Presented is a WWII poster autographed by General Paul Tibbits. This signed later reprint of the WWII Army Air Forces recruitment poster features the corps’ insignia illuminated against the night sky. A superfortress aircraft flies directly at the viewer while the text just below it reads, “Dawn of Your Future / U.S. Army Air Forces - Enlist Today!” General Paul Tibbits signed the poster “Paul Tibbits, Pilot / B29 Enola Gay / 6 Aug. 1945” using the date he famously flew the aircraft.
General Paul Tibbits was a pilot and later general during WWII. He famously commanded the 509th Composite Group, a self-contained organization that was responsible for dropping the first atomic bomb on Japan during the conflict. On August 6, 1945, the date inscribed by the general, Tibbits flew his modified B-29 Superfortress carrying the war-altering bomb. Once the bomb was dropped and the pilot returned, Major General Carl Spaatz immediately awarded Tibbits with the Distinguished Service Cross upon arrival. He had named his plane Enola Gay, after his mother, only a day before the historic mission and the aircraft is now part of the national Smithsonian collection.
Called the Army Air Forces, the U.S. Air Force as we know it today had not been formed yet. The Army Air Force was formed in 1941 to assist missions in Britain but the importance of air power was quickly realized. By the end of the war, more than 2.3 million air missions had taken place, making aviation one of the most novel and popular areas of the military for young men to join. The country understood the value of air power throughout the war and recruitment posters such as this were spread across the country to entice young men to enlist as army pilots and support crew.
Overall very good condition. The poster was signed in the early 2000s in blue ink. The signature remains dark and is clearly legible. The WWII poster is a later reprint and remains in very good condition. Extremely minor creasing at the bottom edge, but otherwise no notable damage to the poster. The signed poster and patch are framed together in a custom-built archival black and gold frame.
Framed Dimensions: 39" H x 24 ½” W x 1 ½" D
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