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Original Gil Cohen oil painting on canvas.
48" x 30"
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Prints of this beautiful painting can be purchased on this page.
We are at an Eighth Air Force base somewhere in England, it is late Autumn 1944. After a dreary day of rain, the clouds break and the atmosphere is suddenly bathed in sunlight. In the foreground mechanics are performing maintenance work on the B-17, "Kayo Katy II" , when in the distance, the sound can be heard of a multitude of Wasp Cyclone engines. The mechanics momentarily cease their tasks and look up. Overhead, Fortresses are returning home from a brutal mission, bombing industrial targets in Nazi Germany. The immediate thoughts of the ground crew are: ‘How many of our guys made it back?’ They start counting planes. ‘There’s a Pathfinder ship – she’s in trouble and dropping flares – wounded aboard!’ A similar scenario is played out on so many air bases in England during the four long years of war.
Signature on back of painting:
Capt. James S. SEAMANS - Veteran of 30 missions over Germany. Recipient of the Distinguished Flying Cross (w/ 5 clusters), Air Medal (w/ 5 clusters), ETO Ribbon (w/ 5 battle stars).
Captain James S. Seamans, USAAF, ret.
Distinguished Flying Cross with Oak leaf cluster
Air Medal with 5 Clusters
ETO Ribbon with 5 Battle Stars
The 26th of November, 1944, was to become an unforgettable day for Capt. Jim Seamans. As pilot of “Seaman’s Demons”, a B-17 of the 418th Squadron, 100th Bomb Group, Eighth Air Force. Jim and his crew were on their 30th and final mission, leading the entire 100th Bomb Group over Hamm, Germany when “Seaman’s Demons” took a direct hit from anti-aircraft fire to No. 2 engine. Minutes later the engine broke loose, severing the plexiglass nose and starting a fire. Seamans then put the plane in a near vertical dive in order to put out the fire. After extinguishing the fire Seamans was able to crash land the plane in a heavily damaged airfield in newly liberated Belgium. When Seamans tried to exit the plane, he found that he could not move his legs. The vortex of freezing wind rushing through the open nose of the ship had frozen Seamans’ legs. He had to be removed from the plane through an open escape hatch and sent to a nearby Brussels hospital where he eventually recovered full use of his legs.
After his discharge he returned to his hometown of Scranton, PA. where he and his wife, Marjorie, settled down. He worked in advertising for United Gilsonite Laboratories and eventually became the company’s marketing manager.
In 1992 Jim and Marjorie retired to Bucks County, PA. They shared two children, thirteen grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. Jim has since passed away.