Monday, June 18, 2007

William S. Phillips: Aviation Artist

I first saw this painting while visiting at the home of Gus Mencow in Worcester, Massachusetts in 2002. It was hanging on Gus's wall. The painting is by renowned aviation artist William S. Phillips, and is entitled 'When Prayers are Answered'. It shows the famous 390th Bomb Group 'Betty Boop/The Pistol Packin' Mama' coming home from a mission, with the welcome sights of a P-47 Thunderbolt escort and the White Cliffs of Dover. Gus was the navigator on this ship, and Phillips painted it and had the surviving crew members sign a limited number of prints. These are sold out but available on the secondary market.

When I prepared to publish my first book, I contacted Bill Phillips and asked him if I could use the painting on the cover, since there is a chapter in the book on Gus Mencow and the Pistol Packin' Mama. Bill graciously gave his permission.

Last summer, Bill had a series of his paintings printed as United States postage stamps. The series was one of the most popular postage stamp releases of 2006.

Bill Phillips is a true gentleman and a great artist. I have a link to his artwork in my favorites on this blog.

1 comment:

Les said...

That's beautiful, Rob. Thanks for sharing.

Last year, I spent $500 on a print by Robert Bailey, America's Century:

http://www.baileyprints.com/prints/americas-century.html

It is a print of the return from the bomb run of the Sept. 11th, 1944 Mission over Ruhland. My grandfather was on that mission, in the high group of the 100th. The whole low group, 12 of the 36 planes of the 100th that went on that mission were shot down over Kovarska Czechoslovakia. The mission is written about in the book: Black Monday over the Ore Mountains, by Jan Zdiarsky.

http://www.100thbg.com/px/books/ore.htm

In my grandfather's mission diary he simply wrote: "They took out our low group".

The print I bought is signed by over 110 100th BG members. I believe, including Rosie and Bill Bates, the bombardier of my grandfather's crew. (I say I believe because I don't want to take it out of the tube until it is ready to be framed.)

I'm sharing because I know how meaningful these wonderful works of art can be. These artist's to a great job!