IMG0237a

Marine Air Corps

 

The main art work shows Grumman Hellcat & Wildcat, flying in formation with the beautiful F4U Corsair . The front crest is a detail of the Hellcat and Corsair.

The art is silk screened on a 6.1 oz, pre-shrunk, ring-spun, all cotton, white, Hanes Beefy-T. With a five-point, double-needle hemmed pocket.

"The Point of the Spear"

The Marine Corps' dedication to service and it's fidelity to the USA has never been questioned. “Always Faithful" is the Marine Corps motto, and it has been earned in blood. This design is for the Marine Aviators of WWII and for one young Marine in particular.

The focus of the drawing is a Vought Chance F4U Corsair, in VMF 312 colors. The Corsair was made famous by Marine aviators like Gregory "Pappy" Boyington's legendary 'Black Sheep' squadron. Designed around the huge Pratt & Whitney R-2800 air-cooled radial engine and 13' propeller, the Corsair was given it's distinct 'gull wing' to give the landing gear some extra length to let the prop clear the ground.With it's lack of forward visibility (the 'gullwing' forced the designers to take the fuel out of the wings and place it all in the fuselage between the engine and the cockpit, extending the nose) and tendency to bounce on landing, the Navy declined to use the Corsair on it's aircraft carriers. But the fighter reached action on British carriers and with Marine Corps squadrons flying from bases in the Solomon Islands. It did so well in combat the Navy changed it's mind and Corsairs flew with the Marines and Navy for the rest of the War. In different variations the Corsair continued to serve through the Korean War and into the 1960's with other nation's air forces, giving the Corsair one of the longest and most esteemed service lives in aviation history. It's kill-ration of 11-1 was also one of the best of the War. (Side note: the white stripes on the nose in front of the cockpit was white tape the ground crews placed on the seams of the fuel tank. Some model F4U's had leaky tanks and the tape was to prevent gas from splooshing up over the windscreen! A Marine aviator told me that high octane gas splooches inches from a red-hot 2000 hp engine and 6 .50 caliber machine guns was not Marine Standard Operating Procedure. Now in the Navy he was not so sure...)

In formation below is a Grumman F4F Wildcat, made famous by Marine pilots like Joe Foss, who, flying out of Henderson Field with the "Cactus Air Force" outnumbered at times a dozen to 1, helped save the Marine beachhead at Guadalcanal. The Wildcat was in service on December 7th, 1941, and was our first line of defense against the Japanese Zeros through 1942, in the Battle of the Coral Sea, Midway and Guadalcanal. The Wildcat wasn't the equal of the Japanese fighters in speed and agility, but it had incredible stamina, great dive speed and a knockout punch with it's .50 caliber machine guns. It held until it's big brother, the Grumman F6F Hellcat could arrive.

Flying in formation above the Corsair is the Grumman Hellcat. Not as beautiful as the Corsair, not quite as fast, perhaps not as flashy, it did however have THE greatest kill ratio in WWII: 19-1! Flown by Marine flyers like R. Bruce Porter, it's ease of maintenance, better visibility, amazing agility and forgiveness in landing made it a favorite of many pilots. Not used in as great of numbers by the Marines, it nevertheless saw incredible service in The Corps as a night fighter and kamikaze hunter.

"The one marine in particular is Joe McNamara. Joe McNamara and his dad, Dr. Don McNamara have been coming to the EAA's Fly In at Oshkosh for over a decade, since Joe was a youngster. It's one of the bonds they have, one of the reasons they are so devoted to each other. I've had the pleasure of spending time with them over the years and to watch Joe grow up into an incredible young man who's joined the Marine Corps in his desire to give back to his family and his country. This shirt was designed for Joe, who is becoming, like so many Marines before him, the living embodiment of the motto. Semper Fi.”

The artwork on this site and all discriptions are copyrighted and the exclusive property of Pete Feigal.

It may not be reproduced or used for any purpose without the express written consent of the artist. Thank you.

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