Ordeal at Ormoc Bay

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Ordeal at Ormoc Bay

Ordeal at Ormoc Bay

Image size: 17” x 22”

Overall print size: 22” X 25”

On November 10, 1944, 1/Lt. H. C. McClanahan and his wingman, 2/Lt. A. R. White, formed the third flight in the 822nd Squadron’s attack on Ormoc Bay, on the island of Leyte, in the Philippines. Roaring at minimum altitude, McClanahan and White opened fire on the freighter-transport Kinka Maru. McClanahan’s co-pilot, 2/Lt. W. A. Wolfe, placed one 500-pounder just aft of the ship’s stern. White ended up in a better position over the transport, and his co-pilot, 2/Lt. Robert L. Miller, dropped their string of bombs, managing to get two direct hits on the vessel. One bomb was seen to explode in the area of the forward hatch and the second amidships.

This painting depicts McClanahan and White pulling up from their strafing run, caught in a maelstrom of flak bursts and tracers. In his bid to escape, McClanahan engaged the Yugumo-class destroyer Akishimo, strafing its deck and releasing three bombs just seconds after passing mere feet above the ship’s superstructure. However, McClanahan’s severely damaged aircraft crashed into the waters of the Kawit Straight, southeast of Ponson Island, breaking into four pieces on impact. Lt. White observed the crash and signaled in the bomber’s position before returning safely to Tacloban Airdrome. There were no survivors from the crash. The 38th Bomb Group was awarded a Distinguished Unit Citation for this mission.

Short Description

Published in 1995 in cooperation with the 38th Bomb Group Association, this set of four limited edition squadron prints vividly and accurately captures some of the most outstanding and dramatic moments of combat flying in the Southwest Pacific during World War II. Painted by well-known aviation artist, Steve Ferguson, and researched by Lawrence J. Hickey, these prints depict the 38th Bomb Group’s service with the low level B-25 strafer attack aircraft on key missions against Japanese airfields, shipping and industrial targets.

The prints illustrate the famous raids on Dagua Airdrome (Wewak) on August 18, 1943; the daring attack by the Fifth Air Force on the Japanese bastion at Rabaul on November 2, 1943; the vicious ordeal over the Japanese reinforcement convoy at Ormoc Bay, Leyte, on November 10, 1944; and finally the devastating attacks on the Japanese fuel alcohol industry on Formosa, represented by the raid on Tairin on May 29, 1945.

All images are printed on top-quality heavy art stock and are signed and numbered by the artist in a limited edition of 450 prints plus 50 artist proofs. Ten veterans from each squadron, chosen for their service with the unit during World War II, also individually signed each print. This includes a squadron commander and members from each crew position on the B-25 strafer, as well as a ground officer and enlisted man. The squadron insignia appears in full color on the lower margin along with the Fifth Air Force insignia and a gold foil commemorative logo for the 50th Anniversary of the air war in World War II. A certificate of authenticity accompanies each print, documenting the history of the mission and its importance in the Pacific air war. Biographical information and a short service history are also provided on each signer of the print.

For additional information, view the flyer (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader).

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