Meet the Artist: Kermit Dyer

Honoring Our Soldiers through Watercolor Paintings

When Kermit Dyer retired from engineering management, he decided to take up watercolor painting and guitar to keep his mind active and engaged. Even though he now owns several guitars, the guitar seems to be a “bridge too far” for him to master. The watercolors—well, he will leave that up to you to decide.  

His passion is painting military aircraft with an emphasis on those from World War II. In almost every instance, he invariably came to know the crew members of the more than 40 planes he has painted. Through these interactions with each veteran, he learned just how brave the young men and women were and the great responsibilities they were given when many were not much more than teenagers.

“I think I am drawn to art that honors our veterans because my experiences with World War II were through the eyes of a small boy,” Kermit says. “We practiced ‘blackouts’ and watched ‘America Goes to War’ newsreels at the movies filled with the exploits of our fighting men. Everyone was involved in the war effort in some small way as we rationed items and saved tinfoil off gum wrappers, cooking grease and scrap metal.”

Kermit remembers that people believed in our country and what we were doing as a nation. He still remembers saying the Pledge of Allegiance with his hand over his heart facing the flag, and all of the kids brought pennies, nickels and dimes to school to buy War Savings Stamps. Their goal was to fill a book with $18.75 in stamps in the hopes to purchase a War Bond.

“What I remember most are the World War II aircraft trading cards that came in packages of Wings Cigarettes,” Kermit says. “My parents did not smoke Wings Cigarettes, so I never had a trading card of my own. I could only envy the kids on the playground who did.”

So now he paints them. These paintings include watercolors of the last living member of the “Doolittle Tokyo Raiders” and the last P-38 World War II ace. Also included in his portfolio are paintings of Tuskegee Airmen who fought for victory in battle and victory at home against inequality, Women Airforce Service Pilots from World War II and a Hall of Fame helicopter pilot who was shot down 16 times in Vietnam.

He has painted many others, each a hero in their own right.

“My wife, Stella, and I use the proceeds from my art to raise money for veterans causes as our way to honor them,” he says.

For more information, contact Kermit Dyer at kwd66503@gmail.com