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|*The value given for each signature has been calculated by us based on the historical significance and rarity of the signature. Values of many pilot signatures have risen in recent years and will likely continue to rise as they become more and more rare.|
General Jimmy Doolittle (deceased)
*Signature Value : £95
|Jimmy Doolittle was one of the great aviation heroes of the 20th Century - a man of extraordinary ability and courage, whose lifetime spanned the entire era of aviation. He became an Army pilot at 17, and after just missing WWI, took to air racing and record breaking. With a Doctorate in aeronautical sciences, Doolittle helped pioneer instrument flying and develop high octane aviation fuel. After Pearl Harbor he assembled his famous Tokyo Raiders, masterminded and led the historic mission, and won the Medal of Honour - yet for Doolittle this was only the beginning of an illustrious career in World War II. As a General he commanded the air war over Italy and North Africa, and then promoted Supreme Commander of the 8th Air Force in Europe. Jimmy Doolittle attained almost everything achievable in the world of aviation, and earned the admiration of all who served with him, and the gratitude of a nation. Died 27th September 1993.|
|The Aircraft :|
|Mitchell||On April 18, 1942, Lt. Col. James H. Doolittle led a group of 16 B-25 bombers on a carrier-launched raid on industrial and military targets in Japan. The raid was one of the most daring missions of WW II. Planning for this secret mission began several months earlier, and Jimmy Doolittle, one of the most outstanding pilots and leaders in the United States Army Air Corps was chosen to plan, organize and lead the raid. The plan was to get within 300 or 400 miles of Japan, attack military and industrial targets in Tokyo, Osaka, and Kobe shortly after nightfall, and then fly on to a dawn landing at secret airfields on the coast of China. The twin engine B-25 Mitchell bomber was selected by Doolittle for the mission and practice indicated that it should be possible to launch these aircraft from a carrier deck with less than 500 feet of runway. On April 2, 1942 the USS Hornet and a number of escorts set sail from Alameda, California with the 16 B-25s strapped to its deck. This task force rendezvoused with another including the USS Enterprise, and proceeded for the Japanese mainland. An element of surprise was important for this mission to succeed. When the task force was spotted by a Japanese picket boat, Admiral Halsey made the decision to launch the attack earlier than was planned. This meant that the raiders would have to fly more than 600 miles to Japan, and would arrive over their targets in daylight. It also meant that it would be unlikely that each aircraft would have sufficient fuel to reach useable airfields in China. Doolittle had 50 gallons of additional fuel stowed on each aircraft as well as a dinghy and survival supplies for the likely ditchings at sea which would now take place. At approximately 8:00 AM the Hornets loudspeaker blared, Now hear this: Army pilots, man your planes! Doolittle and his co-pilot R.E. Cole piloted the first B-25 off the Hornets deck at about 8:20 AM. With full flaps, and full throttle the Mitchell roared towards the Hornets bow, just barely missing the ships island superstructure. The B-25 lifted off, Doolittle leveled out, and made a single low altitude pass down the painted center line on the Hornets deck to align his compass. The remaining aircraft lifted off at approximately five minute intervals. The mission was planned to include five three-plane sections directed at various targets. However, Doolittle had made it clear that each aircraft was on its own. He insisted, however, that civilian targets be avoided, and under no circumstances was the Imperial Palace in Tokyo to be bombed. About 30 minutes after taking off Doolittles B-25 was joined by another piloted by Lt. Travis Hoover. These two aircraft approached Tokyo from the north. They encountered a number of Japanese fighter or trainer aircraft, but they remained generally undetected at their low altitude. At 1:30 PM the Japanese homeland came under attack for the first time in the War. From low altitudes the raiders put their cargoes of four 500 pounders into a number of key targets. Despite antiaircraft fire, all the attacking aircraft were unscathed. The mission had been a surprise, but the most hazardous portion of the mission lay ahead. The Chinese were not prepared for the raiders arrival. Many of the aircraft were ditched along the coast, and the crews of other aircraft, including Doolittles were forced to bail out in darkness. There were a number of casualties, and several of the raiders were caught by Japanese troops in China, and some were eventually executed. This painting is dedicated to the memories of those airmen who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country and the thousands of innocent Chinese citizens which were brutally slaughtered as a reprisal for their assistance in rescuing the downed crews.|
|Artist Details : William S Phillips|
|Click here for a full list of all artwork by William S Phillips|
William S Phillips
William S. Phillips grew up loving aviation and art but never thought he could make either his livelihood. At college he majored in criminology and had been accepted into law school when four of his paintings were sold at an airport restaurant. That was all the encouragement Phillips needed to begin his career as a fine art painter. After one of his paintings was presented to King Hussein of Jordan, Phillips was commissioned by the Royal Jordanian Air Force and given full access to their aircraft and the countrys archaeological sites. For this commission, he developed sixteen major paintings, many of which now hang in the Royal Jordanian Air Force Museum in Amman. The Smithsonian Institutions 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. The show proved to be so popular that it traveled for four years to other museums all over the country. In 1988, Phillips was chosen to be a Navy combat artist and was allowed to view naval operations in the Persian Gulf. He worked from ten different ships, gaining the perspective he needed to portray patrolling aircraft with accuracy and drama. For his outstanding efforts, the artist was awarded the Navys Meritorious Public Service Award and the Air Force Sergeants Associations 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 Parks Service, and one painting received the Art History Award from the National Parks Foundation. Bill Phillips is now the aviation artist of choice for many American heroes. Congressional Medal of Honor recipients Joe Foss and Jimmy Doolittle are just two of the legends who have countersigned Phillips fine art prints. The full range of the artists work is limited only by the sky. The historical subjects, I research, Phillips says. The contemporary subjects, I live.
More about William S Phillips
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