U.S. Navy War Art - D-Day Online Exhibition

By Jon Pratty | 04 June 2004
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painting shows bodies covered with cloth arranged in rows in shadowy light.

These Are the Dead, Alexander P. Russo. Watercolor, 1944. U.S. Navy. 88-198-AM

Apart from the familiar black and white documentary images you may have seen many times, there are other pictures of the scene on June 6, 1944 and after.

These evocativeworks of art can be seen in greater detail and in chronological order on the official U.S. Naval Historical Centre website.

painting shows a small landing ship beached on a landing hard waiting to be repaired.

The Battered Amphibian - Dartmouth Amphibious Base. Dwight C. Shepler #136. Watercolor, March 1944. 88-199-EI

In this painting, an LCI (Landing Craft Infantry), broached in attempting to rescue a sister ship from the rocks during practice operations, has her wounds dressed at the Waddleton shipway in the estuary of the River Dart. U.S. Navy ship fitters weld in new plates. Maintenance and repair of invasion craft constantly in use was an indispensable part of invasion preparations.

painting shows a view looking down from cliffs onto the landing beach, with the Mulberry A harbour scattered around, broken by a powerful storm.

The End of Mulberry "A", Dwight C. Shepler #161, Watercolor, 1944, 88-199-FI

This view shows the fate of the American Mulberry A harbour - battered by the storm of June 19, the massive harbour broke up and preparations for the break-out into Normandy and beyond were set back weeks.

There are many, many, more contemporary pictures by war artists on this excellent website - make sure you take time to go through the index page carefully.

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