Commemorating the legendary American Volunteer Group – The Flying Tigers
Formed in the months before Pearl Harbor by veteran U.S. aviator Claire Chennault, then a recently-appointed brigadier-general in the Chinese Air Force, an intrepid band of buccaneering American pilots and ground crew volunteered to fight against the Japanese in China. Officially named the 1st American Volunteer Group (AVG), they would soon become known more simply as the Flying Tigers.
By 1941 Chinese forces, having been at war with Japan since 1937, were struggling. Strangled by a Japanese blockade of their ports they were left with a single lifeline through which to receive supplies from the outside world – the infamous Burma Road, a tortuous trail hacked through the jungles and mountains linking south-west China to the port of Rangoon. With the Imperial Japanese Air Force determined to bomb the trail into oblivion, the task of stopping them was given to Chennault’s Flying Tigers.
Heavily outnumbered with seldom more than 50 or 60 serviceable P-40s once intended for the British, and always starved of spares, the Flying Tigers went into action for the first time on 20 December 1941 over Rangoon, and with great air battles raging over Christmas the Japanese quickly got the message – they were in for the fight of their lives. Over the next few months of the AVG’s brief but glorious existence, their three squadrons were credited with destroying nearly 300 Japanese aircraft with probably an equal number damaged.
Seldom had a unit achieved so much, so quickly and with so little. The AVG had become one of the most famous fighter units of all times and created a legend that will live long in the annals of air combat history but, having blazed their way into glory, on 4 July 1942 Chennault’s tiny ‘air force’ ceased to exist, amalgamated into the U.S. 23rd Fighter Group.
Overall print size: 26 ½” wide x 19 ½” high
Image size: 22 ¾” wide x 14 ¾” high
It is 80 years since Chennault formed the Flying Tigers and both to commemorate that anniversary and remember the defiant spirit of his small but intrepid band of flyers, Anthony Saunders has created TIGER FIGHT, a piece worthy of the occasion. Anthony graphically depicts the P-40 of Ed Overend, a leading pilot with the AVG’s 3rd Pursuit Squadron, the ‘Hell’s Angels’, as he successfully strikes a Japanese Nakajima Ki-43 ‘Oscar’ fighter over the China – Burma border in the early Spring of 1942.
The Limited Edition
Each print is exclusively hand-numbered and personally signed by the artist Anthony Saunders.
The Matted Collector’s Edition & Artist Proofs
Adding considerable historic significance, each copy in these highly-restricted editions has been mounted to full conservation standards to include the original and authentic autographs of TWO of the AVG’s most famous pilots:
Colonel CHARLES H. ‘CHUCK’ OLDER
3rd Pursuit Squadron – Hell’s Angels (as depicted in Tiger Fight) / 18¼ air victories
Brigadier General DAVID L. ‘TEX’ HILL
2nd Pursuit Squadron – Panda Bears / 18 ¼ victories
Approx. matted size: 30” wide x 23 ¼” high
The Matted Remarque Edition
Widely considered as some of the best and largest in the industry, Anthony’s unique pencil remarques are individually created in the lower margin of the print. The first edition, consisting of 15 single sized remarques, are a perfect way to collect original art and are issued conservation matted with all components of the Collector’s Edition.
The Matted Double Remarques
Created specially for the serious collector, these dramatic pieces are much bigger than a standard remarque and exclusively restricted to just 10 copies worldwide. The demand for these superb creations is such that we urge collectors to reserve their remarques early to avoid disappointment.
Approx. matted size: 30” wide x 23 ¼” high
Giclée Studio Proofs
Using the most sophisticated digital Giclée technology, each Studio Proof is printed directly on to fine canvas creating a stunning piece which has all the look and feel of an original painting. Fully authorised, stamped on the back, hand numbered and titled, each canvas proof is supplied pre-stretched ready to simply drop into a frame of your choice.
Overall stretched canvas size: 36″ wide x 24″ high