Six months after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the US territory of Midway found itself threatened by a powerful Japanese naval force. The marines garrisoned on the island were ill-equipped to fend off this challenge. Among their weapons was the outdated Brewster F2A Buffalo, an overweight, underpowered Navy cast-off fighter plane, derisively nicknamed the “Flying Coffin” by the pilots that flew them. Nevertheless, on June 4th, 1942, the pilots of VMF-221, warriors to the core, took to the skies to repel the invaders, knowing full well they were flying inferior planes. Vectored out by radar to a distance of 72 miles, well beyond the horizon, the pilots immediately found and engaged the enemy. Their planes were no match for the more modern Zero. Many of these men had no eyewitnesses to their courage as they took on a superior enemy. They gave everything they had in a fight to the finish, and then disappeared.
Watercolors on Arches paper.