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Commencement Bay Class 

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Commencement Bay class Aircraft carriers of the US Navy, USS Commencement Bay, USS Block Island, USS Gilbert Islands, USS Kula Gulf, USS Cape Gloucester, USS Salerno Bay, USS Vella Gulf, USS Siboney, USS Puget Sound, USS Rendova, USS Bairoko, USS Badoeng Strait, USS Saidor, USS Sicily, US Point Cruz, USS Mindoro, US Rabaul, USS Palau and USS Tinian. All launched and commissioned into the US Navy in 1944-46. These escort aircraft carriers were the only escort carriers to be considered capable of operating post war.

Displacement: 18,908 tons,  Full load 21,397 tons.  Speed: 19 knots.   Compliment: 1066  Armament: two 5ins guns, thirty six 40mm guns,  and twenty 20mm AA guns.  33 aircraft.

USS Commencement Bay (CVE105) 9th May 1944 Used as a pilot training ship stationed in the Pacific. Reserve fleet in November 1946 she became a helicopter carrier in June 1955 as CVHE. Designated as AKV37 in May 1959 before scrapping after 1971.
USS Block Island (CVE106) 10th June 1944 Served in Pacific in 1945, became a school-ship after 1946. Served in the Atlantic in 1951 until put into reserve in 1954. Sold for breaking in 1959.
USS Gilbert Islands (CVE107) (Later USS Annapolis) 20th July 1944 Took part in Okinawa landings and served with the Pacific Fleet until 1945. Taken out of reserve in 1951 to serve in Korean War operations. Reserve in 1955, she was converted to a communications relay ship in 1961, renamed Annapolis. Served in Vietnam from 1965 -1969. Marked for scrapping in October 1976.
USS Kula Gulf (CVE108) 15th August 1944 Served in Pacific until end of WW2. Used for transport and training in 1950 during the Korean War. Served as anti submarine carrier in the Atlantic from 1953-55. Taken out of reserve and used as aircraft transport ship during Vietnam War. Scrapped in 1971.
USS Cape Gloucester (CVE109) 12th September 1944 Served in Pacific in July 1945. Put into reserve in 1946, became CVHE in June 1955. Marked for scrapping in 1971.
USS Salerno Bay (CVE110) 26th September 1944 Used for aircrew training but put into reserve in 1947. Became an anti submarine carrier in 1951 until 1954. Became AKV10 in May 1959 before being sold fro scrap in 1961.
USS Vella Gulf (CVE111) 19th October 1944 Used as a training ship and placed in reserve by August 1946. Designated CVHE108 in 1955, then AKV11 in May 1959. Marked for scrapping by 1970.
USS Siboney (CVE12) 9th November 1944 Served in Pacific at end of WW2. Reserve in 1947 but used as a transport ship in 1948. Removed from reserve in 1951 to serve in Korean War as anti submarine carrier. Served in Atlantic and the Med. Reserve by 1956 and scrapped in 1971.
USS Puget Sound (CVE113) 30th November 1944 After a short operational career, she was put into reserve fleet, becoming CVHE in July 1955 then AKV13 in May 1959. Scrapped 1962.
USS Rendova (CVE114) 28th December 1944 Used as a training ship in the Indian and Pacific oceans and saw service during Korean War. Scrapped in 1971.
USS Bairoko (CVE115) 25th January 1945 Served in the Korean War and took part in hydrogen bomb tests. Scrapped in Hong Kong in 1961.
USS Badoeng Strait (CVE116) 15th February 1945 Took part in Navy trials for anti submarine carriers during 1945-1951. Served during Korean War. Scrapped c.1971.
USS Saidor (CVE117) 17th March 1945 Used for studying photographic reconnaissance during Bikini Atoll tests. Scrapped in 1971.
USS Sicily (CVE118) 14th April 1945 Served in Korean War 1950-52. Reserve fleet in early 1960s then sold for scrap.
USS Point Cruz (CVE119) 18th May 1945 Used as a transport carrier in Vietnam War 1965-1970. Reserve fleet from 1947-51. Served in Korean War in 1953 before being scrapped in 1971.
USS Mindoro (CVE120) 27th June 1945 Used as a training ship and anti submarine carrier from 1946-1955. Became AKV20 before scrapping in 1960.
USS Rabaul (CVE121) 14th July 1945 Placed in reserve upon completion, becoming CVHE in 1955 and AKV21 in 1959. She was scrapped in 1972.
USS Palau (CVE122) 6th August 1945 Served in Atlantic with 6th Fleet and also as a transport ship. Scrapped in 1960.
USS Tinian (CVE123) 5th September 1945 Placed in reserve upon completion, becoming CVHE in 1955 and AKV23 in 1959. She was scrapped in 1971.

