This beautiful one-liter ship’s decanter has been commissioned to commemorate the U.S. Navy's 100th Anniversary of Naval Aviation. It has been individually hand cast from porcelain and hand decorated using glass colored inks that have been permanently fired into the ceramic at temperatures approaching 1600°F. The design will not fade or wear with time.
Each of the decorative elements is of historical significance. Of special interest is the decanter's underside on which the name of every USN aircraft carrier and almost every naval squadrons’ designation is listed. For a complete listing of squadron designations Click here to view a plain text version of the complete aircraft and squadrons listed on the decanters base. The bottom décor, from a painting by Stan Stokes, depicts SBD-3 Dauntless dive bombers rolling into their dive as they attack the Japanese Fleet at the critical Battle of Midway in 1942.
Around the base are 20 aircraft covering the period from the early days to the present, including bi-planes, props, jet, multi engine and rotary, and even a dirigible. Encircling the base of the decanter’s neck are the more famous flags of the American Revolution and the Continental Navy, some of which are still flown today on auspicious occasions.
Battle streamers commemorating US Navy campaigns adorn the cobalt neck. The campaign streamers shown are for World War I (1917–18), China Service (1936–39, 1945–57), American Defense Service (1939–41), World War II American Theater (1941–45), World War II Pacific Theater (1941–45), World War II European Theater (1941–45), Korean Service (1950–53), Armed Forces Expeditionary Service (1958-), Vietnam Service (1962–73), and Southwest Asia Service (1990–95)
The Eagle and the Shield cameo symbolizing the might and power of our great Republic, are surrounded by an anchor chain, oak leaf clusters and five life rings, each commemorating major campaigns or battles in which U.S. Naval Airpower played a vital role. Counterclockwise, they are Midway, The Atlantic, Vietnam, Korea, Desert Storm and Iraq & the Near East, which continues.
The cameo with the two legendary McDonnell F-4 Phantoms flying over the USS Constellation during the Vietnam era, is from a painting, “Into the Storm” by John D. Shaw. During the war in Vietnam, no aircraft play the more dominant role in air combat than McDonell’s legendary F-4 Phantom. The F-4’s two-man team consisted of a pilot and a radar intercept officer, and was capable of speeds in excess of Mach 2. The painting represents two stalwart squadrons in 1967: VF-143’s “Pukin Dogs” and VF-142’s “Ghostriders”. More than 5,000 F-4’s were produced.
Continuing counter-clockwise, from a painting by Stan Stokes, “Gull-Winged Warrior”an F4U Corsair, on final approach and tailhook down, prepares to “trap” on board the USS Shangri-La. The F4U Corsair saw service primarily in World War II and the Korean War. Production for this aircraft was the longest run of any piston-engined fighter in US history. More than 12,000 were built.
The adjacent two-plane cameo depicts the F-14 Tomcat, a variable swept wing fighter, above an F/A-18 Hornet. The Tomcat was first deployed in 1974 as the air superiority fighter to replace the F-4 Phantom. Only 712 were produced. It was retired from the fleet in 2006, having been replaced by the F/A-18 Hornet, considered to be the finest and most versatile jet fighter ever produced. The fighter’s primary missions are fighter escort, Fleet air defense, suppression of enemy air defenses, and air interdiction, close air support and aerial reconnaissance. Its versatility and reliability have proven it to be an invaluable carrier asset though it has been criticized for its lack of range and payload compared to its earlier contemporaries, such as the F-14 tomcat. The F/A-18 Hornet provided the baseline design for the Boeing Super Hornet, a larger, evolutionary redesign with improved range and payload capability.
The fifth cameo, from a painting by Stan Stokes, “America’s First Flatop”, depicts the USS Langley, CV-1, the Navy’s first aircraft carrier that had been converted in 1920 from a collier. The Langley was converted in World War II to a seaplane tender. She was so badly damaged by Japanese bombing attacks that she was scuttled by her escorts on February 27, 1942.
The renowned artists whose work graces this decanter are America’s finest historical aviation painters. Their work here had to be reduced in size and reporduced using glass inks.Thus, some detail is lost. Nevertheless, the images are still exceptionally beautiful and are of a quality rarely seen on ceramic. If you wish to see these paintings, and collections of their original work, we recommend you visit their web sites by clicking below.
John D. Shaw, www.libertystudios.us • Stan Stokes, www.stokescollection.com
PRE-ORDER NOW TO RESERVE YOUR DECANTER. We are producing a small number of decanters, the minimum number required to keep the price down. We believe that demand will outstrip supply significantly, considering the 1 million current and prior naval personnel who serve or have served in some capacity in Naval Aviation from World War II until now. Since there are less than 5,000 units being produced, we suggest that you pre-order now. Shipment will begin in early August. Your credit card will not be charged until your decanter is shipped. You may cancel at any time without charge.