TOWARD THE SETTING SUN
by William S. Phillips
Print Sizes: 27" x 26"
Edition Size: 298
Sending two of the United States' aircraft carriers, the core of Vice Admiral Halsey’s of Task Force 16, to the Japanese coast in 1942 was a risk of the highest order, especially for a fleet and a nation reeling from Japan’s string of Pacific victories. Task Force 16’s assets were deemed so valuable that its early discovery by Japanese picket craft on the morning of April 18, 1942, 200 miles short of the intended launch point, prompted the immediate launch of Doolittle’s aircraft. At the time, the mission was even referred to as the Halsey-Doolittle Raid. (Nine of the sixteen ships that made up Task Force 16, most importantly the carriers "Hornet" and "Enterprise," would six weeks later take part in dealing the staggering blow to the Japanese Fleet off Midway.
Paying homage to the United States Navy's role in the legendary raid on Japan, "TOWARD THE SETTING SUN" shows the USS Hornet (CV-8) steaming prophetically into a Pacific sunset with the Doolittle Raider's sixteen (16) B-25s spread and lashed down across her deck. SBD Dauntlesses of the USS Enterprise's (CV-6) Scouting Squadron 6 (VS-6) patrol above. The Doolittle-Halsey Raid truly marked the point when the Rising Sun first began to set.
In addition to the artist "TOWARD THE SETTING SUN" bears the original signatures of the FOUR surviving Doolittle Tokyo Raiders who were in attendance at the 68th reunion held in Dayton, Ohio at the National Museum of the United States Air Force April 16-18, 2010:
- Colonel Richard E. COLE - Co-Pilot Crew 1
- Lieutenant Colonel Robert L. HITE - Co-Pilot Crew 16
- Major Thomas C. GRIFFIN - Navigator Crew 9
- Staff Sergeant David J. THATCHER - Engineer-Gunner Crew 7
Though not shown in the image here, the Raiders signed beneath the main image in the area surrounding Phillips' sketch of Doolittle's B-25 passing above the Hornet before heading for Japan. Along with the signatures and sketch, the margin area also includes a complete listing of the 16 planes' crews.
Comes with a Certificate of Authenticity.