32. "McWhorter Downs Two" - On 29 Janurary, 1944, Navy pilot
Lt. Hamilton McWhorter III of VF-9, USS Essex,
shot down two Mitsubishi A6M3 "Hamps' over the Kwajalein Atoll. Painting by Jim Laurier.
33. "Pappy Boyington" - The famous Marine ace (and former Flying Tiger) is shown in combat with another member of his "Black Sheep Squadron", VMF-214. Painting by Jim Laurier.
34. "Off To The Turkey Shoot" - David McCampbell's F6F Hellcat is seen just after taking off of the USS Essex on June 19, 1944. On this day McCampbell would achieve seven aerial victories during what would later be known as the "Great Marianas Turkey Shoot". Painting by Stan Stokes.
35. "The Marianas Turkey Shoot" by Roy Grinnell. Twelve-victory ace Lt. (jg) Alex Vraciu is seen on June 19, 1944 attacking a group of Yokosuka D4Y2 "Judy" dive bombers. Vraciu shot down six of the Japanese planes on this one mission.
36. "Unlucky Seven" by Roy Grinnell. On June 19, 1944 Commander David McCampbell scores his seventh victory of the day by splashing a Japanese Zeke that was attacking a Navy SOC seaplane engaged in rescuing a downed pilot. McCampbell went on to become the Navy's top-ranked ace with 34 victories.
37. "Beachhead fly-by" (actual title unknown) by Robert Taylor. Two Corsairs check out a downed Japanese aircraft on the beach during a low-level flyover.
38. "Gunfight Over Rabaul" by Nicholas Trudgian. While protecting a force of U.S. Army bombers attacking Rabaul harbor below, a pair of Corsairs engage the hornet's nest of Japanese fighters trying to defend their base.
39. "Flight Out of Hell" by Nicholas Trudgian. Lt. Nate Gordon's Black Cat PBY Catalina takes off after having rescued the downed crew of a B-25 bomber. The PBY is under fire from Japanese ground units on the nearby island. Gordon received the Medal of Honor for his rescues that day. For more information on this event, see my website "Black Cat PBY Catalinas".
40. "Buell & Company" by Rick Herter. SB2C Helldivers, led by LT Harold L. "Hal" Buell, rendezvous after a devastating attack on the Japanese carrier Zuikaku in the Philippine Sea, 20 June 1944. Buell was wounded during the attack, in which his group scored three of the eight hits on the enemy carrier. The Zuikaku was damaged so severely that she never again launched a combat strike from her decks. Buell and three others in his "company" earned Navy Crosses for this mission.
41. "Home To Roost" by Richard Allison. A Grumman Hellcat returns to the USS Ticonderoga after a sortie in late 1944. The canvas backdrop behind the LSO can barely be seen on the port side of the stern.
42. "Lance of the Samurai" by Stan Stokes. The Kawanishi N1K2-J (Allied codename "George") was an excellent Japanese naval fighter that first saw combat in the Phillipines in 1944. When flown by a good pilot, a George was a match for any Allied fighter in the air at that time. This painting shows a dogfight between Georges and Hellcats.
43. Corsair painting by Jim Laurier. A flight of Marine Corsairs return to their island air base.
44. "Salute to the Jolly Rogers" by Domenic DeNardo. F4U-1A Corsairs of the U.S. Navy Squadron VF-17 (known as the Jolly Rogers) patrol near the Solomon Islands in 1944. This was the Navy's most famous fighter squadron, having destroyed 127 Japanese aircraft in 75 days of combat. The squadron included 15 aces; Lieutenant Ira C. "Ike" Kepford, flying #29, was the leading ace, having downed 16 enemy aircraft.
45. "Too Close For Comfort" by Tom Freeman. The Battle of Leyte Gulf, during the return to the Philippine Islands, was one of the greatest naval battles of all time. This painting depicts the attack on the Japanese aircraft carrier Zuikaku on October 25, 1944. LtJG Donald D. Engen exits the combat area in his Helldiver, narrowly avoiding another Japanese ship.
