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Portraits of Flight
Celebrating 100 years of
American Naval Aviation

at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum

The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum is partnering with the American Society of Aviation Artists to present an exhibition of some of the finest examples of Naval Aviation art.

On display from May 29 - September 5, 2011
This presentation is accessible to all museum visitors
at no extra charge.

In early 1898 the United States Navy, at the urging of the then Assistant Secretary of the Navy Theodore Roosevelt, was considering the future potential of a machine that was yet to be invented: a flying machine. A new and exciting technology was seemingly on the threshold of emergence. A little more than five years later Orville and Wilbur Wright’s successful flights at Kitty Hawk ushered in a new age, the age of manned, powered flight.
By 1910 the American Navy realized that the new flying machines offered great possibilities, but they had no airplanes and no pilots. The Navy turned to aviation inventors and visionaries like Glenn Curtiss and Eugene Ely to prove this new technology. Through their work and perseverance, the skeptical Navy leadership began to see the potential for shipboard aviation. Early the next year Lt. Theodore “Spuds” Ellyson became the first U.S. naval officer assigned to aviation. By mid-1911 the Navy had purchased its first airplane from Curtiss, and Ellyson had flown it, becoming Naval Aviator Number 1. From this humble beginning grew the most powerful and respected naval air force in the world.

Presented here, in the media of fine art, is a sampling of paintings depicting precise moments in the
100 years of U.S. naval aviation history.

Scroll down to view the paintings in the show
Opening Reception, May 28, 2011p

Rear Admiral Ted Branch speaks at the opening reception


From left to right: Rear Admiral Ted N. Branch- Commander, Naval Air Force Atlantic, Patricia Beene - Museum CFO, Susan Marenoff-Zausner- President, Keith Ferris- American Society of Aviation Artists (ASAA) founding member, Eric Boehm- Aircraft Restoration, David Winters- Executive Vice President
 

Richard Allison
Beauty and the Beast
(36” X 24” Oil)

Nicknamed “The Beast,” the Curtiss SB2C Helldiver was the last dive bomber built for the United States Navy.  Entering service in November, 1943, the Helldiver did not have the range of the earlier SBD Dauntless.  However, it was much faster despite its increased size.  It also carried a much larger bomb load.  Initially disliked by those who flew it, it proved to be a rugged and dependable design.

 

The aircraft depicted here is from the USS Intrepid.  During the Battle of the Sibuyan Sea, October 24, 1944, aircraft from the Intrepid and four other carriers attacked a force of Japanese warships, sinking the super-battleship Musashi.    

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Steve Anderson
Highest Traditions
(20” X 40” Acrylic)

On September 10, 1952, Major Jesse Folmar and his wingman were attacked by a total of eight MiG 15 jet fighters. Major Folmar did a reverse turn on the MiG leader and shot him down with a five-second burst of his 20 mm cannons. This was the only jet kill by an American piston-driven aircraft during the Korean War. The artist is proud that Major Jesse Folmar, Ret., is his first cousin once removed.

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Gerry Asher
Summer of '45
(24” X 36” Oil)

A Grumman F7F-2N Tigercat night fighter launches from MCAS Eagle Mountain Lake, Texas on a summer afternoon in the waning days of the war in the Pacific. Originally conceived as a Naval Air Station, it was eventually turned over to the Marines, although the Navy continued to operate the seaplane ramp as a stopover point for transcontinental flying boat operations, as well as a hurricane evacuation haven for Gulf-based seaplanes. The F7F is flown here by CAPT Donald B. Welsh, USMC, a combat veteran of the Marianas campaign. Welsh had recently returned from flying F6F Hellcats with VMF(N)-531 on Guam, and was anticipating deployment with this newly formed Tigercat squadron against the Japanese when the war ended. Welsh eventually retired as a Boeing 747 captain with United Airlines in the early 1980s; he passed away in 1980.

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Gerry Asher
Cougar at the Bird Farm
(16” X 20” Oil)

A Grumman TF-9J Cougar prepares to land aboard USS LEXINGTON somewhere in the Gulf of Mexico in 1968. A two-seat trainer version whose lineage could be traced to the F9F Panther design of Korean War fame, it was relegated to target towing duties when it was replaced by the Douglas TA-4 Skyhawk.

