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Paintings of Naval Aviation


Free Ballooning
Adolf Dehn #9
Watercolor, 1943
Gift of Abbott Laboratories

The balloon was the first means by which man was able to ascend into the air. It is still going strong, for a knowledge of free ballooning is part of the stock-in-trade of the Navy lighter-than-air officer. A requisite to operation of the powered non-rigid airship is an understanding of the operation of a free balloon in air currents and in descent and ascent. Many an airship officer has successfully free-ballooned his craft to safety in emergency or without engine power. Here, at a lighter-than-air base, balloons ascend among the circling non-rigid Navy blimps.


A Lady of the Navy
Howard Baer #10
Watercolor, circa, 1943
Gift of Abbott Laboratories


They don't shoot guns, but members of the WAVES--enlisted personnel and officers alike--have won the admiration of the Navy and are playing an important and vital part in winning the war. Keen, alert, cheerful, the Navy's WAVES are capable "seamen" and sailors. This is a typical example.


Victory Sparks
Howard Baer #11
Watercolor, 1943
Gift of Abbott Laboratories


A WAVE machinist bends busily over a grinding wheel, sparks flying from the tool which she is sharpening. WAVES have won a respected place for themselves as mechanics in Navy machine and repair shops.


Sewing Machine Sailor
Howard Baer #4
Charcoal & Ink Wash, 1943
Gift of Abbott Laboratories

Battles first must be prepared on the ground before they are won in the air. That's why this Navy WAVE has a vital post on the war front preparing airplane fabric with the sewing machine as her weapon.


Bomber Glamour
Howard Baer #9
Pen & Ink, 1943
Gift of Abbott Laboratories


The glamour of the Navy's aviation branch has lost nothing through its capable WAVE machinists. They overhaul and repair planes with male enlisted machinist's mates, as this one working here on a bomber in for overhaul.


Wave on a Wing
Howard Baer #2
Watercolor, 1943
Gift of Abbott Laboratories

That the needle may be applied to the war effort is demonstrated by the work of this WAVE as she plies a needle and thread in repairs to an aileron in a seaplane hangar. WAVES familiarity with the sewing machine and kindred feminine skills has many definite advantages in the Navy. Note through the window the view of a Martin Mariner being beached.


Busy Hands
Howard Baer #1
Gouache, circa, 1943
Gift of Abbott Laboratories


With drill and punch, Navy WAVES repair the engine cowlings of airplanes. They work in the hangar side by side with naval mechanics, taking grease and dirt in stride.


A Woman's Task
Howard Baer #5
Oil on Canvas, circa, 1943
Gift of Abbott Laboratories


If she's a Navy WAVE, then woman's task may be anything that a man's task may be, and it's a pretty good bet that she will handle it efficiently. Here, three WAVES turn to with machinist's mates to put the engine of an amphibian in tip-top running condition.

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20 August 2005