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"Mission Complete, The Journey Continues" by William S. Phillips

"Two Down, One to Go" by William S. Phillips

"Mission Complete, The Journey Continues" by William S. Phillips
Mission Complete, The Journey Continues "Mission Complete, The Journey Continues" by William S. Phillips

William Phillips’ first connection to the Doolittle Raid was through his father, an actor who played Lt. Donald Smith, pilot of plane 15 in the film 30 Seconds over Tokyo. In the early 1980s, Phillips’ sought out General Doolittle to consult on his idea for a painting, The Giant Begins to Stir. That meeting began a 30-year relationship with the Doolittle Tokyo Raiders and over a dozen paintings creating a one of kind visual history the historical event.

“I wanted this painting to have the feel of a Hollywood ending and I wanted it to be General Doolittle’s plane,” says Phillips. “The mission itself may be complete. But the sense of honor and duty that these men exhibited that day, that is something on which you can base your entire life. For the Raiders, it did.”

Mission Complete, The Journey Continues is counter-signed by all the attendees of the 70th Anniversary Doolittle Tokyo Raiders Reunion:
Click here to learn more about the counter-signers.

In addition to the actual signatures of these surviving Raiders on the giclèe canvas  reproduced within the image are signatures of over 40 of the members of the April 18, 1942 mission. Phillips took his original painting of The Giant Begins to Stir to the Raiders 41st Reunion and had each attending member paint his signature on the painting. Phillips’ filled in the names, by aircraft, of the rest of the airmen. Mission Complete, The Journey Continues is a beautiful, unique and complete historical document of one of the finest hours of American military history.

Royalties from the sale of these or any other Doolittle Raider Fine Art Editions support the Doolittle Tokyo Raider Scholarship Fund.

Sizing & Pricing
Greenwich Workshop Fine Art Giclée Canvas:
Countersigned by attendees of the 70th Anniversary Reunion.
limited to 70 s/n. 27"w x 19"h. $495 

For as heralded an event in military and aviation history as the Doolittle raid has become, little remains in the way of original documentation of the events leading up to and during the raid. Artist William S. Phillips, in the course of his nearly 30-year relationship with the Raiders, has recreated those moments that would otherwise be lost to history.

Click here to launch the eBook

Click on the images below for additional details. A list of titles is below.

"Into the Arms of the Dragon" "Westbound: A Date with the General" "The Giant Begins to Stir" "Engaging the Enemy" "I Could Never Be So Lucky Again" "Evasive Action Over Sagami Bay" "Toward the Setting Sun" "Fuel State Critical: Outcome in Doubt" "Mission Complete: The Journey Continues" "Alameda Bound" "Approaching the Gate to Destiny" "Rising to the Storm"
Historical Chronology:
Alameda Bound (to come)
Approaching the Gate to Destiny (to come)
Toward the Setting Sun
Rising to the Storm
I Could Never Be So Lucky Again
The Giant Begins to Stir
Evasive Action Over Sagami Bay
Engagaing the Enemy
Westbound: A Date with the General
Fuel State Critical—Outcome in Doubt
Into the Arms of the Dragon
Mission Complete, The Journey Continues
As shown above:
(Top row:)
Alameda Bound (to come)
I Could Never Be So Lucky Again
Toward the Setting Sun
Rising into the Storm
Approaching the Gate to Destiny (to come)
(Middle row:)
Engaging the Enemy
Mission Complete, The Journey Continues
Evasive Action Over Sagami Bay
(Bottom row:)
Into the Arms of the Dragon
Westbound: A Date with the General
The Giant Begins to Stir
Fuel State Critical—Outcome in Doubt
William S. Phillips’ Rising to the Sun was signed at the 70th reunion by the four Raiders in attendance . . .
Richard E. Cole, Colonel
Co-Pilot Crew 1

Cole was the co-pilot of Doolittle’s plane and the first off of the Hornet’s deck, around 0800 (8:00 am ship time) April 18, 1942. Close to 1330 (1:30 pm ship time), they dropped their first bombs on Tokyo. They continued on toward China. At 2120 (9:20 pm ship time) after 13 hours in the air and having covered nearly 2,250 miles, Cole and the rest of his crew bailed out over China. 

