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Fuel State Critical - Outcome in Doubt

by William S. Phillips

The Raider’s carrier task force (TF-16) was spotted by Japanese vessels well before they arrived at the intended departure point so the Raiders were forced to launch from the carrier Hornet earlier than planned.  Fuel calculations now fell short of the planned amount needed for their destination, Chuchow, China.  Their arrival in China would be at night, rather than during daylight as originally planned.  Fortunately, sailors on the Hornet filled ten, five-gallon gas cans and passed them hand-to-hand to each aircraft,  providing the fuel that made the difference between pitching at sea and coming down over land.

In this, William S. Phillips most recent historical documentation on the Doolittle Raid, General Doolittle and his crew in aircraft 02344 break into a momentary area of clear sky. The last rays of sunlight bring only slight hope that they will survive their ordeal, as their fuel levels continue to fall and the hour of landfall is uncertain.

Fuel State Critical—Outcome in Doubt is countered-signed by four of the Doolittle Raiders. The signing of the print took place at their   April 2010 reunion in Dayton, OH. They include the Crew 1 co-pilot of Doolittle’s plane (the B-25 depicted here), Colonel Richard E. Cole, Lt. Colonel Robert L. Hite of Crew 16, Major Thomas Carson Griffin of Crew 9 and Staff Sergeant David J. Thatcher of Crew 7.

Phillips’ Personal Commission Edition of the previous Raiders Fine Art Edition, Toward a Setting Sun, reached an edition size of 298. Given that there are only 100 in the edition of Fuel State Critical—Outcome in Doubt, this piece of history won’t last long!

Greenwich Workshop Fine Art Giclée Canvas:
limited to 100 s/n.
24"w x 12"h.


Also by William S. Phillips

Dauntless Against
a Rising Sun

by William S. Phillips
Anniversary Edition Canvas



A New Frontier

by Alan Bean

The art by Astronaut and artist Alan Bean depicts, for the first time in history,
a world other than our Earth, painted by an artist who actually went there.

The scientists on earth were concerned that the lunar samples we would be collecting on the Apollo missions could be tainted by our spacesuit gloves as we picked them up and stored  them. They devised a small metal “Environmental Sample Container” and asked us to put small rocks and dirt in it using only our shovel.  This allowed us to insure we never contacted that sample with our gloves and that it remained stored in the lunar environment, in pristine condition, until we got home.

Pete had practiced placing dirt and small rocks in the Environmental Sample Container on Earth with the small shovel, while I held it steady. It was a quick and easy task.

Of course, once we were on the lunar surface, in the reduced gravity, the whole exercise got far more complicated, and fun. Pete had no problem picking up some loose dirt and rocks.  As he swung the end of the shovel towards me all went well, as well.  But as he slowed the shovel down to carefully place the sample in the Container, the dirt did not slow down.  It just seemed to float out of the shovel and slowly fly all over the place, me included.   It was fun to watch objects, including dirt, move so slowly in one sixth gravity, and we were laughing at the mishap.

Pete moved the shovel, with dirt  and rocks, much more slowly on his next attempt and he deposited it in the sample container you see in my right glove.  I then carefully put on  the lid you see dangling below. It was lined with indium, a malleable and easily fusible metal, so when I screwed on the cap it made a perfect seal.

When the scientist back on earth compared these samples with the ones we collected with our gloves they, and we, were elated.  There was no difference.

Greenwich Workshop Fine Art Giclée Canvas:
limited to 150 s/n.
18"w x 14"h.


Also by Alan Bean

Is Anyone Out There?
by Alan Bean
Canvas | Print




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