Brian Sanders (British, B. 1937) “Battle of the Bismarck Sea” Artists notations in margins. Original oil on canvas painting.
Provenance: Collection of James A. Helzer (1946-2008), Founder of Unicover Corporation.
This painting originally appeared on the Republic of the Marshall Islands 50c Battle of the Bismarck Sea 1943 Se-tenant Block of 4 issued March 3, 1993.
In 1943, the Japanese relied more on bad weather than on aerial cover to sneak their convoys past Allied air forces. Assured by the meteorologists that cloud cover would hold over the Bismarck Sea’s Dampier Strait, and relying on intelligence reports that minimized the increasing power of MacArthur’s Fifth Air Force, the Japanese dispatched a large convoy from Rabaul on March 1, 1943. Betrayed by large breaks in the cloud cover, the Japanese convoy found itself under fierce attack on March 3. American and Australian forces threw everything they had at the Japanese ships. Bombers of every description — lights, mediums and heavies, Havocs, Mitchells, Liberators, Flying Fortresses — unleashed their devastating payloads under the cover of U.S. and Australian fighters. The battle raged half a day. The next morning Allied aircraft were joined by PT boats and the Japanese convoy was utterly destroyed. The Battle of the Bismarck Sea proved to be an overwhelming victory for the Allies. The Japanese lost all eight of their transports, four destroyers and 102 of 150 aircraft. Nearly 3,000 Japanese troops were killed or drowned. Of the more than 300 Allied aircraft that participated in the battle, only two bombers and three fighters were lost. Fewer than 20 Allied soldiers died. Following this devastating defeat the Japanese dared not send reinforcements to New Guinea aboard transports, but were forced instead to ship many troops via submarines.
Image Size: 22 x 34.25 in.
Overall Size: 26 x 38.25 in.