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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

 Mystery still surrounds just why Manfred von Richthofen risked so much in chasing the novice pilot Wilfred Wop May into Allied-occupied territory on the morning of Sunday, 21st April 1918, but it was to be his last flight, this error of judgement costing him his life. Von Richthofen had broken from the main fight involving Sopwith Camels of 209 Sqn to chase Mays aircraft, but found himself under attack from the Camel of Captain Roy Brown. All three aircraft turned and weaved low along the Somme River, the all red Triplane coming under intense fire from the ground as well as from Browns aircraft. No one knows exactly who fired the crucial bullet, but Manfred von Richthofens aircraft was seen to dive suddenly and impact with the ground. The Red Baron was dead and his amazing run of 80 victories was over. The painting shows Mays aircraft (D3326) in the extreme distance, pursued by DR.1 (425/17) and Browns Camel (B7270) in the foreground.

Captain Roy Brown engages the Red Baron, 21st April 1918 by Ivan Berryman. (GL)
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 During the years of the German occupation of Holland in World War II, more than 20,000 Dutch civilians perished through starvation and lack of basic provisions. Operation Manna was set in motion on Sunday, 29th April 1945 when Lancasters of the Royal Air Force began the first of 2,835 sorties, dropping 6,672 tons of food, to relieve the crisis in the Netherlands.  These humanitarian missions continued until 8th May, saving many thousands of civilians from certain death by starvation and malnutrition.  Here, Lancaster 4K765, LS-Z of 15 Sqn piloted by Flying Officer Jack Darlow, releases its precious cargo over a sports field north of The Hague.  Also in the crew was Alistair Lamb the Rear Gunner.

Operation Manna by Ivan Berryman.
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Lancaster CF-X (LM384) of 625 Squadron.  On the Leipzig raid on the evening of 19th/20th February 1944 approx 47 Lancasters were shot down or failed to return, that is over 300 airmen.  Lancaster CF-X (LM384) was taking part in the bombing raids that were a build up to the D-Day landings of June 1944.  Leipzig was seen as a high value target due to its oil and synthetic fuel production.  The Lancaster took off from Kelstern in Lincolnshire just before midnight.  Unfortunately LM384 did not come back as was the case with many others - the aircraft was lost and crashed just outside the tiny village of Bledeln in Germany.  The Pastor of the village, Herr Duncker, kept a diary throughout the war and has an account of the plane crash and the subsequent burial of the crew.  All of the crew died in the crash except one - bomb aimer George Paterson who was interned in Stalag 357 Kopernikus.  The rest of the crew were given a Christian burial and stayed there until the end of the war, when the war graves commission disinterred the crew and reburied them in the Hannover war cemetery.

Last Long Shadow by Anthony Saunders.
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Without doubt one of the most outstanding and versatile aircraft in the Allied inventory during World War II, the Bristol Beaufighter was to endure a cautious reception by its crews when it first entered service, not least due to difficulties experienced by crews attempting to abandon a stricken aircraft in an emergency.  Its performance and hard-hitting potential quickly overcame such doubts, however, and it went on to earn a commendable reputation - and the nickname Whispering Death.  Here, two 254 Sqn TF. MkXs attack a captured Norwegian vessel in 1945.

Seastrike by Ivan Berryman
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 A BAE Viscount on final approach to Birmingham Airport, c.1962.

Elmdon Evening by Mark Postlethwaite. (AP)
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 Designed by the great Ernst Heinkel, the diminutive D.1 was an essential stop-gap that provided the Austro-Hungarian pilots with a front line fighter until they were able to re-equip with Albatros scouts in the Summer of 1917. This little aircraft performed well and was generally held in high regard by its pilots, although it did have some shortcomings, namely that forward vision was extremely limited and the Schwarzloses gun was completely concealed in the overwing pod that made it inaccessible in the air. Most unusual of all was its interplane strut arrangement, designed to reduce drag, which gave it the nicknames Starstrutter or Spider. These examples are shown passing above the German cruiser Derfflinger. 

Brandenburg D.1 by Ivan Berryman. (AP)
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Historic RNAS bombing raid on the German Zepperlin base at Cuxhaven, on Christmas day 1914.

Christmas Surprise by David Pentland. (Y)
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 The extraordinary Lockheed F.117A Stealth fighter proved an awesome sight when at last it was revealed to the world in 1990, and it was soon to distinguish itself in combat in the deserts of the Middle East during the Iraqi campaign of 1991. Predator depicts an example of this inspired machine at altitude against an evening sun, benign and at the same time menacing, an intriguing testament to mans conquest and exploitation of the skies.

