Original U.S. WWII Medal of Honor Recipients Signed Artwork by JG Keck - Vosler - Morgan - Swett - Hall
Original Items: Only One Lot of 4 Available. These are all fantastic, limited edition prints by artist J.G. Keck and published by Keck’s Fine Arts. The four images are all prints of original artwork of renowned American flying aces from WWII who all received the Medal of Honor!
Each piece of artwork in this collection is signed by the Medal of Honor Recipients themselves! This set of four prints includes:
- Technical Sergeant Forrest L. Vosler: Forrest Lee Vosler, was a Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress radio operator who was the second enlisted U.S. airman to receive the Medal of Honor. He also received the Air Medal and Purple Heart.
Forrest Vosler enlisted as a private in the Army at Rochester, New York, on October 8, 1942. He took basic training at Atlantic City, New Jersey; the Radio Operator and Mechanics School at Scott Field, Illinois; and Flexible Gunnery School at Harlingen, Texas. By May 22, 1943, he had successfully completed his training and three days later was promoted to sergeant. He was promoted to staff sergeant in August at Pyote, Texas, while awaiting overseas movement. In October 1943, he deployed to Europe as a radio operator and aerial gunner on B-17s assigned to the 8th Air Force's 358th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 303rd Bombardment Group (Heavy) based at RAF Molesworth, England. At approximately 8:30 a.m. on December 20, 1943, Staff Sergeant Vosler took off on his fourth combat mission. His aircraft, on its 28th combat mission, was a B-17F named the "Jersey Bounce Jr.," S/N 42-29664. The plane and crew reached the target area of Bremen, Germany, just before noon. The bombers encountered concentrated, accurate and intense flak over Axis territory. In addition to the anti-aircraft fire, about 125 German fighters repeatedly attacked the formation. This was a costly mission for the 8th Air Force as a total of 27 bombers were lost including the Jersey Bounce Jr. after it ditched in the North Sea. Staff Sergeant Vosler was seriously wounded in action. Vosler was hit initially in the legs and thighs and then again in the face when 20-mm. cannon shells exploded in his aircraft, and his B-17 was forced out of formation. During the ditching, Vosler also saved the tail gunner's life. The badly wounded gunner (Sgt. George Buske) was removed from the still-floating ditched Fortress and put on one of the wings while the other crewmen prepared the life raft. Buske, unconscious, started to slide down the trailing edge of the wing into the water. Vosler grabbed him around his waist while using his other hand to hold an antenna wire to avoid falling into the cold water. Vosler accomplished this while coping with a badly wounded eye that resulted from an earlier exploding 20mm cannon shell that hit his gun position. Staff Sergeant Vosler was recommended for the Medal of Honor based on his heroism and was promoted to technical sergeant two weeks after this mission. He was confined to Air Force hospitals in England until his return to the United States in March 1944.
President Roosevelt presented him the Medal of Honor at the White House on September 6, 1944. Technical Sergeant Vosler continued to receive treatment at various hospitals until October 17, 1944, when he was honorably discharged from the service at Valley Forge General Hospital in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania. He died on February 17, 1992, and is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
- Lieutenant Colonel John C. Morgan: John Cary "Red" Morgan was a United States Army Air Forces pilot in World War II who received the Medal of Honor for his actions during a 1943 bombing run over Germany, which also inspired the character of 2nd Lieutenant Jesse Bishop in the novel and film Twelve O'Clock High.
In August, 1941, Morgan joined the Royal Canadian Air Force, and after completion of flight training in Saskatchewan, Ontario, and RAF Church Lawford, England, was posted as a Sergeant Pilot with RAF Bomber Command. On March 23, 1943, he was transferred to the U.S. Army Air Forces as a Flight Officer and assigned to the 92nd Bomb Group's 326th Bomb Squadron, RAF Alconbury, England.
Morgan, on his fifth U.S. mission, was co-pilot of a crew flying a B-17F, ser. no. 42-29802, to a target in Hanover, Germany, on July 28, 1943. It was for his participation in this mission that he received the Medal of Honor, which was awarded on December 18, 1943.
