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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

 Nine O Nine awaits her next mission over occupied Europe. Part of the 91st Bomb Group, 323rd Squadron, this B-17 went on to complete a record mission tally of 140 without an abort or loss of a single crew member. She started operations in February 1944. By April 1945 Nine O Nine had flown an extraordinary 1,129 hours. This aircraft and crew represented just one of many who fought in war-torn skies for the freedom we now enjoy.

Nine O Nine by Philip West. (Y)
Half Price! - 67.50
 It was in 1941 that the remarkable Focke-Wulfe FW190 first appeared in the skies of Europe, quickly establishing itself as a most formidable adversary. It proved to be the supreme weapon against all allied bomber forces. Here FW190A-8 of 1 Gruppe, Jagdgesschwader 1 is shown attacking a B17G of 381st Bomb Group during a critical defence of the Reich in 1944.

Cat Among the Pigeons (FW190) by Ivan Berryman.
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 A de Havilland DH.82A Tiger Moth over Hatfield Aerodrome, early in 1939.  Hatfield was the home of the de Havilland Aircraft Company and No.1 Elementary Flying Training School.

First Solo by John Young. (Y)
Half Price! - 30.00
 Royal Flying Corps SE5As of 56 squadron engaged in air combat with flying circus Fokker Dr1s commanded by the great German ace Baron von Richthofen, France 1917.

Brief Encounter by Gerald Coulson.
Half Price! - 150.00

 With their twin Merlins singing at full power, Mk FBV1 Mosquitos of 464 Squadron RAAF present a menacing picture as they set out on a precision low level mission, their streamlined, shark-like shapes silhouetted against the evening glow. Below, the tranquillity of a snow covered English coastal village is briefly disturbed as the Mosquito crews head into the night.

Mosquitos at Dusk by Nicolas Trudgian. (Y)
Half Price! - 105.00
 After service in the 96th Infantry Regiment, Smirnov joined the XIX Corps Air Squadron in 1914, shooting down twelve enemy aircraft in the course of two years. When revolution swept through Russia in November 1917, he escaped the Bolsheviks via a White counter-revolutionary route, eventually joining the RAF in England, serving at the Central Flying School at Upavon. He is shown here in his silver Nieuport 17, having just despatched a Roland C.II.

Captain Ivan Smirnov by Ivan Berryman.
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 Flying his last mission with his old mount, Hawker Tempest EJ762, fresh from repair after being damaged by flak, David Fairbanks found himself embroiled in a fierce battle with Messerschmitt Bf109s on 17th December 1944.  In the course of the combat, Fairbanks shot down two of the enemy aircraft and damaged another before returning safely.

Foob Fairbanks - The Terror of the Rhine by Ivan Berryman.
Half Price! - 75.00
 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)
Half Price! - 70.00

 

NAVAL PRINTS

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Some Current Half Price Naval Art Offers

 Royal Fleet Auxiliary Olna prepares to receive HMS Active (F171) during the Falklands campaign of 1982.  HMS Coventry (D118) is in the background
RFA Olna by Ivan Berryman (P)
Half Price! - 625.00
 HMS Thrasher returning from patrol off Crete in March 1942.

HMS/M Thrasher by John Pettitt. (Y)
Half Price! - 75.00
 Fully dressed and resplendent, HMS Hood is pictured preparing for King George Vs review of the Fleet in July 1935 as other capital ships take up their positions around her. Ramillies can be seen off Hoods port bow, Resolution astern, whilst just beyond her boat deck, the mighty Nelson gently nudges into position.

HMS Hood During the Fleet Review of 1935 by Ivan Berryman.
Half Price! - 15.00
Americas first true aircraft carrier, the USS Langley (CV-1) is pictured making way at sea as a pair of Douglas DT-2s pass overhead.

USS Langley by Ivan Berryman (AP)
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HMS Dreadnought passes Spice Island as she heads for the open sea escorted by a torpedo boat destroyer.

HMS Dreadnought at Portsmouth by Randall Wilson.
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The Pedestal Convoy of August 1942 was one of the most heavily protected convoys in the history of sea warfare.  Fourteen of the fastest cargo ships of the time were protected by 4 carriers, 2 battleships, 7 cruisers and 32 destroyers.  The destroyer HMS Ashanti is in the foreground of the painting.  Also depicted are the carrier HMS Indomitable, with her Hurricanes cirling the convoy overhead, and the cargoe ship Port Chalmers to the right of the picture.

Pedestal Convoy by Anthony Saunders (B)
Half Price! - 20.00
 The first submarine to carry the name, HMS Vengeance (S31) is the fourth and last of the Vanguard class, entering service with the Royal Navy on 27th November 1999.  This nuclear-powered vessel has 16 tubes for launching the Trident D5 missile and four tubes in her bow, firing Spearfish Torpedoes.

HMS Vengeance by Ivan Berryman. (P)
Half Price! - 700.00
Originally constructed as a Home Fleet Repair Ship, HMS Cyclops was later converted into a submarine depot ship and enjoyed a long career, both in the Mediterranean and in home waters.  Here she prepares to receive HMS Sceptre.  Another S-class submarine is already tethered alongside.

HMS Cyclops Prepares to Receive HMS Sceptre by Ivan Berryman (P)
Half Price! - 500.00

 

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

 The Founders Church of St. James, Dehli, illustrates its association with this famous regiment of Bengal Lancers.