USS Mindoro

USS Mindoro (CVE120)

The Flight Deck of USS Mindoro (CVE120).  Thanks to Patrick Gerry

 

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AVIATION PRINTS

Click above to see all of our aviation art index - Eight random half price aviation items are displayed to the right.

Some Current Half Price Aviation Art Offers

 High above the trenches in April 1918, 74 Squadron engage the famed JG 1 led by the renowned ace baron von Richthofen in his distinctive bright red DR 1. Edward Mick mannock flying a SE5.a diving down top engage another Fokker Dr1 as the red baron flies past momentarily catching each others eyes. The new CO of 74 squadron, major Grid Caldwell MC (bar) New Zealands top ace can be seen above entering the dog fight. But it would be Mannock who would go on to great fame. with 61 confirmed victories and to win the VC, DSO (bar) and MC (bar) After 74 squadron he replaced Billy Bishop of CO 85 Squadron on the 3rd July 1918, scoring 46 victories in the Se5.a He was killed by ground fire near Lestram, France on the 26th July 1918. his Victoria Cross being gazetted on the 18th July 1919. The red baron CO of the Richthofens Flying circus didnt survive the month, also killed by ground fire on the 24th April, he was buried by the Allies with full military honours.

Dawn Dog Fight, Mick Mannock VC by Graeme Lothian.
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 Undoubtedly one of the truly great Aces of the First World War, William Billy Bishop became celebrated for his technique of actively seeking out the enemy and bringing the fight to him, rather than the more usual practice of patrolling in search of enemy activity. An example of this was his single-handed attack on a German airfield in June 1917 when he destroyed not only a number of aircraft on the ground, but then successfully despatched another seven Albatross scouts that took off to engage him. For this action, he was awarded the Victoria Cross in August 1917 and his final tally when the war ended was 72 confirmed victories. He is depicted here in his Nieuport Scout B1566 in combat with a Pfalz D.III.

Captain William Billy Bishop by Ivan Berryman. (GS)
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 Pushing the concept of the Spitfire almost to the limit, the sleek F Mk212 represented the ultimate in fighter design at the end of the Second World War. Powered by the mighty Griffon 61 engine driving a five blade propeller, its armament consisted of four 20mm British Hispano Cannon, two in each wing. This example is LA200 (DL-E) of 91 Sqn in 1945.

Spitfire F Mk21 by Ivan Berryman. (C)
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 Two Spitfire Mk1Bs of 92 Squadron patrol the south coast from their temporary base at Ford, here passing over the Needles rocks, Isle of Wight, in the Spring of 1942.

In Them We Trust by Ivan Berryman. (F)
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 Pinnacles of technology and nature at the roof of the world.  Northrop Grumman B2 Spirit from Wightman AFB, Missouri soars high over majestic snow-covered peaks, still climbing to its operational altitude of 50,000 feet.

The High and Mighty by Robert Tomlin. (Y)
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 Lynx Mk7 deplanes chalk, South Armagh.

Eagle Patrol by John Wynne Hopkins. (Y)
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 Phantom II of US Marine Corps, VMFA-531 (Grey Ghosts) Vietnam, Danang April 1965.

Phantom II by David Pentland.
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 En route to the dams of the Ruhr Valley, the first wave of three specially adapted Avro Lancasters roar across the Dutch wetlands on the night of 16 -17th May 1943 led by Wing Commander Guy Gibson, their mission to breach the Mohne and Eder dams, thus robbing the German war machine of valuable hydro-electric power and disrupting the water supply to the entire area. Carrying their unique, Barnes Wallis designed 'Bouncing Bomb' and flying at just 30m above the ground to avoid radar detection, 617 Squadron's Lancasters forged their way into the enemy territories, following the canals of the Netherlands and flying through forest fire traps below treetop height to their targets. Gibson's aircraft ('G'-George) is nearest with 'M'-Mother of Fl/Lt Hopgood off his port wing and 'P'-Peter (Popsie) of Fl/Lt Martin in the distance.

