Thomas Hudner F4U-4 Corsair
Print Size: 31" x 19"
ENLARGE

All prints are sold unframed

Devotion
Wingmen to the End - December 4, 1950
a fine art print by

During the battle of the Chosin Reservoir in the Korean War . . . hit by anti-aircraft fire while supporting the Marines, Ens. Jesse Brown, the Navy’s first African-American aviator, crashed behind enemy lines. His squadron mates from VF-32 thought Brown was dead—until they saw him slide back his canopy and wave. But, Brown did not climb free—he was pinned in his Corsair’s burning wreckage. While his comrades called for a rescue helicopter and circled to ward off any enemy troops, Brown’s wingman, Lt. Thomas Hudner, intentionally crash-landed in that treacherous terrain to try to save his friend.

Wading through snow and subzero temperatures, Hudner reached Brown’s plane and tried to pull him free, but the snow denied him any footing. Brown remained calm, inspiring Hudner. Hudner gave Brown his hat and gloves then used snow, shoveled with his bare hands, to snuff out the fire. When the rescue helicopter arrived, its pilot joined Hudner. Even working together, they could not free Brown, whose leg was pinned and who was in shock. As daylight faded, with Hudner at his side, Jesse Brown passed away. The rescue helo lifted Hudner, exhausted, from the scene.

Four months later, President Truman summoned Hudner and Jesse Brown’s widow, Daisy, to the White House where he awarded Hudner the Medal of Honor. That day, they all remembered Jesse Brown, a hero who did not die alone.

* screen colors may vary from print colors
LOW SUPPLY!
Only 180 prints
, signed and numbered by artist
Matt Hall and 4 Navy pilots including:

- Medal of Honor recipient Capt. Thomas Hudner (VF-32)
- F4U Pilot Cdr. Bill Koenig (VF-32 & Brown's roommate)

- F4U Pilot Cdr. Martin Goode (VF-32)
- F4U Pilot Cdr. Bill Sallada (VF-33)

PACKAGE INCLUDES:
- Photo of Pres. Truman presenting Hudner with the MoH
- Photos of Hudner & Brown to frame with your print!

-
Color COA with "History Behind the Art" story!

Tom Hudner

All prints are sold unframed

INTERNATIONAL
$395 + $55 express airmail
USA: $395 + $25 SH
(PA residents add 6% sales tax)
LOW SUPPLY!
Only 650 prints
, signed and numbered
by artist Matt Hall and pilots:

- Medal of Honor recipient Capt. Thomas Hudner (VF-32)
- F4U Pilot Cdr. Martin Goode (VF-32)

PACKAGE INCLUDES:

- Photos of Hudner & Brown to frame with your print!
- Color COA with "History Behind the Art" story!

VF-32 F4U Corsair

All prints are sold unframed

INTERNATIONAL
$245 + $55 express airmail
USA: $245 + $20 SH
(PA residents add 6% sales tax)
SOLD OUT!
Only 160 prints
, signed and numbered by artist
Matt Hall and 4 Navy pilots including:

- Medal of Honor recipient Capt. Thomas Hudner (VF-32)
- F4U-4 Pilot Cdr. Bill Koenig (VF-32 & Brown's roommate)

- F4U-4 Pilot Cdr. Martin Goode (VF-32)
- F4U-4 Pilot Cdr. Bill Sallada (VF-33)

PACKAGE INCLUDES:
- Photo of Pres. Truman presenting Hudner with the MoH

- "Help from the Heavens" photo signed by Silver Star
recipient and Fox Company Marine Dick Bonelli!

- Regulation Navy pilot wings to frame with your print!

- Photos of Hudner & Brown to frame with your print!

-
Color COA with "History Behind the Art" story!

F4U-4

All prints are sold unframed

50 signed canvas giclees may be available in the future.
MEDAL OF HONOR RECIPIENT
THOMAS HUDNER
Hudner entered the U.S. Naval Academy, graduating in 1946. Following service in surface ships and ashore, he attended flight school and was designated a Naval Aviator in August 1949. Later that year, he was assigned to Fighter Squadron 32 (VF-32) aboard USS Leyte (CV-32).

