On 10 April 1945 thirteen hundred bombers of the Mighty Eighth set out to destroy the last of the Luftwaffe’s jet force. But, unknown to the bomber crews and their fighter escort, the enemy jets were already airborne and waiting to spring their deadly trap.
As the war in mainland Europe entered its final, bloody phase, the German Armies defending Berlin fought on with a savage determination, slowly disintegrating before the mighty weapon of war unleashed against them. What remained of the Luftwaffe was mercilessly pounded from the air, their airfields hammered relentlessly. Aircraft, fuel, spare parts, ammunition and pilots all in short supply but still they fought on, with deadly effect. At the forefront of the German offensive and pivotal during the defense of the Reich, were the highly advanced jet fighters of the Luftwaffe, and in particular the legendary Me262.
The scene portrays B-17s of the First Air Division with streaming contrails in the cold clear air as they turn for home. Several Me262s have already torn through the massed formation. but a P-51 from the escorting 356th Fighter Group has quickly spotted his target and presses home his attack. The hunter becomes the hunted as the Mustang pilot, Wayne Gatlin, skillfully positions himself behind the Me262 ready for the kill.
Throughout the final stages of the war there were many examples of the determination and skill of Allied pilots flying slower piston-engine fighters triumphing over the cream of the Luftwaffe in their highly advanced but often temperamental jet fighters.
This classic edition has been authenticated with the original signature of Wayne Gatlin himself, alongside some of the Luftwaffe’s most famous exponents of the jet. In addition the prints are personally signed by a staggering number of WWII’s most experienced allied fighter pilots, all of whom had victories against the jets of the Luftwaffe – they were the Jet Hunters!
THE LIMITED EDITION
Every print in has been signed by three, highly-distinguished Mustang Pilots who belong to that small, talented band of Allied fighter pilots to have scored a victory over a Luftwaffe jet.
Major General WAYNE GATLIN (2 victories)
Squadron Leader JUREK MENCEL (1 victory)
Colonel JOE PETERBURS (3 victories including Walter Schuck’s Me262)
THE PILOT’S EDITION
This outstanding TWELVE signature edition is issued with the pencil companion print ‘Black November Day’ . The main print is additionally signed by a further four Mustang pilots who scored victories over German jets and the companion print is autographed by five iconic Luftwaffe Aces who flew the Me262 Jet:
The Main Print
Captain WAYNE COLEMAN (4 victories)
Lieutenant Colonel HUIE LAMB (1 & 1 shared victories both jets)
Colonel DONALD CUMMINGS (6½ victories including 2 Me262s)
Colonel ART JEFFREY (14 victories including the first allied jet kill)
The Companion Print
Major ERICH RUDORFFER (222 victories)
Oberleutnant WALTER SCHUCK (206 victories)
Major HANS-EKKEHARD BOB (60 victories)
Leutnant NORBERT HANNIG (42 victories)
Feldwebel ERNST GIEFING (6 victories)
THE PILOT’S EDITION ARTIST PROOFS
With all the components of the Pilots Edition the main print in the strictly limited Artists Proofs are additionally signed by two USAAF Fighter Pilots who scored victories over German jets, creating an outstanding FOURTEEN signature edition:
Major General EDWARD GILLER (3 victories)
Captain CLAYTON GROSS (6 victories)
THE JET HUNTER’S EDITION
Issued with all the components of the Artist Proofs, this TWENTY signature edition has been additionally signed by seven P-51 pilots, all with victories over Luftwaffe jets, and an Me262 night-fighter pilot:
Lieutenant Colonel DONALD S BRYAN (13½ victories)
Captain JOHN FITCH (1 jet victory)
First Lieutenant STEPHEN ANANIAN (4 victories)
Major URBAN DREW (6 victories including two Me262s in one mission)
Lieutenant Colonel RALPH DELGADO (1 jet victory)
Leutnant JORG CZYPIONKA (4 victories) – Companion Print