Officer Skinners Horse 1905 by Mark Churms.
Half Price! - 20.00
 Captain F Macbeans Company, 1st Battalion Royal Artillery in action on the right of the British line, firing its 12 pounder guns against French Cavalry and Infantry. By permission of David Rowlands.  Battle of Minden  1st August 1759.  Major battle of the Seven years war.  After the French victory in April at Bergen, The French Army 60,000 strong under the command of Duc Louis de Contades marched northwards towards Hanover.   To block this French Advance the Prussian Army under Field Marshall The Duke of Brunswick decided to hold the line at Minden.  The Duke of Brunswick could only raise a force of 45,000 men including a British Contingent under Lord George Sackville of 6 regiments, a detachment of cavalry and some artillery.   The French opened the battle attacking,  the British Infantry regiments probably due to a misunderstanding, advanced and they were followed by the Hanoverian Infantry.  They attacked the French cavalry.  The Infantry advanced only stopping to let off a volleys of fire.  This unconventional use of Infantry against cavalry, the French force confused and suffering losses broke.  The victory was in Ferdinands grasp, he ordered his cavalry forward but the British general Sackville refused to send his cavalry after the French. For this action he was later court-martialled by King George II and cashiered from the army.  The French were able to withdraw in order, but their losses had been 7,000 men and 43 artillery guns.   The British and Hanoverian losses were less than 3,000 with 1500 of these casualties inflicted on the British Infantry.  This battle ended all French hopes of capturing Hanover.  British Regiments at Minden. 12th of Foot. (Suffolk Regiment)  20th Foot. (Lancashire Fusiliers ) 23rd of Foot. (Welch Fusiliers),  25th of Foot, (Kings own Scottish Borderers), 37th of Foot. (Royal Hampshire Regiment),  51st Foot   (Kings own Yorkshire Light Infantry)

The Battle of Minden, 1st August 1759 by David Rowlands. (GL)
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Showing Napoleon and his Generals, often referred to as the Retreat From Moscow.

Napoleon on Campaign by Jean Louis Ernest Meissonier. (YB)
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 Showing Napoleons position at the La belle Alliance, during the Battle of Waterloo, in the distance you can see Wellington.

The Battle of Waterloo by Sir William Allen (B)
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First China War.

The Madras Foot Artillery at the Assault on Chin-Kiang-Foo, 21st July 1842 by David Rowlands. (B)
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9th (Irish) Field Battery firing on the Run-in-shoot to Queen Beach. They were the first rounds fired at the Normandy Coast, D-Day 6th June, 1944. Queen Beach, one of the 4 sectors of Sword Beach, where most of the landings of D-Day were carried out. The Queen Beach sector which extended for 1.5km between Lion-sur-Mer and the western edge of Ouistretham. The attack was thus concentrated on a narrow one-brigade front. For once the DD tanks and other armour came in exactly on time and ahead of the infantry. The 8th brigade, with the 1st Battalion of the South Lancashire Regiment on the right and the 2nd East Yorkshire on the left.

Operation Overlord by David Rowlands (B)
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 The storming on the night of April 6th 1812 of Badajoz astle proved to be Wellingtons bloodiest siege. Depicted here are soldiers of the 88th Connaught Rangers (famously the Devils Own) and part of Pictons 3rd Division, successfully escalading the high walls of the fortress.

Storming of Badajoz by Chris Collingwood. (Y)
Half Price! - 65.00
 Probably the best known painting of the gallant charge of the Royal North Dragoons, The Scots Greys at the Battle of Waterloo. According to an eyewitness Alexander Armour at the start of the charge of the greys had to pass through the ranks of the Highland Brigade and armour recalled The highlanders were then ordered to wheel back, when they did so we rushed through them at the same time they heard us calling Now my boys Scotland Forever.

Scotland Forever by Lady Elizabeth Butler. (Y)
Half Price! - 31.00

 

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

 2003 World Superbike Champion, Neil Hodgson with James Toseland in his slipstream.  British World Superbike - June 2003.
Battle of Britain by Dave Foord.
Half Price! - 130.00
SP4AP.  Desert Orchid by Mark Churms.

Desert Orchid by Mark Churms (AP)
Half Price! - 50.00
 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  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
Johnny Herbert is shown in the Benetton B195.  Herbert took a deserved victory at his home British Grand Prix at Silverstone, beating the Ferrari of Frenchman Jean Alesi into second place by more than 16 seconds, and ahead of fellow briton David Coulthard in the third placed Williams.  He also claimed victory at the Italian Grand Prix at Monza.  Along with Michael Schumachers nine victories, Herbert  helped Benetton win their first constructors championship in the 1995 season.  The Formula One Benetton B195 was designed by Rory Byrne and Ross Brawn for use in the 1995 Formula One season by Benetton.  The B195 was almost identical to the B194 but for a change of engine supplier from Ford to Renault V10 engine, the same type the rival Williams team was using.  With his first two Formula One wins under his belt in 1995, Johnny Herbert won just one more race, winning at the Nurburgring at the European Grand Prix in 1999, racing for Stewart Ford.  He retired from Formula One in 2000.

Johnny Herbert/ Benetton B.195 by Ivan Berryman
Half Price! - 40.00

SFA15.  Bollocks by Chris Howells.

Bollocks by Chris Howells.
Half Price! - 50.00
 With his typical degree of accuracy, Martin Smith has produced this fantastic portrait of David Coulthard, smiling as he walks towards his car in anticipation of a forthcoming race, every detail in his papers showing.
David Coulthard by Martin Smith
Half Price! - 40.00
B40. Jean Alesi/ Benetton B.196

Jean Alesi/ Benetton B.196 by Ivan Berryman
Half Price! - 40.00
 Ferrari Pit Stop 2001.
Masters of Strategy II by Michael Thompson.
Half Price! - 33.00

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