One Minute in Hell

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One Minute in Hell

One Minute in Hell

Image size: 17” x 22”

Overall print size: 22” X 25”

On November 2, 1943, the Fifth Air Force launched a massive low-level attack by B-25 strafer-bombers against harbor installations and shipping at the major Japanese fleet anchorage and base at Rabaul, New Britian. In the vanguard of the 71st Squadron’s strike, 1/Lt. James A. Hungerpiller flying SLEEPY TIME GAL and 1/Lt. J. E. Orr can be seen engaging their targets at mast-top heights. In the face of the hundreds of antiaircraft guns, Lt. Hungerpiller opened fire on two destroyers, scoring a direct hit with one of his bombs. Meanwhile, Lt. Orr opened fire on a harbor merchant ship while Lt. Hungerpiller’s aircraft quickly began to lose altitude because of severe AA damage. Recognizing the plight of this aircraft, he made a sharp right turn toward to heavy cruisers anchored just off the western shore of the harbor.

This painting depicts Lt. Hungerpiller’s SLEEPY TIME GAL, trailing a plume of fire and smoke, crossing beyond the bow of the heavy cruiser Haguro. In the background, Lt. Orr is opening fire on the Japanese merchant ship. With his left engine on fire and the aircraft severely damaged from a fuel tank explosion, Lt. Hungerpiller soon lost control his aircraft and plunged into the sea.

Short Description

Published in 1995 in cooperation with the 38th Bomb Group Association, this set of four limited edition squadron prints vividly and accurately captures some of the most outstanding and dramatic moments of combat flying in the Southwest Pacific during World War II. Painted by well-known aviation artist, Steve Ferguson, and researched by Lawrence J. Hickey, these prints depict the 38th Bomb Group’s service with the low level B-25 strafer attack aircraft on key missions against Japanese airfields, shipping and industrial targets.

The prints illustrate the famous raids on Dagua Airdrome (Wewak) on August 18, 1943; the daring attack by the Fifth Air Force on the Japanese bastion at Rabaul on November 2, 1943; the vicious ordeal over the Japanese reinforcement convoy at Ormoc Bay, Leyte, on November 10, 1944; and finally the devastating attacks on the Japanese fuel alcohol industry on Formosa, represented by the raid on Tairin on May 29, 1945.

All images are printed on top-quality heavy art stock and are signed and numbered by the artist in a limited edition of 450 prints plus 50 artist proofs. Ten veterans from each squadron, chosen for their service with the unit during World War II, also individually signed each print. This includes a squadron commander and members from each crew position on the B-25 strafer, as well as a ground officer and enlisted man. The squadron insignia appears in full color on the lower margin along with the Fifth Air Force insignia and a gold foil commemorative logo for the 50th Anniversary of the air war in World War II. A certificate of authenticity accompanies each print, documenting the history of the mission and its importance in the Pacific air war. Biographical information and a short service history are also provided on each signer of the print.

For additional information, view the flyer (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader).

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