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Orion's Game

Oil on Canvas, 36" x 18"
Fineart 9, a P-3C Orion of VP-45. This painting was commissioned by the VP-45 Association and presented to the National Museum of Naval Aviation, Pensacola.

Numbered prints were also presented to RADM Brian Prindle, Commander Naval Safety Centre and former member of VP-45, the widows of Fineart 9's crew and members of the current VP-45 before the original paintings was formally handed over to the
National Museum of Naval Aviation.

In addition a print of this painting features in the Pentagon Patriotic Art Program Exhibition on display at the Pentagon 2014-2015

The Commission Brief           
Historical Background: “Orion’s Game” portrays a Patrol Squadron FORTY-FIVE P-3C conducting anti-submarine operations in support of a carrier battle group, south of Crete in the Mediterranean Sea, during the October of 1973 Yom Kippur War. Based at NAF Sigonella, Sicily, the aircraft turns inbound on a now localized and surfaced Soviet Juliett class cruise missile submarine. In this scene, the USS Independence battle group is conducting flight operations on the horizon.
On November 17th of 1964, A VP-45 P-3A aircraft, call sign “Fineart 9,” was lost at sea with all hands. The crew of nine was returning after an operational mission to their base at Argentia, New Foundland when, for reasons unexplained, the P-3A, side number LN-9, crashed into the sea. There were no survivors. The Patron Four Five Association had commissioned aviation artist Peter Wenman to paint this work, Orion’s Game” and, in memory of these gallant men who gave their lives in the service of their country, the Association assigned side number “9” to the aircraft portrayed in this image. The original oil painting, from which these 145 prints were struck, was donated for display in the National Museum of Naval Aviation in Pensacola, Florida.