Predator by Ivan Berryman.
Half Price! - £40.00

 

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

Midday, 21st October 1805, and Admiral Collingwoods flagship, the 100-gun HMS Royal Sovereign, breaks the allied line and delivers a shattering broadside on the Spanish flagship Santa Anna. Making great speed, Collingwoods ship had breached the Franco-Spanish line some distance ahead of the rest of his van and the Royal Sovereign suffered heavily as she quickly drew the attentions of three French and three Spanish ships. To her starboard, the French Indomitable can be seen firing into the British flagship while, astern of the Santa Anna, Belleisle and Fougueux are engaging ahead of Mars, Monarca and Pluton.

The Battle of Trafalgar - The First Engagement by Ivan Berryman. (Y)
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With her mizzen top already gone and her sails aloft having received severe punishment, Victory breaks through the line behind the French flagship Bucentaure, delivering a shattering broadside into her stern. So severe was this opening fire that the Bucentaure was effectively put out of the rest of the battle, although Admiral Villeneuve himself was to miraculously survive the carnage. Beyong Victory can be seen the French Redoubtable, which is receiving fire from Victorys starboard guns, and the Spanish San Leandro is in the extreme distance. Most of Victorys stunsails have been cut away, but it was her stunsail booms that became entangled with the rigging of the Redoubtable when she put her helm to port and ran onto her. Admiral Nelson fell shortly afterward, having received a fatal wound from a musket ball fired by a French sharpshooter in Redoubtables mizzen fighting top. The Temeraire can be seen approaching the fray to the right.

Trafalgar- The Destruction of The Bucentaure by Ivan Berryman. (Y)
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 The destroyer HMS Kelly passes close to the old carrier HMS Eagle as she escorts a convoy in the Mediterranean early in 1941.

HMS Kelly by Ivan Berryman.
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One of the finest battleships of all time, Bismarck was built by the Blohm and Voss shipyard in Hamburg and launched in February 1939.  Her first duty was for commerce raiding in the north Atlantic.  Together with the heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen, the destroyers Z10, Z16 and Z23 and a minesweeper.  The Bismarck, commanded by Vice Admiral Gunther Lutjens, left her last anchorage at Grimstadt Fjord in Norway.  Once Bismarcks departure was confirmed all available British forces were deployed to meet the threat.  On the 24th of May 1941 the Bismarck sailed into naval history - sinking the battlescruiser and pride of the British fleet - HMS Hood.  But Bismarck would have little time to celebrate, she was sunk by a scorned British fleet three days later.  Here Bismarck is depicted on the evening of the 21st May 1941 entering the open sea on her fateful final voyage.

Bismarck - The Final Voyage by Anthony Saunders (P)
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 HMS Ramillies and Warspite manoeuvre into position off the coast of Normandy. The major battleships of the Home Fleet, with their massive guns which could deliver gunfire with pinpoint accuracy to 17 miles. they proved invaluable on the day of the biggest seaborne land invasion in history.

HMS Ramillies and HMS Warspite at Normandy by Anthony Saunders
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HMS Coventry comes under air attack from aircraft off Tobruk, 14th September 1942.  As well as losing the anti-aircraft cruiser HMS Coventry, the Allies also lost  HMS Zulu and six coastal craft sunk by bombing as they were returning from Tobruk.  HMS Coventry was rated as one of the most effective anti-aircraft ships in the entire British navy, downing more aircraft than any other ship.

HMS Coventry by Ivan Berryman.
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A class submarine, HMS Anchorite, swings away from the depot ship Adamant during work up exercises in the Firth of Clyde. In the mid fifties the depot ship was moored in Rothesay Bay providing a base for the 3rd Submarine Squadron. Leaving the moorings ahead of Anchorite is the frigate HMS Termagant which will day part in the days exercise.

Group Up- Half Ahead Starboard by Robert Barbour.
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 The heavy cruiser HMS Dorsetshire is brought up to sink the blazing wreck of the Bismarck with torpedoes at around 10:30 hours on the morning of May 27th 1941.  The once proud German ship had been ruthlessly pounded into a twisted and burning wreck by the British battleships Rodney and King George V.  HMS Dorsetshire and HMS Maori combed the area of the sinking for survivors, between them picking up a total of 110 out of an original complement of 2,300.

