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

"The Phantoms and the Wizard" by William S. Phillips

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

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

A warhorse needn’t be pretty ― it earns its oats in combat. The design of Japan’s elegant Mitsubishi Zero may have enabled it to out-fly the Grumman F4F Wildcat on paper. Armor, self-sealing fuel tanks, a superior ceiling and dive rate led to the development of combat tactics that made the Wildcat a dangerous opponent. And when men like Marine Corps Captain Joseph J. Foss were behind the stick, it couldn’t be outfought.

William S. Phillips When You See Zeros, Fight ’Em depicts October 23, 1943 in the skies over Guadalcanal, when 28 Japanese Zeros and 16 Betty bombers swarmed over the island. Foss and his men were in the skies to counter attack. At one point, a Wildcat in pursuit of a Zero became potential prey himself, pursued by another Zero. Seeing this, Foss brought his plane in behind to within a few feet of the Zero and opened fire. The Zero burst into flames and the pilot bailed out, clearing Foss' plane by inches.

Foss had a great appreciation for the Wildcat’s sturdy airframe. After his first victory, he got separated from his wingman―often a fatal mistake. Zeros “bounced” him and he dove for the deck, recalling that the Japanese planes were said to shed their wings in a dive. Wrong. “The wings didn’t come off,” reported Joe, “and they really salted me.” Well-riddled, he crash-landed his Wildcat and remembered the lesson.

Foss would claim that wasn’t a good shot. “I just got up there and stuck those guns up his tail. When you see Zeros,” he told his squadron, “fight ‘em.” He was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his “indomitable fighting spirit” in the skies over Guadalcanal in the fall of 1942. In just 63 days he shot down 26 planes.

When You See Zero’s, Fight’ Em, an Anniversary Edition Giclèe Canvas, is a gorgeous tribute to Marine Corps Ace Joseph J. Foss and the unsubduable F4F Wildcat.

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

Sizing & Pricing

Anniversary Edition
Greenwich Workshop Fine Art
Giclée Canvas:

limited to 45 s/n. 24"w x 18"h. $395 


 

 

 

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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