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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

 Rittmeister Karl Bolle Commander Jasta 2 early 1918.

Alone in a Winter Sky - Fokker Triplane DR1 by David Pentland.
Half Price! - £24.00
 With Italys entry into WW II on June 10, 1940, the epic two-and-one-half-year siege of Malta began. Symbolizing the defiant resistance of the people and defenders of that tiny island, the legend of Faith, Hope, and Charity grew from a handful of Gloster Sea Gladiators which initially comprised Maltas sole aerial defense. Until the arrival of the more modern Hawker Hurricanes, these obsolescent biplanes fought the Regia Aeronautica alone in the skies above Malta. Only six or seven Gladiators were assembled from the shipment of eighteen crated aircraft which had been delivered by the HMS Glorious. Others were utilized for spare parts, and three had been dispatched, still crated, to Egypt. Though hugely outnumbered, the defenders fought on, raising the morale of the citizens of Malta, and denying the Italians mastery of the sky. Suffering from a constant shortage of spare parts, tools and equipment, the devoted ground support crews were never able to keep more than three Gladiators operational at any point in time. Only one of these Gladiators was totally lost in aerial combat, and the sole surviving aircraft was presented to the people of Malta, and today stands in their National War Museum as a proud symbol of courage and endurance. In Stan Stokes painting, a Sea Gladiator, piloted by Flight Lt. James Pickering, tangles with a Fiat C.R. 42 over Malta in 1940 while an Italian Savoia S.79 tri-engined bomber passes by in the background. The Gloster Gladiator represented the zenith of development of the classic biplane fighter aircraft, a design formula which characterized an entire era from WW I until the advent of the monoplane fighter just before WW II. Glosters naval model of the Gladiator was equipped with a Bristol Mercury VIIIA engine providing a maximum speed of 253 MPH, a rate of climb of 2300 feet per minute, an operational ceiling of 32,200 feet, and a range of 415 miles. The Gladiator was armed with four .303 inch Browning machine guns, and incorporated several advanced features including an enclosed cockpit and wing flaps. One top RAF ace, Sqd. Ldr. Pattle, attained eleven victories flying the Gladiator. A total of 527 Gladiators were produced, and the aircraft served in twelve different countries. The Italians were overly persistent in their emphasis on biplane fighters, stemming from their successes with these highly maneuverable machines during the Spanish Civil War. Employing distinctive Warren-truss type interplane bracing the C.R. 42 was powered by a Fiat A74 R.C. 38 engine providing a maximum speed of 274 MPH and a range of 485 miles. The C.R. 42 was more lightly armed than the Gladiators it opposed, possessing only two 12.7mm Breda machine guns. The C.R 42 served on all of Italys fronts including North and East Africa, France, Britain, the Balkans, and Russia. Exported to Hungary, Sweden and Belgium, the C.R. 42 ironically served alongside the Gladiator in other theaters of operation during WW II.
Faith Hope and Charity by Stan Stokes. (C)
Half Price! - £65.00
Albert Ball in his Nieuport 17 having just shot down a German LVG.  His aircraft, A134, was distinctive in having a bright red spinner.  He was the first Royal Flying Corps pilot to score a hat-trick (3 kills on a single mission) and, in the course of his career, scored another two on his way to his outstanding 44 victories.

Albert Ball by Ivan Berryman. (APB)
Half Price! - £60.00
 At 3.30am on the 23rd June 1945, a Dakota of 357 (special duties) Squadron took off from Mingaladon airfield nr.  Rangoon , to travel the 600 miles, 300 of them behind enemy lines, to rescue a downed American Liberator crew deep in the jungles of   Siam  .  The Dakota was flown by pilot Fl Lt. Larry Lewis, who already held the DFM awarded to him for 33 ops as a rear gunner on   Wellingtons  in 1941. Two crews had already failed when Lewis was asked to attempt this hazardous mission. Flying between 5,000 - 6,000ft he flew over The Hump, a ridge of mountains running down the spine of   Burma  . Local villagers had cleared a rough airstrip 800yds long with Lewis finding it by the time dawn broke. With monsoon clouds gathering, the Liberator crew aboard and the Dakota sinking in the wet ground, he managed, just, to get airborne. Flying at zero feet and looking out for Japanese Zero fighters Lewis took a different course back. Although being fired on from the ground they managed to make it all the way to the airfield at Dum Dum nr.   Calcutta ,  India  . Lewis was awarded an immediate DFC. By the end of the war he had completed 63 ops, held the rank of Squadron Leader with his service from 1938-1945, and was awarded the Air Efficiency Medal.

Larry Lewis DFC by Graeme Lothian. (P)
Half Price! - £1700.00

 Shortly after 2pm on Friday 24th October 2003, supersonic commercial aviation was brought to a close as three British Airways Concordes touched down within minutes of each other at London Heathrow Airport for the last time.  Here BA Captain Mike Bannister brings G BOAG down for her final touchdown.

Concorde - The Final Touchdown by Ivan Berryman. (P)
Half Price! - £2500.00
 Albatros DV piloted by Austro-Hungarian Ace Lt. Josef Kiss, Austrian Alps in December 1917.

