Artwork details: Edward Pernotto Aviation Artwork Gallery

Jesse Brown

He Who Dares
He Who Dares
devotion_print.png
Devotion

In becoming the U.S. Navy's first African American aviator, Ensign Jesse Leroy Brown fulfilled a childhood dream to fly. Brown enrolled in The Ohio State University in 1944 as an architectural engineering major and was accepted into the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corp program.

In the Navy he served as a fighter pilot in the Korean War and died at the age of 24 after crash landing into the mountains of North Korea during a battle. His wingman, LTJG Thomas Hudger, purposely crash-landed his own plane in an attempt to rescue Brown. The scene of the two crashes is depicted in the print entitled "Devotion". Thomas Hudner was later awarded the nation’s highest award for bravery, the Medal of Honor, for his attempted rescue of Jesse Brown.

Devotion: Jesse Brown and Thomas Hudner by Matt Hall

He Who Dares: Ensign Jesse Brown by Rick Reeves

Tuskegee Airmen

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The Legend of the Redtails

African Americans have served in every major military conflict in which the United States has fought, although for many years the American military, like the country at large, was segregated. Among the most well-known groups of African American service members were the Tuskegee Airmen, the first group of black pilots to serve in the United States military. These members of the United States Army Air Forces served with distinction during World War II. They received numerous combat awards, including 150 Distinguished Flying Crosses, 14 Bronze Stars and three Presidential Unit Citations.

In total, nearly 16,000 people served with the Tuskegee Airmen as air traffic controllers, bombardiers, flight instructors, mechanics, navigators, pilots and technicians. Some came from Ohio, representing 20 counties throughout the state. After World War II ended, Tuskegee Airmen throughout the country came to central Ohio.

Tuskegee Airmen
Tuskegee Airmen (Selman)

In March 1946, Tuskegee Airmen began to arrive at Lockbourne Army Airfield (known today as Rickenbacker Air National Guard Base) outside of Columbus. Unlike at other bases where they were stationed, black service members worked without the immediate supervision of whites at Lockbourne. Colonel Benjamin O. Davis, Jr., commanded the Franklin County base, becoming the first black officer to command an Army Air Force base in the continental United States. The independence African Americans enjoyed at Lockbourne led Charles Dryden, a former Tuskegee Airman, to say that everywhere on the base there was evidence of striving for perfection. Lockbourne was ‘our’ base, run, from top to bottom and all in between, by ‘us.’" In fact, by 1948, 75 percent of all black officers in the Air Force were stationed at Lockbourne (by then, it was renamed Lockbourne Air Force Base) That same year, President Harry S. Truman issued Executive Order 9981, which desegregated America’s armed forces. Though considered a critical piece of the civil rights movement, it proved bittersweet for some. For example, Lewis Lynch, a Tuskegee Airman from Columbus who served at Lockbourne, said, “When they integrated the Air Force, I found that we had to prove all over again that we could fly…The 332nd [Fighter Group, a unit stationed at Lockbourne] itself was the best-kept secret in the Air Force.” One year after President Truman ordered the military to desegregate, the 932nd Fighter Group was deactivated at Lockbourne, marking the end of the Tuskegee Airmen.

Source: Retrieved from Ohio History Connection (link)

332nd Fighter Group 99th Fighter Squadron
99th Fighter Squadron

The Legend of the Red Tails by Ray Simon

This painting depicts a World War II battle in Germany involving the Tuskegee Airmen, a group of African-American military pilots (fighter and bomber). They formed the 332nd Fighter Group and the 477th Bombardment Group of the United States Army Air Forces.

Tuskegee Airmen by Larry Selman

“The Tuskegee Airmen were dedicated, determined young men who enlisted to become America's first black military airmen at a time when there were many people who thought that black men lacked intelligence, courage and patriotism. The airman were trained at Tuskegee Army Air Field in Tuskegee Alabama beginning in July, 1941. The outstanding record of black airmen in World War II was accomplished by men whose names will forever live in hallowed memory." Written by artist Larry Selman.

100th Fighter Squadron
100th Fighter Squadron

Tuskegee Airmen by Ric Druet (four print set)

Ric Druet created a series of four prints for the 50th anniversary of the 332nd Fighter Group. There is one print for each squadron. There are 26 Tuskegee Airmen signatures on the set, including the rare signature of Benjamin O. Davis Jr., United States Air Force general and commander of the World War II Tuskegee Airmen.

