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Ohio Air & Space Hall of Fame receives gift of art honoring Paul Tibbets, Jr., and mission that ended WWII

Ohio Air & Space Hall of Fame receives gift of art honoring Paul Tibbets, Jr., and mission that ended WWII


Artist John Shaw’s “The Peacemakers” features signatures of ENOLA GAY pilot and eleven crew members in framed painting


(COLUMBUS, OHIO – February 21, 2024)  The non-profit Ohio Air & Space Hall of Fame and Learning Center (OAS) recently accepted the gift of an original work of art honoring the late U.S. Air Force Brigadier General Paul W. Tibbets, Jr., who piloted the August 6, 1945 mission that led to the end of World War Two.  

On January 20th at the Museum of Arts and Sciences in Daytona Beach, Florida, the artist, John Shaw, unveiled the oil painting titled “The Peacemakers,” which patron Mark Davis of Phoenix, Arizona then presented to OAS Executive Director Ron Kaplan.  The 35” by 65” oil painting depicts then Col. Tibbets, pilot, and two of his closest crewmen, Thomas Ferebee and Dutch Van Kirk, as seen with their B-29 Superfortress, ENOLA GAY, as it was being prepared the day before they would fly from the island of Tinian to drop the first of two atomic bombs that would result in Japan’s surrender. The 45” by 74’ frame uniquely displays Tibbets’ autograph along with each of the eleven crew that served aboard that historic mission.

Tibbets, an Illinois native, lived the majority of his post-service years in Central Ohio, where in 1964 he was the founding board member of Executive Jet Aviation (now NetJets), from which he eventually retired as president in 1987. He passed away in Columbus on November 1, 2007, at age 92. Davis, an avid collector of historic aviation art and Vice-President of PerformAir International, based in Gilber, Arizona, felt that the OAS Learning Center would be the most appropriate organization to display the art and signatures.

NetJets is headquartered at John Glenn International Airport (formerly Port Columbus), not far from the original 1929 air terminal that will serve as the home of the OAS. Among OAS’s growing list of partners and supporters are The Ohio State University Center for Aviation Studies, the State of Ohio, NetJets, FlightSafety International, and the Wright Brothers Foundation.

Donor Davis and artist Shaw collaborated on both meticulously researching the project and tracking down the twelve crew signatures.  They believe that only one other collector has assembled all twelve autographs in one place, enhancing “The Peacemakers” historic value.  Shaw, of Central Florida, is renowned for the historical accuracy of his work which often depicts notable people and moments in military history. His paintings have enjoyed worldwide acclaim and many lithograph editions of his works have quickly sold out.

In accepting the work on behalf of the OAS, Kaplan offered his gratitude, saying “The Peacemakers’ is among John Shaw’s finest works.  We thank Mark Davis for generously and so tangibly acknowledging the merits of the Arts –the “A” in our aviation STEAM education mission. This remarkable gift is the first to what will be a gallery of images that enables us to vividly share the legacies of Ohio’s pioneers of flight and the service of our military aviators.”

For more information or to contribute, visit www.OhioAirandSpace.org.


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About The Ohio Air & Space Hall of Fame and Learning Center:

The Ohio Air & Space Hall of Fame and Learning Center (OAS) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to permanently preserving the inspiring legacies of this state’s outstanding pioneers of flight, prominently heralding their achievements both as a point of pride and to foster continued innovation and a skilled workforce.   The OAS will additionally educate the public about the rich history of Ohio’s aviation and aerospace industries, and its airports, including that of the OAS’s future home in the soon-to-be-renovated original Port Columbus Air Terminal, located at John Glenn International Airport (CMH) in Columbus, Ohio.



Ron Kaplan, Executive Director

C: (937) 212-8847          

Ohio Air & Space Hall of Fame and Learning Center                         RonKaplan@OhioAirandSpace.org

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