M4A3 76mm Sherman tank
Screen colors may vary from print colors
Print Size: 32" x 20"
All prints are sold unframed

"Unstoppable"
An American Team of Armor and Air

a fine art print by

April 1945: At dawn, American Sherman tanks continue the advance into Germany. Ahead lies enemy armor, anti-tank guns, and desperate soldiers defending their homeland.

The odds are against the American tankers. In armored combat, the defender often shoots first and for every Sherman damaged, the stats say that one of the American boys inside will be killed and another, wounded.

Despite these harsh realities, the tankers charge forward, fueled by faith in one another and the angels on their shoulders—the P-47s. As the tankers pass a smoldering Tiger I, they know that the flyboys have brought them one mile closer to victory. From here to the end, this American team will prove unstoppable.

LESS THAN HALF REMAIN!

Only 100 numbered prints, signed by
Gareth Hector & 6 WWII veterans:

- "Hell Hawk" P-47 pilot Herb Prevost!

- "Spearhead" tank gunner Clarence Smoyer,
the Panther killer of Cologne!

- Omaha Beach tanker Bill Gast!

- Plus three more distinguished veterans!

INCLUDES:
- Pins representing some of the signers' units,
to matte with your print
- Reproduction photos of tankers and
"Hell Hawk" pilots to matte with your print
-
Color COA with "History Behind the Art" trivia

Medic Al Mampre

All prints are sold unframed

INTERNATIONAL:
$275 + $65 SH

USA: $275 + $25 SH
CO residents add 4% tax

LESS THAN HALF REMAIN!

Only 100 numbered prints, signed by
Gareth Hector & 4 WWII veterans:

- "Hell Hawk" P-47 pilot Archie Maltibe!

- "Spearhead" tank gunner Clarence Smoyer,
the Panther killer of Cologne!

- Plus two more distinguished veterans!

INCLUDES:
Color COA with "History Behind the Art" story

Medic Al Mampre

All prints are sold unframed

INTERNATIONAL:
$175 + $65 SH
USA: $175 + $20 SH
CO residents add 4% tax

SOLD OUT!
Contact us to be on the waiting list
in case one becomes available.

Only 100 numbered prints, each signed by artist
Gareth Hector and 10 WWII veterans:

- "Hell Hawk" P-47 pilots Archie Maltibe & Herb Prevost!


- "Fury" movie advisors & "Hell on Wheels"
tankers George Smilanich and Ray Stewart!

- "Spearhead" tank gunner Clarence Smoyer,
the Panther killer of Cologne!

- "Spearhead" tankers Les Underwood & Joe Caserta

- Plus three more distinguished veterans!

PACKAGE INCLUDES:
- Pins representing some of the signers' units,
to matte with your print
- Reproduction photos of tankers and
"Hell Hawk" pilots to matte with your print
-
Color COA with "History Behind the Art" trivia

45 canvas giclees & a 100 print Main Edition may be made available by Valor Studios in the future.
A Signer Proof edition of 100 prints exists for print signers.
   
NEW SIGNER!
Archie Maltbie
"Hell Hawks"
P-47 pilot
(bio below)
Herb Prevost
"Hell Hawks"
P-47 pilot
(bio below)
NEW SIGNER!
Michael Skovira

2nd Armored
Sherman gunner (in Ray Stewart's tank)
Joe Caserta
3rd Armored
Sherman commander
(bio below)
Bill Gast
743rd Tank Bn.
Omaha Beach
(bio below)

NEW SIGNER!
Bill Lehndorff

3rd Armored
36th Armored Infantry Reg.

George Smilanich
2nd Armored
Fury Consultant!

(bio below)
Clarence Smoyer
3rd Armored
Panther Killer
(bio below)
Ray Stewart
2nd Armored
Fury Consultant!

(bio below)
Les Underwood
3rd Armored
Sherman gunner
& Pershing commander
(bio below)
"HELL HAWK" P-47 pilot
ARCHIE MALTBIE

As a young P-47 pilot with the 388th Fighter SquAdron of the famed 365th Fighter Group, the "Hell Hawks," Archie often flew column support missions for the tankers of the 3rd Armored Division.

From the book, Thunderbolts of the Hell Hawks:

"Born in Kansas and resettled with his family in Turlock, California at the age of 13, Archie Maltbie had a confidence and ease about him that earned the respect and trust of pilots who flew with him.

On August 19th, 1944, he was flying Blue 3 position in a 12-plane formation searching the Seine for pontoon bridges.

He and his wingman were ordered down on the deck to check out military transports, and while rejoining were bounced by Me 109s. When Archie fired at one, it blew up, and debris struck his P-47, catching the engine on fire and bubbling gas into the cockpit.

