With the Luftwaffe presence in the skies over Europe diminished during 1944/45, the Eighth Air Force fighter units sought out new targets through occupied territories. This often resulted in fighters ,having escorted the bombers to their target, heading for the deck to search for the enemy.
One of the leading units in racking up strafing kills at this time was the 399th FG. Flying the P-51 Mustang, pilots would pounce on airfields, trains, convoys or anything else caught in open ground.
'Tarheel Tearaway' features one of the 339th's leading strafing aces, Captain James Starnes, making a low run on a Wehrmacht Kriegslok train packed with armour bound for the front line. With the boiler belching white steam, the train's fate has been sealed.
During the latter part of the war the P-51s, P-47s and P-38s of the Eighth and Ninth Air Forces caused untold devastation to the German military machine.
Oil on canvas, 100cm x 53cm.