Local artist donates painting to Naval Historical Center

Dale E. Mette recently donated his painting of the USS LST 751 to the U.S. Navy Art Collection at the Naval Historical Center at the Washington Naval Yard in Washington, DC.

The 30×40" acrylic on canvas painting depicts the LST 751, which was built by the Dravo Corporation at Neville Island in Pittsburgh and commissioned June 1944, along with another LST as they pass an island group. The LST 751 was assigned to the Pacific Theatre during World War II and earned two battle stars for Leyte and Lingayen Gulf operations. The LST 751 was decommissioned in 1946.

The painting was done to honor Mette's late father, an original crew member, who served aboard as a motor machinist mate first class and to honor the ship's officers and crew.

Mette credits the staff at the Naval Historical Center with being very helpful during the 18 months he spent on the painting. He worked closely with the Art Collection's Head Curator Gale Munro, and he credits her with making the process an enjoyable experience. Munro says that the painting will be of special interest to the Pacific war veterans who visit the collection.

Mette earned his art education degree from Dakota State University in Madison in 1980 and has taught at all levels for 30 years, the last 25 as the grades 7-12 art instructor at the Winnebago Public Schools on the Winnebago Indian Reservation in Winnebago, NE. Mette received his MFA in painting from USD in 1996. He and his wife, Sandy, reside in Vermillion.

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