Louis Hamblin-World War II Ace
I've been commissioned to paint the portrait of a hero of mine. Louis Hamblin was the younger brother of my mother Vivian and I always enjoyed my visits to his family because several of his 10 children were close to my own age.
While I knew Uncle Lou as a big gregarious fellow with a great sense of humor, during World War II he was a fighter pilot over the Pacific . He flew the F6 Hellcat. Along with being an Ace with 7 1/2 kills (that is what they did in the war, they shot down enemy airplanes and bombed enemy ships) he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross medal and several other citations. His older brother Len Spencer Hamblin as well as his younger brother Darwin were also fighter pilots in that theater of the war. Spencer was lost over Palau and reported missing in action and finally termed deceased. Darwin, also an Ace pilot, came home safely.
This image shows the beginning of the painting. Mixing red iron oxide with raw umber, I've sketched Lt. Hamblin on the deck of the U.S.S. Ticonderoga with his F6 Hellcat in the background, and he is gesturing to someone a flight action that he took to be successful in battle.