Original U.S. WWII Medal of Honor Recipient and Ace Pilot Signed Artwork by JG Keck - Lawley - Zemke - Lopez - Gabreski
Original Items: Only One Lot of 4 Available. These are all fantastic, limited edition prints by artist J.G. Keck and published by Keck’s Fine Arts. The four images are all prints of original artwork of renowned American flying aces from WWII.
Each piece of artwork in this collection is signed by the Ace or Medal of Honor Recipient themselves! This set of four prints includes:
- Colonel William R. Lawley Jr, Medal of Honor Recipient: Lawley joined the Army Air Forces from Birmingham, Alabama in April 1942, and by February 20, 1944, was a first lieutenant serving as a pilot in the 364th Bomb Squadron, 305th Bomb Group. On that day, during a bombing mission over NSDAP-controlled Europe, his B-17 Flying Fortress came under attack by enemy fighter aircraft. With his plane severely damaged and on fire, he ordered his crew to parachute to safety. Finding that two crewmen were too badly injured to bail out, Lawley chose to remain in the aircraft and, despite his own serious wounds, attempt to pilot it into friendly territory. Although weakened from loss of blood and shock, he was able to make a successful crash landing in England. Lawley recovered from his wounds and, on August 8, 1944, was awarded the Medal of Honor. Lawley reached the rank of colonel before leaving the Air Force in 1972.
- Colonel Hubert Zemke: Colonel Hubert Zemke was a career officer in the United States Air Force, a fighter pilot in World War II, and a leading United States Army Air Forces ace. General Jimmy Doolittle praised Zemke as his "greatest fighter group commander". He commanded the 56th Fighter Group in England, which came to be known as "Zemke's Wolf Pack".
- Lieutenant Colonel Donald S. Lopez Sr.: Donald Sewell Lopez Sr. was a United States Army Air Forces and United States Air Force fighter and test pilot and until his death the deputy director of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.
Lopez was born in Brooklyn, New York on July 15, 1923. He showed an interest in aviation at an early age. He often rode his bike to Floyd Bennett Field where he occasionally got free flights from a family friend. During his teenage years, his family moved to Tampa, Florida, inside the traffic pattern of Drew Army Air Field, so he could see Army Air Corps fighters flying overhead. That hardened his resolve to become a fighter pilot. Lopez learned to fly in college, then volunteered for the Army Air Forces Aviation Cadet Program when the age limit was lowered to 18 in early 1942.
After earning his wings, he saw combat in China as a member of the 75th Fighter Squadron. The unit was part of the 23rd Fighter Group, successor to the famed Flying Tigers. He became an ace, credited with shooting down five Japanese fighters, four in a P-40 Warhawk and one in a P-51 Mustang, while flying 101 missions.
- Colonel Francis Stanley “Gabby” Gabreski: Francis Stanley "Gabby" Gabreski was a Polish-American career pilot in the United States Air Force who retired as a colonel after 26 years of military service. He was the top American and United States Army Air Forces fighter ace over Europe during World War II and a jet fighter ace with the Air Force in the Korean War.
Although best known for his credited destruction of 34½ aircraft in aerial combat and being one of only seven U.S. combat pilots to become an ace in two wars, Gabreski was also one of the Air Force's most accomplished leaders. In addition to commanding two fighter squadrons, he had six command tours at group or wing level, including one in combat in Korea, totaling over 11 years of command and 15 overall in operational fighter assignments.
After his Air Force career, Gabreski headed the Long Island Rail Road, a commuter railroad owned by the State of New York, and struggled in his attempts to improve its service and financial condition. After two and a half years, he resigned under pressure and went into full retirement.
All 4 prints measure approximately 25 ½” x 19 ½” and come ready for display.
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