Adolf Galland scrambles a flight of Me262 jets from his famous JV44 from their airfield in Munich, to intercept and in-coming USAAF heavy bomber raid, during the final stages of the Battle for Germany.
The legend of Willie Messerschmitt’s Me262, and the elite fighter Aces who piloted this revolutionary jet aircraft, is as secure as any born during the Second World War. As they hurtled into the air, climbing at speeds hitherto unknown, a small group of seasoned pilots heralded a new generation of combat aircraft that would extend into the 21st Century.
At the spearhead of this era in combat flying was the mercurial fighter leader Adolf Galland. Sacked for opposing the naive tactics of Luftwaffe supremo Hermann Goering, Galland found himself, as a General, once again leading a squadron of fighters into battle.
By this stage of WWII Galland and his pilots knew that the war was lost but they continued to fight against hopeless odds. Galland, by now removed from office by Goring, had recruited some of the most experienced aces to his “Squadron of Experts” – Barkhorn, Steinhoff and Bär all answered his call to arms, to create one of the most formidable fighting units ever assembled.
Although too late to change the specter of imminent defeat, this tiny group of highly decorated Aces fought a courageous rearguard action during the final Defense of the Reich.
Seen blasting off an airfield in Bavaria are four Me262s, led by General Adolf Galland. Glistening in the damp air, these sleek fighters are on full power in their rush to climb to altitude. Within minutes they will attack an incoming mass formation of B-17s and B-24s. Below, the roads and buildings reflect the sunlight between the scattered clouds of a departing storm.
The Prints in this edition are personally signed by three legendary Aces who flew the Me262 Jet:
Generalleutnant ADOLF GALLAND Knight’s Cross with Oak Leaves, Swords & Diamonds – JV44 / 104 victories (7 in the Me262)
Hauptmann WALTER KRUPINSKI Knight’s Cross with Oak Leaves – JV44 / 197 victories
Leutnant HERMANN BUCHNER Knight’s Cross – JG7 / 58 victories (12 in the Me262)
Published as part of his Classic Fighter Series, Nicolas Trudgian’s powerful piece is long sold out and has become a highly prized secondary market collector’s item.
THE MULTI-SIGNED PUBLISHERS PROOF
This copy of Trudgian’s classic print has been additionally signed by four more Luftwaffe Aces who flew the Me262:
Leutnant ALFRED AMBS – JG-5, JG-7 / 7 victories in a Me262 (all in the Me262)
Leutnant NORBERT HANNIG Iron Cross First Class – JG-54 / 42 victories
Major HANS EKKEHARD-BOB Knights Cross – JG-54/ 60 victories
Feldwebel ERNST GIEFING Iron Cross – JG-2 / 4 victories (2 in the Me262)