On the morning of 29 August 1943, First Lieutenant Carl Dunbar, USMC, of VMF-214 "Swashbucklers" took off from Munda Point in an F4U-1 Corsair, BuNo. 02372, and flew toward Japanese resupply targets at Kolombangara Island. Friendly coastwatchers had indicated the presence of some Japanese barges and surface vessels in Ringi Cove. As part of a flight of four Corsairs, Dunbar flew on Vince Carpenter's wing that clear day and as they approached Kolombangara, they could see some barges in and around Ringi Cove. These barges had been resupplying Japanese-held Vila Airfield during the night and had not left the area by daybreak, leaving themselves exposed to air attack. As the Corsairs swept in low for a firing pass, anti-aircraft positions opened up on them, but the aircraft suffered little damage as their speed made them difficult targets for Japanese gunners. Dunbar's and Carpenter's marksmanship proved accurate, sinking a barge and a junk on the first strafing run.
For his part in this mission, Lt. Carl Dunbar was awarded the Air Medal and a citation signed by Admiral William "Bull" Halsey.
Swashbuckler's Surprise received the first place award at the Navy Museum Art Show in Pensacola, FL.
18" x 24"
500 Signed & Numbered Limited Edition Giclées
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