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Submitted on
August 23, 2012
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5.6 MB
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4200×2197
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Burning Hellcat by zulumike Burning Hellcat by zulumike
I used a historical photograph for the reference of this project. The photo illustrates the dangers involved with the Pacific War carrier operations for both the aircrews and ship's crews. The photo also dramatically presents an example of individual courage as the catapult officer steps onto the flaming external fuel tank in an attempt to reach the pilot to help him escape to safety.

The true story: A Hellcat F6F-3, Number 30 of Fighting Squadron Two (VF-2), USS Enterprise, crashes into the carrier's port side 20mm gun gallery, 10 November 1943. Lieutenant Walter L. Chewning, Jr., USNR, the Catapult Officer, is climbing up the plane's side to assist the pilot from the burning aircraft. The pilot, Ensign Byron M. Johnson, escaped without significant injury. Enterprise was then en route to support the Gilberts Operation. Note the plane's ruptured belly fuel tank. This fuel tank had to be “cookin”.

Many hours of developing the fire and colors consumed over (25) layers until I was satisfied and sleepless nights. I know I get consumed. The dynamics and the danger of the fire had to be the focal point. Also the gun gallery with two sailors and equipment was a challenge to integrate this area was important to tell a dramatic story. These guys had to be scared as they stand frozen in time. I know this area is normally painted a “battleship grey” with wooden floor decks, but I used a green tone to enhance the area and mood. As color is important for the mood here. The project is 80% painted and enhanced using Paint.Net and GIMP.
Link: <a href=[link](CV-6)>bearcat

Thank You for looking and remember the “Greatest Generation”.

Salute, Mike
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:iconcrypto-137:
Crypto-137 Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
I remember this video
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:iconzulumike:
zulumike Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
An epic event and the danger of war. Glad everyone was ok.
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:iconcrypto-137:
Crypto-137 Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Indeed.
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:icondeathgod65:
DEathgod65 Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2012
Very well done! Love it :D
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:iconzulumike:
zulumike Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank You I appreciate the feedback.
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:iconmobiusonedt:
mobiusonedt Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2012
Man I;ve seen the original so many times. This is very well done.
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:iconzulumike:
zulumike Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
It's a great photo, hats off to photographer to catch the moment. Also the gun crew are frozen in time. They stood there watching the event before their eyes.
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:iconanchorup:
AnchorUp Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2012
Incredible picture!! I am lucky enough to have never seen this happen on any of the ships I've been on. Looks like a lot of hard work and dedication when into this picture.
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:iconzulumike:
zulumike Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I dedicated this picture to our U.S. Navy Servicemen. The local VFW and our local WW II ( Lincoln Il)mueseum will each receive a frame copy of this artwork. Thanks for your service. It was a labor of love and I considered it one my favorites.

What ships did you serve on? Thanks for the feedback.
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:iconanchorup:
AnchorUp Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2012
I currently serve aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71 [aircraft carrier]). The USS Theodore Roosevelt is currently in the shipyards having a reconstructive overhaul by refueling the reactors and refurbishing the ship. My division is responsible for putting back together the catapults and arresting gear. With having my ship in the yards we obviously cant go out to sea. My division deployed me with the USS Carl Vinson and I proudly deployed supporting Operation Enduring Freedom 2011-2012. I've been on a few other ships performing workups while training myself and others aboard the USS Enterprise, Dwight D. Eisenhower, and the USS George Bush. My next ship I will be receiving sea time with will be the USS Harry Truman.
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