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Semper Fi Skies by John D Shaw.- Aviation Art Prints .com
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Semper Fi Skies by John D Shaw.

Semper Fi Skies by John D Shaw.

Captain Archie Glenn Donahue of VMF-112s Wolfpack, becomes an ace in a day in the skies near Guadalcanal in May 1943. He would repeat this remarkable feat 2 years later, after shooting down five enemy planes while on service aboard the USS Bunker Hill, establishing himself as one of the finest aces in US marine aviation history.
Item Code : DHM2631Semper Fi Skies by John D Shaw. - This Edition
PRINTSigned limited edition of 500 prints.

Paper size 27 inches x 32 inches (69cm x 81cm) Donahue, Archie
+ Artist : John D Shaw

Signature(s) value alone : £50

All prices on our website are displayed in British Pounds Sterling

Signatures on this item
*The value given for each signature has been calculated by us based on the historical significance and rarity of the signature. Values of many pilot signatures have risen in recent years and will likely continue to rise as they become more and more rare.

The signature of Colonel Archie G Donahue USMC (deceased)

Colonel Archie G Donahue USMC (deceased)
*Signature Value : £50

Archie Donahue was born in Casper, Wyoming in 1917. He attended schools in Wyoming until 1934 when his family moved to Texas. He had his first airplane ride at the age of eight and the flying bug bit him. Archic completed three years of engineering studies at the University of Texas before joining the Navy as an Aviation Cadet. During his training Archie was stationed at Kansas City, Jacksonville, and finally Corpus Christi. He requested a transfer to the Marine Corps, and upon his graduation he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in February of 1942. After a short posting to Norfolk, Archie was assigned to VMF-112, which was nicknamed the "Wolfpack." The squadron was sent to Guadacanal in September where they commenced combat missions flying the Grumman F4F Wildcat. Archie would soon transition to the state-of-the-art F4U-1 Corsair. Between September 1942 and June of 1943 Archie was credited with nine aerial victories. One of these was achieved in the Wildcat with the balance attained while piloting the Corsair. On May 13, 1943 Archic would down five A6M3 Zeros during a single mission. In June of 1943 VMF-112 returned to the States, and the squadron was disbanded. Serving as a flight officer at El Toro Air Station in California, Archie was given the assignment of carrier qualifying VMF-451. In February of 1945 VMF-451 began combat operations flying from the deck of the USS Bunker Hill. For the next three months Donahue and his squdroninates flew numerous missions in support of the landings at lwo Jima and Okinawa, as well as strikes at the Japanese mainland, and in the process earning the nickname "Angels of Okinawa." On April 12, 1945 Donahue was once again credited with five victories during a fierce aerial battle over Okinawa. On May 11 th Archie's flight of 16 Corsairs had just returned to the carrier, and as the pilots completed their debriefing the Bunker Hill was hit by two Kamikaze aircraft, setting off a huge fire and killing 346. The Bunker Hill had to be withdrawn from action. Donahue returned to the States where he was made Commander of a squadron at El Toro. He was later transferred to Quantico, a large Marine base near Washington, DC. Archie flew a total of 215 combat missions during WWII including 56 from the deck of the Bunker Hill. He was credited with a total of 14 confirmed aerial victories. He had more than 4000 flying hours in military aircraft and 110 successful carrier landings. Although he never crashed an airplane, Archie was reported killed during aerial gunnery training when a student made a beautiful run and cut the tail off Archie's plane about five feet behind his head. Archie is a recipient of the Navy Cross, three Distinguished Flying Crosses, and five Air Medals. Archie has also been an active participant in the Confederate Air Force, and in 1990 he piloted an SBD with an unusual pilot, Saburo Sakai, the high scoring Japanese ace who was shot down in WWII by the rear gunner of a SBD. Following his retirement from military service in 1958 Archie began a long and successful career in real estate development. Archie lives in Texas with his wife Mary. They have five children and many grandchildren and great grandchildren. Sadly, he passed away on 30th July 2007.
The Aircraft :
CorsairThe Chance-Vought F4U Corsair was arguably the finest naval aviation fighter of its era. Work on this design dates to 1938 and was headed-up by Voughts Chief Engineer, Rex Biesel. The initial prototype was powered by an 1800-HP Pratt & Whitney double Wasp radial engine. This was the third Vought aircraft to carry the Corsair name. The graceful and highly recognizable gull-wing design of the F4U permitted the aircraft to utilize a 13-foot, three-blade, Hamilton Standard propeller, while not having to lengthen the landing gear. Because of the rigors of carrier landings, this was a very important design consideration. Folding wings were also required for carrier operations. The F4U was thirty feet long, had a wingspan of 41 feet and an empty weight of approximately 7,500 pounds. Another interesting feature was the way the F4Us gear rotated 90 degrees, so it would lay flush within the wing when in the up position. In 1939 the Navy approved the design, and production commenced. The Corsair utilized a new spot welding process on its all aluminum fuselage, giving the aircraft very low drag. To reduce weight, fabric-covered outer wing sections and control surfaces were fitted. In May of 1940 the F4U made its maiden flight. Although a number of small bugs were discovered during early flight tests, the Corsair had exceptional performance characteristics. In October of 1940 the prototype F4U was clocked at 405-MPH in a speed test. The initial production Corsairs received an upgraded 2,000-HP radial giving the bird a top speed of about 425-MPH. The production models also differed from the prototype in having six, wing-mounted, 0.5 caliber machine guns. Another change was a shift of the cockpit about three feet further back in the fuselage. This latter change unfortunately made naval aviators wary of carrier landings with the F4U, due to its limited forward visibility during landings. Other concerns were expressed regarding a severe port wing drop at landing speeds and a tendency of the aircraft to bounce off a carrier deck. As a result, the F4U was initially limited to land-based USMC squadrons. Vought addressed several of these problems, and the Royal Navy deserves credit for perfecting an appropriate landing strategy for the F4U. They found that if the carrier pilot landed the F4U while making a sweeping left turn with the port wing down, that sufficient visibility was available to make a safe landing. With a kill ratio of 11 -to- 1 in WW 11 combat, the F4U proved superior in the air to almost every opposing aircraft it encountered. More than 12,000 F4Us were built and fortunately a few dozen remain in flyable condition to this date.

See our aviation history timeline for all today's historical aviation events - air victories, aircraft losses and pilot details.

Updates made to Aircrew database for : Flying Officer W M Blom : Squadron service dates updated
Updates made to Airframes database for : Flying Fortress 42-30032 : Squadrons updated
Updates made to Airframes database for : Hudson N7214 :
Updates made to Aircrew database for : R. Clark : Squadrons updated (added No.78 Sqn RAF), Squadron service dates updated
Updates made to Aircrew database for : D. N. Beal : Date of death updated, Deceased updated
Douglas added to aircrew database.
Updates made to Aircrew database for : R. M. Carrapiett : Squadrons updated (added No.58 Sqn RAF), Squadron service dates updated
Updates made to Airframes database for : Flying Fortress 42-30043 : Squadrons updated (added 384th Bomb Group)
Updates made to Aircrew database for : Keatley : Squadrons updated (added No.58 Sqn RAF), Squadron service dates updated
Updates made to Airframes database for : Wellington R1096 :


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