Me262s of JV44 return to base in southern Germany, having come under attack from P-51 Mustangs of the 353rd Fighter Group. Almost out of fuel and ammunition, the Me262s have little option but to complete their landing sequence, hoping fervently they are not “bounced” by American fighters loitering in the area.
They are out of luck on this occasion, and although Galland has organized a unit flying Focke-Wulf Fw190D-9s to provide air cover in the area of the airfield, they too have been caught by the 353rd Fighter Group’s surprise attack. At the relatively slow speed required on final approach, the Me262’s handling is sluggish and the pilot is having enough trouble without the attentions of a bunch of P-51 pilots. At this point the JV44 Me262 remains unscathed, and with the arrival of the Fw190s, there is the possibility this particular jet pilot will survive the day.
Joining artist Robert Taylor, this print has been individually signed in pencil by an astonishing twelve fighter Aces (six Mustang Aces and six Me262 Aces), and was autographed by Adolf Galland during his lifetime.
Major General DONALD J STRAIT – 356th Fighter Group / 10.5 victories
Oberleutnant WALTER SCHUCK Knights Cross with Oak Leaves – JG-7 / 206 victories (8 in a Me262)
Lieutenant Colonel CLYDE B. EAST – 67th Tactical Recon Group / 14.5 victories
Leutnant NORBERT HANNIG Iron Cross – JG-54, JG-7 /42 victories
Brigadier General ROBIN OLDS – 479th Fighter Group / 17 victories
Colonel DONALD CUMMINGS – 55th Fighter Group/ 6.5 victories
Major ERICH RUDORFFER Knights Cross with Oak Leaves & Swords – JG-2, JG-54, JG-7 / 222 victories
Leutnant ALFRED AMBS JG-5, JG-7 / 7 victories in a Me262
Captain JAMES L. BROOKS – 31st Fighter Group / 13 victories
Generalleutnant ADOLF GALLAND Knights Cross with Oak Leaves, Swords & Diamonds – JG-26, JV44 / 104 victories
Colonel WALKER “BUD” MAHURIN – 56th Fighter Group (WWII), 4th Fighter Intercept Group (Korea) /24¼ victories
Feldwebel ERNST GIEFING Iron Cross – JG-2, JG-7 / 8 victories (2 in a Me262)