There were many defining moments during the Bay of Pigs invasion. One such moment was the destruction of Castro's forces, by B-26s belonging to the 2506 Assault Brigade's Liberation Air Force. The air attack is depicted in this portrait titled Lobo One created by artist Jeff W. Bass for the Central Intelligence Agency. What follows is the description of the event as it appears in Grayston L. Lynch's Decision for Disaster; Betrayal at the Bay of Pigs.
By late Tuesday, the brigade pilots were in bad shape, their limit of endurance having long since been exceeded. Six B-26s, three flown by American instructors, former pilots of the Alabama Air National Guard, flew to Cochinos Bay. They caught Castro's forces moving south from Playa Larga to Blue Beach and had a "turkey shoot."
A long column of tanks, trucks and troops stretched almost the entire length of the sixteen-mile-long coast road on the east coast of Cochinos Bay. In places the columns were bunched up two and three vehicles abreast. It was an attack pilot's dream, and these were experienced attack pilots.
They came in on the column just at sunset; picked out a seven mile stretch packed with troops and racked it repeatedly from end to end. They worked as a team, and methodically turned the section into flaming rubble and fleeing troops. Their ammunition exhausted, they flew back in darkness to Puerto Cabezas to prepare for another raid at dawn on Wednesday. It would be the last dawn the Americans, who had found a cause worth dying for, would see. They died that morning, caught in the sights of a T-33.
Grayston L. LynchDecision for Disaster; Betrayal at the Bay of Pigs
Jeffrey W. Bass Biography
Jeff Bass has been painting since age nine and began formal lessons in painting and drawing at age thirteen. Before he graduated from high school, he was working as a professional illustrator.
Today, Jeff Bass completes fine art portraits as well as historical works for private collections and museums. His work is represented in the Smithsonian, the Central Intelligence Agency, the International Spy Museum, the National Naval Aviation Museum and the National World War II Museum, to name a few. He has painted luminaries including President George H. W. Bush and Florida Governor Jeb Bush.
Bass's work has been featured on CNN, Fox News and France 2 Television. His work has also been featured in the Times of London and Smithsonian Magazine Online. His licensed images are published worldwide. Jeff Bass is a signature member of the National Watercolor Society. - www.jeffbass.com