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He and an elite crew transitioned from the B-17 Flying Fortress to the largest aircraft flown during World War II, the B-29 Superfortress. The aircraft itself was designed to specifications calling for a bomber capable of flying 5,000 miles, at 400 mph and carrying 20,000 pounds in bombs.
When one sees his aviation pieces, thoughts are about the courageous individuals who risked their lives for our freedom. 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. September 11, 2001, hit Phillips very hard emotionally.
In Bill’s landscapes, the viewer understands fully what that freedom is . Out of his distress came the painting A Prayer for My Brother.
The United States Army Accessions Command (USAAC) was so desperate for this aircraft to fulfill the specs that the XB-29 was ordered in massive quantity before the prototype flew.
It boasted innovations—an advanced gunnery system and pressurization—but it had difficulties from the start. The first planes arrived in India in April 1944, and missions were plagued with engine failures, aborted takeoffs, and poor results. Nevertheless, by March 9-10, 1945, 302 B-29s flew the first raid against Tokyo.
Now her images are eagerly sought by collectors, galleries and museums and adorn the walls of many a person who admires bold colors, decorative design and symbolic strength.