HMS Dorsetshire by Ivan Berryman.
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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

On the night of 27th May, a four man patrol from G Squadron boat troop were tasked to patrol to the summit of Mount Kent to see if it was clear. (Mount Kent was an important strategic height as it looked across to Mount Longdon, Two Sisters and Goat Ridge) A Battalion of 12th regiment Argentinean Infantry were expected to be engaged by the patrol but found the Argentineans had been airlifted the previous night to reinforce the garrison at Goose Green for the subsequent 2 Para attack. From the summit of Mount Kent, the unit could see hundreds of Argentinean soldiers with Artillery and helicopters. The relief and tension of this mission shows on their faces as they descend down to their hide position after their all night patrol. The patrol commander, a Sergeant Major and veteran of many conflicts including the Oman War, won a mention in dispatches in this conflict.

Is the Mountain Clear. G Squadron 22 SAS, Mount Kent, Falklands War 1982 by Graeme Lothian (P)
Half Price! - £2100.00
 Alexander the Greats Victory at Hydaspes River During the Macedonian conquests in 326BC at the tributary at Hydaspes (now Jhelem) of the Indus River, King Porus and his Indian army blocked Alexander the Greats advance with some 50,000 troops leaving 40,000, the bulk of his army, on the west bank of the river. Alexander the Great crossed the Indus river using makeshift pontoons with 14,000 picked cavalry and infantry. The following day he attacked the flank of King Porus position, after 8 hours of hard fighting, Alexander the Greats army routed the Indians, taking 9,000 prisoner including King Porus and killing 12,000. The Macedonian army lost 980 men and this was the last battle of the Asian conquest as Alexanders army rebelled and refused to go further.

Alexander the Greats Victory at Hydaspes River by Brian Palmer. (Y)
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 Gold Beach, Normandy, D-Day, 6th June 1944.  A PIAT team and riflemen of the 6th Green Howards part of  British 50th (Tyne Tees) Division, push inland in the direction of Caen.

Off the Beach by David Pentland. (P)
Half Price! - £700.00
DHM343GS.  Cataline Conspiracy by Cesari Maccari.

Cataline Conspiracy by Cesari Maccari (GS)
Half Price! - £240.00

 Depicting troopers of the 2nd Royal North British Dragoons (Scots Greys) on the morning of 18th June 1815. before the Battle of waterloo, and their great charge into history.

The Dawn of Waterloo by Lady Elizabeth Butler (Y)
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 Replacements from 1st Battalion Irish Guards and Sherman tanks of the 46th Royal Tank Regiment move through the debris of Anzio town towards their jump-off positions for the Battle of Campoleone Station.

Anzio, Italy, February 1944 by David Pentland. (P)
Half Price! - £2000.00
DHM635.  The Crossing of the Prussian Army over the Rhine by Richard Knotel.

The Crossing of the Prussian Army over the Rhine by Richard Knotel.
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1st Battalion Cheshire Regiment at Audregneis, 24th August 1914 by David Rowlands. (Y)
Half Price! - £195.00

 

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

 Twickenham, March 16th 1996.  England return to the running game to clinch victory in style over Ireland and retain the Five Nations Championship.

In Full Flight by Keith Fearon.
Half Price! - £80.00
 The Minstrel, 1977, Shergar, 1981, Golden Fleece, 1982, .Teenoso, 1983, Reference Point, 1987, Nashwan, 1989.

Derby Winners by Peter Deighan.
Half Price! - £100.00
 Neil Hodgson celebrates winning the World Superbike Championship at Assen, September 2003.
No.1 by Dave Foord. (Y)
Half Price! - £110.00
 Ally McCoist of Glasgow Rangers and Scotland.  Produced to celebrate Scotlands most prolific goalscorer.  Super Ally became nothing short of a legend during his tenure with Glasgow Rangers of the Premier League.  It was not until Graeme Sounes took over as player manager of Rangers that McCoist really hit his stride and began to excel himself as the most prodigious goalscorer in the history of Scottish football.  Allys unprecedented career includes over 300 league goals for Rangers helping the club to 9 titles in a row, a Scottish Cup Winners medal, 2 UEFA Golden Boot awards, Scottish player of the year 91/92 and 61 Caps for his country resulting in 19 international goals.  Ally became one of Glasgow Rangers and Scotlands all time football heroes, and is now part of the Rangers coaching staff under Walter Smith.

Ally McCoist MBE by Scott Bridges.
Half Price! - £60.00

Unarguably the most famous Flying Finn of the past years has been Mika Häkkinen who won the F1 championship twice 1998-1999 and also raced in DTM between 2005 and 2007.

The Flying Finn by Ray Goldsbrough
Half Price! - £20.00
 Schumacher and Ferrari, the winning team.

Sea of Red by David Evans
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Champion racing horse West Tip at Cheltenham race course.

West Tip by Mark Churms.
Half Price! - £20.00
 David Coulthard. McLaren Mercedes MP4/13
A Scottish Gentleman by Michael Thompson.
Half Price! - £25.00

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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