Combat on Canvas

Art and artifacts from the Marine front lines, now on display in Washington.


Bumblebees' Mascot

(Eric Long, NASM)

“Aviators are very proud of their squadrons,” says Kristy, “and are also very proud of their bars and officers’ clubs. This bee comes from VMA-331—the Bumblebees—a famed World War II squadron that was decommissioned after Desert Storm.” When the unit officially turned in its unit colors, flags, and official records, they also turned in their bee. The sculpture, which graced the officers’ club for years, is made from Tinkertoys, with wings of pantyhose. The base is a recipe card box. “We don’t know who made it,” said Kristy. “So, besides being a great example of Marine folk art, we’re hoping that people will come through the exhibition and spot it, and tell us a little more of its history.”

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