Artwork by Richard C. Moore
At its annual meeting in October 1989, the USS St. Lo Association board voted to commission an artist to paint a picture of the USS St. Lo. The board decided to contact Richard C. Moore, an artist who had painted the USS Gambier Bay in action, to create a similar painting of the St. Lo.
Mr. Moore is an accomplished artist recognized especially for the quality of his works depicting naval vessels. During the Korean War he served with the Navy, including two years as a chaplain for a destroyer squadron in the Pacific.
“The End Of A Fighting Ship” is the title given to the painting of the ship. It also carries the sub-title, “The Last Moments of the USS St. Lo.”
The painting, as the title suggests, shows the USS St. Lo just before she sank. The artist received photographs of the USS St. Lo and written reports from Captain McKenna and the navigator. At least 40 eyewitnesses also provided information to the artist. From these sources he was able to develop the details which give authenticity to the painting.
The USS St. Lo is portrayed from an angle off the starboard bow. It depicts a tremendous explosion on the starboard side aft of the island, smoke billowing upwards, men going down lines from the bridge, flight deck and sponsor levels, the National Ensign flying from the masthead and signal flags from the yardarms, and life rafts in the water.
About the artist: Richard C. Moore’s love of ships and sea had its genesis in visits to the Philadelphia waterfront as a child. Upon graduation from college, Moore entered the U.S. Navy for a three-year tour of duty on destroyers in the Atlantic fleet. Later, after receiving a degree from Princeton Theological Seminary, he re-entered the Navy for two more years, serving on destroyers in the Pacific fleet. His life-long love of sketching and painting eventually focused into a particular fondness of marine painting. Moore’s painting of the USS St. Lo was presented to the National Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola, and prints of his many paintings are in the collections of numerous museums and war memorials throughout the country.