Maltbie bailed out seconds before the P-47 exploded. While descending, his chute was holed by 20 mm bullets but he landed safely, beginning a remarkable eight-day evasion, during which he witnessed a P-47 straffing attack.

P-47s hit a German convoy, destroying three tanks and twenty caissons, and killing some 100 horses and dozens of Wehrmacht troops.

This profile is of the P-47 Maltbie flew March 15, 1945 when he downed a Ju 88. Maltbie became a flight leader and later, assistant operations officer, and led many missions in the final months of the European war."

To learn more about Archie's incredible evasion experience, check out this short film production.

Sherman gunner & M26 commander
LES UNDERWOOD

As a 19-year-old gunner in Shermans with the 3rd Armored Division, Les saw fierce combat in the division that would suffer the heaviest losses, of both men & tanks, of any armored unit in US history.

From the book, Spearhead in the West:

"(Sgt.) Humphries, searching wildly for a target, spotted a Mark V. His gunner, Cpl. Leslie Underwood, bounced five rounds off the heavy enemy vehicle. The Panther's return fire sent one round through the turret, another into the final drive. It was bail out or die . . .

. . . flushed with victory, the enemy closed in. Machine gun and rifle fire rattled off the broken tanks. Friendly artillery crashed into the advancing infantry but, drunk with success, the Kraut came on.

Underwood, lying in a ditch beside his tank, saw an American shellburst almost cover one Nazi. A second German threw the wounded man over his shoulder and still came staggering forward!

Most of the 3rd Armored Division men had made good their escape, but slight chance was offered to Underwood, Humphries, Carrion, and several others.

Humphries managed to crawl out of sight. Underwood played dead; he lay in the snow, face downward. A mortar shell landed close enough to burn his jacket, but he never moved.

Presently a group of Germans approached. One grabbed the "Spearhead" tanker by the collar and shook him..." read the rest of Les' story here.

"HELL HAWK" P-47 pilot
HERB PREVOST

As a 20-year-old P-47 pilot with the famed "Hell Hawks," Herb flew 117 combat missions during WWII starting in July 1944. Among them, is this memorable mission:

"Once, flying Arlo Henry's wing, we were out looking for targets along the Rhine, North of the Ruhr Valley, when we spotted two locomotives with steam up.

So, Arlo said for me to take the one on the right and he'd get the one on the left. Diving-in, I began firing from about 200 yards out. I hit my locomotive and it blew steam in the air as I went by, but I noticed the other took no hits.

I got on the radio and asked Arlo if I could finish off the other, and he replied, 'Go ahead.' So I headed up and out of town to set up my second pass from a different direction.

I was coming in low, down a road which led into the village near the tracks, and as I passed by a building I got a glimpse of a German soldier firing a sub-machine gun right at me through an open window. Of course he missed me as I was coming in so fast and he wasn't leading me quite far enough, but I'll never forget that sight.

As soon as I hit that second locomotive I made immediate evasive maneuvers and got out as fast as I could. Back at base I asked Arlo what had happened. He admitted, though he hated to, that he'd forgotten to turn on his gun switch before the first pass."

Following WWII, Herb reentered the Air Force, flying F-86 combat missions over Korea, and later, flying forward observation aircraft in Vietnam, where he was wounded. In his second Vietnam tour, Herb commanded an F-4 Phantom squadron.

At the time of his retirment, Herb had flown more than 480 combat missions in three wars! To hear some of Herb's flying stories, check out this video interview.

Color profile from the book: Thunderbolts of the Hell Hawks

FURY Consultant & Sherman Driver
RAY STEWART

WWII veteran from Gastonia shares war stories with ‘Fury’ star Brad Pitt by Joe DePriest

". . . actors present included Pitt and co-star Shia LaBeouf. Stewart was favorably impressed.

“Brad Pitt’s a nice guy – all of them were all right,” he said.

The veterans were asked to speak candidly about World War II.

“We got to talking and we started remembering things,” Stewart said. “We fought the war over again right in front of those movie guys. We looked around and saw them sitting there with their mouths open. They seemed sort of flabbergasted.”

Stewart shared some of his story, which began with getting drafted into the Army in 1942 at age 19. Assigned to the famed 2nd Armored “Hell on Wheels” Division, he landed at Omaha Beach in Normandy on June 9, 1944.

From there, he embarked on a 1,000-mile journey that ended in Berlin. Between those two locations, Stewart took part in many battles.

Two of his tanks were destroyed by bazooka fire, mortars or the much-feared 88 mm anti-aircraft, anti-tank guns.

