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In late February and early March 1942, twenty-four volunteer aircrews arrived at Eglin Field, Florida in the utmost of secrecy. None knew the details of the mission they had signed on for. The arrival of naval aviator and instructor Lt. Henry Miller to train the men in quick takeoff techniques confirmed what some had begun to figure out: they would be flying their B-25’s off a carrier.

Miller preached a simple concept for making this minimum speed take-off: “Pull back on the yoke until you feel your spine!” At the beginning of their training, the pilots refused to believe a fully loaded B-25 could take off at 50 knots in less than 500 feet. By the time of the mission, all they needed was 350 and a 40 knot headwind.

William Phillips

Release Your Brakes and Hunt for Heaven
by William Phillips
SPECIAL OFFER: Save 25% on Select Art by William Phillips
Phone Orders Only - Call Toll-Free 1-877-444-0777


William Phillips - Release Your Brakes and Hunt for Heaven
This Piece has been Hand-Signed by William Phillips

  • Signed by the Artist
  • Canvas Giclee
  • Limited Edition
  • 75 S/N
  • 14 x 28
  • Price: $395.00

In late February and early March 1942, twenty-four volunteer aircrews arrived at Eglin Field, Florida in the utmost of secrecy. None knew the details of the mission they had signed on for. The arrival of naval aviator and instructor Lt. Henry Miller to train the men in quick takeoff techniques confirmed what some had begun to figure out: they would be flying their B-25’s off a carrier.

Miller preached a simple concept for making this minimum speed take-off: “Pull back on the yoke until you feel your spine!” At the beginning of their training, the pilots refused to believe a fully loaded B-25 could take off at 50 knots in less than 500 feet. By the time of the mission, all they needed was 350 and a 40 knot headwind.

William Phillips


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