Following the bombing of Pearl Harbor, young men rushed to join the military in defense of the country. TEENAGER represents some of the youngest soldiers that went from civilian life to war, often in only a matter of a few short months.
Aged 19, he has been given 90 hours of flight time and was only recently checked out in a state-of-the-art fighter. These “90 day wonders” only had the barest minimum of training in how to fly the plane and no training in the tactics that would be needed to survive in air combat. They “learned the job, on the job”. And often the test would be administered before the lesson could be taught.
TEENAGER knows he must pay attention to every word being spoken in the briefing as his very life depends on doing the right thing during the upcoming mission. As was the custom, he attended at least two prior debriefs to hear the pilots describe what had happened immediately following prior missions. Often those meetings included strong disagreements about what went wrong and conveyed the desperate nature of their struggle.
Now he is hearing his first briefing, knowing that his life and the life of his fellow squadron pilots will depend on his ability to perform as needed. Only a few months out of school, the full weight of combat is now on his shoulders.
The photos below show the original TEENAGER as it was completed in clay. The next step in the process required taking a mold from the clay. That process was done immediately following these photos, destroying the original clay. Now the sculpture exists as part of the completed monument in bronze.
George H.W. Bush was one of these. His Connecticut senator father told him that if he went to Yale he would be deferred from the draft. George told his dad that he would join the Navy instead. Youngest, or second-youngest, pilot in the Navy. After WWII, he did go to Yale, and captained its baseball team at first base. Thanks for doing these wonderful sculptures.
I knew he was a Navy fighter pilot, but didn’t know that about President Bush. Thank you for sharing that bit of history.
These Sculptures and the artist represent the finest in American Heritage, Honor and Valor. I represent 33 years of service to our country and am proud and thankful that I found these remembrances of WWII aviators who un -selfishly put themselves in harms way and gave the ultimate sacrifice to our country and our allies. May god bless the sprits of these and all fine men and women who lives were taken. Forever grateful, Col. Bill Crow
Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts. I could not have crafted better words to describe my own feelings.
Also forever grateful,
Awesome depiction of the life of a young teenager who rushed to defend his country without realizing the true sacrifice that he might give. My thanks to all who defended this fine country, The United States of America.
what a story this one tells!