Original Stan Stokes 24" X 36" acrylic painting on canvas.
Cost of crating, insurance and shipping to your address will be added.
USS Shangri La, one of 24 Essex-class carriers, was commissioned on September 15, 1944. She arrived at Pearl Harbor in mid-February, 1945 where she spent the next two months qualifying pilots for carrier operations. On April 10, she sailed for Ulithi Atoll to join Task Force 58. Her aircraft were now in the thick of the battle for Okinawa. On May 18, she became the flagship for Vice Admiral John S. McCain Sr. Ten days later, Adm. McCain relieved Adm. Marc Mitscher as Commander, TF 38. He retained the ship as his flagship.
As the Allies gained control of Okinawa, the Shangri La's aircraft turned their attention toward the Japanese mainland, attacking Tokyo, Honshu, Hokkaido and bombed the IJN Battleship Nagato at Yokosuka.
During these battles, the Shangri La's aircraft faced fierce opposition from Japanese fighters. One of her Corsair pilots, Lt. Joe Robbins of VF-85, became an ace on May 11 while flying plane #11. On this day, he shot down 3 Zeros and damaged another. He had previously downed 2 enemy aircraft while flying F6F Hellcats.
After the war, she returned to the US and briefly preformed carrier qualification duties out of San Diego. In May of 1946, she sailed to the Central Pacific to participate in the Bikini Atoll atomic bomb tests.
Shangri La was decommissioned in May, 1947, and placed in reserve until May, 1951 when she was recommissioned. In the fall of 1952, she went to Puget Sound Naval Shipyard for a 2 year modernization which included the installation of an angled flight deck.
From 1956 to 1960, she operated out of San Diego making numerous Pacific cruises. For the next 10 years she was based out of Mayport, Florida. In 1970, Shangri La returned to the Pacific and for 7 months launched strikes on Vietnam from Yankee Station. She headed back to the US arriving at Mayport on December 16. The USS Shangri La was decommissioned for the last time on July 30. 1971. On August 9, 1988, she was sold for scrap. Her demolition took place in Taiwan.