There are episodes in the history of warfare which define the turning point and change the way
wars are fought.
On April 13th, 1972, The North Vietnamese launched a fierce attack with approximately 40 tanks
and supporting troops upon the provincial capital of An Loc, eighty miles north of Saigon. The
town was defended by South Vietnamese troops and a small contingent of American advisors,
commanded by Col. William Miller, US Army.
The defenders were quickly overwhelmed and the situation described became desperate. A
column of Soviet made T-54 tanks had penetrated the defenses to within a few yards of the
American Command Bunker.
Fortunately, the 1st Calvary Division, Battery F, 79th Artillery, otherwise known as the Blue Max,
was on station. Two AH-1 Cobra Attack Helicopters responded, crewed by CWO Barry McIntyre,
Major Larry McKay, 1/Lt. Steve Shields, and Capt. Bill Causey and were armed with the newly
developed HEAT 2.75" rockets, which had never been tested in combat.
In a daring and entirely untried manuever, the Cobras rolled in and attacked the three enemy
T-54's that had approached to within a few yards of Col. Miller's Command Bunker. The first 2.75"
rockets launched by McIntyre and McKay destroyed the lead tank, halted the attack, and began
what can be accurately described as a rout by the Blue Max.
With this bold action, McIntyre and McKay became the first helicopter pilots in history to destroy
an enemy tank and demonstrated the lethal capability of the Attack Helicopter as a weapon that
would entirely change the face of war.
In The Defense of An Loc artist Dru Blair brings to life this turning point in history. The three
T-54's threatening Col. Miller's bunker are seen at the moment that the first pair of rockets impact
on the lead tank. The product of extensive research. The Defense of An Loc was assembled from
interviews with eyewitnesses and aerial and ground photos taken during the battle.
A Limited Edition of only 750 prints, The Defense of An Loc is reproduced on 100 lb. Museum
Quality Archival Acid Free stock, and is individually inspected and signed by the artist. A
Certificate of Authenticity is provided with each print.
In addition, each print is countersigned by Lt. Col. McKay (RET) and CWO McIntyre, "Serpent 6",
the crew who were responsible for the first successful helicopter attach upon an armored force,
and Col. William Miller, "Tunnel 10". US Army (RET), the senior ground commander at An Loc.
More information about the aircrew members who served in Vietnam during the period 1961-75
can be found at the Vietnam Helicopter Flight Crew Network
"This has to count among the two most difficult paintings I have ever attempted due to the
challenge of obtaining complete photo reference. I ended up assembling the scenario from a
dozen aerial and half dozen ground shots to complete the painting. It took over a year to finalize
this piece, but I thought it significant in the history of helicopters." ~Dru Blair-1994
Limited Edition print
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.
Copyright © Ozark Airfield Artworks 2005 All Rights Reserved
All images are copyrighted by the individual artist and may not be
reproduced without their consent.
"The Defense of Anloc"
25" X 29"