NEWPORT NEWS, Va., June 18, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Twenty-eight apprentices from Newport News Shipbuilding's Apprentice School were among the 418,500 Americans who gave their lives to protect America's freedom during World War II. To honor these fallen heroes, maritime artist Thomas C. Skinner painted the "Memorial Mural" in 1947. Now, more than 70 years later, the mural will get a restorative facelift.
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The "Memorial Mural," once on display in The Apprentice School's administration and classroom building, has served as a reminder of the men and women who not only built ships for the Navy but also served as sailors and soldiers themselves. Skinner's mural is being restored to its original vibrancy at The Mariners' Museum before claiming its home in The Apprentice School's new facility, which is currently under construction. NNS, a division of Huntington Ingalls Industries (NYSE:HII), plans to make the artwork a focal point at the school's new state-of-the-art campus scheduled to open this fall.Made up of multiple panels to measure in at nearly 23 feet long and 6 feet high, the "Memorial Mural" lists the 28 names of apprentices who died in the war. The mural has been on display in the original 1943 Apprentice School building since its completion in 1947. The panels, depicting battle scenes and a soldier mourning a flag-covered coffin, also show apprentice William A. "Bud" Cole holding a draft notice and looking out into the shipyard.