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Thread: Art with meaning

  1. #1

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    Art with meaning

    At Oshkosh every year I like to visit Virginian Bader or Aces High booths displaying some great warbird and other aviation art. One particularly caught my eye this year, very evocative of what it would have been like to be 22 years old and risking your life over and over for 25 missions. It's titled PRAYERS ANSWERED, and it shows a lone B-17 over France returning from bombing deep into German. They have 2 engines running, one feathered and the other one smoking, and have glass shot out in the nose, holes in the fuselage. .They are lucky to make 180 mph , too slow to stay with their formation, and easy prey to any fighter that finds them. A 10 man crew and you can bet those who are still alive are praying to get home. Ahead perhaps 30 miles the coast and the channel is visible, they need another half hour. And above them and to the right, 2 RAF Spitfires sliding into position off their wing tip. A prayer answered, and this time they get to live another day, to come back again soon and do it once more.

    I was still a kid when I was that age. I've flown a fighter, but Ive never been a fighter pilot.
    Last edited by Bill Greenwood; 03-09-2019 at 06:36 PM.

  2. #2
    rwanttaja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Greenwood View Post
    At Oshkosh every year I like to visit Virginian Bader or Aces High booths displaying some great warbird and other aviation art. One particularly caught my eye this year, very evocative of what it would have been like to be 22 years old and risking your life over and over for 25 missions. It's titled PRAYERS ANSWERED, and it shows a lone B-17 over France returning from bombing deep into German. They have 2 engines running, one feathered and the other one smoking, and have glass shot out in the nose, holes in the fuselage. .They are lucky to make 180 mph , too slow to stay with their formation, and easy prey to any fighter that finds them. A 10 man crew and you can bet those who are still alive are praying to get home. Ahead perhaps 30 miles the coast and the channel is visible, they need another half hour. And above them and to the right, 2 RAF Spitfires sliding into position off their wing tip. A prayer answered, and this time they get to live another day, to come back again soon and do it once more.

    I was still a kid when I was that age. I've flown a fighter, but Ive never been a fighter pilot.
    There are a couple of paintings out there, varying on that theme.

    This sounds like the one Bill saw: "Alone No More", by William S. Phillips


    "Answered Prayers," by Michael Short


    "When Prayers are Answered," by William S. Phillips


    Used to be a Virginia Bader gallery in Seattle. James Dietz lives here, and a lot of his stuff was on display there.

    Ron Wanttaja
    Last edited by rwanttaja; 03-09-2019 at 08:45 PM.

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    rwanttaja's Avatar
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    Sadly, this post reminded me of days gone by in EAA...when the back cover of Sport Aviation was not just the same old advertisement, but great aviation paintings by Dietz, Phillips, Stokes, etc.

    Sigh.

    Here's my favorite: "New Kites" by Jim Dietz, on the back cover of the March 1989 Sport Aviation....


    Loved the write-up that went with it....

    This month's back cover painting is still another Jim Dietz masterpiece . . . entitled "New Kites." According to Jim, the painting is a fictional situation the arrival of brand new Spitfire I's to the RAF's No. 19 Squadron at Duxford in the summer of 1938, replacing the Gloster Gauntlets visible in the background (along with some Gloster Gladiators).

    In reviewing the painting in the Spitfire Society's Journal last spring, Group Captain David Green made this tongue-in cheek comment: "I, like you, know very well that all the young squadron pilots of 1938 were dashing, wealthy, owned red setters and were invariably greeted on landing by ravishing redheads in MGs loaded with picnic baskets and champagne. And, yes, the sun was always shining. Good luck to them . . . they were soon to deserve it."


    Ron Wanttaja

  4. #4

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    Ron good research, I tried to find the painting of the B-17 coming home and couldn't , maybe the title wasn't correct. Usually my memory is pretty good for details, but it seems that I made a blend of the top two pictures. I definitely remember the engine feathered on the right wing and the inboard one leaving a trail of smoke, that would draw any Me 109 like signpost., like in the r2nd photo. The P-47 ins in a strange position, wouldn't be on top of the bomber. But I also recall the two Spitifres off the wing tips. I think I recall reading the combat accounts of a leader of Spitfire squadron, when returning from a mission, they pick up a bomber near the channel that's alone and damaged.
    Spitfires used to escort bombers into France, then turn back at the edge of their range, land, refuel , and sometimes meet then again as they returned, . I never read a fighter pilot who envied the bomber crews. You are sitting there in a big target that can maybe go 220 mph vs a 400 mph . You have 10 50cal machine guns and may be lucky enough to be in the middle of the group, but the top German pilots can dive through at over 500 mph,hard to hit a target as small as a 109, and then there is the flak over the target, no real protection against that other than luck, and height.
    I know I saw the photo at the Aces High booth, but I also have a number of ones from Virginia Bader also.
    Last edited by Bill Greenwood; 03-11-2019 at 09:41 AM.

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