The motto of the Marine All weather Attack squadron 242. Translated it means ‘Death from the Darkness’ Nothing describes the Grumman A-6 Intruder better than the Bat’s motto. This incredible attack aircraft was in service between 1963 to 1997 and was designed as a medium all weather, carrier based attack plane. On its five hardpoints, it was capable of carrying everything from 5 inch Zuni rockets to AGM-84 Harpoon missiles to B83 nuclear bombs. The Intruder’s electronics allowed operation at any time in any weather.
For this painting I wanted to show the A6 operational yet also give respect to its retirement after 34 years and nearly 3 million flight hours. Showing the aircraft on the lift with the waves crashing behind just seemed right. It was always ready to go. For the markings, I chose VA-75 The Sunday Punchers, the Navy’s first A-6 squadron and the last to fly the Intruder in 1997.
The seed for this painting was originally sowed by my brother in law Rob. He knew that Navy aviation was a favorite of mine and that aircraft like the F/A-18 Hornet were a regular target for my paintings. As I began to do my homework in prep for this painting, I began to really understand what the A-6 had represented and what it had really brought to the table in so many of the conflicts over the last 30 years. So with that, the painting changed from the original idea of a low level bombing run to the current portrait. As with nearly all of my paintings, I find that the research side of the work is just as fulfilling as the creation of the work itself.