Aviation Art - "Closing the Gap"      

During WWII a gap existed where land-based aircraft could not provide air cover for the lifeline convoys sailing to Britain from North America.  That mid-Atlantic gap was the prime hunting grounds for the German U-boat wolf packs until it was closed by the escort carrier groups.  These small "Baby Flat Tops," armed with Grumman TBM Avenger torpedo bombers and FM Wildcat fighters, could hunt down and destroy submarines as far from the convoys as required.

The escort carrier groups went on to provided a critical offensive role in the Pacific by launching attacks against the numerous small islands held by the Imperial Japanese forces.  The men of the USS Shipley Bay's composite Squadron VC-97 flew TBM Avengers and Wildcat fighters during the battle for Okinawa.

Don Feight is the artist of this wonderful painting and has contributed a print to the USS Shipley Bay Archives.  Additional prints can be obtained through the Feight Studios website.


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