In the late 1920s, the Marine Corps assigned Capolino the task of creating a series of paintings that illustrated Marine Corps aviation. This painting depicts a Marine DH-9A light bomber locked in a swirling dog fight with a German fighter over a coast line, likely near German submarine bases located in Belgium. The exposed Marine gunner/observer returns fire with his flexible-mount machine guns while the pilot dives the DH-9A to evade the attacking enemy. When the 1st Marine Aviation Force arrived in France, they did not have aircraft of their own, so they traded American-built Liberty aircraft engines for English-built DH-9A airframes. By the end of World War I, the four squadrons of the 1st Marine Aviation Force flew a mixture of 20 English DH-9As and 16 American-built DH-4s.


  • Title: Marine DH-9A
  • Creator: LtCol John J. Capolino, USMCR
  • Date Created: 1918
  • Location Created: France, United States
  • Subject Keywords: WWI, U.S. Marines, USMC
  • Type: Pastel
  • Rights: National Museum of the Marine Corps
  • Medium: Pastel
  • Art Genre: Aviation
  • Art Form: Painting
  • Support: Ilustration Board

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