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Paintings of Naval Aviation


Patched to Fly Another Day
Howard Baer #8
Watercolor, 1943
Gift of Abbott Laboratories


In the Navy, it's everybody together. Here, it's the WAVE and sailor together to patch bullet holes in the wing tip pontoon of a naval flying boat in from patrol duty.


Readying for the Line
Howard Baer #7
Oil on Canvas, 1943
Gift of Abbott Laboratories


Sleeves rolled to the elbow, WAVES take a hand in preparing an SNJ advanced trainer for flight. WAVES universally have proven adept at arduous, exact tasks requiring a sure touch and infinite patience.


Women at Work
Howard Baer #3
Gouache, 1943
Gift of Abbott Laboratories


In coveralls with grease on their hands, WAVE machinists may be seen on the working platform of a seaplane ramp. Working side by side with their male contemporaries, they lend a capable hand on engine check and problems of maintenance.


Fuel for the Air Fleet
Howard Baer #6
Gouache, circa, 1943
Gift of Abbott Laboratories


Perhaps it wasn't long ago that this WAVE was dispensing beauty oils and creams. She is still dispensing--but for the Navy now, and in coveralls and leather gloves and with high octane gasoline as her wares. Gray-painted Navy tank trucks rumble through her post at an air station by day and night.


Grooming a War Dog
Howard Baer #12
Gouache, 1943
Gift of Abbott Laboratories

Beneath the heavy, vicious nose of a Navy Corsair fighter, WAVE mechanics bear a hand in engine maintenance as they drain the oil preparatory to filling it with new oil. Not pretty work; not clean. But mighty important to hard-pressed machinist's mates in keeping the Navy's first line fighter ready for instant action.


Serviced and Ready
Lawrence Beall-Smith #2
Oil, 1943
Gift of Abbott Laboratories

The aircraft carrier, as well as being a mobile airfield, is a service station deluxe. Once aboard and spotted by the Flight Deck Officer at its appointed parking place, the plane is taken in hand immediately by a servicing crew. It is refueled, cleaned, checked and inspected for instant use. At the same time, a crewman lashes down wings with running lines attached to deck fittings. Wing lashings are necessary on the exposed flight deck, where heavy winds and even seas sweep its broad expanse.


Language All Their Own
Lawrence Beall-Smith #1
Oil, 1943
Gift of Abbott Laboratories


Hand signals are the language of the flight deck aboard an aircraft carrier. Little else would be distinguishable above the roar of engines and the rush of wind. Here taxi signalmen impart their terse messages to pilots and chockmen as they spot landed planes at appointed parking places. The signalmen in the foreground signifies by clenched fist that he wishes the pilot to lock his brakes, while with his right hand he tells the chockmen to pull clear the wheel chocks. Planes aboard a carrier are always chocked against the wind and roll of the deck except when taxiing or when being moved by a handling crew. In the background, an Avenger torpedo bomber already has folded its wings to conserve deck space.


To the Attack!
Lawrence Beall-Smith #4
Oil on Board, 1943
Gift of Abbott Laboratories

The glinting flash of the checkered flag, in the hand of the Flight Deck Officer...the thundering roar of smoothly harnessed horsepower...and a Grumman fighter races down the aircraft carrier's flight deck to take off into the wind. Even as it rolls forward, plane directors wave another into the take-off spot to follow in a matter of seconds. The torpedo and dive bombers will swing away in turn as the fighters rendezvous aloft to form a protective air umbrella.

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21 April 2006