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Topaz One at Twilight by Brian Bateman.- Aviation Art Prints .com
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Topaz One at Twilight by Brian Bateman.

Topaz One at Twilight by Brian Bateman.

Yontan Airfield, Okinawa, June 1945. It was early evening at this tropical airdrome. The brilliant sun was setting, the air was hot and humid with a faint pall of propeller dust hanging over the field, giving the place an unusual softness. It was time for the planes at Yontan to start departing for their missions. While the day fighters came in to end daylight operations, the night fighters were only beginning theirs. The sunsets in the Pacific are truly things with soul. The violence of their color is incredible. They splatter the sky and the clouds glow with a surging beauty. The ocean blends into the horizon, and palm trees silhouette themselves dramatically against the fiery West. The noiseless peace that sometimes comes just before dusk hung over the airdrome. Men talked in low tones about the nights missions. The night fighter pilots are eager to get into the humid night sky. As they take off, one by one they are vectored to their positions, where they will spend the evening patrolling these zones. There have been few aces with the Marine night fighters. These men are a special breed, with their mounts named after loved ones back home or a city or town. The name of this F6F5N was Black Death, a fitting name for the role in which it was used. Black Death was one of a few F6F5Ns that was fitted with the cannon, with this particular plane having flame dampeners for better concealment. One of these elite night fighter Marine aces was Bruce Porter. Bruce was credited with 5 confirmed kills and was one of only a handful to have a rare double kill at night! Bruce flew the Corsair in Guadalcanal as well as the Hellcat later in the war. Topaz One at Twilight depicts one of Bruce Porters missions while commanding VMF(N) 542 based in Okinawa in 1945. The brilliance of a Pacific sunset is captured by the artist as the men and their machines hurl into the dark unknown skies, protecting the fleet below as they anchor in the harbor. The ships lie lazy, almost peaceful in the evening mist, but there is the ever-present danger of the gut wrenching kamikaze attacks which are becoming ever more frequent as Japan continues her death throes. Soon the war will be a memory, and once again the Pacific can share its brilliance with the world at peace.
Item Code : DHM1875Topaz One at Twilight by Brian Bateman. - This Edition
PRINTSigned limited edition of 250 prints.

Image size 26 inches x 21 inches (66cm x 53cm) Porter, Robert Bruce
+ Artist : Brian Bateman

Signature(s) value alone : £45


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Extra Details : Topaz One at Twilight by Brian Bateman.
About all editions :

Detail Images :

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 Bruce Porter USMC (deceased)

Colonel Bruce Porter USMC (deceased)
*Signature Value : £45

After a tour in the Pacific, Bruce joined VMF 121 in 1943 at Guadalcanal and soon downed 4 Zeros. He served tours with VMF (N) 511 (first all-Marine carrier squadron) and later VMF (N) 533. He helped lead that squadron on one of the longest over-water flights of WWII for a single engined aircraft - flying from the Marshall-Gilbert islands to Saipan-Iwo Jima. On June 15, 1945 he scored a double night victory at Okinawa, making him an Ace. He was probably the only Marine pilot to gain two or more kills in both the Corsair and Hellcat; and became only one of six Marines to score a double or triple kill in one mission. Sadly, Bruce Porter died 20th April 2009.
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 : W. A. Fullerton : Squadrons updated (added No.58 Sqn RAF), Squadron service dates updated
New victory claim added : Fw190 claimed on 2nd May 1943 by Stanislaw Brzeski of No.302 Sqn RAF
Updates made to Airframes database for : Wellington W5365 : Airframe notes updated (added 08-02-1941 : Wellington stalled and crashed while trying to land at Tollerton, it came down near Cotgrave. )
Updates made to Aircrew database for : Aircraftsman 1 C Cooper : Squadron service dates updated
Updates made to Aircrew database for : : Airframes updated
Updates made to Airframes database for : Wellington T2888 : Aircrew updated, Airframe notes updated (added 11-02-1941 : Wellington was abandoned and crashed at Stags Holt Elm in Cambridgeshire. Sergeants Beal and Clough were killed.)
567 Bomb Squadron added to the squadrons database.
Updates made to Airframes database for : Blenheim T2282 :
401st Bomb Squadron added to the squadrons database.
Updates made to Aircrew database for : Sergeant John Henry Hanne : First name updated (now John Henry), Service number updated (now 564212), Squadron service dates updated


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