On December 4, 1950, while serving with VF-32 during the Korean War flying F4U-4 Corsair fighters in support of United Nations forces, he crash-landed his own plane near the Chosin reservoir in an effort to rescue Ensign Jesse L. Brown, another VF-32 pilot whose own F4U-4 Corsair had been shot down.

For his heroism on that occasion, Hudner was awarded the Medal of Honor. Hudner was presented with the Medal of Honor by President Harry S. Truman on April 13, 1951, during a ceremony in the White House Rose Garden. His was the first Navy Medal of Honor awarded for actions in the Korean War.

Following his tour with VF-32, Thomas J. Hudner held a variety of training, operational and staff assignments. He commanded Training Squadron 24 (VT-24) in 1965-66 and then served as Executive Officer of USS Kitty Hawk. During the early 1970s, Captain Hudner was Head of Aviation Technical Training in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations. He retired from the Navy in February 1973 with the rank of Captain.

After retiring, Hudner worked as a management consultant, and, from 1991 to 1999, served as Commissioner for the Massachusetts Department of Veterans' Services.

FOX COMPANY MARINE
DICK BONELLI
Signer of the photo "Help from the Heavens"

19-year-old Dick Bonelli was one of the 220 Fox Company (F-2-7) Marines who would be tasked with holding the Tokfong Pass, a vital corridor needed so 8,000 of their fellow Marines could escape south from the Chinese onslaught that poured over the North Korean border.

Starting on November 27 and lasting the next four days, Bonelli and his fellow Fox Company Marines would be completely surrounded by at least one Chinese regiment.

They would fight day and night, in -30 below temperatures that would freeze their weapons, and would suffer tremendous causalities against the Chinese waves in a battle that would be called, "The Last Stand of Fox Company."

Though it would be no last stand thanks to Marines like Bonelli who would man a .30 caliber machine gun after his rifle froze shut. For his actions in combat, he would be awarded the Silver Star and Purple Heart, after being shot through the side by enemy fire.

When a relief column of Marines (supported from the air by the Corsairs of VF-32) finally reached Fox Company five days later, over 1,000 enemy dead were scattered around their fighting positions. Only 82 of the original 220 Fox Company Marines were able to walk away from the hill.

<< READ THE FULL STORY OF BONELLI & FOX COMPANY >>

Ensign Jesse Brown F4U

1. On December 4, 1950, Tom Hudner was flying an F4U-4 Corsair. The F4U-4 model saw its first combat in June 1945. Among its improved features was a new, four-bladed propeller, a 2,100 horsepower engine with a two-stage supercharger, and the ability to exceed 446 mph in flight.

2. Hudner, who received his Naval Aviator wings in 1949, wears the new hard flight helmet, officially known to the Navy as the “Anti-Buffet Helmet,” which replaced their traditional cloth flying helmets prior to deploying to Korea.

3. The large “K” designates that Hudner’s Corsair is from Air Group 3. Letters like this one on the tail made it easier for the squadrons to identify each other and regroup during missions.

4. Hudner crashed-landed with his flaps down full and wheels up, into the rocky, snow-covered earth.

5. Hudner impacted the ground with such force that he was “out of control” and certain that he was going to die in the landing.

6. A fierce blizzard from Siberia had just dumped buckets of snow over the Chosin area. When Hudner jumped out of his crashed Corsair he found himself in waist deep snow so restrictive that it took him almost a half hour to reach Brown’s plane, only 80 yards away.

7. Cdr. Bill Koenig remembers Jesse’s crash: “As we crossed behind Jesse and Tom, I noticed a thin stream of vapor from the underside of Jesse’s aircraft . . . he responded, “I’m loosing power; I’m going down.” Jesse made the best of a most unfavorable situation; low altitude, slow airspeed, and snow covered rocky terrain for a landing site. Tom stayed on his wing, calling air speed and the two important emergency landing items, shoulder harness locked and canopy locked open. Jesse hit the ground hard and the aircraft buckled at the cockpit trapping him.”