Christmas Kiss - Albatros DV by David Pentland.
Half Price! - £24.00
 The Sopwith Dolphin was a radical departure from previous Sopwith design philosophies, embodying a reverse-stagger on the wings, a water-cooled Hispano-Suiza engine and an unusual, but highly popular positioning of the cockpit which gave the pilot unprecedented views. One exponent of this purposeful looking machine was Canadian Major A D Carter who claimed many of his 31 victories flying the Dolphin. He is shown here sending an Albatross to the ground on 8th May 1918 whilst flying C4017. Carter was himself shot down soon after became a prisoner of war. He was killed in 1919 whilst test flying a Fokker D.VII at Shoreham, Sussex.

Major Albert Carter by Ivan Berryman. (GS)
Half Price! - £290.00
 At the end of its landing run and streaming the unmistakable scarlet brake parachute with its characteristic tuck at the bottom, an SR-71 prepares to turn off of the runway after another Hot Flight.   Retired in favour of other technology including satellite surveillance a small number of these remarkable aircraft were due to start back in service at the end of 1996.  There were jobs that just could not be done by any other system, even the most sophisticated modern technology failing to address all of the incredible capabilities of one of the most advanced aircraft of all time.

The Black is Back by Robert Tomlin.
Half Price! - £45.00

 

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

HMS Eagle and the commando carrier HMS Albion during the withdrawal from Aden in November 1967.  One of HMS Eagles Sea Vixen is passing overhead and RFA Stromness is at anchor in the distance.

HMS Eagle and HMS Albion by Ivan Berryman.
Half Price! - £15.00
USS Yorktown seen accompanied by her destroyers including USS Hammann shown under attack by Japanese Torpedo Bombers (Kates) during the battle of Midway. It was in this action that USS Yorktown was lost.

USS Yorktown at the Battle of Midway by Anthony Saunders (P)
Half Price! - £3200.00
 HMS Cossack, one of the fast Tribal class destroyers will always be remembered for the daring rescue of 300 prisoners of war from the German Altmark in Norwegian waters. She is shown here departing Grand Harbour, Malta.

HMS Cossack by Ivan Berryman. (Y)
Half Price! - £40.00
The King George V class battleship HMS Anson is pictured in Sydney Harbour where she joined the Pacific Fleet in July 1945, viewed across the flight deck of HMS Vengeance, where ten of her Vought F4.U Corsairs are ranged in front of a single folded Fairey Barracuda
HMS Anson at Sydney Harbour, July 1945 by Ivan Berryman.
Half Price! - £50.00

 The Queen Elizabeth class battleship HMS Malaya is pictured at Capetown in April 1942 en route to Durban from Gibraltar. A veteran of the First World War, Malaya took part in the Battle of Jutland, receiving eight hits, and going on to serve throughout World War Two, surviving a torpedo off Cape Verde in 1941. She is seen here about to recover her Fairey Swordfish floatplane beneath the dramatic outline of Table Mountain.

HMS Malaya at Capetown, South Africa. by Ivan Berryman (Y)
Half Price! - £70.00
 HMS Hood readies to fire off a what proved to be the final salvo against the Bismarck before a shell from the German battleship penetrated the magazine of HMS Hood, tearing apart the British ship in an enormous explosion.

The Final Salvo - HMS Hood by Anthony Saunders. (P)
Half Price! - £3300.00
 The Flower Class corvette HMS Sunflower at sea in 1942. One of thirty ordered on 31st August 1939, K41 was built by Smiths Dockyard in just 9 months and 6 days, completed on 25th January 1941.

HMS Sunflower by Ivan Berryman.
Half Price! - £15.00
In the spring of 1942, USS Washington was the first of Americas fast battleship fleet to participate in combat operations when she was briefly assigned to the Royal Navy. On 28th June 1942, together with HMS Duke of York, HMS Victorious and an accompanying cruiser and destroyer force, she formed part of the distant covering force to convoy PQ17, bound for Russia. In the Pacific later that same year, she became the only modern US battleship to engage an enemy capital ship, sinking the Japanese battlecruiser Kirishima.

Arctic guardian - USS Washington by Anthony Saunders (P)
Half Price! - £3000.00

 

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

DHM555P.  Berdans Sharpshooters 1864 by Jim Lancia.

Berdans Sharpshooters 1864 by Jim Lancia (P)
Half Price! - £1100.00
DHM504.  The Cameron Highlanders at Waterloo by Brian Palmer.

The Cameron Highlanders at Waterloo by Brian Palmer.
Half Price! - £60.00


Confederate Infantryman of the 19th Virginia by Chris Collingwood.
Half Price! - £48.00
VAR442.  Victory at Candahar by Stanley Berkeley.

Victory at Candahar by Stanley Berkeley.
Half Price! - £20.00

 A Tiger I and PAK 40 anti tank gun of the Müncheberg Division, field a final defence of the capital in front of the Brandenburg Gate under the shattered remains of the famous Linden trees. The under-strength division had just been formed the previous month from a mixture of ad hoc units and various marks of tank. Despite this it put up a spirited fight until its final destruction in early May.

