, Clouthier was wounded by Japanese shrapnel in the arm, leg and face. He recalls, 'I was in a foxhole, watching Duke Hedman become an ace while I became a casualty. It wasn't too bad, though; they just sewed me up, and I was back in no time.' After the AVG, Clouthier entered flight school, where he was considered a big wheel to the new cadets, being a wounded AVG veteran. 'I was big publicity for the base, ' he remembers, 'and they took care of me.' After the war, he assisted the Army in discharging returning veterans. Being newly married, he entered the Insurance industry and would spend the next few decades raising a family and being employed primarily by Metropolitan Life. Retiring in 1977, he relocated in Las Vegas, Nevada, and embarked on a southern California to Canada bicycle trip (taking time out only to attend the AVG reunion in Ojai, California!!) Sadly, Paul Clouthier died on 24th October 2007.
Morgan H Vaux
*Signature Value : £40

Morgan Vaux was born in 1918 in Waterstown, South Dakota. After entering the Army Air Corps in 1939, he spent the first phase of his military career at Selfridge Field, Michigan, where he began training in all things related to radios, an area in which he would apply his expertise throughout his life. After joining the AVG in 1941, Morgan was assigned to the Adam & Eves installing radios into P-40s, and soon found himself serving as part of the AVG s early-warning net from a pagoda-based station in remote south China, With the help of a Chinese interpreter, he would transmit updates to the main base at Kunming, knowing that within roughly 100 miles from his location, a Japanese air base was operating around the clock. On one occasion, Morgan was strafed by enemy fighters while ferrying a drum of gasoline along the Burma Road, but managed to escape disaster. There were other hazards there, however. Morgan recalled, "One night I was awakened, being bitten by rats! I got infected, and when the AVG was disbanded, I was offered the rank of a 1st lieutenant. I was still sick then, and went home instead. The army wouldnt provide transportation, so I was able to bum a ride aboard a CNAC transport to India." After the AVG, Morgan joined the Marines and was soon sent back into action in the Solomon Islands, attached to VMB-413, the first Marine B-25 unit, doing night-bombing at Rabaul. After the war, Morgan finished college and entered a career involving the production of radios, working 27 years with GM/Delco until his retirement in 1980.
Roland L Rich Richardson (deceased)
*Signature Value : £25

Rich Richardson was born in Bridgeman, Michigan in 1919. He joined the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1939, and was trained as a communications specialist. After joining the AVG, one of his first duties was the installation of radios into P-40 aircraft. He was instrumental in establishing a ground radio station 150 miles from Kunming, within a Chinese temple. Rich recalls, "We served as a warning net to give cities advance notice that air raids were coming. I was the only American in the station; we had Chinese radio mechanics, guards, an interpreter and a cook." Rich operated early-warning stations at Mengtze on the French-Indochina border, Hengyang and Kweilin, China. Staying in China after the AVG, Rich was sworn in as a 1st lieutenant, and continued wdh the same duties until his return to the U.S. in 1942. By 1943, he had completed pilot training, and served as transportation officer from base to joint staff levels. Following Command and Staff School and completing college, Rich became closely associated with the C-130. Assigned to France as a squadron ops officer and later as Inspector General of the 322nd Air Division, he joined the 64th TAW in 1968 as director of operations, later becoming vice-commander, retiring at the rank of Colonel in 1971. Sadly, he died on 7th November 2009.
The Aircraft :

See our aviation history timeline for all today's historical aviation events - air victories, aircraft losses and pilot details.

Updates made to Aircrew database for : Flight Lieutenant P M H S Hunt : Squadrons updated (added No.12 Sqn RAAF), Squadron service dates updated
Updates made to Aircrew database for : Flight Lieutenant Des Curtis : Aircraft updated, Squadrons updated, Squadron service dates updated
Flight Lieutenant Roy Pengilley added to aircrew database :
A pilot with 625 Sqn before being chosen for Pathfinders on Lancasters, joining 582 Sqn and completing 59 operations. Roy was wounded on a daylight operation spending two months in hospital, finally completing his tour in March 1945.
Updates made to Aircrew database for : Matthewman : Squadrons updated (added No.51 Sqn RAF), Squadron service dates updated
New victory claim added : Me109 claimed on 8th November 1941 by Stanislaw Brzeski of No.317 Sqn RAF
Updates made to Airframes database for : Wellington L7842 :
Hoy added to aircrew database.
Updates made to Airframes database for : Flying Fortress 42-30032 : Squadrons updated
Updates made to Aircrew database for : Pilot Officer John Romney Mather : First name updated (now John Romney), Aircraft updated (added Spitfire), Airframes updated (added Spitfire P7539), Squadron service dates updated, Rank updated (now Pilot Officer)
Hampden Mk.I AD734 of No.83 Sqn RAF added to the airframes database.


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