Battleships of the Sea and Sky

Medium: oil on canvas board 18 x 24 (1997)
Display: National Archives CAAA art show – 1998. CAAA traveling aviation art exhibit – Alberta locations (TAAE) 2002. RCAF display Okanagan Military Museum, Kelowna,BC 2003. Artist’s collection.


Depicted in this painting is a huge Short Sunderland flying boat over a battleship of the Royal Navy of the King George V (KG V) class. Canadians served in both these aircraft and in large warships such as the KG V as members of the Royal Navy, Royal Canadian Navy, Royal Air Force and Royal Canadian Air Force during the Second World War.

Historical Note

The Sunderland, with its exceptional over-water endurance was a critical asset in the Battle of the Atlantic. It was so heavily defended with machine guns in nose and rear turrets and in positions along the fuselage that its Luftwaffe opponents nicknamed it the “Porcupine”. In both its size and effect, it was truly an aerial battleship. At sea the Third Reich brought the dagger very close to the heart of the Allied war effort during the drawn out Battle of the Atlantic. Airpower was to play a critical role in this theatre and RCAF squadrons contributed significantly to the defeat of the U-boat threat. Churchill himself credited the U-boats as the greatest danger of the war.