01 June, 2012

Profile 67: BEGINNING - "5?" as flown by Joe Foss

Here it is - the starting sketch of Joe Foss's F4F-4 Wildcat circa Fall of 1942, on Guadalcanal.

This particular commission is a especially weighty - not just because it represents one of America's heroes but also because it's going to be displayed in a very public place.  Suffice it to state, the pressure is on.  But it takes pressure to make a diamond, right?

I'm working hard to make this project worth your time.  If only half the pieces I'm hoping for fall together, there'll be some fresh data, real inspiration and a blow-mind surprise.  Or two.

Regular readers know my Drill - I start with a sketch, then try to tell the story behind it via progressive updates to the art.   As my target-date for finishing is June 22, check back every Saturday throughout June for progress shots and back-story.

In the meantime, I'll set the stage for the Guadalcanal story - in 6 months between August of 1942 and February of 1943, over 35,000 soldiers would die, 50-some ships would sink and 1,300+ airplanes would never fly again.

Guadalcanal was a bloody mess.

And somewhere in there, an "old man" from South Dakota would use a handful of hard-worn Wildcats to defeat a fierce enemy,  help turn the tables in the Pacific War and come home to the Congressional Medal of Honor.

When it comes to seat-of-the-pants history, it doesn't get better than this...

Image: 1943 King Features Syndicate via darwinscans.blogspot.com