Cole enlisted November 22, 1940.  He completed pilot training and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant, July, 1941. Cole remained in China-Burma-India until June, 1943 and served again in the China-Burma-India Theater from October, 1943 until June, 1944.  Cole was relieved from active duty in January, 1947 but returned to active duty in August, 1947.  He was Operations Advisor to Venezuelan Air Force from 1959 to 1962. His peacetime service included posts in Ohio, North Carolina and California. Cole rated as Command Pilot.  His decorations include the Distinguished Flying Cross with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters, Air Medal with 1 Oak Leaf Cluster, the Bronze Star Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal and the Chinese Army, Navy and Air Corps Medal, Class A, 1st Grade.
Edward Joseph Saylor, Major
Engineer Crew 15

Saylor’s plane was nicknamed TNT and bombed an aircraft factory and dock yards of Kobe. He and all his crew escaped injury when they ditched near an island west of Sangchow, China. Lt. T.R. White, M.D., who flew with Saylor, would amputate the leg of the Ruptured Duck’s Lt. Lawson in China. 

Saylor enlisted December 7, 1939 and served throughout World War II in enlisted status both stateside and overseas until March, 1945. Saylor accepted a commission in October, 1947 and served as Aircraft Maintenance Officer at bases in Iowa, Washington, Labrador and England. His decorations include the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Force Commendation Medal and the Chinese Army, Navy and Air Corps Medal, Class A, 1st Grade.
Thomas Carson Griffin, Major
Navigator Crew 9

Griffin was navigator on the Whirling Dervish. After a smooth take off and bomb run over the Kawasji truck and tank factory in Tokyo the crew headed for China. They bailed out about 100 miles south of Poyang Lake.

Griffin entered service on July 5, 1939 as Second Lieutenant, Coast Artillery, but requested relief from active duty in 1940 to enlist as a Flying Cadet.  He was rated as a navigator and re-commissioned on July 1, 1940.  After the Tokyo Raid, Griffin served as a navigator in North Africa until he was shot down and captured by the Germans on July 3, 1943.  Griffin remained a POW until release in April, 1945.  His decorations include the Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters and the Chinese Army, Navy and Air Corps Medal, Class A, 1st Grade.
David J. Thatcher, Staff Sergeant
Engineer-Gunner Crew 7

Thatcher flew on Lt. Lawson’s Ruptured Duck. On take-off, the plane’s flaps were not extended and the plane seemed as if it would fall into the water. They recovered and went on to bomb an industrial section of Tokyo. He was the only member of his crew not seriously injured when his plane crashed in the water short of the beach on which they were trying to land. Thatcher’s exploits can be read in detail in Lawson’s Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo.

Thatcher enlisted December 3, 1940. After the Tokyo Raid, he served in England and Africa until January, 1944.  Thatcher was discharged from active duty in July, 1945. His decorations include the Silver Star, the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal with 4 Oak Leaf Clusters and the Chinese Army, Navy and Air Corps Medal, Class A, 1st Grade.
The time itself is closing the door on your opportunity to own an authentic piece of Doolittle Raid history. The story of the Doolittle Raiders’ Goblets drives that point home.

There are 80 silver goblets, one each for the 80 men who flew on the Doolittle Raid against Japan. After this year’s 69th reunion, only the five belonging to the surviving Raiders will remain upright in their cabinet, while seventy-five will be turned upside down, each representing one of the Doolittle airmen that has passed away. Over the years, these goblets have taken a highly symbolic place in the history of military aviation.

When the five remaining aviators gather in Omaha in a few short weeks, they will conduct their somber "Goblet Ceremony." Each Raider that has passed since their last reunion will be formally toasted and his goblet will be turned upside down. This year, Col. William Bower, Col Frank A. Kappeler, Captain Charles John Ozuk will be remembered. Each goblet has the Raider's name engraved twice—so that it can be read if the goblet is right side up or upside down.

A bottle of Hennessy Very Special Cognac from the year of Doolittle’s birth, vintage 1896, is reserved for when only two Raiders remain. When that time comes, those two men will drink the final toast to their departed comrades from that bottle.

The National Museum of the United States Air Force is the current home of the 80 silver goblets. The goblets were a gift to the Raiders from the city of Tucson, Arizona, presented to Doolittle during a Raiders' reunion in that city in 1959. Later that year Doolittle turned them over to the United States Air Force Academy during halftime of the Air Force-Colorado University football game.

The Goblets travel to each Raider reunion, guarded by a pair Cadets from the Air Force Academy. The portable display case used to transport them to the reunions was built in 1973 by Richard E. "Dick" Cole, Doolittle’s copilot during the raid.


About William S. Phillips

“Aviation was my first artistic love,” says William S. Phillips, “but my true, enduring love remains my Christian faith, home and family. So it is my pleasure to combine all of it in my work. The historical aviation subjects, I research; the contemporary and nostalgic subjects, I live.” 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 nostalgic works, 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. 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. In 1991, three of Phillips’ works were chosen as part of the top 100 in “Art for the Parks,” the prestigious annual fund-raiser for the National Park Service, and one painting received the “Art History Award” from the National Park Foundation.



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