April 6, 1945: Lt(jg) Willis Hardy of VF-17, from the USS Hornet, was among the numerous Hellcats launched to counter Kikusui, the first of the massive kamikaze raids sent to destroy the Task Force off Okinawa. While flying RAPCAP over the Radar Picket ships north of Okinawa, Hardy and his wingman shot down 2 escort and 4 Kamikaze aircraft. At about sunset they were vectored to intercept a pair of suicide aircraft (Yokusuka D4Y4-Judy) that were stalking a burning picket. This realistic depiction shows the destruction of the first Judy after Hardy flamed it, just before it crashed into the sea with a violent explosion. With one operable gun left, Bill dispatched Judy #2 after dark, thus earning him the prestigious Navy Cross medal for this his 5th and final victory of the day, followed by his very first night carrier landing.
300 Limited Edition S&N fine art prints signed by Hellcat Ace Bill Hardy and Roy Grinnell
Size: 17" x 22" - $95.00
100 S&N fine art giclees (Artist only signed) on heavy art paper or canvas are available in the following sizes and price ranges:
12x18 - $175.00
16x24 - $265.00
20x30 - $375.00