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Westbound: A Date with the General

by William S. Phillips

“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 will be signed by Doolittle Raiders survivors.

“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.

Greenwich Workshop Fine Art Print
Countersigned by the Surviving Doolittle Raiders:

limited to 300 s/n.
22"w x 25 11/16"h.
$550 | $665 CDN | £360
Ask About Availability

Greenwich Workshop Fine Art Giclée Canvas
Countersigned by the Surviving Doolittle Raiders:

limited to 200 s/n.
30"w x 35"h.
$1295 | $1560 CDN | £840
Ask About Availability

First Boots on the Ground

by William S. Phillips

November 14, 1965, Ia Drang Valley, Vietnam—Amidst the low brush, elephant grass and enormous sun-baked termite mounds, clouds of dust lazily drift away from the clearing nicknamed LZ (Landing Zone) X-Ray. In preparation for an air assault by troops from the 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry, United States artillery has been relentlessly pounding away at the perimeter of the LZ.

At 10:48 the helicopter touches down, and Lt. Col. Moore, Sgt. Major Plumley, Capt. Metsker, Bob Ouellette, Al Bosse and Vietnamese translator Mr. Nik become the first boots on the ground at Ia Drang.

Helicopter pilots Bruce Crandall and Ed Freeman would go on to receive the Medal of Honor for their actions during the battle of Ia Drang, a battle which would go down in history as one of the most intense of the Vietnam War. This three-day struggle would later be documented in the best-selling book We Were Soldiers Once…and Young by Lt. Gen. Hal Moore (Ret.) and Joseph Galloway.

William S. Phillips compellingly depicts the chaos of LZ X-Ray in First Boots on the Ground. The piece is countersigned by Lt. Gen. Hal Moore, (Ret.), Lt. Col. Bruce Crandall (Ret.), (MOH), Command Master Sgt. Basil Plumley, (Ret.), Bob Ouellette and Al Bosse.

Greenwich Workshop Fine Art Print:
limited to 800 s/n.
28"w x 14"h.
$395 | $475 CDN | £260
Ask About Availability

Greenwich Workshop Fine Art Giclée Canvas:
limited to 100 s/n.
38"w x 19"h (unstretched).
$795 | $960 CDN | £520
Ask About Availability

Arriving August 2007