"THEY FOUGHT WITH WHAT THEY HAD"
BY JOHN SHAW
Limited Edition of 500 prints. Autographed by four Army Air Corps pilots and aircrew of the 19th Bomb Group who defended the Philippines in 1941: Col. Ed Jaquet, Col. Ed Jackfert, Lt.Col. Melvin McKenzie and S/Sgt. Robert Altman.
Size: 21-3/4" x 37-1/2"
"They Fought With What They Had" is John Shaw's long-awaited 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.
The print is countersigned by members of the 19th Bomb Group, the unit that flew the first American bombardment mission of World War II on December 10, 1941. Many of these airmen would be killed in action and the survivors taken prisoner; a few would fight on with Filipino guerilla units. These gallant men inspired America in the darkest days of the war, doing so much with so little, fighting with what they had.