On August 7th, 1942, US Marines, supported by the US Navy, began the Allied offensive in the Pacific with the invasion of Guadalcanal. The following day, the Japanese Navy responded forcefully by air and by sea, with Naval air units from their base in Rabaul striking the invasion force with G4M1 'Betty' torpedo bombers, while their a powerful surface fleet sailed south to fight in what became the bloody Battle of Savo Island.
Lt. Henry H. Hall was an officer aboard the attack transport ship USS Barnett, which had earlier delivered Marines to shore. In the midst of the Japanese aerial torpedo attack, one damaged G4M1 (of the 4th Kokutai) passed low over the ship, struck a mast, and crashed into the sea. One wing from this aircraft was left on deck.
The Japanese strike achieved little, and all but one 'Betty' were shot down. The Battle of Savo Island, on the other hand, was the worst Naval disaster ever suffered by the US Navy. The Barnett rescued hundreds of American serviceman from the waters the next morning.
After the battles, Lt. Hall took a section of green-painted aluminum from the wing of the destroyed Japanese bomber, sent it stateside, and the fragments included in these relic displays were cut from that panel.
The 'Betty' aluminum is paired with Ron Cole's original artwork of that moment in history: the G4M1 crashing into a mast of the USS Barnett, and the loss of its outer wing, before striking the water. Very limited edition, signed and numbered, with the history of this aircraft and this battle included.
Displays measure 18 x 12 inches. Framed with glass. Ready to hang.
(Supplemental photos depict a scrapbook from Lt. Hall's estate, including pieces from this aircraft's wing, descriptions of the action, file photos of the attack, as well as pictures of the US Navy ships lost that night in the Battle of Savo Island)