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  • John Matthews

New B-52 Stratofortress and F-4 Phantom Artwork!

Wow! It's been some time since I've been able to share anything new with you. Sorry for the absence. I blame my "day job." Haha!


Anyway, I'm excited to present two new pieces that are now available on my website store. The first is "Operation Power Flite."



My new 24x18 inch giclee print depicts "Lucky Lady III" leading two other B-52 Stratofortresses during their record-setting endurance flight as they fly across the ocean at sunset.


"Operation Power Flite" began on 16 January 1957 when five Boeing B-52 Stratofortress bombers of the 93rd Bombardment Wing launched from Castle AFB near Merced, California. Three of the five completed the mission after traveling 24,325 miles in 45 hours and 19 minutes, at an average speed of 534 MPH and four in-flight refuelings performed by Boeing KC-97 Stratotankers. The lead ship, “Lucky Lady III,” (S/N 53-0394), was commanded by Lt. Col. James Morris, who previously flew a Boeing B-50 Superfortress around the world in 1949. All 27 crew members of the three aircraft were awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross by General Curtiss Lemay. The 93rd Bombardment Wing was awarded the Mackay Trophy for “the most meritorious flight of the year.”


I'm also excited to present another new piece. This is an addition to my F-4 Phantom collection that I simply call, "Cross Country."




"Cross Country" features two McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantoms flying across the Midwestern United States. No records being set here, just the beauty of a sun-filled sky, brightly-lit clouds, and Phantoms flying over the Midwestern plains.


I drew upon my childhood as the inspiration for this piece. As a young man, growing-up in the St. Louis, Missouri area, I frequently saw F-4 Phantoms flying around. They came off the McDonnell Douglas production line in Bridgeton, Missouri, and were flown by the 110th Tactical Fighter Squadron, based at Lambert Field. Although seeing them was almost an everyday occurrence, I always stopped what I was doing to look up. I fantasized about what it would have been like to fly one of them, and frequently day-dreamed about where they were going as they streaked across the sky.


Hopefully "Cross Country" re-kindles some of those cherished memories of when we all stopped whatever we were doing just long enough to look up when we heard the familiar sound of J-79s in the air.


Until next time,



Safe skies!


~John



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