This stunning lithograph measures 14" X 18" and is presented in archival ink on premium 280 GSM slightly coated rag paper, numbered in sequence. Each print features three no-fade graphite signatures; the artist, Gen Lance Smith, USAF ret, and Col Ron Smith, USAF ret. Proceeds benefit the A-1 Skyraider Association. $58.00 (includes shipping).
The A-1 Skyraider was a brute of an airplane made famous in Vietnam using the celebrated callsign "SANDY." This lithograph, created by acclaimed aviation artist Jim Laurier, depicts two of history's most celebrated Spads. Maj Bernie Fisher boldly chose to land his A-1E under enemy fire in the A Shau Valley to rescue wingman "Jump" Myers. For this heroic feat, Fisher was awarded the Medal of Honor. Lt Col WM. Jones III suffered severe burns and significant battle damage while piloting his A-1H on a rescue mission over North Vietnam. Unable to bail out or communicate by radio, Jones flew his aircraft to friendly territory and refused medical attention until he could share the survivor's location. For this act, Jones was also awarded the Medal of Honor. Later named "The Proud American," this A-1H was used by Capt Ron Smith on the deepest-ever rescue performed inside North Vietnam, a mission for which Smith was awarded the Air Force Cross, second only to the Medal of Honor. Finally, this A-1H was piloted by 1st Lt Lance Smith when its wing failed during a high-risk airstrike in high terrain and low weather. Smith was able to parachute safely, but "The Proud American" was sadly the last US A-1 lost in the Vietnam War.