George S. Eisenberg: Artist and Illustrator. George S. Eisenberg: Sailor's Diary.
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Sailor's Diary.

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Portrait of USS LaVallette (DD448), circa 1943 
Destroyer Squadron 21, Destroyer Division 42 
Gouache paint on a canceled chart of the South Pacific 

In 1943, during the early part of my tenure on board the ship, I painted the USS LaVallette (DD448) from a dock in San Diego. I painted in the surrounding ocean after heading out to sea.

Reproductions were made for the crew. One reproduction now hangs in La Vallette, New Jersey; another in the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island; and a third will soon to be on display at the USS Hornet Museum in Alameda, California.

Both the town of La Vallette and the WWII combat ship were named after Rear Admiral Elie La Vallette, who took command of the historic U.S.S. Constitution in 1825.

The original painting of the USS LaVallette was featured in special exhibits at the Charlestown Navy Yard Museum in 1983 and 1985, where the USS Constitution is now berthed and open to the public as a museum.

Ironically, the U.S.S. La Vallette’s WWll sister ship, USS Cassin Young (DD-793), is also a floating museum and historic landmark berthed at the Charlestown Navy Yard, next to the USS Constitution. I was commissioned to create illustrations depicting men working and living on board the Cassin Young during WWll. My pictorial reenactments have been transferred to metal plaques and strategically placed throughout the Cassin Young Museum for visitors to reference.

The USS LaVallette, part of DesRon 21 (Destroyer Squadron 21), is one of the 12 most battle tested ships in United States naval history. It survived a torpedo in the Battle of Russell Island, a mine during the taking of Corregidor, and it was awarded 10 Battle Stars for service in the Pacific during World War ll. At the end of the war, the USS LaVallette was decommissioned and put into "moth balls".

Years later, the ship was sold to the Peruvian government. The original ship's bell was recently installed on the quarterdeck of the USS Hornet Museum, in California, and is used for ceremonies honoring veterans and Naval history.

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© Copyright 1942–2004 George S. Eisenberg. All rights reserved.