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Hank Caruso
Loaded for Bear (Under the Sea and in the Air)"
(11” X 14” Ink & Prismacolor)

During the Cold War, the US Navy kept the former Soviet Union under surveillance with Grumman's AF-2 Guardian hunter  (AF-2W "Guppy")/killer (AF-2S "Scrapper") team (1949-1954) (lower right); Lockheed's Neptune series (1945-1978), represented by the P2V-7 (P-2H) (right center); Lockheed's PO-2W (WV-2) Warning Star (1954-1976) (top); Grumman's S2F-1 (S-2A) Tracker  or "Stoof" (1952-1977) (bottom left); and Grumman's WF-2 (E-1B) Tracer, aka "Willy Fudd" or "Stoof with a Roof" (1957-1973).

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Hank Caruso
Not on My Homeland You Don't"
(11” X 14” Ink & Prismacolor)

A salute to the Tailhook community, defending the homeland and freedom around the world.  Surrounding the carrier deck sporting the First Navy Jack design are the F/A-18E Super Hornet, E-2C Hawkeye, EA-6B Prowler, F-14 Tomcat, F/A-18D Hornet, C-2A Greyhound, SH-60R Seahawk, and S-3B Viking.

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David Flynt
The Last Mile
(14.125” X 30.125” Acrylic on illustration board)

After traveling more than half a million miles to the moon and back, Apollo astronauts depended upon men with the courage to jump from helicopters into the open ocean to help them travel the last mile. Here swimmers from UDT-13 jump from an SH-3D Sea King of the "Black Knights" to secure flotation collars around the Apollo 12 Command Module "Yankee Clipper" on November 24, 1969. SH-3D Bu. No. 152711 or “66”, flown this day by Cdr W.E. Ault, was the prime recovery helicopter for 5 Apollo missions.

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Keith Ferris
John Glenn and Friendship 7
(18” X 24” Oil)

America’s first man to orbit earth was, then Lt. Colonel (later, Senator) John H. Glenn who completed a three orbit flight in the Project Mercury space capsule Friendship 7 on February 20, 1962.  The purpose of the flight was to demonstrate the importance of man’s flying skills and judgment in the future of space exploration.

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Keith Ferris
The Future of Naval Aviation
(28” X 42” Oil)

Part of a project for a 2003 magazine special issue commemorating 100 Years of Powered Flight, this painting shows the future F-35C catching the number three wire of aircraft carrier Harry S. Truman, as additional F-35Cs prepare to follow it aboard.

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George Guzzi
Super Hornet Back to the Nest
(24” X 30” Acrylic)

This painting depicts the first carrier landing of the F/A-18F Super Hornet.  The Hornet landed on the deck of the U.S.S. John C. Stennis (CVN-74) on Jan.18,1997. The pilot as Lt.Frank Morley.

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Sean Hays
Prowler
(15” X 30” Oil)

The EA-6B Prowler has been the premier tactical Electronic Attack Aircraft in the US inventory for the past 35 years. Its mission is the Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses; keeping enemy radars from targeting friendly fighters with Surface to Air Missiles. Puget 553, here depicted returning from a HARM training flight, is assigned to VAQ-129, the Prowler Fleet Replacement Squadron. This was the first Prowler the artist flew while qualifying as an Electronic Counter Measures Officer as a young ensign.

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John Hume
MiG Bounce
(21 1/2 x 27 Alkyd)

A section of U.S. Navy F-4B Phantom IIs of VF-21 are surprised by a pair of North Vietnamese MiG-17s popping up from the undercast. VF-21 later scored some of the first MiG kills of the Vietnam War while deployed aboard USS Midway during June, 1965. F-4B Bureau Number 152219/NE-102 was flown by Lt. Cmdr. Doremus and Lt. Batson on June 17, 1965 when they shot down their MiG.

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Sharon Rajnus
Boeing PB-1, US Navy
(30” X 22” Transparent Watercolor)

In 1925  the U.S. Navy was looking for a reliable design to fly over thousands of miles of ocean to Hawaii. The PB1 was Boeing’s  contribution to the search.  Powered by two 800hp Packard engines mounted in tandem, it was one of the largest flying boats of its day. This image won Best of Show at ASAA, and First Place at the National Museum of Naval Aviation.

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Peter Ring
When I Grow Up
(23.5” X 17.5” Acrylic)

This is an FA-18A Hornet at the Otis AFB open house air show in Sandwich/Mashpee, MA in 1987. The day started out very warm and nice for an air show, however being at the Cape, it had its drawbacks like fog that just blew in and made it very cold. That's why this little boy, (my son) in the painting is wearing an oversized sweater, (mine). He is now an accomplished Commercial pilot himself.

