Alcohol Busters of Formosa

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Alcohol Busters of Formosa

Alcohol Busters of Formosa

Image size: 17” x 22”

Overall print size: 22” X 25”

On May 29, 1945, 1/Lt. Fred L. Paveglio and his wingman, 1/Lt. L.T. Wilhelm, piloted their B-25J Mitchells on a devastating raid against the Tairin Alcohol Plant on the island of Formosa. Following the precise directions from the navigator, 2/Lt. Albert C. West, Paveglio and Wilhelm dropped down to attack height and heavily strafed the Tairin complex, just before dropping a half dozen 500-pound parademos.

This painting depicts the moment approximately five seconds after the munitions detonated on the ground where the mammoth secondary explosion sent debris rocketing high above the plant. At the same time, the alcohol storage tanks were touched off, sending a blazing fireball 800 feet into the air. During the spring and summer of 1945, the 38th Bomb Group was so successful in destroying the fuel alcohol industry on Formosa that they earned the nickname “Alcohol Buster of Formosa.”

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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