Military artist William S. Phillips and surviving Doolittle Raiders Col. William Bowers, Lt. Colonel Richard E. Cole, Lt. Colonel Frank Kappeler, Lt. Colonel Edward Saylor, MSgt. Edwin Horton Jr., Thomas Griffin and David J. Thatcher gathered in Washington, D.C., over Memorial Day weekend to commemorate one of the most famous aviation events of World War II by signing limited edition prints of Phillips’ “Westbound: A Date with the General.”
The Greenwich Workshop has published the new print in two limited editions: a fine art Giclee canvas edition limited to 200 prints ($1,295), and a fine art paper edition limited to 300 prints ($550), all of which were signed by the Doolittle Raiders in attendance on May 27.
The print, which illustrates the flight of Lt. Donald G. Smith’s B-25 and his crew #15, is the fourth painting of a visual history of the United States’ response in April 1942 to the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor. Lt. Colonel (later General) Jimmy Doolittle’s air raid on Japan launched, for the first time ever from sea, off the “USS Hornet.”
The Greenwich Workshop also published limited editions of the first work in the series, “The Giant Begins to Stir” (co-signed by surviving Doolittle Raiders), as well as “I Could Never Be So Lucky Again” (co-signed by Jimmy Doolittle) and “Evasive Action at Sagami Bay” (co-signed by surviving Doolittle Raiders).
“When we get to Chunking, I’m going to give you all a party that you won’t forget,” Doolittle promised the 16 B-25 crews aboard the “USS Hornet.”
Smith was forced to ditch his bomber off an island on the Chinese coast near Sangchow. All of crew #15 made their way to safety in China but 16 other Doolittle Raiders did not. It is the stuff of aviator legend that when the last Raider makes his final flight westward he will be greeted by his fellow Raiders and Doolittle, and they will have a party never to be forgotten. Of the 80 men who went on the mission, just 14 are left today.
“Why chronicle any historical event?” asks Bill Phillips. “Because remembering these events helps us to understand the times in which we live now. The sacrifices of brave men and women, however long ago, help us to be more aware of how we should view this great country and the freedoms we so often take for granted.”
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