Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Profile 68: BEGINNING "xxx" as flown by the 334th TFS


Here it is - my newest project - an F-4E Phantom as flown by the 334th TFS.

This sketch - done with a fantastic ballpoint pen swiped from a Hyatt  -  surprised me with its ease.  Some people call the Phantom "ugly."  But to me, it's beautiful.  Hulking, big and angular, she seems crafted - not by an engineer - but by a sculptor with a wicked vision.  There is no mistaking it for anything other than what it is - a war machine.

The pressure is always on to do well.  But this project brings a new dimension to the work in that it will not represent a specific pilot but an entire squadron. And not just a Squadron but a specific TDY (military jargon for "temporary duty").  In other words, a time and a place and the team itself.

Introducing The Eagles from Ubon, Thailand, 1972.  Their 'temporary duty' is no mere corporate rotation but the assembly for an astonishing aerial campaign called "Operation Linebacker."  Though many fascinating aspects of the story that will come out later, the one you need to know now is - this is what finally put a stop to The Vietnam War.

I'm really amped for this project as I expect to learn much about such a critical time of American history.  So much so that last Sunday, while the sermon was on "Walking in the Spirit" I evidently interpreted it as "Flying in the Phantoms" as indicated by the photo (below) of my sermon notes!



No offense to my pastor but the way I see it - if God didn't value history, His book would have been a whole lot skinnier.

Anyway -  time to imagine blue skies, white clouds, green below...and a red-hot enemy.  We're going North!


Photo:  ©1972 Chuck Coffman, 334th TFS