Where is the nearest carrier? is often the first question from a President when a crisis erupts overseas. A powerful instrument of diplomacy and military might, the Navy’s carrier battle group has been the United State’s reaction-force-of-choice since World War II.
Collectors, naval and aviation enthusiasts all react in a similar fashion when William S. Phillips turns his painter’s eye on these seagoing airfields.
“An aircraft carrier is exciting beyond belief,” beams Phillips. “It’s the tip of the spear and it operates that way. It’s dangerous and it’s exciting. Nothing is static. Their size is phenomenal. The sense of mission and camaraderie from the engine room to the flight crews is inspiring. For the rest of my life, I’ll jump at the chance to get on one whenever I can.
“In the late 1970s, I had the chance to deploy on the USS ‘Kitty Hawk’ (CV 63) out of San Diego, but this scene could be anywhere in the world because sunsets are universal at sea. Coming on board a carrier is tough no matter what time of day it is. They call flight operations at this time ‘Pink Ops.’ Technically, it is a night operations, but I’ll tell you, landing in any kind of daylight beats coming aboard before absolute dark. The CAP aircraft, both coming in and going out, are early versions of the F-14.”
- Limited Edition – Giclée Canvas – 28 x 21 – Limited Edition of 75
- Limited Edition – Giclée Canvas – 24 x 18 – Limited Edition of 200