On March 22, 2018, a crowd gathered around a C-17 Globemaster as numerous esteemed veterans of our USAF gathered for the unveiling of Greg’s painting, “Keep ‘Em Flying” at the Dover Air Force Base in Dover, Delaware. This was an honor Greg never expected to experience in his lifetime. He has been commissioned to paint pinup girls on the actual nose cones of WWII planes owned by private collectors. But never in his wildest dreams did he think the United States Air Force would request one of his paintings to be placed on an active plane!

It started for Greg when Jean, his agent, answered the phone call of one Chief Master Sergeant Bryan Ford (aka Skip). Jean was shocked to hear Skip’s request – “Could we use Greg’s pinup art of Rosie The Riveter on one of our transport planes?” What followed was a several month process of careful negotiations, planning, and the preparation of Greg’s art for reproduction on the plane.

Then, came the visit. Greg was unable to attend the unveiling ceremony for the plane, but was able to schedule a visit for the following weekend. So, Jean and Greg packed their bags and headed down to Delaware for the day! Few experiences in Greg’s life have affected him like this one. Every person he met was excited, enthusiastic, and grateful! Funny thing was, that’s exactly how Greg felt!

Skip spent the whole day with Jean and Greg, introducing them to some of the incredible men and women who work on the base, and teaching them about different aspects of what the women on the base do to maintain and upkeep all of the planes. It was humbling to be in the presence of others who were so dedicated to their craft, and dedicated to our country.

There were some great friends made that day, and memories that will never be forgotten! When asked to reflect on his thoughts and experience about this whole event, Greg said:

“I have the greatest respect and admiration for all those in the armed services. And when the women mechanics or, maintainers, as they are called today, at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware chose one of my paintings to be put of the nose of their C-17 Globe Master I was profoundly honored.

Without a doubt this is one of the highest points in my 60 year professional career as an artist. I feel that my life has been blessed because at 79 years old not only am I still painting what I love every day but I lived long enough to see my art on this plane. You can’t ask for much more than that.” –Greg Hildebrandt

Want to read more? Click here for a fantastic article that was written about the event!

Click the image to see the brochure for the event!

Click to read the prayer from the event!

Bryan A. (Skip) Ford, CMSgt, USAF
"Dover AFB has a rich history and we have celebrated our many accomplishments and involvement in historic events by placing nose art on our aircraft over the years. This year at Dover AFB, DE during Women’s History Month, we unveiled Keep ‘em Flying to honor and pay tribute to these dedicated maintainers past, present and future we have chosen art that exemplifies their can-do attitude, tireless effort and confident professionalism. Keep ‘em Flying - circular artwork was donated by world-renowned artist Mr. Greg Hildebrandt.

The C-17A 06-6168 is currently crewed by two of our best maintenance professionals, Master Sergeant Christine King and Technical Sergeant Brinnae Wigley of the 712th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron. These two Air Reserve Technicians are responsible for training their assigned Air Force Reservists and the maintenance, repair and overhaul of their aircraft."

Christine King, MSgt USAF
"It was very exciting getting the nose art approved, but when I found out that the artist was Mr. Hildebrandt, it added so much more significance and value to the art. Mr. Hildebrandt was just as enthusiastic as we were to see “Rosie” on the aircraft. What a unique endeavor it is to see the work of a renowned artist’s on the side of an active military aircraft flying its missions!"

Click the image to see pictures from the Unveiling Ceremony!

Click the image to see pictures from Greg's visit!

Greg would like to thank everyone who made this possible. This event was a once in a lifetime opportunity. One that he did not expect to see in this lifetime. It has been among his greatest moments and the deepest honor to be recognized as an inspiration to the hard working, incredibly dedicated women who repair and maintain the planes of Dover Air Force Base.