U.S.S. HELENA, a massive Armed Cruiser and the third American warship to carry the name, cuts an impressive wake in this narrative portrait by Arthur Beaumont, one of the principle commissioned artists of the 20TH Century American Navy. HELENA would see heavy action in the Korean Conflict, one of the first responders when she shelled enemy railroads in August of 1950. As flagship of the Bombardment Task Group, they shelled multiple enemy targets and were instrumental in the United Nations landing at Inchon on Sept. 15.
Majestic and imposing, the Cruiser leads the task force in this very scene, with the naval squadron’s superior firepower proving necessary through the early 1950s, earning her the Korean Service Medal with four stars and the first Korean Presidential Unit Citation. HELENA was greatly served by being one of the very first warships equipped with helicopters to aid in locating targets. She’d continue deployments throughout the 1950s-60s as a peacetime patrol and training ship, as well as assisting in evacuations and hosting important political conferences onboard throughout the Pacific.
Beaumont well knew the ships of his days, and well details in the difficult media their arraignments, armaments and size in excellent scale. His naval paintings are colorful windows to the world of war, both celebrating the might and honoring those who served onboard. No small wonder works such as this were in high demand among both the Armed Services and the personnel in uniform, both in public and private collections.
Inscribed LL: “Clouds in Orient” - U.S.S. Helena Deplys in Warfare.
Provenance: Private East Coast Collection.
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