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Above and Beyond the Call of Duty

Online Catalogue | Aviation Art | Aviation Art by Graham Turner GAvA | Original Aviation Paintings by Graham Turner |  Above and Beyond the Call of Duty

B-17 Flying Fortress - Detail from a painting by Graham Turner from Osprey book 'Big Week' 1944
B-17 - Painting by Graham Turner from Osprey book 'Big Week' 1944 Above and Beyond the Call of Duty. Leipzig - 20th February 1944 Ref: GT-27A

During the Eighth Air Force's attack on the Messerschmitt factories at Leipzig on 20th February 1944, B17 bombers of 305th BG are attacked by Messerschmitt 109Gs from I/JG 301, led by Major Walter Brede. B-17G 42-38109, nicknamed 'Cabin in the Sky', reels from the devastating head-on attack that killed the co-pilot, wounded the pilot and seven other crewmembers, and set the number two engine on fire.

The pilot - 1st Lt William Lawley - fought to control the severely damaged aircraft as it plummeted from the formation, regaining control at 12,000 ft. To save his wounded crewmen, two of whom were too severely wounded to bail out, he then flew the bomber back to England and crash-landed at RAF Redhill. For his selfless and heroic actions, Lawley was awarded the Medal of Honor, America's highest award for bravery and sacrifice 'above and beyond the call of duty'.

His Medal of Honor citation reads, 'Because of the helpless condition of his wounded crew members 1st Lt. Lawley elected to remain with the ship and bring them to safety if it was humanly possible. Enemy fighters again attacked but by using masterful evasive action he managed to lose them. 1st Lt. Lawley remained at his post, refusing first aid until he collapsed from sheer exhaustion caused by loss of blood, shock, and the energy he had expended in keeping control of his plane. He was revived by the bombardier and again took over the controls. Coming over the English coast (one) engine started to burn and continued to do so until a successful crash landing was made on a small fighter base. Through his heroism and exceptional flying skill, 1st Lt. Lawley rendered outstanding distinguished and valorous service to our Nation.'

Gouache painting by Graham Turner - image size 19"x 13" (48 x 33cm)

click on image to enlarge
Price: 750.00



Graham Turner's Original Paintings are offered for sale by the artist himself, rather than through Studio 88, which is our print publishing business. Consequently, payment directly to him is preferred. If you are interested in purchasing an original painting, please email Graham Turner at graham@studio88.co.uk to discuss the purchase or to arrange to visit.

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