46. "Mission Beyond Darkness" by Robert Taylor. In the foreground of this painting the SB2C Helldiver of Lieutenant Ralph Yaussi, its tanks dry, has ditched near the carrier USS Lexington at night. As Yaussi and his gunner James Curry clamber out of the sinking aircraft, the Fletcher class destroyer USS Anthony, her 24 inch searchlight ablaze, is moving in to make the pick-up. This painting helps one to appreciate the chaos and confusion of that infamous night during the Battle of the Philippine Sea.
47. "Kaiser Coffin Corsair" by Stan Stokes. An F4U Corsair is on final approach to a Casablanca class escort carrier during WW II. These escort carriers, built by Kaiser shipbuilders, were lightly armored and considered by some as easy to sink, hence the painting's name.
48. "Easy Kill Over Luzon" by Jim Laurier. Hellcats flown by "Lin" Lindsay and Albert Seckel of VF-12 get a victory over a Jap "George" about 10 miles SE of Clark Field, Luzon, Philippines. Note the Japanese pilot parachuting just a BIT too late....
49. "Last Voyage of the Yamato" by Stan Stokes. Avenger torpedo bombers from the second U.S.S. Yorktown attack the giant Japanese battleship in April 1945.
50. "Maj. R. Bruce Porter Marine Night Fighter Ace" by Jim Laurier. April 1945 - Marine ace Robert Bruce Porter, VMF-542(N) climbs up out of Yon Tan airfield, Okinawa, in his nightfighter Hellcat (note the radar dome on the starboard wing).
51. "Angels Of Okinawa" - An F4U Corsair attacks a Japanese bomber, whose wing breaks off, preventing it from reaching the American aircraft carrier seen in the background. The Corsairs protecting the invasion fleet off of Okinawa earned themselves the nickname "Angels of Okinawa" by shooting down many of the incoming Japanese kamikazes. Painting by Stan Stokes.
52. "Victory Flyover" by Robert Taylor. Just after the
signing of the Surrender documents on board the USS Missouri, a mighty armada of
American aircraft swept over Tokyo Bay heralding in the peace.
The following series of paintings are from the Valiant Clan series, painted by artist Tony Weddel. Over thirty of the 72 prints in this series are still available from Glenn Illustrators for an average of only $10 per print. (Click here to visit the Glenn Illustrators website.)
Douglas TBD Devastator In this painting, TBD Devastators of USS Yorktown's VT-5 engage Japanese ships in the Battle of Tulagi, a minor prelude to the Battle of the Coral Sea in May of 1942. In two separate attacks the TBDs launched a total of 22 torpedoes in Tulagi harbor, but their only success was the sinking of the minesweeper Tama Maru. This was probably due to the poor quality of the aerial torpedoes, and the inexperience of the American flight crews.
Consolidated PBY Catalina One of the more famous roles of the PBY was as a rescue aircraft. Many "May Day" victims owed their lives to the "Cats" or "Dumbos", as the great craft were fondly called. This painting shows a Catalina as it begins cranking down its wingtip floats in preparation for a water landing somewhere in the Coral Sea. Two more airmen will be saved to fight again.
Brewster F2A Buffalo The only combat action involving Buffalos (in U.S. hands) was at the Battle of Midway, where the Marine pilots of VMF-221 flew from the island's airbase and intercepted an incoming Japanese aerial strike. Several Val dive bombers fell to the Buffaloe's guns, but they were quickly jumped by Zeros and most were shot down in the ensuing battle. Buffaloes were then withdrawn from front-line duties and never used by U.S. forces in combat again.
Grumman F4F Wildcat In this painting two F4Fs from the Yorktown's VF-42 rise up out of the flak from the damaged but fighting Japanese carrier Shokaku during the Battle of the Coral Sea. The F4Fs protected the Dauntless dive bombers who planted 3 bombs into the Shokaku, which resulted in it missing the Battle of Midway a mere month later.
