A STUNNING SEVENTEEN SIGNATURE, TWO PRINT PORTFOLIO
14 January 1945; and the war was not going well for Germany. The noose was tightening as American, British and Canadian armies, having broken out from their Normandy landings seven months earlier, stood on the banks of the Rhine. In the east vast numbers of Russians were driving relentlessly towards Berlin. On their bomb-cratered airfields the Luftwaffe prepared for the final onslaught during the Defense of the Reich.
Despite the shock of Operation Bodenplatte on New Year’s Eve – the Luftwaffe’s unexpected yet unsuccessful attempt to wipe out the Allied air forces on their advanced airfields in the Low Countries – Germany had all but surrendered air superiority to the Allies. Today, therefore, was yet another gamble as they assembled some 200 fighters to counter nearly 900 Eighth Air Force bombers, and almost as many fighter escorts, tasked with destroying oil refineries, storage depots and other strategic targets in central Germany. For the Luftwaffe the day was to end in retreat and disaster; they lost 161 fighters, the highest number ever recorded. Never again would the once mighty Jagdverbänd rise in strength to challenge the Mighty Eighth.
The print is autographed by distinguished USAAF and Luftwaffe veterans who fought during the Defense of the Reich, adding great historical importance to this stunning release. Many of the signatories are sadly no longer with us, giving aviation art connoisseurs a rare opportunity to acquire a remarkable and valuable collector’s piece.
This superb THIRTEEN SIGNATURE edition comprises a two print portfolio – issued with the companion print, Fighter Escort (pictured above). The pair have been signed by iconic Pilots and Aces who dueled over the Reich:
Leutnant GÜNTHER SINNECKER
Colonel JOE PETERBURS
Technical Sergeant WILLIAM STOVALL
Lieutenant Colonel WALLACE “LUCKY” LOWMAN
First Lieutenant KEN SHARPE
Oberleutnant GÜNTHER SEEGER Knights Cross
Oberleutnant WALTER WOLFRUM Knights Cross
Feldwebel OSKAR BÖSCH Iron Cross
Leutnant FRITZ TEGTMEIER
First Lieutenant LEO CROCE
Lieutenant Colonel WALTER M. DRAKE
Colonel CLARENCE E “BUD” ANDERSON
Captain LEO KERNS (Companion print)
The main print has been enhanced with a unique, original pencil Remarque, hand-drawn in the border by artist Robert Taylor whose original work is among the most collected in the industry.
The prints have then both been conservation framed. The main print includes the original signatures of a further four USAF and Luftwaffe Aces who fought on both sides in the skies over Germany as the Allies pushed for victory during WWII:
Colonel WALKER “BUD” MAHURIN
Brigadier General CHARLES ‘CHUCK’ YEAGER
Oberleutnant WALTER SCHUCK
Major HEINZ LANGE
This historic set, created with the serious collector in mind, would make an outstanding centerpiece for any home, office or den!