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Captain Robert M Elder USN (deceased)
|Robert M. Elder was born in Saskatchewan, Canada on December 5, 1918. He attended the University of Washington in Seattle as a Naval ROTC student, where he majored in Aero Engineering. Elder commenced his flight training at Pensacola, and was commissioned as an Ensign in the USNR in May of 1941. In June, Elder was assigned to Bombing Squadron 3, the Mlack Panthers," who were at that time were equipped with Douglas Dauntless S1313-3 bombers, and were assigned to the USS Saratoga (CV-3) based in San Diego. With the attack on Pearl Harbor, Elder and his squadron mates from V13-3 would be soon be involved in the heat of battle in the Pacific. Elder flew numerous bombing missions during the Battle of the Coral Sea. During the Battle of Midway, V13-3 flying off the USS Yorktown, along with bombers from the USS Enterprise, sunk three Japanese aircraft carriers in a matter of minutes. This would prove to be the turning point in the War in the Pacific. Elder would later fly in both the Guadacanal and Easter Solomons campaigns. He was awarded two Navy Crosses, the Distinguished Flying Cross, and received two Presidential Unit Citations. Following the War, Elder remained in the Navy. He was one of the first graduates from the Navy's test pilot training school in 1950. He was also one of the first Naval aviators to fly jet aircraft, and he participated in developmental flights on both the F8F Bearcat and the F7F Tigercat. On the former Elder carrier qualified the aircraft. In 1953 Elder returned to combat duty with VF-191 flying off the USS Orinskany. Subsequently he commanded Carrier Air Group 12, the USS Waccamaw, and the USS Coral Sea. Following the Korean War, Elder continued to fly. In 1957 Bob was assigned as Director of the Flight Test Division at the Navy's Air Test Center at Patuxent River, Maryland. Here Bob personally conducted initial test flights on many of the Navy's new supersonic fighter aircraft including the F3 Demon, F-1 1 Tiger, the F-4 Phantom 11, the A-5 Vigilante, and the F8U-3 Crusader 11. Elder retired from the Navy in 1963. He then worked for the Northrop Corporation for 23 years, holding the positions of Chief Test Pilot, Director of Flight Operations, and Head of Flight Test and Evaluation. He was one of the driving forces behind the programs which evolved into the F/A- 18 Hornet. Bob also was founder of the Tailhook Association, and received its Lifetime Achievement Award in 1964. During his amazing flying career, Bob Elder has flown more than 8,000 flight hours in 142 different types of aircraft. He has become carrier qualified in 35 different aircraft, and has made almost 1,000 carrier landings. Bob s also served as President of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots. He died 12th September 2008.|
|The Aircraft :|
|Artist Details : Stan Stokes|
|Click here for a full list of all artwork by Stan Stokes|
Stan Stokes is a California native with more than 37 years as a full time professional artist, who developed a passion for vintage cars, trains and airplanes at an early age. Model building and RC planes filled the many hours of the young enthusiasts free time. However, unlike most other young aviation enthusiasts Stokes also displayed a great gift for artistic talent. After studying art in College, Stan decided to pursue a career as a professional artist. Stokes initially focused his great talents on depicting uniquely realistic landscapes of the western desert and mountain scenes. More than thirty years ago a good friend suggested that Stan combine his passion for aviation history and flying with his artistic talents, and render an aircraft or two. The rest is history. Stan has won many prestigious awards including the Benedictine Art Award in 1975 and the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museums Golden Age of Flight award in 1985. In May of 2000, Stan was honored with the National Museum of Naval Aviations R. G. Smith Award for Excellence in Naval Aviation Art. Commissioned by the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, Stans 12 x 120 foot mural of the History of the Flying White House is on permanent display in the Air Force One Pavilion. In addition Stans painting of the USS Ronald Reagan is hanging in the Legacy Room of the library. In 2005 Stan also completed a painting of our nations next aircraft carrier, the USS George H. W. Bush, which is on permanent display at the George H. W. Bush Presidential Library in College Station, Texas. Stan has also completed several impressive murals for the Palm Springs Air Museum including: The Tuskegee Airmen at 12 x 60 feet and contains 51 portraits of the original Tuskegee Airmen. Dauntless at Midway at 12 x 34 feet and Corsair on Approach at 19 x 55 feet. Stans work also hangs in the Air Force art collection, the Pentagon, San Diego Aerospace Museum, and the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington DC. Stan has had the pleasure of meeting and working with many of his boyhood aviation heroes, including the late General Jimmy Doolittle, the late Pappy Boyington, Chuck Yeager, and many many others. A true aviation history buff, Stan often spends more time pouring over research materials for his paintings to assure their accuracy to the smallest detail than he does behind the canvas. Noted for his incredible detail and strikingly realistic illustration, Stans canvases have a life-like three-dimensional effect that often leaves viewers spellbound. Today his work encompasses not only aviation and space but also portraits, landscapes, ships, classic cars and his new collection of cat-related fine art paintings. Stan particularly enjoys the tough assignment. During his 37 years as a professional artist, he has been asked to produce literally hundreds of paintings documenting historical events, people and places. Although Stan has logged many hours flying his own airplanes, in recent years pleasure flying has had to take a backseat to the artistic demands of his backlog. Stan was commissioned to paint more than twenty original paintings for an aviation museum being in the Philippines. Since the mid-1980s NASA has also tapped Stans talents from time to time and he has completed more than fifteen paintings ranging from the space shuttles to the SR 71 Blackbird. Stan has also painted numerous works for the cutting edge genius in aviation and space design, Burt Rutan.
More about Stan Stokes
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