Dambusters - The First Wave by Ivan Berryman. (Y)
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NAVAL PRINTS

Click above to see all of our naval art index - Eight random half price naval items are displayed to the right.

Some Current Half Price Naval Art Offers

B146AP.  HMS Jamaica by Ivan Berryman.

HMS Jamaica by Ivan Berryman (AP)
Half Price! - £25.00
 HMS Vanguard in company with HMS Indefatigable.

HMS Vanguard by Ivan Berryman. (P)
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The USS Colorado holds the all time record of 37 consecutive days of firing at an enemy and the record of 24 direct enemy air attacks in 62 days both while at Okinawa.

USS Colorado Okinawa by Anthony Saunders. 
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 Having departed the Namsen Fjord in Norway, on a course home to England across the North Sea, HMS Arab was intercepted by a Heinkel He.115 and ordered to sail due east or be attacked.  His orders ignored, the German pilot began a series of passes over the trawler, raking the small vessel with continuous fire from both of its guns.  The gallant crew of the Arab returned fire with all Lewis and Oerlikon guns blazing, the Heinkel being mortally wounded as it made a low pass across the bow of Arab, finally plunging into the sea some two miles astern of the trawler who continued, without further incident, to her destination at Scapa.

Tribute to the Royal Navy Trawler Crews - HMS Arab by Ivan Berryman. (P)
Half Price! - £750.00

 On the 1st of August 1798, thirteen French ships of the line sat anchored in Aboukir Bay off the coast of Alexandria, Egypt, in support of Napoleon who was inland with his troops attempting to conquer the country. As nighttime approached so did Lord Horatio Nelson and the British fleet. Nelson had been hunting Napoleon at sea for months; at Aboukir Bay he had found the French fleet, trapped and unprepared for battle. Nelsons audacious plan was to attack the French on their unprotected prot side, the plan had its risks; the whole of the British fleet could run aground in the shallows - but Nelson knew the waters too well. The Battle of the Nile was one of the most decisive in the history of naval warfare. By the end of the battle nearly all the French ships were sunk or captured. The 124-gun flagship - and the pride of the French navy - LOrient, had exploded with such ferocity that it halted the battle for over ten minutes. Napoleons ability to dominate the region had been crushed, whilst Nelson was to become a hero throughout the whole of Britain.

Battle of the Nile by Anthony Saunders. (Y)
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 Type 21 frigate HMS Ambuscade (F172) is shown passing the swing bridge as she enters Taranto Harbour.

HMS Ambuscade by Ivan Berryman (AP)
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The English fleet pursued the Armada up the English Channel and, as darkness fell, Vice Admiral Drake broke off and captured the Spanish galleon Rosario, Admiral Pedro de Valdes and the crew.  The Rosario was known to be carrying substantial funds to pay the Spanish Army in the Low Countries.  Drakes ship had been leading the English pursuit of the Armada by means of a lantern.  By extinguishing this for the capture, Drake put the fleet into disarray overnight.  On the night of 29th July 1588, Vice Admiral Drake organised fire-ships, causing most of the Spanish captains to break formation and sail out of Calais . The next day, Drake was present at the Battle of Gravelines.  English losses were comparatively few, and none of their ships were sunk.

Grenvilles Revenge by Brian Wood.
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 Launched in March 1984 and commissioned into the Royal Navy in October the following year, HMS Tireless (S88) was the third of seven Trafalgar Class SSN submarines and is depicted in the Arctic waters near the polar ice cap in 1991.

HMS Tireless by Ivan Berryman. (P)
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MILITARY PRINTS

Click above to see all of our military art index - Eight random half price military items are displayed to the right.

Some Current Half Price Military Art Offers

 Probably depicts the rescue of gunners of the Royal Horse artillery (C-Battery) during the retreat from the battle of Maiwand.

Rescue of the Wounded by Lady Elizabeth Butler (Y)
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Battle of Assaye  23rd September 1803. Governor General Lord Richard Wellesley ordered his younger Brother General Arthur Wellesley (Later to become Duke of Wellington) to command a British and native force of  4,500 men to the South -Central part of the Peninsula. (At thr same time He also Sent General Gerard Lake to the north of India, see Battle fo Laswarree for further details)  General Arthur Wellesley, met a much larger Maratha Force of some 26,000 strong at Assaye in Hydrabad. on September 23rd 1803.  The Battle of Assaye became one of the bloodiest battle Arthur Wellesley fought, receiving 1500 casualties out of a force of 4,500. But the Maratha were routed and Assaye was a British Victory.

