Advantage Cunningham
24" x 36" oil (1982)
Collection of Randall H. "Duke" Cunningham
Mark Waki

 

1400 Hours, 10 May 1972, 40 miles north of Nam Dinh, North Vietnam. In one of aerial warfare's greatest dogfights, LT Randy "Duke" Cunningham and his RIO LT(JG) Willie Driscoll are seconds away from becoming America's first aces of the Vietnam War. This kill, their third of the day, ended the career of 13 victory ace Colonel Toon.

LT Cunningham's F-4J "Showtime 100" is doing 250 knots, and is 40 to 50 degrees angle off and 1500 feet from Col. Toon's MiG-17F Fresco-C.

Artist's Note: It is now known "Col Toon" was a product of wartime propaganda. North Vietnam generally painted the kills scored by the aircraft rather than the pilot on its fighters. The pilot encountered by Cunningham and Dricsoll during this engagement was significantly more skilled than most NVAF pilots.

 

 
This painting was reproduced as a signed and numbered limited-edition lithograph. The prints are signed by Commander Randy "Duke" Cunningham and the artist. The edition is sold out and is no longer available. It was also the cover art for "Fox Two" by Randy Cunningham.