99th Fighter Squadron

  • Benjamin O. Davis, Jr.
  • Howard L. Baugh
  • William A. Campbell
  • Lemuel Rodney Custis
  • Charles Dryden
  • Louis R. Purnell
  • Curtis C. Robinson
  • Spann Watson
301st Fighter Squadron
301st Fighter Squadron

100th Fighter Squadron

  • Roscoe C. Brown, Jr. Ph.D.
  • Woodrow W. Crockett
  • Lowell Cedric Steward
  • Robert W. William

301st Fighter Squadron

  • Carl E, Carey, Dr.
  • Walter M. Downs
  • Alexander Jefferson
  • Harold E. Sawyer
  • Harry T. Steward
302nd Fighter Squadron
302nd Fighter Squadron

302nd Fighter Squadron

  • Lee A. Archer, Jr.
  • Charles M. Bussey
  • Vernon Vincent Haywood
  • Melvin T. Jackson
  • Charles Edward McGee
  • William R. Melton
  • Harry A. Sheppard
  • John J. Suggs
  • Luke Weathers

Gathering of Eagles

Gathering of Eagles
Gathering of Eagles 1982

Gathering of Eagles 1982 by William J. Reynolds

In 1982, the first official Gathering of Eagles, known at the time as "Great Moments in Aviation History," was held at Air Command and Staff College Maxwell at Air Force Base in Alabama. Lt. Col. David L. McFarland, the principal advisor of this program from 1982 through 2000, honored famous aviators worldwide in the program, and his name is referenced in the annual booklet that was published for each gathering.

The first “Eagles” spanned aviation history from World War I to the space age. The following aviators autographed this limited edition print:

  • George Vaughn, fighter ace in World War I and Distinguished Service Cross, Britain's Distinguished Flying Cross, and Silver Star recipient.
  • Leigh Wade, one of eight Army aviators who took off from Seattle to fly around the globe in four 2-winged, single-engine Douglas aircraft. In 1924, which took 175 days.
  • Jimmy Doolittle (WPAFB and CNAR), helped develop instrument flight, led the famous Doolittle Raid on Japan in World War II.
  • Curtis LeMay, General, US Air Force, Chief of Staff, U.S. Air Force, born Columbus Ohio, The Ohio State University Civil Engineering graduate, early pioneer of aviation, designed and implemented an effective but controversial, systematic strategic bombing campaign in the Pacific theater of World War II, founding member, Executive Jet Aviation.
  • George Gay, one of the 30 VT-8 aircrew from Hornet that participated in the pivotal Battle of Midway, Ensign Gay was the sole survivor.
  • Joe Foss, leading Marine fighter ace in World War II.
  • John Mitchell, leader of Operation Vengeance, the mission to shoot down Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto during World War II.
  • Chuck Yeager (WPAFB), the first pilot confirmed to have exceeded the speed of sound in level flight.
  • Gail Halvorsen (WPAFB), an Air Force pilot who gained fame after World War II for dropping candy to German children during the Berlin airlift from 1948 to 1949.
  • Paul Tibbets (EJA president), Air Force pilot who dropped the first atomic bomb used in warfare on Hiroshima, Japan during World War II.
  • Gabby Gabreski, the Air Force fighter ace over Europe in World War II and a jet fighter ace with the Air Force in the Korean War.
  • Robin Olds (Cleveland NAR), fighter pilot during World War II and Vietnam who was considered one of the best wing commanders of the Vietnam War.
  • Michael Novosel, served in World War II, the Korean War and Vietnam, awarded the Medal of Honor for bravery in Vietnam.
  • Pete Knight (WPAFB) retired Colonel, Air Force Test Pilot, set airplane speed record in X-15 of 4,520 miles an hour or Mach 6.70, a record that still stands.
  • Neil Armstrong, born in Wapakoneta, Ohio, the first man to walk on the moon, Navy fighter pilot during Korean War, test pilot including piloting the X-15 seven times, Gemini 8, Apollo 11, professor of aerospace engineering, University of Cincinnati.

Key:
*WPAFB Wright Patterson Air Force Base
**CNAR Cleveland National Air Races
***EJA Executive Jet Aviation
****STS Space Transportation System, denotes Space Shuttle

Robert L. Rasmussen Series (1989)

Naval aviator and artist Rasmussen painted a watercolor depicting scenes from America’s four greatest manned spaceflight programs: Mercury, Gemini, Apollo and the space shuttle.

