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WASHINGTON DC 20374-5060

Amphibious Operations


Coxswain at the Wheel
James Turnbull #7
Oil on canvas
Gift of Abbott Laboratories

In this painting the artist sought to pay homage to the man who in an amphibious war sees more action than almost any other, for during the invasion phase he pilots his small landing boat to the beach under fire many times, bringing in waves of troops and later their supplies. He is seen against a background of smoke laid out to conceal our ships.


Troops Going Down Landing Nets
James Turnbull #9
Oi l on canvas, 1945
Gift of Abbott Laboratories

This phase is sometimes a very dangerous one in amphibious operations both for the crew of the boat and the men coming down the nets, especially when there are high seas. The boats bob about like corks and crash against the APA (Personnel Attack Ship). At one moment the net will be hanging clear of the bottom of the boat and at the next the boat will be raised by a wave so that the net is bunched up and the soldier with all his equipment may get a considerable shoving around.


Communications Center
James Turnbull #17
Oil on canvas, 1945
Gift of Abbott Laboratories

In this air-conditioned room in the center of a most complete radio and radar section of the ship, the whole or part of an amphibious operation (depending on the operation) is directed and coordinated. Liaison officers of Navy and Army work elbow to elbow giving each other immediate and necessary directives to coordinate the attack. Everything that goes in the operation is immediately known by radio and radar and bulletins are projected on the two screens seen in the two corners of the room. This is done by the sailor operating a new teletype machine that automatically projects the typewritten messages on the two screens seen and three others located in other parts of the ship. The doorway at the right of the picture leads into the radar room.


Airfield at Lingayen, Luzon
James Turnbull #5
Oil on canvas, 1945
Gift of Abbott Laboratories

This Japanese air strip was put out of action by carrier aircraft several days before the landing in Lingayen Gulf, January 9, 1944. Piper Cub planes used for observation purposes landed on this strip shortly after our troops hit shore. Immediate repair made possible the landing of some fighter aircraft and in a matter of a few days the strip was covered with a metal runway, and P- 38's, night fighters, PBY's and C47's were making this one of the most crowded air strips in the world. A road goes past one end of the strip from the beach and supplies were carried over it by "Ducks" (in left foreground) and other vehicles. The MP keeps traffic moving.


Supplies are Landed
James Turnbull #4
Oil on canvas, 1945
Gift of Abbott Laboratories

African-American troops unloading an LCM (Landing Craft Mechanized). Supplies must come ashore in this manner until permanent docking facilities can be wrested from the enemy. It is backbreaking work at terrifically long hours and when the beach is under mortar or artillery fire can be very dangerous. The LCVP at the right was broached by the high waves and the coxswain is trying to get it righted before it is pounded to pieces.


Spirit of 1945
James Turnbull #29
Oil on canvas, 1945
Gift of Abbott Laboratories

Filipino guerrilla waving an American flag while standing in the surf. This man was spotted by one of out observation planes waving a flag in the midst of our most concentrated pre-invasion bombardment a few minutes before H-Hour. He was attempting to signal our forces that the Japanese had retreated and that we would be able to land without bombardment. This was probably one of the greatest single acts of heroism of the whole operation.


Grateful Friends
James Turnbull #3
Oil on canvas
Gift of Abbott Laboratories

An American enlisted man, wearing greens with yellow patches on knees and elbows (to indicate that he is a member of a Navy shore party), sits by his foxhole which, at the insistence of four Filipinos, is being dug by one of them. The Filipinos were so glad to see our men that this was one of the ways they took to show their appreciation. Thus an Ohio farm boy meets a strange people on a newly won shore and hears the stories of their suffering.


Amphibious Troop Movement
James Turnbull
Oil on canvas, 1945

Burdened with full combat packs, assault troops clamber down a landing net into the landing craft which will debark them on the shores of Lingayen Gulf to open the battle for Luzon.

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1 April 2001