"THE BATTLE OF THE CORAL SEA"

BY ROBERT TAYLOR

Autographed by Harold L. Buell, Ben Preston, Joe Riley, Arthur J. Schultz, Lawrence G. Traynor, 1-350 also by Dick Best, Bill Christie, Robert Elder, Harry A. Frederickson and Stanley W. Vejtasa.

L/E of 500. Signed and numbered by the artist.

Size:313 1/4" x 23 1/2"

Price: $295


Tactically the Battle of the Coral Sea may have indicated a Japanese success, but strategically it was an American victory. The capture of Port Moresby had been thwarted, and for the first time the march of the Japanese forces throughout the southwest Pacific was halted.

Though the loss of the carrier Lexington, the tanker Neosho and the destroyer Sims were hard to take, the three task forces dispatched by Admiral Nimitz caused the Japanese to abandon their attack on Port Moresby in what was the first naval engagement fought without visual contact between the opposing forces. With it opened a new chapter in the annals of naval warfare, with carrier-against-carrier, and thus was set the strategy for the remainder of the war at sea in the Pacific. Naval aviation had truly come of age.

Japanese losses of aircraft were especially severe, but of more significance to Nimitz was the damage to the carriers Shokaku and Zuikaku, and the prize of Admiral Goto's carrier Shóhó. The toll reaped by the American aircraft was to pay dividends in the forthcoming Battle of Midway.

Commemorating the Battle of the Coral Sea Robert Taylor has chosen to portray the sinking of the Shóhó in his dramatic new painting. When Commander Weldon Hamilton, leading one of the Lexington's Dauntless squadrons, spotted the Shóhó at 10:40 on the morning of May 4th 1942, the Japanese carrier's fate was sealed. Within minutes she was hit by the full force of the Lexington's dive bombers and torpedo aircraft, aided by the Yorktown's attack group.

Smothered by a dozen bomb and seven torpedo hits, she was sunk within thirty minutes of the first sighting, causing an excited Commander Dixon of the Lexington to radio the immortal words "Dixon to carrier: Scratch one Flat Top".

Seen in Robert's spectacular rendition are the Lexington's SBD Dauntless dive bombers climbing out following delivery of their successful bombing attack. More SBDs follow them in while below the Devastator torpedo bombers swoop in to deliver their lethal cargo.

Each print in the edition is signed by SBD Dauntless pilots who flew in action in the Pacific adding great authenticity to this highly exclusive collector's edition.


THE SIGNATURES

All 850 prints signed by:

Commander HAROLD L. BUELL, USN
Harold served in SBD squadrons, aboard Yorktown, Saratoga, Enterprise and Hornet during WWII. He took part in 16 major battles and raids during 3 war cruises and was with VS-5 at the Coral Sea.

Captain BEN PRESTON, USN
Joining up in S39, Ben flew SBDs with BS-5 off the Yorktown during the Battle of the Coral Sea. He served in all the major Pacific campaigns making a total of 740 deck landings.

Commander JOE RILEY, USN
Decorated at the Battle of the Coral Sea, Joe flew with VB-2 from the Lexington on the mission that sunk the Riuku. He was on board the Lexington at the time she was sunk.

Captain ARTHUR J. SCHULTZ, USN
Arthur Schultz was flying SBDs h om the Lexington with VS-2 during the Battle of the Coral Sea and attacked the Shóhó. He served throughout the Pacific Theater.

Captain 'LINK' LAWRENCE G. TRAYNOR, USN
'Link' Traynor flew SBDs from the decks of three of the greatest carriers, the Yorktown, Enterprise and Saratoga. He participated in most of the major Pacific Campaigns, including the Battle of the Coral Sea.

Prints Nos. 1-350 also signed by:

Lt. Commander DICK BEST, USN
Dick Best was one of the most experienced SBD pilots in the Pacific. As Commanding Officer of VB-6 he flew escort for the Doolittle raid on Tokyo.

Captain BILL CHRISTIE, USN
After serving with the Atlantic convoys Bill transferred to the Pacific in 1942 flying SBDs with VB-5, arriving aboard the Yorktown in time for the Battles of the Coral Sea and Midway.

Captain ROBERT ELDER, USN
A highly decorated SBD combat pilot, Bob Elder took part in all the great WWII naval air carrier engagements in the Pacific, including the Battles of the Coral Sea and Midway.

Commander HARRY A. FREDRICKSON, USN
Harry first saw combat on May 7th, 1942 flying his SBD at the Battle of the Coral Sea, shorly after reporting VB-5 having joined the Lexington. He attacked the Shóhó and was credited with a hit.

Captain STANLEY W. VEJTASA, USN
'Swede' Vejtasa's first combat assignment was with VS-5 aboard the Yorktown during the Coral Sea. Switching to fighters, he scored 11 air victories including 7 in one flight.