Lt. Col. Hal Moore in the Ia Drang valley at LZ X-Ray
* screen colors may vary from print colors
General Hal Moore
Print Size: 19" X 31"
All prints are sold unframed

by William S. Phillips
Published by Valor Studios & The Greenwich Workshop

November 14, 1965, the Central Highlands of South Vietnam, 10:48 am…As the dry season’s dust waifs skyward, the soldiers of the 7th Cavalry, 1st Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile), deploy from UH-1 Hueys of the 229th Assault Helicopter Battalion onto Landing Zone X-Ray in the Ia Drang Valley. Lt. Col. Hal Moore leads his men as they secure the area and prepare for the arrival of his main force, 450 soldiers strong. Before the day’s end, the men of the 7th Cavalry would engage over 2,000 North Vietnamese Army Regulars in the battle that would epitomize the savagery of the Vietnam War and the bravery of the men who fought it.

"First Boots on the Ground" is autographed by General Hal Moore, author ____of the best-selling book, We Were Soldiers Once and Young!

Among the autographs are Sgt. Major Basil Plumley, and Medal of ___Honor recipient Bruce Crandall!

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100 canvas reproductions (38"w x 19"h), unstretched, autographed in ink on the image by the FIVE Ia Drang veterans pictured below.

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800 prints, autographed by the
FIVE Ia Drang veterans below.

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150 Artist Proof prints, autographed by the FIVE Ia Drang veterans pictured below. Includes a FREE 8x10 photo of General Hal Moore signing a print!

25 Artist Proof Giclee Canvases, autographed by the FIVE Ia Drang veterans pictured below. Includes a FREE 8x10 photo of General Hal Moore signing a print!

Hal Moore
Basil Plumley
Bruce Crandall, MOH
Bob Ouellette
Al Bosse
William S. Phillips - the Glory of Flight
By Bryan Makos, Associate Editor
courtesy of Valor Magazine

Like the rocket stars that they were, the F-86 Sabre pilots of the California Air National Guard gained a following. During the slow summer days of the 1950s, as the unit’s swept-wing fighters taxied past the wire fence at the end of the Van Nuys airport runway, their fan club, the neighborhood boys, was always there, standing with broad smiles and wide eyes. Twelve-year-old William S. Phillips was one of them. Phillips and his friends often brought their lunches in brown paper bags and rested their arms on the sun-cooked metal fence. While none of the youngsters would forget those days spent with heads arced skyward, Phillips would one day make his passion his career, as an aviation artist whose canvases bear the glory of flight.

Artistic Beginnings
Like many aviation artists, Phillips enjoyed sketching airplanes at a young age as he grew up in Los Angeles. Faced with a tough financial situation following his father’s death, Phillips was not able to afford a formal art education at college. Instead, he joined the Air Force. Phillips was then stationed throughout the Midwest and later in
Vietnam. At Tan Son Nhut Air Base, near Saigon, he served with Air Force security forces. Operating in a small combat team, Phillips found that their hazardous duty of setting up nighttime ambushes came with an unexpected benefit; because his team worked at night, he was free to sketch the base’s aircraft and helicopters during the day. Unfortunately, all of Phillips’ Vietnam sketchbooks were lost in transit when he rotated home to the states.

Following his Air Force service, in 1967, Phillips attended college and majored in Criminology. He then worked

at the fire department in Ashland, Oregon. During downtime at the fire station, Phillips honed his artistic talents with the local library’s art books. With aviation art not yet a bona fide genre, Phillips painted wildlife.

In 1976, after completing a painting commissioned by the Air Force Academy, Phillips was invited to participate in the Air Force Art Program, wherein civilian artists help to document Air Force history. With the glory of flight again pulsing through his veins, in 1982, Phillips left the fire department to roll the dice as an aviation artist. Today, hundreds of paintings later, Phillips has a healthy waiting list of painting customers. He paints from a home-based studio in the state of Oregon, while the noted East Coast publisher, the Greenwich Workshop, publishes his work.

The Phillips Touch
Deep maroons and golden hues, the colors of autumn and sunsets, often distinguish Phillips’ aviation art. Phillips adopted this palate from his study of the “Hudson River School” artists. Started in 1825, the “Hudson River School” comprised a group of painters whose works depicted the color and appearance of upstate New York landscapes. Often, their work involved the contrast of light and dark colors to create luminescence and depth. Phillips took this technique a step further or, perhaps, thousands of feet higher, by imbuing his billowing cloudscapes with such “Hudson River”-style brilliance.

A Perpetual Artist
For Phillips, the painting creation process involves ongoing, research-like observation of the world he seeks to represent. During his service in Vietnam, Phillips sketched the country’s dynamic skyscapes, sometimes from the open-door vantage of a Huey helicopter.

In his full-time artist years, Phillips has strapped into the rear seat of an F-15 for a mock combat air battles, he has ridden in a military helicopter as it wove among the misty mountains of Kauai, Hawaii, and he has hovered in a military chopper to observe the search for survivors of the Mount Saint Helen eruption. Phillips has seen the Grand Canyon from the inverted vantage from an F-16’s backseat. He has flown with Top Gun pilots, the Thunderbirds, the Blue Angels, and with pilots of the Red Flag air combat school. Today, when traveling by air, he often books a window seat, brings his camera, and tries to select a flight that reaches its destination at sunset or sunrise. Such forethought creates opportunities for Phillips to snap the photos that later inspire his paintings’ cloudscapes.

From Canvas to Portal
Having conceptualized a painting’s elements and identifying the mood he seeks to impart, Phillips begins his work of turning a cotton canvas into a portal to days gone by. Phillips explains, “You kind of let the picture take over; you’ve got a general idea for what you want to do; you establish the horizon line and you just start painting.” For Phillips, each painting incites an emotional roller coaster. “When you first start, it’s the best painting you’re ever going to do or that anybody’s ever done,” he explains. “You get about three days into the process and you hate it. A week or so down the road, you just grind your way through, figuring it’s going to be good. By the end, it’s the best painting you’ve ever done.” Sometimes, Phillip’s pursuit of his next best work takes a few tries. “If I’m not hitting it within day or two,” he explains, “it’s in the trash . . . you can tell if it has the mood right or not.” When a painting’s progress comes easily, almost magically, Phillips likens this phenomenon to the Walt Disney animation where a paintbrush swoops in, makes a few rapid strokes, and the Disney castle appears.

Return to New Horizons
While the legacy of Phillips’ artistic accomplishments continues to be a work in progress, one finds snapshots of his gift, his inspiration, and his honed technique now ever-present. Aside from hanging on the walls of galleries nationwide, one may already be a collector of Phillips art, unknowingly. Just check the mail. The celebrated “American Advances in Aviation” stamps, commissioned by the U.S. Postal Service, depict ten classic aircraft from a B-29 to a Beechcraft. Each .37-cent impression has been painted by Phillips, although he has not been credited as the artist, as is the case with prestigious stamp commissions. Phillips’ artistry had previously adorned an earlier stamp release featuring a different aircraft selection.

Another repeat success for Phillips looms with the imminent release of his second art book, Into the Sunlit Splendor. This coffee-table-sized hardback presents Phillips’ paintings created after the release of his first book, The Glory of Flight, as well as his seldom-seen work from years of private commissions.

Perhaps, someday, some youngster will see one of Phillips’ stamps or one of his wall-warming prints; perhaps, with one of Phillips’ lavish art books in hand, he or she will bound off to a museum, air show, or the fence of an airfield. Thanks to a master aviation artist and some old bold California Guard Sabre pilots, the youngster may just find that glory of flight, somewhere in the sunlit splendor.