THE BEGINNING OF THE END By William S. Phillips
One of the most sought-after Editions of Bill Phillips' work, 'The Beginning of the End' features the most famous B-29 Superfortress of them all - the 'Enola Gay'.
The Artist expressed his wish to pay tribute to both the crew of the 'Enola Gay' and those who fought to capture the vitally important island of Iwo Jima.
The pilot, Paul Tibbetts, assumed command of the aircraft on 5th August 1945 and decided to name it after his red-haired Mother. Thus it was in the eraly hours of August 6th 1945 the name 'Enola Gay' was painted just under the Pilot's window on the aircraft.
The 'Enola Gay' took off from Tinian, along with two other B-29's, which made their way seperately to Iwo Jima. Once over the rendezvous location, the B-29's set course for Japan, arriving over the primary target of Hiroshima at just after 0800hrs. The payload - just one Atomic weapon nicknamed 'Little Boy' - was dropped at 0815hrs and detonated 53 seconds later. The results were devastating with some 75,000 people killed and the Japanese Government shocked. However, this did not persuade the obdurate Japanese to actually surrender.
The 'Enola Gay' also took part in the second atomic bomb drop - on Nagasaki - just three days later, being the designated weather recconaissance aircraft for the primary target of Kokura, the crew reported 'clear skies' but by the time 'Bockscar' arrived over Kokura the city was obscured and the B-29 diverted to it's secondary target - Nagasaki.
After the Japanese surrender it was decided to preserve the aircraft and, for a number of years, it was stored until it's full restoration and display at the National Air and Space Museum.
This is a RARE example of the Signed Limited Edition of this release from 1998 which has been Signed by FIVE of the original crew of the 'Enola Gay':-
COLONEL PAUL W. TIBBETTS - Pilot
MAJOR THOMAS W. FEREBEE - Bombardier
CAPTAIN THEODORE 'DUTCH' VAN KIRK - Navigator
SECOND LIEUTENANT MORRIS R. JEPPSON - Assistant Weaponeer
PRIVATE FIRST CLASS RICHARD H. NELSON - VHF Radio Operator
The Print measures 27 x 23 Inches and is Print 107/1000
** THIS IS NOW A VERY RARE SECONDARY MARKET PRINT **