8. On the December 4th mission, Brown, Hudner, and Koenig were part of a six plane flight doing road reconnaisance and on-call for Close Air Support.

Once Brown and Hudner went down, their fellow pilots of VF-32 provided cover and orbited until darkness forced some back to the USS Leyte and others to an emergency landing strip at Yonpo, North Korea.

9. Brown and Hudner crashed-landed in a flat area sandwiched between mountains at 4,000 feet elevation in the Yudamni area near the Chosin Reservoir. Because of this hostile terrain, the rescue chopper had to depart before darkness closed in and could not retrieve Brown’s body. Several days later, Brown’s squadronmates from VF-32 dropped napalm on his aircraft, giving him a warrior’s funeral.

Artist Matt Hall
MATT HALL

Now acknowledged as the rising talent in military art, Matt Hall worked for years under master visionary, Steven Spielberg, at Spielberg’s DreamWorks company! These days, however, Matt no longer paints to serve the icons of Hollywood—he paints to pay tribute to America’s military heroes.

Matt’s artistic training began as a boy in Missouri, when he met an old-time western artist named Bob Tommy, who just moved from Texas. Tommy encouraged Matt to try his hand at painting. When Tommy saw Matt’s “natural talent,” he became Matt’s mentor and taught him the technique he had amassed in his lifetime of work.

In college, Matt studied painting. After graduation, he broadened his skills, painting everything from greeting cards to animation backgrounds. His career changed forever when Spielberg’s DreamWorks company found and hired him. Matt brought and his new bride, Michele, a Texas small-town girl, with him to Hollywood.

At DreamWorks, Matt rose through the ranks, painting concept art. When Steven Spielberg had an idea brewing about the Battle for Iwo Jima,

Matt painted an “epic concept” for him that Spielberg used to pitch the film, Flags of Our Fathers. Soon, Matt was named Franchise Art Director for DreamWorks’ Medal of Honor video games series, one credited with generating interest in WWII history among young people.

Matt grew as an artist through Spielberg’s critiques. “I learned from Steven Spielberg the value of listening to my ‘creative instincts’” Matt explained. “A lot of times, marketing dictates if an idea will be well-received, but Spielberg would often fly against the grain, if he believed in an idea. There was a time when the marketing guys said ‘WWII is done and dead,” but Spielberg followed his instincts and passion and made Saving Private Ryan!”

There, Matt discovered that he, too, possessed a passion to tell the stories of America’s war heroes when DreamWorks had him create paintings for the Congressional Medal of Honor Society. Working from just a citation and a portrait of a long-deceased MOH recipient, Matt brought their stories back to life. There, he discovered his calling.

Don Malarkey explains to Prince Charles the details in Matt Hall's "Brothers in Arms" painting.

Then, in summer 2008, Matt underwent brain surgery to remove a growth behind his eye. “It was a wake-up call,” Matt explained. “It got me thinking, ‘What kind of legacy will my art leave? Will it tell a story of something important? Will it be something people will appreciate 50 or 100 years from now? It was tough to look in mirror and say ‘maybe not’ since the art I was doing would be locked away in a vault once it served its purpose.”

After Matt’s surgery, Valor Studios, a prominent publisher of military art came to Matt with an offer to publish him. Valor Studios had seen Matt’s work for DreamWorks and asked if he wanted to paint full time to honor the heroes of military past and present? Matt heartily agreed. “It was an epiphany on a lot of levels,“ he explained, “Spiritually, artistically, and career-wise. Like that leap of faith when I went to paint for Hollywood, I’ve now decided to follow my passion and paint the stories of men and women whose legacies need to be preserved.”
Valor Studios and Matt Hall wish to thank the distinguished veterans who made this print possible.