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Westbound: A Date with the General LIMITED EDITION CANVAS - BP00141
NOTES: “When we get to Chunking, I’m going to give you all a party that you won’t forget,” was Lt. Colonel James Doolittle’s promise to the 16 B-25 crews aboard the USS Hornet a few days before their historic air raid on Japan. By late afternoon on April 18th, 1942 the relative safety of the China coast was all that Lt. Donald G. Smith’s crew had on their minds. The 15th aircraft (# 40-2267) to leave the carrier’s deck had bombed its targets in Kobe, Japan but the crewmen knew they’d never make their designated landing strip on the Chinese mainland. The weather had become increasingly worse and visibility had dropped to zero. Lt. Smith was forced to ditch his bomber off an island on the Chinese Coast near Sangchow.
All of Aircraft 15’s crew would eventually make their way to Chunking but sixteen of the other Doolittle’s Raiders did not. Doolittle himself would rise to the rank of full General. It is the stuff of aviator legend that when the last Raider makes his final flight westward into the day’s fading light he will be greeted by his fellow Raiders and the General and they will have a party never to be forgotten.
When Bill Phillips painted The Giant Begins to Stir, he embarked on an artist’s journey that grew to become a visual history of the United States’ response to the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor: Lieutenant Colonel Jimmy Doolittle’s air raid on Japan launched, for the first time ever, from the sea. The Greenwich Workshop limited edition of The Giant Begins to Stir (co-signed by surviving Doolittle Raiders) was followed by I Could Never Be So Lucky Again (co-signed by Jimmy Doolittle) and Evasive Action at Sagami Bay, (co-signed by surviving Doolittle Raiders.) The final painting in this series is Westbound: A Date with the General, illustrates the dramatic flight of Lt. Smith’s Crew #15. The limited edition print and canvas have both been signed by Maj. Gen. USAF David Jones, (Ret.), Col. USAF William Bower, (Ret.), Lt. Col. USAF Richard Cole, (Ret.), Lt. Col. USAF Edward Saylor, (Ret.), Navigator Charles Ozuk, Jr., Navigator Thomas Griffin, MSgt USAF Edwin Horton Jr., (Ret.) and Engineer Gunner David Thatcher.
“Why chronicle any historical event?” asks artist Bill Phillips. Because paintings like Westbound: A Date with the General,' he says, “help us to understand the times in which we live. Remembering the sacrifices of brave men and women help us to be more aware of how we should view this great country and the freedoms we so often take for granted.”
In an interesting aside, Bill Phillips’ father, a character actor in Los Angeles in the 1940s and ’50s, played a pilot in the film 30 Seconds Over Tokyo, as well as in Dive Bomber, and as Sergeant Kirby in A Yank in Korea..
Westbound A Date with the General
Canvas by William Phillips
is signed by the artist and comes with a certificate of authenticity.
William Phillips bio
"Phillips grew up loving art but never thought he could make it his
livelihood. At college he majored in criminology and had been accepted into
law school when four of his paintings were sold at an airport restaurant.
That was all the incentive he needed to begin his work as a fine art painter.
Bill Phillips is now a renowned aviation artist and the landscape artist of
choice for many collectors. Bill's strengths as a landscape painter, a
respect and reverence for a time and place, help him when painting aviation as
well as classic landscapes. Phillips often spends days observing landscape
subjects. Finding companionship with the land, he is able to convey the
boundlessness of nature on the painted canvas inspiring a reverence for the
natural landscape in its beholders.
After one of his paintings was presented to King Hussein of Jordan, Phillips
was commissioned by the Royal Jordanian Air Force. He developed sixteen major
paintings, many of which now hang in the Royal Jordanian Air Force Museum in
Amman. The Smithsonian Institution s National Air and Space Museum presented
a one-man show of Phillips work in 1986. He is one of only a few artists to
have been so honored.
In 1988, Phillips was chosen to be a U.S. Navy combat artist. For his
outstanding work, the artist was awarded the Navy s Meritorious Public Service
Award and the Air Force Sergeants Association s Americanism Medal. At the
prestigious annual fund raiser for the National Park Service, Bill s work has
been included in the Top 100 each year he has entered the competition and his
work has won the Art History Award twice.
Phillips was selected as the Fall 2004 Artist in Residence at the
North Rim of the Grand Canyon and tapped by the U.S. Postal Service to paint
the stamp illustrations and header design for a pane of twenty stamps in 1997
entitled Classic American Aircraft. He was chosen again in 2005 for a pane of
twenty stamps (ten designs) entitled American Advances in Aviation."