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In this painting by renowned aviation artist, Keith Ferris, B-17 “Little Willie” struggles home from the “Abyss” on two engines following a March 6, 1944, raid on Berlin. The pilot, Flight Officer Bernie Dopko, brought “Willie” and his crew home safely. Following several days of repairs Dopko and crew took “Willie” back to Berlin where they were shot down. They survived World War 2 as Pows. Artist Ferris, enshrined in the National Aviation Hall of Fame in 2012, was born in 1929, the son of a career Air Force Officer. He attended Texas, A&M, majoring in Aeronautical Engineering; George Washington University, and Corcoran School of Art in Washington, Dc. He began his art career as a civilian in Air Force Publications at Randolph Field in 1947, and in 1956 became a freelance artist in the New York area. He created the 25 foot high by 75 foot wide mural in oil “Fortresses Under Fire” in the World War 2 Gallery of the National Air and Space Museum of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, Dc, and the 20 foot by 75 foot Evolution of Jet Aviation mural in the museum's Jet Aviation Gallery. He has 63 major paintings in the Air Force Art Collection.
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Donald E. Fink, Jr., a native of Michigan, attended high school in Minnesota and earned a Bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota. He learned to fly at the age of fifteen and, after receiving a commission through the University's AFROTC program, served four years in the U. S. Air Force, including three years with NATO in France. After completing his Air Force active duty commitment, he joined the McGraw-Hill Companies in New York City and started a 35-year career with “Aviation Week & Space Technology Magazine.” He had assignments in Aviation Week bureaus in New York; Washington, DC; Geneva, Switzerland; Paris, France; Los Angeles, and finally New York. He was named Assistant Managing Editor, and Managing Editor, and served the last ten years as the magazine's Editor-in-Chief, with additional duties as Editorial Director for Aviation Week's group of magazines, newsletters, and television productions. Fink holds commercial single and multiengine ratings in fixed wing aircraft and helicopters. His assignments with Aviation Week involved flying civilian and military aircraft and helicopters for pilot reports published in the magazine. The highlight of these activities involved flying the USAF/Lockheed U-2 high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft on a long-endurance mission with a U-2 instructor. He lives in Virginia, with his wife, Carolyn. They have three married sons and five grandchildren.
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