With the temptation to buzz their hometown too great to resist, two newly trained young fighter pilots fly their Bf109s low over the Bavarian landscape before heading off for their first campaign, during the early stages of WWII.
Whilst on a trip to Garmisch, Germany, Bill Phillips and his wife Kristi discovered a war memorial on a hillside, surrounded by framed photographs of local young men who had been killed in WWII. It was an emotional moment and Bill was particularly moved by one photograph of a fresh-faced boy with his arms around a cow.
“This was no jack-booted Nazi,” Bill realized,”This was just a farm kid who loved his home and went off to fight for it, just as our own American boys had done.”
The boy’s story began to develop in Bill’s imagination: the young man had joined the Luftwaffe and learned to fly fighters. One day, early in the war, the boy and a friend had buzzed the home valley in their Bf109’s before they headed off to battle.
“I guess all pilots have done that, in every country,” says Bill. “The pride of flight is universal.”
Bill checked with a German pilot, who told him that the practice was strictly verboten “…….but of course we did it”
The print is individually numbered and personally signed by the artist, Bill Phillips along with four iconic Luftwaffe Fighter Pilots:
Oberleutnant KURT SCHULTZ – JG5 / 3 victories
Feldwebel OSKAR BÖSCH – JG3 / 18 victories
Oberleutnant OTTO “STOTTO” STAMMBERGER – JG26 / 7 victories
Leutnant JOSEF BÜRSCHGENS – JG26 / 10 victories
The piece is conservation framed to include the original autographs of four more legendary Luftwaffe Fighter Aces:
General JOHANNES STEINHOFF – Knight’s Cross, Oak Leaves & Swords / 178 victories
Generalleutnant GŰNTHER RALL – Knight’s Cross, Oak Leaves & Swords / 275 victories
Major ERICH RUDORFFER – Knight’s Cross, Oak Leaves & Swords / 222 victories
Oberleutnant WALTER SCHUCK – Knight’s Cross, Oak Leaves / 206 victories
Released in 1991 and selling out immediately, this iconic print is one of the most difficult of all to find and it is very rare to have a copy available, making this a unique opportunity to acquire such a historic collector’s item