U.S.S Johnston

24″ by 36″ Oil on canvass

The destroyer U.S.S Johnston can lay claim to have been the bravest ship in the U.S Navy in World War 2. Owing to a mistake by Admiral Halsey at the Battle ofLeyte Gulf, all the battleships and large carriers where withdrawn from protecting the beach head leaving the small escort carriers and a few destroyers to do the job. Without warning this tiny squadron found itself facing the entire Japanese fleet of giant battleships and heavy cruisers. Without hesitation, U.S.S Johnston lead the tiny fleet of destroyers straight for the enemy putting a torpedo into the leading Japanese heavy cruiser Kumano and blowing her bows off before disappearing into a smoke screen, As the Japanese pressed forward, Johnston once again lunged at the enemy firing her guns and loosing her remaining torpedoes before being crippled by huge shells from the enemy battleships. Though mortally wounded U.S.S Johnston never gave up but continued to fire her guns and advancing towards her attackers before finally succumbing with a great loss of life including her Native American captain Ernest Evans who was posthumously awarded Americas highest military honour, the Congressional Medal of Honour.