Naval Aviation
Naval Aviation

Naval Aviation

This is a limited edition print signed at the Naval Aviation Museum by nine Naval astronauts:

  • George H.W. Bush: member of Congress, Vice President, President, one of youngest Navy pilots in history, pilot: TBM Avenger.
  • John H. Glenn Jr., Col USMC Retired, born Cambridge Ohio, one of the original Mercury 7 astronauts and first American to orbit the earth: Friendship 7, STS-95, U.S. Senator from Ohio for 25 years.
  • Gregory “Pappy” Boyington, Marine Corps ace with 28 victories: F4U Corsair.
  • Alan B. Shepard, Jr., Rear Admiral, Upper Half, USN Retired, first American in space Mercury 3, Freedom 7, Apollo 14, fifth and oldest human to walk on the moon (age 47).
  • Gene Cernan, Captain, USN Retired., Gemini 9A, Apollo 10, Apollo 17, last man to walk on moon.
  • James Bond Stockdale, Vice Admiral, US Navy Retired, Medal of Honor, POW for seven and a half years in North Vietnam: F8 Crusader.
  • Jeremiah Denton, U.S. Senator and 7 year POW: A6 Intruder.
  • Joseph J. Foss, Major, USMC Brigadier General, Air National Guard, Governor, South Dakota, Medal of Honor, top Marine ace with 26 victories: F4F Wildcat.
  • Thomas H. Moorer, Admiral, US Navy Retired, Chief of Naval Operations, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff, Chair of the Joint Chiefs, CNO: PBY Catalina.
  • David McCampbell, Captain, US Navy Retired, Medal of Honor, top Navy ace with 34 victories, top American ace to survive WWII, set world single mission aerial combat record shooting down nine enemy planes on same mission: F6 Hellcat.
  • Clyde E. Lassen, Medal of Honor for night rescue behind enemy lines: H2 Seasprite.
  • Randall “Duke” Cunningham, Navy ace in Vietnam and former Congressman.
Naval Aviators in Space
Naval Aviators in Space

Naval Aviators in Space

  • Alan B. Shepard, Jr., Rear Admiral, Upper Half, USN Retired, first American in space Mercury 3, Freedom 7, Apollo 14, fifth and oldest human to walk on the moon (age 47).
  • John H. Glenn Jr., Col USMC Retired, born Cambridge Ohio, one of the original Mercury 7 astronauts and first American to orbit the earth: Friendship 7, STS-95, US Senator from Ohio for 25 years.
  • Jim Lovell, Captain, USN Retired. born Cleveland Ohio, Gemini 7, Gemini 12, Apollo 8, Apollo 13, famous quote: “Houston, we have a problem”.
  • Neil Armstrong, born, Wapakoneta OH, Navy fighter pilot during Korean War, test pilot including piloting the X-15 seven times, Gemini 8, Apollo 11, professor of aerospace engineering, University of Cincinnati, the first person to walk on the moon.
  • Gene Cernan, last man to walk on moon: Apollo 17.
  • Charles “Pete” Conrad, Jr., Captain, USN Retired, Gemini 5, Gemini 11, Apollo 12, Skylab 2, third human to walk on the moon.
  • Wally Scherra, one of the Mercury 7 and the only astronaut to fly in the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo programs.
  • Jack Lousma, Col USMC, Retired, Skylab 3, STS-3.
  • Frederick “Rick” Hauck, Captain USN Retired, STS-7, STS-51A, STS-26. 
Space...The Pioneers
Space...The Pioneers

Space… The Pioneers

Color lithograph showing one of the Mercury launches, the first crewed space program, signed by four Mercury astronauts:

  • John H. Glenn Jr., first American to orbit the earth: Friendship 7 and one of the Mercury 7.
  • Scott Carpenter, one of the original seven astronauts selected for NASA's Project Mercury in April 1959.
  • Wally Scherra, one of the Mercury 7 and the only astronaut to fly in the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo programs.
  • Gorden Cooper, the youngest of the Mercury 7.
  • Rasmussen (artist)
Apollo: Navy to the Moon
Apollo: Navy to the Moon

Apollo: Navy to the Moon

Scenes depict the Apollo missions to the moon and signed by four Naval astronauts: James Lovell, Neil Armstrong, Alan Shepard and Gene Cernan. The print was produced to raise funds for the Museum of Naval Aviation in Pensacola, Florida.