Art of the American Soldier Web Gallery

Waiting To Lift Off

Waiting To Lift Off

James Pollock

1960-1969

WAITING TO LIFT OFF--Pen and Ink Watercolor Wash--James Pollock--US Army Vietnam CAT IV (1967)— Courtesy of the National Museum of the U.S. Army. WAITING TO LIFT OFF was inspired by a trip fellow artist Sam Alexander and I made to the 93rd Evacuation Hospital at Long Binh. Typically Air ambulances would lift wounded soldiers to a hospital setting in less than an hour after being wounded. "Dust Off" was the tactical call sign used by air ambulances. Flying into an active landing zone to pick up wounded was a dangerous job. We now know that pilots, crew chiefs and accompanying medical corpsmen stood a 1 in 3 chance of being injured, wounded or killed in their line of work. I didn't fly on a "Dust Off" but did at least two related paintings out of respect for these brave soldiers who put their lives at risk daily for others.