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Norm Siegel
Operation Ten-Gone
(48” X 36” Oil)

Operation Ten-Gone” is a word play on the Japanese mission “Operation Ten-Go”. A kamikaze mission to beach the largest battleship in the world, Yamato advanced on Okinawa to prevent U.S. forces from securing a beachhead in April, 1945. En route, the Yamato and several support vessels were attacked in several waves starting at 12:30 pm with bombs, rockets and torpedoes by 386 aircraft. Corsairs, Hellcats, TBF Avengers and SBD-2s launched from eleven carriers including Bunker Hill, Hornet, Yorktown and Intrepid attacked for two hours sending the most heavily-armed and armored battleship ever, to the bottom.



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Norm Siegel
Out From the Hornet's Nest
(26” X 30” Oil)

On the rainy morning of April 18, 1942, General Jimmy Doolittle’s B-25 lifts off from the USS Hornet into a 50 mph gale. We all know the rest.



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Craig Slaff
Alpha Strike Haiphong
(24” X 30” Oil)

In mid April of 1967, the winter monsoon finally released its IFR hold on North Vietnam.  President Lyndon Johnson's administrations had decided to push the North to the peace talks by lifting the restrictions and allowing bombing of industrial targets around Hanoi and Haiphong. The painting Alpha Strike Haiphong depicts the second wave of the day led by Marvin Quaid as he led VA -212 about to go "feet dry" over Cat Ba Beach HaiPhong.

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Craig Slaff
Winter at Valley Forge
(16” X 20” Oil)

The USS Valley Forge battles winter squalls as she brings in her night F-4U-5NL from VC-3.  Too slow for fighter interceptions, the pilots of VC-3 were successful in night interdictions of convoys of men, tanks and supplies behind enemy lines.

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Craig Slaff
Ice Patrol
(16” X 20” Oil)

With the sinking of the Titanic to an iceberg in 1912 and the shocking loss of life, the American Coast Guard accepted the assignment of spotting and charting the movement of icebergs for the international maritime community.  Since the acceptance of this mission, no ship has been lost to an iceberg since.

Coast Guard C-130s would fly regular ice patrols to spot and mark icebergs. Icebergs would be hit with dye markers on low flyovers to aid in the identification and movement of icebergs, information which is shared with the international maritime community.

 

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Eldon Slick
Trapeze Artists of the USS Akron Visit Baltimore - 1932
(9” X 49” Oil)

The rigid airships Akron (ZRS-4) and Macon (ZRS-5), could carry 5 small aircraft which would scout the seas for enemy ships and submarines.  It was said that they would be the eyes of the fleet while the hook-up planes would be the eyes of the airship.  A trapeze configuration would lower, launch and retrieve the Curtiss F9C Sparrowhawk fighters that were stored in an onboard hanger.  The Akron was lost at sea on April 4, 1933 with Admiral William Moffett among the dead.  Coupled with the tragic loss of the Macon 2 years later this noble experiment of 5 years came to an end.

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William F. Storm
Marine Helicopter
(14.25” X 10.25” Acrylic and Watercolour on canvas)

It seemed long ago, but thinking for a moment it was more so long, long ago and far away. My first ride in corps was in a helicopter like this one. As we climbed in the pilot said “When we crash I’ll try to keep the door side up.” I sat there, probably wide eyed, watching the rivets spin in worn out holes as we lifted off. And we didn’t crash…and it was maybe…well more than maybe it was even longer ago and far away. Semper Fi.

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Kevin Weber
Capt. Bruce Weber, Navy Cross
(25” X 30” Oil)

Capt. Bruce Weber, commander of the VF-31 Meat Axers, scores a direct hit on the IJN Battleship Ise during the attack on Kure Harbor in Japan. He was awarded the Navy Cross for this action.

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Andy Whyte
Korean Angel
(21 1/2” X 28 1/2” Oil)

The Korean War brought the helicopter into prominence as a useful military aircraft.  THe Sikorsky S-55 was used not only as a troop carrier, but as a lifesaver bringing wounded soldiers rapidly to a hospital ship.

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Andy Whyte
Hard Landing
(24” X 30” Oil)

The O2U-1 “Vought Corsair” Scout aircraft was launched by catapult from a battleship or cruiser.  The mission was long range observation and gun spotting, and then had the difficult problem of landing — in the open ocean, to be retrieved and placed back aboard the ship.  The O2U-1’s were operational with the Navy during the early 1930s.

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For more on the show, please visit the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum Click here