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U.S. Navy Strike Fighter Squadron 211 commissioned this painting celebrating their 75th anniversary. “The Fighting Checkmates” were established in 1945 flying their first airplane, the SBW Helldiver. The squadron transitioned into the jet age and flew F-9F Panthers in combat during the Korea war. The sleek F-11 Tiger came next and then the Checkmates transitioned to the famous F-8 Crusaders in the early 60s.
In aerial combat, VFA-211 earned the nickname, and “The MiG Killers” during the Vietnam War. Over their numerous deployments to Southeast Asia they shot down 8 North Vietnamese MiG’s while flying the Crusader the stars ghosted into the background of the painting symbolizes those aerial victories. In 1974 VF-211 became one of the first units to get F-14 Tomcats and they flew the famous and venerable F-14 until 2002 when they began the transition into Super Hornets.
In 2004 VF-211 became VFA-211 and became the first, operational Super Hornet squadron on the East coast. Home base for the Checkmates is Naval Air Station Oceana, which is also featured in the painting. Showing off the mission versatility of the Super Hornet, the crew of Nikel 200 featured in the painting, is carrying a mix of air to ground weapons and firing an AIM-120 AMRAAM.
Finally, I have ghosted into the background the squadron mascot, Brutus, ready to take the fight to the enemy. If you are interested in having this piece of Naval Aviation history on your wall you cannot go wrong with “Counter Play” ………FLY NAVY!
“Counter Play” is available as both a signed, Limited Edition print on archival paper and as a larger sized, signed Artist Masterwork on canvas.
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