The Charge of the 19th Light Dragoons at Assaye by David Rowlands (B)
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DHM217. Ramsays Battery of Horse Artillery at the Battle of Fuentos Onoro, May 5th 1811 by Caton Woodville.
Ramsays Battery of Horse Artillery at the Battle of Fuentos Onoro, May 5th 1811 by Richard Caton Woodville.
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 Unterscharfurher Karl-Heinz Turk of the Schwere SS Panzerabteilung 503, in one of the units few remaining Kingtigers, defends the Potsdammer Platz along with elements of the Munchberg Division against the rapidly encroaching Soviet forces.

The Last Battle, Berlin, April 30th 1945 by David Pentland. (GL)
Half Price! - £300.00

So Tell The Spartans, Stranger passing by that here, Obedient to their laws, we lie.   In 480 BC the Spartans tried to defend the pass at Thermopylae against the Persians led by Xerxes.  The Persian fleet had sailed along the coastline from northern Greece into the Gulf of Malia on the eastern Aegean Sea towards the mountains at Thermopylae. The Greek General and King Leonidas led the Greeks  and tried to defend the pass of Thermopylae.  All the defending Spartans were killed during the Battle of Thermopylae. Their defence and courage provided inspiration to the Greeks, and the following year the Greeks won battles against their old enemy the Persians.

Thermopylae 480BC, Spartan and Thespaian Hoplites. By Chris Collingwood.
Half Price! - £85.00
In this Victorian painting,  a young child looks at his reflection in the breastplate armour worn by his father, a trooper of the Royal Horse Guards (the Blues)
Reflections.
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 William F Cody (Buffalo Bill) is shown as an Army Scout during a skirmish with Indians on the Frontier. 

Buffalo Bill by Brian Palmer.
Half Price! - £50.00
 Sutherland Highlander Officers, are shown in camp, reading letters from home, during the Crimean war.

Letters from Home by Robert Gibb. (Y)
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SPORT PRINTS

Click above to see all of our sport art index - Eight random half price sport items are displayed to the right.

Some Current Half Price Sport Art Offers

SFA18.  Going Home by Chris Howells.

Going Home by Chris Howells.
Half Price! - £65.00
FAR695.  Tribute to Lester Piggott by Stuart McIntyre.

Tribute to Lester Piggott by Stuart McIntyre.
Half Price! - £20.00
Neil Hodgson puts in 100% to achieve Pole Position, his 1st Double Win, the 1st Win for the Ducati 999 and the race and lap record at Valencia, March 2003.
One Hundred Percent by Dave Foord.
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 Sir Bobby played more than 750 games for Manchester United, scoring 247 goals. He also played 106 times for his country and scored a record 49 goals. One of only two Englishmen to have won World Cup and European Cup medals his name will always remain synonymous with some of the greatest moments in the English game.

Sir Bobby Charlton by Gary Keane. (Y)
Half Price! - £60.00

FAR1007. Hodgson at Speed by Derrick Mark.
Hodgson at Speed by Derrick Mark.
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B48. Michael Schumacher/ Ferrari F.310 by Ivan Berryman

Michael Schumacher/ Ferrari F.310 by Ivan Berryman
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Passing the stand in the Galway Plate.

With a Circuit To Go by Chris Howells.
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 Following the success of several French imports to Highbury, Arsene Wenger again turned to his home country in search of another midfield maestro.  Robert Pires was duly signed from Marseille in July 2000 in a £6 million deal.  Robert Pires has adjusted quickly to the English game.  Pires and his love affair with English football comes from the intensity of the game teamed with the passion from the Highbury fans.  On describing the fans' reaction when he scores, he said, <i>It's an unbelievablesensation to be standing on the pitch when the whole crowd erupts.</i>  For a man who played in a European championship final, and who won the World Cup, these words must sound sweet to the Highbury faithful.  Robert Pires received the recognition his talent deserved on winning the Football Writer's Player of the Year Award in the 2001/02 season.

Robert Pires by Gary Brandham.
Half Price! - £50.00

Everything we obtain for this site is shown on the site, we do not have any more photos, crew lists or further information on any of the ships.

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