A limited number of lithographs of “Centennial of U. S. Marine Corps Aviation” are signed and numbered by the artist.
A lithograph, one of a single run of only 500 copies, will be shipped.
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“Forged Above” by famed aviation fine artist Steve Tack is the most impressive piece yet done to commemorate the Centennial of U. S. Marine Corps Aviation. This remarkable painting captures the heart and soul of aircraft, airmen, and mission down through the ages since May 22, 1912, the official birthday of Marine Corps Aviation.
One will find deep symbolism and meaning in every brushstroke. The setting brings forth the roar of thundering aircraft supporting the Ground Combat Element (GCE) engaged in “every clime and place,” China, Nicaragua, WW I, Guadalcanal, to the Middle East. The overall color tone brings to mind the immense strength of hardened blue steel. Even the title word “Forged,” suggests tough material. The two separate aircraft formations cross as do crossed swords, time-tested throughout time, the symbol of warriors.
Every Marine Corps aircraft had a job to do, and did it well. But the “Forged Above” craft are milestone setters, and representative of the entire history of USMC aircraft.
CURTISS C-3. The twin-crew, mahogany-hulled Curtiss C-3 hydroplane of 1913 was the very first type actually owned by Marines. First Lieutenant Cunningham and others had learned to fly in U. S. Navy and civilian airplanes.
CURTISS DH-4. Marines recognize the Curtiss DH-4 Jenny as their very first combat-tested Close Air Support (CAS) weapon. Led by Squadron CO Major Ross Rowell, five Jennys with hand-held 25 lb. bombs saved the day for Marines in contact fiercely fighting the Sandino rebel forces at Ocotal, Nicaragua in July 1927.
VOUGHT F4U. During WWII in the Solomon Islands campaign, and later in Korea, Marines learned to rely on the F4U Corsair for its brutish capability in both fighter and attack (CAS) roles. Many types of USN, USMC, and USAAF aircraft mauled the enemy, but for Marines, the F4U stands proudest of all.
DOUGLAS F3D. The dawning of the Jet Age brought many “firsts.” Marines flying the Douglas F3D Skynight were the first jet night-fighter pilots to down an aircraft at night during the Korean conflict.
DOUGLAS F4D. The very first operational USN/USMC carrier-based jet fighter capable of sustained supersonic speed in level flight was the Douglas F4D Skyray. It also held the record for time-to-climb to intercept altitude.
DOUGLAS A4D. When the attack and fighter missions were eventually separated, Douglas Aircraft gave Navy-Marine attack pilots the A4D Skyhawk. It served the Corps extremely well during the 50’s to 80’s - nearly 38 years. No artist has paid so much artistic honor to the A4 than R. G. Smith, Steve Tack’s grandfather.
VOUGHT F8U. Fighter pilots received the Vought F8U Crusader capable of reaching 1,000 mph. Major John Glenn set a coast-to-coast non-stop speed record of 3 hours and 23 minutes in July 1957 (avg. 723 mph). Later versions carried 4,000 lbs. of external ordnance for CAS during the Vietnam era.
MCDONNELL DOUGLAS F4B. The McDonnell-Douglas F4B Phantom II brought a whole new meaning to air superiority and ground attack. From 1962 to 1992, capable of up to a 12,000 lb. bomb load, the F4 was the Corps’ frontline fighter/attack champion.
MCDONNELL DOUGLAS AV8A/B. V/STOL added significant flexibility to CAS on the battlefield. The AV8A in 1971 and later the AV8B in 1985, became a new direction for deployed Marines ashore and afloat.
MCDONNELL DOUGLAS (BOEING) F/A-18. The Hornet is a milestone with designed-in reliability, maintainability, and survivability. It has been the Corps’ frontline fighter/attack weapon for 30 years, and will remain in service for a good while yet.
LOCKHEED MARTIN F-35. Officially rolled out for the Corps in February 2012, the Lightning II is the fifth generation fighter/attack/V/STOL weapon. Technology advancements and capabilities are primarily support Marines on the ground.
LOCKHEED MARTIN KC-130. “Senior Member of the Board”, the Hercules has served Marines so incredibly well with cargo and fuel since 1958, the only military aircraft to remain in continuous production for 56 years with its original customer (USAF). Today it remains the stellar air refueler for both helicopters and jets.
BELL UH/AH-1. The “Huey” family joined the Corps in February 1964 and is the Marine Corps’ first turbine powered helicopter. The solid design concept and advancements have proved great success for over 48 years and has taken part in every combat engagement beginning with Vietnam. The AH-1 Cobra followed in April 1969 with VMO-2 while in Vietnam. The new AH-1Z Super Cobra is a quantum leap from the original model.
BELL VERTOL CH-46. Transporting Marines since November 1964, and now completing its 48th year, the “Phrog” has remained the workhorse in nearly every USMC ground combat operation since Vietnam. It will remain in service until fully replaced by the MV-22 by 2015.
SIKORSKY CH-53. Entering service in 1966 to replace the CH-37C, the H-53 remains the heavy lifter, serving Marines in combat and in relief operations for natural disasters worldwide.
BELL BOEING MV-22. On 8 December 2005, then-Lieutenant General James Amos accepted the delivery of the first fleet of USMC MV-22 Ospreys. It has seen extensive combat service in the Middle East, and will eventually replace all USMC CH-46 and some CH-53 helicopters.