Citation: Morgan's experience began as his group formation neared the German coast. The B-17, nicknamed Ruthie II, was attacked by a large number of Focke-Wulf Fw 190 fighters and had part of its oxygen system to the gunners' positions in the rear of the aircraft knocked out. The first burst of fire also smashed the cockpit's windshield, damaged the interphone, and split open the skull of pilot Lt. Robert Campbell. The pilot's upper body slumped over his control wheel, causing it to start out of control. F/O Morgan seized the controls on his side and by sheer strength pulled the plane back into formation.
The disabled pilot continued to try to wrest the controls away from Morgan and smashed at the co-pilot with his fists, knocking some teeth loose and blackening both his eyes. Meanwhile, the top turret gunner was also seriously injured when a 20 mm shell tore off his left arm at the shoulder. He fell out of the turret position, and was found by the navigator bleeding to death. The navigator bailed the gunner out of the aircraft in a successful effort to save his life.
Unknown to Morgan, the waist, tail and radio gunners became unconscious from lack of oxygen and were threatened with death by anoxia. Morgan, unable to call for assistance because of the damaged interphone, had to decide whether to turn back immediately or try to fly all the way to the target and back within the protection of the formation. He also had to decide whether or not to subject Campbell to anoxia by cutting off his oxygen to disable him. In spite of wild efforts by the fatally wounded pilot to seize the controls, Morgan chose to complete the mission and not cut off his pilot's oxygen supply.
For two hours he held position in the formation – flying with one hand, fighting off the pilot with the other. At length the navigator entered the flight deck and relieved the situation. The navigator and bombardier secured the dying pilot in the nose compartment of the airplane. F/O Morgan's B-17 reached the target at Hanover and successfully dropped its bombs. With all his fuel gauges reading empty, Morgan landed the bomber at RAF Foulsham. Lt. Campbell died an hour and half later, and the five surviving gunners recovered from various degrees of frostbite. The B-17 was declared damaged beyond economical repair and never flew again.
- Colonel James E. Swett: James Elms Swett was a United States Marine Corps fighter pilot and flying ace during World War II. He was awarded the United States' highest military decoration, the Medal of Honor, for actions while a division flight leader in VMF-221 over Guadalcanal on April 7, 1943. He downed a total of 15.5 enemy aircraft during the war, earning two Distinguished Flying Crosses and five Air Medals.
Swett completed flight training in early 1942, placing in the top ten percent of his class. He was given the option to choose between a commission in the Marine Corps or the Navy, and he chose the Marine Corps. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant at NAS Corpus Christi, Texas, on April 1, 1942. He continued his advanced flight training, first at Quantico, Virginia, then at Lake Michigan, became carrier qualified aboard the USS Wolverine, and finally received his wings at San Diego, California. In December 1942, he shipped out to the Southwest Pacific, and when he arrived at Guadalcanal he was assigned to VMF-221, which was part of Marine Air Group 12.
- Lieutenant Commander William E. Hall: William Edward Hall was a United States Naval Reserve officer and a recipient of the United States military's highest decoration—the Medal of Honor—for his actions during the Battle of the Coral Sea in World War II.
Hall joined the Navy from his birth state of Utah in 1938 and by May 7, 1942 was a Lieutenant, Junior Grade, serving as a scout plane pilot with Lexington's Scouting Squadron 2 (flying the SBD Dauntless). On that day, over the Coral Sea, he participated in the attack on the Japanese carrier Shoho, gaining a share in its destruction. The next day, while flying anti-torpedo plane patrol in defense of his carrier, he attacked a section of Japanese torpedo bombers, setting afire the lead plane (commanded by Lieutenant Norio Yano) and forcing the wingmen to switch targets. Before he could find another target (Yano was finished by AA shortly afterwards), Hall found himself jumped by several Zeros. Although his craft was damaged and he was seriously wounded in the ensuing dogfight, he claimed two shot down (though none were lost) and managed to land safely. For these actions, he was awarded the Medal of Honor.
While in the hospital he met his wife, a navy nurse, and they married in September 1942. Hall reached the rank of lieutenant commander before leaving the Navy in 1946. He died at age 83 and was buried in Fort Leavenworth National Cemetery, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.
All 4 prints measure approximately 25 ½” x 19 ½” and come ready for display.
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