“When you got hit you’d better get your butt out,” Stewart said. “Another round would be coming in three to five seconds.”

At the Battle of the Bulge Stewart’s division fought the German 2nd Panzer Division and captured many soldiers and vehicles.

In trying to capture the Adolf Hitler Bridge across the Rhine River, Stewart’s outfit ran into 33 anti-aircraft guns that knocked out 15 of the unit’s 17 Shermans.

Stewart remembers looking out across a “field of burning tanks”" . . . read the rest of Ray's story here.

FURY Consultant & Sherman Driver
GEORGE SMILANICH

WWII vet: 'Who the hell is Brad Pitt?' by Boyd Huppert, KARE

"Minn. – When asked to name the last movie he saw, George Smilanich jokingly says, "The Glenn Miller Story."

Which may explain his reaction when Brad Pitt came calling. "I said, 'Who the hell is Brad Pitt?'"

Smilanich isn't asking that question any more, after the WWII tank driver from Hibbing was flown to Hollywood last summer to consult on Brad Pitt's new movie "Fury."

"Fury" tells the story of a tank unit commanded by Pitt's character in the waning days of WWII.

Smilanich, 92, spent three years as a tank driver, taking him from the battles in Africa to the invasion at Normandy – from the Battle of the Bulge to the liberation of Holland and Belgium.

It's never been easy to talk about the slaughter he witnessed. "Kind of tough, there," he says, grasping for the right words. "I can't tell you, how it was."

Yet talk he did, for hours, with Brad Pitt and the film's other actors.

"They asked what life was like on a tank, what we did for excitement, what we were eating," said Smilanich, who was joined by three other WWII veterans in Hollywood.

Smilanich told the actors how he earned the Bronze Star for pulling his trapped commander from a burning tank – and about temperatures so cold his feet were blackened and nearly amputated from frostbite.

"I wouldn't give up my experiences if I had for a million dollars, but I wouldn't take five cents to go through it again," said Smilanich, Monday night" . . . watch George tell this story here.

Sherman Gunner & Panther Killer
CLARENCE SMOYER

Clarence joined the Army at 18 and was assigned to E-Company, 32nd Armored Regiment, 3rd Armored Division.

Clarence started out as a loader on a Sherman crew and landed with the division at Omaha Beach, two weeks after D-Day.

He vividly remembers the fierce fighting in the hedgerows, when his arms were often seared by the propellant exhaust after firing.

Clarence then became a gunner and fought throughout France and Belgium, where at the Battle of Mons, he knocked out a Mark IV tank and became an acting tank commander.

After punching through the Siegfried Line, for which his regiment earned a distinguished unit citation, Clarence fought in the Battle of the Bulge and in February 1945 was gunner on a crew that received one of twenty top secret T26 Pershing tanks.

Taking the Pershing into combat during the Battle of Cologne, Clarence knocked out another Mark IV and then, at the steps of the Cologne cathedral, a German Panther tank.

That tank duel was filmed and shown in every theater in America at the time and still remains the most seen tank duel in history.

After Cologne, the 3rd AD drove deep into Germany, encircling the Ruhr Pocket. During that drive, Clarence knocked out a self propelled gun and soon after, at Paderborn, he destroyed a Panther tank and saved the lives of his fellow tankers who had taken shelter in a nearby barn.

Clarence ended the war at the Elbe river in May 1945.

Sherman Tank Driver & Commander
JOE CASERTA
Born and raised in PA, Joe worked at a shipyard until he joined the Army at age 19. Assigned to E-Company (along with signer Clarence Smoyer), 32nd Armored Regiment, 3rd Armored Division, Joe started out as a Sherman tank driver and landed with the division at Omaha Beach two weeks after D-Day.

He fought with the division through Normandy, through Belgium and the Battle of Mons, through the Siegfried Line for which his regiment earned a distinguished unit citation, and onto the Battle of the Bulge.

During the Bulge, Joe was wounded and knocked unconscious by artillery for which he was awarded the Purple Heart. After the Bulge, Joe was promoted to commanding his own Sherman tank just in time for Easy Company's assault on the city of Cologne.

While fighting through the Cologne streets, the gear on the rear deck of Joe's Sherman was set aflame by enemy fire and threatening to engulf the tank. Joe climbed out and pushed the flaming gear off, saving the tank, and earning him a Bronze Star.

Joe fought until the war's end and to this day, considers himself "lucky to be here," especially given that the 3rd Armored Division lost more tanks than any other unit in American history.

