Beyond Darkness

Commander Standard was a Helldiver pilot in the "Mission Beyond Darkness," an action in the Battle of the Phillipine Sea where U.S. bomber pilots were sent out to strike an enemy force that lay far beyond their fuel range. They knew when they took off that that if they survived they would have to ditch their planes in the night ocean and hoped to be picked up by one of the ships in the fleet. The painting shows a Helldiver pilot being picked up by a destroyer crew after his return from the "Mission Beyond Darkness."
Commander Standard flew the mission, and dove down through horrendous flak to take out an enemy battle cruiser, and made it back to the carrier fleet by using every trick he knew to conserve fuel. He made an emergency nighttime landing on a carrier that turned out not to be his home ship. His Helldiver was pushed overboard by the carrier crew to make room for their own planes which were waiting to land. He won the Navy Cross for extraordinary bravery. Here is a larger version of the picture taken when he spoke to our seminar.