On 23 August 1954, a new, four engine transport built by Lockheed took to the skies for the first time. That test flight would eventually usher in the most successful military transport aircraft of the last seven decades. The C-130 Hercules was designed to be a workhorse that could operate anywhere in the world, from dirt austere airstrips in the desert to the ice of Antarctica.
In Ships of the Desert a Bedouin tribesman watches as a U.S. Marine Corps C-130 Hercules climbs out from a Middle Eastern airstrip. Did you know that camels are known as the original “ships of the desert”? Camels have this nickname because they glide across the deserts in Asia and Africa. They carry people and cargo, just like ships at sea. Besides paying tribute to the C-130 and the crews that have operated this amazing aircraft, the artist wanted to convey the contrast between the new and the old worlds in the painting.