The Fury Immortalized


Those of us who have been to Atsugi in the '60s and '70s will remember dearly the artists outside the main gate who would paint your favorite aircraft on silk and give you a framed detailed treasure for life. Many of those paintings had a history behind them. This is the record of just such a treasure and history.

This FJ was photographed over Cape Hatteras, NC, in mid-'57, during FJ-3M Fury division tactics training to perfect high altitude "Fluid Four" maneuvering and section mutual protection, while using newly acquired "Sidewinders" (hence the FJ-3M).

Don, Hanna took the 35mm slide to NAS Atsugi on his next overseas tour and presented it to the famous "Aircraft Artist" - just outside the gate, who transformed it to a beautiful silk painting. Years later, the silk painting was photographed and printed as a large poster to be displayed at 235 reunions.

Unfortunately, the poster was later lost in transit to museum display status. Replication was impossible because the silk painting was believed destroyed in a 1953 Laguna Beach fire.

Recently, Don found the original silk painting he thought had been lost in the fire. He photographed it once again. A new poster has been created and it will be displayed at the September 2000 235 Reunion and at subsequent 235 reunions.

The Fury has a unique place in history, as we transitioned from "guns only", to "guns and missiles", in air-to-air combat. It provided many of the "lessons learned" and the tactics developed with the FJ were later used with such deadly effect by the F-8 "Gunfighters." Both of these happenings had significant impact in keeping Marine Aviation in the fighter game, when many advocated that we get out of the game, period!