"Cripes A Mighty 3rd"
limited edition prints of 600
prints printed on thick
water color bristol paper
Click on image to
enlarge.
Major George E. Preddy Jr. was an outstanding fighter pilot and American
ace.  He flew his fateful P-51 Mustang “Cripes A’ Mighty 3RD” into the history
books.

On August 6, 1944, Maj. Preddy was on an escort mission with the 487th
Fighter Squadron, 352nd Fighter Group.  Their mission was to protect B-17s
in route to bomb aircraft factories in the vicinity of Brandenburg, Germany.   
Maj. Preddy spotted six Me-109s heading towards the bomber formation.  He
and three other P-51s attacked the enemy formation.  Maj. Preddy led the way
by shooting one of the fighters.  He then turned and destroyed another and
another.  The enemy formation scattered but Maj. Preddy pursued and
destroyed all six enemy fighters.  He decimated the enemy formation before
realizing he was all alone in enemy skis.  His wingman and the other P-51s
did not stay with him throughout the engagement.  He destroyed six enemy
fighters in five minutes.  This feat was a new 8th Air Force Fighter Command
record for enemy fighters shot down during a single mission.  He was
awarded the Distinguished Service Cross (second only to the Medal of
Honor) for his bravery.

Maj. George Preddy was the highest scoring Mustang ace with 23.83 enemy
air to air kills.  His final score rose to 26.83 air and five ground kills.  He was
killed on Christmas Day 1944 by friendly fire.  His P-51D “Cripes A’ Mighty
3RD” was the highest scoring P-51 of the war with 18.5 total air and ground
kills.  Maj. Preddy was shot while flying another P-51D Mustang named
“Cripes A’ Mighty” tail number 414906.
Aviation Artist Willie Jones
Jr. Bio:
Willie Jones Jr., a native of
Greenwood, MS, started
drawing at a young age.  
He expressed the desire to
draw after observing an
older cousin sketch picture
in his sketchpad.  He took
to drawing naturally.  Willie
became a self-taught artist.  
He read instructional
books, how to books, by
renowned artist Walter
Foster.
Willie had a great love of
military aircraft.  He joined
the Air Force in June 1981
just two months before his
21st birthday.  He wanted
to become a Graphic
Illustrator but the Air Force
other plans for him.  He
was trained to be a Vehicle
Operator and Vehicle
Dispatcher.  Willie loved his
new job but he still wanted
to be an artist for the Air
Force.  He tried on many
occasions to retain into
graphic arts but his
retraining application was
rejected each time.  Willie
eventually gave up the
pursuit to retrain.

While stationed in
Germany, Willie was
assigned many duties to
including base taxi driver.  
It was during this time he
was given an assignment
to be the chauffer driver for
two artists who were
members of the Air Force
Art Program.  He met the
artists and introduced
himself.  After driving the
artists to several locations,
he began to ask
questions.  He soon
learned he could still be an
artist for the Air Force but it
would not be easy.  The
artists told him that the
artists in the Art Program
were professionals and
they only take the best
work.  Willie wrote down all
everything they said and
began his quest to be
accepted into the Air Art
Program.
After being assigned back
stateside at Malmstrom Air
Force Base, MT, Willie
contacted the Art Program
manager, Ms. Alice Price, at
the Pentagon and got the
real scoop.  He would have
to create and original piece
of artwork and submit
three 35MM slides of it to
be juried by a panel of
artists.  Willie decides to
draw a picture of his
favorite aircraft, the P-51
Mustang.  He had plenty of
information on the plane
but it needed to have some
historic value.  He
researched some World
War II fighter groups and a
fighter ace, Major George
E. Preddy Jr., stood out.  
After completing the
research, he was ready to
get started.
It took several weeks to
complete the drawing and
Willie was satisfied with the
results.  He photographed
it and sent the slides and
his personal information in
before the deadline in
March.   Willie called Ms.
Price in April to get word
on jury process.  Ms. Price
told him he was one of 155
entries and they had not
gotten to me yet.  She told
to be patient and call back
next month.  He did call
back in May and the results
were the same, nothing
yet.  Hope was fading and
his dream of getting into
the program was starting
to look like a shot in the
dark.  Willie called to check
once more in June and he
was in the last batch of
entries being juried.  After
hearing that, the candle
flickered and faded.  He
gave up hope and turned
his attention to improving
his artwork so maybe next
time he will make it.
During the month of July
1989, Willie was called into
his supervisor’s office to
take an important call from
the Pentagon.  Ms. Price
told him he was accepted
into the Air Force Art
Program and he was one
of 11 artists chosen out of
155.  His entry Cripes A’
Mighty 3RD is one of his
favorite pieces of work.
Willie has completed works
honoring many Air Force
leaders and historical
periods in time.  He has 14
pieces of art in the Air
Force Art Collection and
that number is growing.  
Each of his military
assignments has brought
new inspirations and new
pieces of artwork to follow.
Willie has over 24 years
active duty service and
plans to retire September 1,
2006.  He has been
assigned to eight
permanent duty stations,
four overseas and four
stateside.  He also served
in Operations Desert
Storm, Southern Watch,
and Iraqi Freedom and
many peace-time
deployments.
Call us at 1-314-416-1169
Detail of "Cripes A Mighty 3rd"
Click on image below to enlarge.
Here at Ozark Airfield Artworks we offer a large selection art prints. These prints
mainly depict modern and historic aviation along with military, civil and space flight. We
also deal with naval subjects and military armor and infantry works. These prints are
from all the top national and international artists along with some local artists. Many of
our prints are signed by the artist and by famous pilots and veterans. If you are looking
for a specific plane, pilot, artist or subject please contact us.
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Cripes A Mighty 3rd, by
artist Willie Jones Jr.   is a
limited edition print of Maj
George E. Pretty Jr.'s P-51.  
Maj Preddy is the highest
scoring Mustang ace in
history.  He shot down 6
enemy aircraft during a
single engagement while
flying Cripes A mighty 3rd
on 6 Aug 1944.
limited Edition Print signed and numbered
$40.00