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"Approaching the Gate to Destiny" by William S. Phillips

"When You See Zeroes, Fight 'Em" by William S. Phillips

"Approaching the Gate to Destiny" by William S. Phillips


Approaching the Gate to Destiny
by William S. Phillips

The mission would not only be a dangerous for the Doolittle Raiders, but it was also a major strategic gamble for the United States Navy. With only four carriers in the Pacific Ocean, 50% of that force were committed to the Tokyo Raid - the USS Hornet, from which the 16 bombers were launched and sailing from Hawaii, the USS Enterprise, as a protective escort.

Little of that was apparent as the Hornet and the other ships of Task Force 18 emerged from the fog and into the sunlight on the morning of April 2, 1942. 5000-miles beyond the Golden Gate lay the hostile shores of Japan. A cover story of the Hornet ferrying bombers to Hawaii had been circulated. Thousands had the opportunity to watch the carrier and the other ships depart with little idea of the Task Force’s true destination.

Doolittle had the Navy load sixteen B-25’s aboard the USS Hornet. His intention was to launch one when they were off the California coast as proof to his men that it could be done. The other fifteen would be used in the attack on Japan. The Navy’s takeoff training supervisor, Lt. Henry Miller, had such unflagging confidence in the ability of the planes to safely leave the deck of the ship that he convinced Doolittle and Captain Mitscher to save the extra plane for the raid itself.

You will own, with either the Fine Art Gilcee Canvas or Fine Art Giclee Paper edition, a true and authentic historical document. No other artist has developed the deep relationship that Phillips has with the Doolittle Raiders. “Remembering the sacrifices of brave men and women helps us become more aware of how we should view this great country and the freedoms we so often take for granted,” says Bill Phillips. “This art helps us to keep these memories alive and gives us something to pass on to the next generation.”

"Approaching the Gate to Destiny" by William S. Phillips

Sizing & Pricing

Greenwich Workshop
Fine Art Giclée Canvas:

limited to 25 s/n. 13"w x 26"h. $350 

Greenwich Workshop
Fine Art Giclée Print:

limited to 75 s/n. Sheet 13"w x 30"h. $195 




About William S. Phillips

Phillips grew up loving art but never thought he could make it his livelihood. At college he majored in criminology and he 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 the aviation artist of choice for many American heroes and the nostalgic landscape artist of choice for many collectors. Bill’s strengths as a landscape painter are what gave him an edge in the aviation field: respect and reverence for a time and place. When one sees his aviation pieces, thoughts are about the courageous individuals who risked their lives for our freedom. In Bill’s landscapes, the viewer understands fully what that freedom is . . . the precious values that make life worth living.

After one of his paintings was presented to King Hussein of Jordan, Phillips was commissioned by the Royal Jordanian Air Force to create 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 least one of Phillips’ works was chosen in the top 100 each time he entered “Art for the Parks,” the prestigious annual fund-raiser for the National Park Service, and he received the Art History Award from the National Park Foundation several times.

September 11, 2001, hit Phillips very hard emotionally. Out of his distress came the painting A Prayer for My Brother. Fine art prints of this piece have been placed in many fire departments across the country, with a portion of the proceeds going to help families of fallen firefighters.

In 2004, he was chosen by the National Park Service to be the first Artist in Residence at the Grand Canyon where his assignment included paintings to interpret the park’s purpose as a place of pleasure and its importance as a national treasure.

He is regularly invited to participate in the annual Masters of the American West Exhibition and Sale at the Autry National Center in Los Angeles, an invitational for the top artists in the US. Bill is currently working on a large project documenting the Los Angeles Fire Department which will be placed in their museum. In October, 2013, the artist was inducted into the Oregon Aviation Hall of Honor, along with Doolittle Raider co-pilot Robert Emmens.



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