After the war, Joe began an auto repair business and worked that until retiring in 1987. Today, he enjoys spending time with his family and sailing their classic wood 1969 Lyman boat.

Sherman Tank Driver on Omaha Beach!
WILLIAM GAST

D-Day: the view from a tank on Omaha Beach by Mathieu Rabechault

"Washington (AFP) – From inside his tank, the young soldier could see “practically nothing” on Omaha Beach.

Seventy years later, William Gast still wonders whether he rolled over his comrades sheltering from German gunfire that day. Gast was 19 years old the morning of June 6, 1944. “We came in at H-10, that was 10 minutes before the designated hour.”

He cannot recall why he and his fellow soldiers arrived early, but he has other memories that have never left him.

As part of Company A, 743rd Tank Battalion, 1st Army, Gast remembers the training beforehand in Britain, when he rehearsed driving the Sherman tank onto the landing craft. And then floating in the English Channel.

“Another night we went out and we didn’t come back. That was it.”

Gast got to know the captain of the landing craft that would ferry his tank to the beaches of Normandy. The skipper promised he would get them close enough that they would not be submerged in water, like so many tanks were that day.

He kept his word.

Another tank unit at Omaha Beach was less fortunate, with 27 of 32 tanks launched at sea five kilometers (three miles) from the coast sinking before they could reach land, despite being outfitted with a flotation screens.

“The order was given to go, we started our engines up, they lowered the ramp,” said Gast. Amid German shrapnel and sea spray, he “could feel the tracks spinning"" . . . read the rest of Bill's story here.

 

6. The front glacis on the M4A3E8 Sherman had an effective thickness of about 3.6 inches however this was still not enough armor to stand up to the incredible power of the German 75 mm & 88 mm guns.

7. The M4A3E8 Sherman featured a better HVSS suspension and twenty-three-inch wide tracks that significantly improved the ride and ground flotation when compared to earlier models of the Sherman.

8. The latest version of the Sherman, the M4A3E8, first saw combat in December 1944, and was powered by a 500 HP Ford engine and featured wet ammunition stowage. Of the nearly 50,000 Shermans produced, only 4,500 were the M4A3E8 "Easy Eight" model.

9. The Sherman tank enjoyed two advantages found within the turret: a stabilized gun and the ability to rotate the turret 360 degrees in a short 15 seconds.

10. Our tank commander, likely a sergeant or staff sergeant, steadies his nerves with a smoke while he rides out of the hatch which affords him better visibility than what he can get from looking through his periscope or bullet proof glass windows.

11. Designed to drive behind enemy lines, American tanks often had to carry enough supplies to operate independently from their supply trains for short periods of time. Here, our Sherman crew carries spare rations, bedding, clothing, water, and even a Nazi flag turned war souvenir.

 
1. "America's answer to the Tiger," the new 90mm M26 Pershing tank leads the assault. By the end of the war in Europe, 118 were operational in the ETO.

2. This much feared Tiger I has met its end at the hands of the P-47s. Despite their thinned numbers, the older Tiger I model was still encountered in April 1945, especially in the Paderborn area where the Wehrmacht armored school put fifteen into action.

3. Working hand in hand with the tanks are the "Blitz Doughs," armored infantrymen who are riding the tanks into battle. Upon entering enemy towns, the doughs would clear the homes as the tanks provided cover nearby.

4. P-47s from the "Hell Hawks," 365th FG, provide column support. To enable the best close air support possible, a fighter pilot turned forward air controller would ride with the tanks and call in air strikes like this.

5. This 76 mm gun, with the standard M62 armor piercing shell, could punch through an inch more armor than the shorter 75 mm gun seen on earlier models of the Sherman.

James Dietz
GARETH HECTOR

Born in 1973, Gareth found an early passion for painting and military history while growing up in Scotland.

He would go on to a successful career in the world of computer animation and digital painting, working on projects such as Medal of Honor, Doctor Who, and Halo.

In the aviation art field, Gareth's work most frequently appeared on the cover of Osprey publishing's aircraft books and on aviation magazines spanning Aviation History to Aeroplane.

In 2010, Gareth dusted off his oil paints and returned to his love of traditional painting after a 15 year hiatus.

Since his rebirth as an oil painter, his original paintings have found their way into the collections of the CIA, RAF and Marine fighter squadrons, and in private homes across the globe.

THE rising star in the world of military artwork, we're proud to bring "Unstoppable" to you now and look forward to bringing you more stunning works by Gareth in the coming future!
Valor Studios wishes to thank the following for their assistance with this project:
Don Barnes at HellHawksBook.com, Jack Slattery, and the distinguished veterans who made this print possible.