Sunday, July 3, 2011

The Last Fish

When I first posted about finding my grandfather's yearbook from his time with Carrier Air Group Nine during World War II, I soon had a comment from artist Scott Nelson, looking for some guidance about the markings of the aircraft assigned to the USS Yorktown. With a little help from BillT's comments on that same post, Scott got the information he needed to complete his project. Last weekend, I received an email letting me know the painting was finished:
I had promised to get the photo of the painting to you, you can post it you want. The painting was a surprize for Stew Bass at his 90th BD party held at the Air Museum, Fargo ND. Stew signed the painting. The second pict. is Stew Bass and me.

The painting shows half of Torpedo 9, 7 planes (the other half, 6 planes were attacking the Yamato in the upper right of the painting). Stew's flight attacked the cruiser Yahagi, coming in at a pie shaped formation, altitude around 800 feet, releasing the torpedoes around 1500 yards from the ship. This was the high speed, high altitude, torpedo attack developed by the Navy.


The artwork:

With Stew and Scott:

I emailed back to ask if the piece had a title yet. Not officially, but he explained:

...have thought about the title "THE LAST FISH". Fish refers to what the Navy flyers called the torpedo. One of the planes from Torpedo Nine dropped the last arial torpedo ever used against enemy shipping. (could have been Stew?)

I haven't gotten to Stew's section in the yearbook yet, but I promise I haven't given up on this project. It will just take a bit of time, considering I want to research the names of the men in the book, to share whatever it is that can be shared about who they are/were. Would that there were more hours in the day ;-)


BillT said...

Bravo Zulu, Steve -- anybody'd be proud to display that, regardless of his connection with the subject!

Romantic Heretic said...

Very nice picture. Well done.

I have the biography of the man who captained the Yahagi when it went down. A fascinating man and a very informative.

Justthisguy said...

Yep, those torpedoes worked good, once we finally got'em to work right. I write of The Great (secret) Torpedo Scandal of 1942. It is still taught as a cautionary tale about how not to run a weapons-procurement program.