Douglas SBD Dauntless This painting shows elements of Lieutenant Commander Clarence W. McClusky's eighteen SBD dive bombers from the USS Enterprise as they plunge from 17,000 feet to pulverize the Japanese carrier Soryu during the Battle of Midway on June 4, 1942. Despite attacks by a variety of U.S. aircraft, only the Dauntlesses were able to score any hits. The victory at Midway turned the tide of the war in the Pacific.
Grumman TBF Avenger The Avenger was first used in combat in June of 1942 at the Battle of Midway. Only six examples were available at that time, and they arrived too late to be put aboard the U.S. carriers enroute to the battle. These six were deployed from the airbase on Midway Island, and the pilots of Torpedo Squadron 8 were the first to sight and attack the Japanese fleet. The heroism of VT-8 is reflected here as we see Lieutenant A.K. Bert Earnest piloting Avenger 8-T-1 through withering fire as he hurtles toward his target, the Japanese carrier Akagi on June 4, 1942. All of the other Avengers were lost, with 8-T-1 being the sole survivor of the group. This plane was badly shot up with the radio operator dead and the bombardier wounded, barely making it back to base.
Chance-Vought F4U Corsair The Corsairs were mainly used by the U.S. Marines, who usually flew them from island bases, rather than from carriers. This is because the Corsair was initially thought to be unsuitable for carrier use due to visibility problems with the long nose during landing. In late 1944 this was proved to be untrue, and some Corsairs found themselves temporarily operating off of Navy carriers as additional fighter resources. This painting portrays Marine Corsairs of VMF-124 (temporarily stationed on the USS Essex) as they break up a Japanese kamikaze attack over the Phillipines in late 1944.
Grumman F6F Hellcat This action portrays the F6F-5 "Minsi II", flown by the Air Group Commander of VF-15 (Fabled Fifteen) off the carrier Essex. Here Commander David McCampbell is engaged with Japanese aircraft over the Phillipines on October 24, 1944. Commander McCampbell and his wingman intercepted 60 enemy aircraft enroute to an attack on the U.S. Fleet, and in the ensuing fight he shot down nine of the enemy and forced them to abandon their attack. He received the Congressional Medal of Honor for this action.
Curtiss SB2C Helldiver This painting shows a Helldiver pilot from the USS Hancock (part of Halsey's Third Fleet) on the day after the Battle of Leyte Gulf (October 26th, 1944), as he dives on one of the fleeing remnants from Admiral Ozawa's shattered fleet. Four Japanese carriers, a cruiser, and a number of destroyers were sunk during this battle.
Vought OS2U Kingfisher The Vought Kingfisher was an observation aircraft whose intended role was as a gunnery spotter for the cruisers and battleships from which it operated. On occasion it was also used as a rescue aircraft for downed pilots. On July 27, 1944 a Kingfisher from the USS Columbia has landed in the harbor of Japanese-held Yap Island in the Carolines, in order to rescue the crew of an American Avenger torpedo bomber that has crashed there. The Kingfisher picked up all three of the TBM's crew, and is now seen taxiing out to sea while under fire from the guns on the island. A pair of Hellcats overhead is attempting to provide suppressive covering fire. (Note: this print is no longer available.)
Nakajima Ki-43 Oscar The Ki-43 (code-named "Oscar" by the Allies) was a Japanese Army Air Force fighter. It usually did not have much of a role in the naval air war, except as a target for American Navy fighters. Near the war's end, however, all sorts of Japanese aircraft found themselves impressed into the role of the kamikaze. This Oscar is carrying a 500-pound bomb towards the burning U.S. carrier Franklin during the invasion of Okinawa in April of 1945. Will he be able to hit his target? (Note: this print is no longer available.)
More Valiant Clan prints are shown here.
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