The steel mill at Thai Nguyen was vital to North Vietnam and in 1967 its destruction was a top priority for the USAF. There was a problem however; it was one of the most heavily and well defended installations in the country. On 30 March 1967, the mission to attack the Thai Nguyen steel plant fell to the legendary fighter leader and WWII Ace Robin Olds but it turned out to be one of the most hazardous raids of the Vietnam War.
Clearing the target, all three F-4s let down to the deck as they hurtle through another onslaught of intense, accurate ground fire and flak. The two lead aircraft collect hits as they exit the area - number three miraculously escaping unscathed. "I'd opted not to take the usual fourth ship knowing he would be far too vulnerable during the entire mission profile."
With the infamous "Thud Ridge" mountain in the background, the airspace in the valley is filled with 100, 85, and 57mm shell bursts, brightly colored tracer, smoke and cordite. Behind them the F-4 crews leave a trail of destruction, the steel mill's blast furnaces billowing flame and dense smoke. In the words of mission leader Robin Olds, "It was the most dangerous, hair-raising mission of all that I flew in both World War II and South East Asia."
Internationally hailed as one of the finest air combat scenes of the Vietnam War, Phantom Strike portrays the aftermath of the attack. With the infamous ‘Thud Ridge’ in the background, the air is alive with shell bursts and tracer fire as the three-ship strike force hurtles through the concentrated onslaught of flak. Behind them the steel mill billows flame and smoke.
Produced and printed onto fine canvas under the direct supervision of the artist to match his original painting, and then mounted on to high-quality stretchers from the studio, each of these carefully crafted Giclée Studio Proofs is fully authorized and personally hand-signed by the artist Robert Taylor. Exclusively limited to just SEVENTY FIVE copies worldwide, each canvas Giclée is stamped on the back, hand-numbered and issued with a Certificate of Authenticity
Overall canvas size: 36” wide x 24” high .
All other editions of Phantom Strike are on the Secondary Market only. Please call for availability 1-800-545-9464.