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|The Aircraft :|
|Mitchell||On April 18, 1942, Lt. Col. James H. Doolittle led a group of 16 B-25 bombers on a carrier-launched raid on industrial and military targets in Japan. The raid was one of the most daring missions of WW II. Planning for this secret mission began several months earlier, and Jimmy Doolittle, one of the most outstanding pilots and leaders in the United States Army Air Corps was chosen to plan, organize and lead the raid. The plan was to get within 300 or 400 miles of Japan, attack military and industrial targets in Tokyo, Osaka, and Kobe shortly after nightfall, and then fly on to a dawn landing at secret airfields on the coast of China. The twin engine B-25 Mitchell bomber was selected by Doolittle for the mission and practice indicated that it should be possible to launch these aircraft from a carrier deck with less than 500 feet of runway. On April 2, 1942 the USS Hornet and a number of escorts set sail from Alameda, California with the 16 B-25s strapped to its deck. This task force rendezvoused with another including the USS Enterprise, and proceeded for the Japanese mainland. An element of surprise was important for this mission to succeed. When the task force was spotted by a Japanese picket boat, Admiral Halsey made the decision to launch the attack earlier than was planned. This meant that the raiders would have to fly more than 600 miles to Japan, and would arrive over their targets in daylight. It also meant that it would be unlikely that each aircraft would have sufficient fuel to reach useable airfields in China. Doolittle had 50 gallons of additional fuel stowed on each aircraft as well as a dinghy and survival supplies for the likely ditchings at sea which would now take place. At approximately 8:00 AM the Hornets loudspeaker blared, Now hear this: Army pilots, man your planes! Doolittle and his co-pilot R.E. Cole piloted the first B-25 off the Hornets deck at about 8:20 AM. With full flaps, and full throttle the Mitchell roared towards the Hornets bow, just barely missing the ships island superstructure. The B-25 lifted off, Doolittle leveled out, and made a single low altitude pass down the painted center line on the Hornets deck to align his compass. The remaining aircraft lifted off at approximately five minute intervals. The mission was planned to include five three-plane sections directed at various targets. However, Doolittle had made it clear that each aircraft was on its own. He insisted, however, that civilian targets be avoided, and under no circumstances was the Imperial Palace in Tokyo to be bombed. About 30 minutes after taking off Doolittles B-25 was joined by another piloted by Lt. Travis Hoover. These two aircraft approached Tokyo from the north. They encountered a number of Japanese fighter or trainer aircraft, but they remained generally undetected at their low altitude. At 1:30 PM the Japanese homeland came under attack for the first time in the War. From low altitudes the raiders put their cargoes of four 500 pounders into a number of key targets. Despite antiaircraft fire, all the attacking aircraft were unscathed. The mission had been a surprise, but the most hazardous portion of the mission lay ahead. The Chinese were not prepared for the raiders arrival. Many of the aircraft were ditched along the coast, and the crews of other aircraft, including Doolittles were forced to bail out in darkness. There were a number of casualties, and several of the raiders were caught by Japanese troops in China, and some were eventually executed. This painting is dedicated to the memories of those airmen who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country and the thousands of innocent Chinese citizens which were brutally slaughtered as a reprisal for their assistance in rescuing the downed crews.|
|Artist Details : Ivan Berryman|
|Click here for a full list of all artwork by Ivan Berryman|
Over the last 30 years, Ivan Berryman has become a leading aviation, motor racing and naval artist. In this time, the subjects of his paintings have been wide and varied as he has deliberately strived to include some of the lesser know aircraft, ships and events in his portfolio, which includes aircraft like the Defiant, TSR2, Beaufort, ships including MTBs and corvettes, and around 100 different aircraft of the first world war. In addition to this he has taken new approaches to the classic subjects of his field, including the Dambuster Lancasters, Battle of Britain Spitfires, Bf109s and Hurricanes, HMS Hood, Bismarck and the best known naval ships, as well as some iconic sporting moments. In his own words : Art and aviation have been like a brother and sister to me. We have grown up together, learned together and made our adult lives together. But you do not have to have an appreciation of aircraft to admire the graceful lines of a Spitfire or the functional simplicity of a Focke-Wulf 190. They are themselves a work of art and they cry out to be painted - not as machines of war and destruction, but as objects of beauty, born of necessity and function, yet given a life and iconic classicism beyond their original calling. My interest and love of art and aircraft was gifted to me by my father, a designer and aeronautical engineer of considerable repute. Denis Berryman C.Eng. FRAeS. He gave me his eyes, his passion, his dedication and his unwavering professionalism. I owe him everything. And I miss him terribly. A love of art and of beautiful and interesting things takes you on a journey. You discover new interests, new fascinations, and you want to paint them. You want to paint them in their environment, in their element. Whether it is an aeroplane, a warship, a racing car or a beautiful woman, their gift to an artist is the same: Their lines, their texture and the way that light and shadows give them form. These are the food and oxygen of an artist. Not the paint and the canvas. These are mere tools. The secret is in the passion and the perception...
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