originals: unknown, undated. unknown. preliminary. Bond paper and ink. Nine ink sketches (two more on versos) of the brutal and tragic fighting on the Bataan Peninsula and the Philippines between American soldiers and invading Japanese troops during January through April of 1942. Very Good +. Item #176
Rare, well executed suite of 9 clean ink sketches illustrating a painful episode at and near an airfield during and immediately after it and an adjacent beach were bombed by the Japanese during their invasion of Bataan and/or the Philippines during 1942.
Overall--counting versos--there are 11 evocative sketches--at least three with considerable finish and size; all of which could be nicely mounted and displayed.
1. Four American soldiers stand at attention (3 5/8" x 6 1/2").
2. An airfield is being bombed by a Jap bomber while U.S. anti-aircraft fires. (~ 5" x 5" with two edges cleanly torn away). Verso: partial Japanese soldier's head beside a kneeling (?) American.
3. Expanded and more detailed version of the same airfield after the bombing depicting craters and blast effects (8 1/2" x 11").
4. An airfield being bombed showing in the foreground a wrecker fighter plane; dead or wounded men laid out (5 3/8" x
5. Several soldiers attend a wounded man on a stretcher (8 7/8" x ~ 6").
Verso: a very rough sketch of a man lying wounded or dead.
6. Three soldiers attend a wounded man on a stretcher while three more soldiers stand nearby (11" x 4 1/4-1/2").
Verso: man running from bombing; another man lies prone (wounded or dead?).
7. Choppy waves with flotsam along a broad beach--probably beside the aforementioned airfield--upon which one can identify a wrecked plane, crane, ruined dock, buildings, and an anti-aircraft gun (8 1/2" x 11").
8. Another view of the beach depicting a choppy debris-strewn sea with a wrecked pier and small sailboat in the surf with an anti-aircraft gun pointing upward behind (8 12" x 11").
9. A somewhat closer view of number 6 showing more of the wrecked pier in the surf (8 1/2" x 11")
Given the clean paper and crisp black ink on the drawings, and especially the use of "BOND" paper (as indicated by at least two larger sketches), I infer that these drawings were NOT executed at the time of the Japanese assault on Bataan. They do, however, appear to reflect accurate knowledge one who was there, or by an artist who was preparing a book about the attack based on first-hand observation.
Frank Kravic, from whose important collection these fine sketches came, is a prominent historian of American wars. I speculate that possibly these artistic renderings may have been prepared for a book on the tragic fighting on the Bataan Peninsula.