Tiger at the Gate, Berlin, 30th april 1945 by David Pentland. (GS)
Half Price! - £250.00
DHM642. The Battle of Wagram 6th July 1809 by Emil Adam.
The Battle of Wagram 6th July 1809 by Emil Adam
Half Price! - £30.00
 Lord Uxbridge commits the Light Dragoons against the French Cuirassiers and Chasseurs, who are driven over the ridge and down the slope. This action happened many times during the battle.

Counter Charge of the 12th and 13th Light Dragoons by Chris Collingwood. (Y)
Half Price! - £65.00
 Crouching low behind their shields, the warriors of the uThulwans, iNdlondo and uDloko regiments advance around the foot of Shiyane hill. Led by their commander, Prince Dabulamnzi kaMpnade, the main Zulu force attacks the British outpost at Rorkes Drift, 4.50pm, 2nd January 1879.

Into the Fire by Mark Churms.
Half Price! - £30.00

 

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

 Colin Edwards gave Honda racing another victory with an inspired performance during the last race of the season to put rival Troy Bayliss into second place. Bobs painting depicts the typically-aggressive cornering style of the Texas Tornado in his winning leathers as he threw the mighty Honda around the Imola racing circuit.

Down to the Wire by Robert Tomlin.
Half Price! - £60.00
 The Intercontinental Formula was first organised by British Racing Drivers Club to allow the racing of cars with 2000cc to 3000cc engines. At the time the 1500cc limit of Formula 1 had been instituted by the international ruling body in the belief that the smaller cars would mean safer racing. In reality this meant that the relatively easy to handle Formula 1 cars could be driven by less experienced drivers almost as fast as the most experienced master drivers. The result was that the car with fractionally more power was the deciding factor in winning the race, rather than the better driver but this also compromised track safety. The introduction of the Intercontinental Formula was seen as more of a challenge for the drivers, with the larger and more powerful cars requiring greater skill and experience than to drive the 1500cc cars of Formula 1. The 13th International Trophy on Saturday 6th May 1961 was the first race of the season to carry World Championship points and consisted of 80 laps of Silverstone, a total of 233 miles. Stirling Moss, having already won the International Sports Car Race in a Lotus earlier that day, was driving Rob Walkers 2.5 litre Cooper Climax and qualified 2nd on the grid despite being unhappy with the steering of his car. The starting grid front row was Bruce McLaren, Stirling Moss, Jack Brabham and Graham Hill and by the time the race started at 2.30pm a heavy rain meant that the track was not only soaked but also covered in oil and rubber from the previous races. World Champion Jack Brabham made a superb start, passed Moss and was first into Copse and by lap 4 Moss was in 3rd place led by Surtees and Brabham. Due to appalling conditions and poor visibility many of the cars were spinning or leaving the track and by lap 13 Brabham and Moss were 1st and 2nd with the rest of the field some distance behind. Moss now poured on the pressure and for the next few laps he tried to pass as he harried Brabham in a duel for the lead. The pair were now beginning to lap the tailenders and, at around a quarter of the distance Moss was held up by Flockhart, Brabhams team member, who had allowed Brabham to pass. Moss gestured angrily to Flockhart as he was unable to follow Brabham and, as the rain paused for a while the pace became faster. Suddenly and quite dramatically Moss passed both Flockhart and Brabham and within 2 laps had gained 5 seconds on the World Champion. As the rain returned in a deluge Moss mercilessly pushed on, increasing his lead to 1.5 minutes by the halfway mark. Although he could have taken things easily at this point Moss drove on relentlessly at a seemingly impossible pace and was now lapping most of the field for a second time. By the ¾ stage he completed his humiliation of Brabham by passing him for a second time to lap him representing a 3 mile lead. Moss eventually won the race in 2hrs 41 mins 19.2 secs, 1.5 laps ahead of Brabham and at least two laps ahead of the rest of the field in what were treacherous conditions. At the end of the race Moss summed up the experience as a nice ride, having proved himself to be one of the greatest and fastest drivers in the world under any conditions. Sir Stirling Moss believes this to be one of his finest ever drives.

A Moment of Triumph by Gerald Coulson. (Y)
Half Price! - £75.00


Lennox Lewis by Peter Deighan.
Half Price! - £50.00
 David Coulthard. McLaren Mercedes MP4/13
A Scottish Gentleman by Michael Thompson.
Half Price! - £25.00

 The Minstrel, 1977, Shergar, 1981, Golden Fleece, 1982, .Teenoso, 1983, Reference Point, 1987, Nashwan, 1989.

Derby Winners by Peter Deighan.
Half Price! - £100.00


Lester Piggott by Gary Keane. (Y)
Half Price! - £45.00
DHM1480P. Jenson Button 2004 BAR 006 by Ivan Berryman (P)
Jenson Button 2004 BAR 006 by Ivan Berryman. (P)
Half Price! - £900.00
MT26. Juan for Williams by Michael Thompson.
Juan for Williams by Michael Thompson.
Half Price! - £30.00

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