ADVANCE INTO EUROPE
by Nicolas Trudgian
Overall Print Size: 33" x 24"
Edition Size: 1250
The northern European nights are short in mid-summer, the sky to the east showing the first pale shades of dawn even before 3:00 a.m. On a normal June morning the pilots of Hub Zemke's 56th Fighter Group would have slumbered another hour at least, but this morning was different. Today the boys would be busier than usual. This was D-Day. As the sun came up, Gabby Gabreski in his P-47, followed by 15 more P-47 pilots, roared off the runway at Boxted, East Anglia, to fly the first mission of the day. Two hundred miles to the south-west the invasion of Normandy had already begun. It would be a long hard day, with the final mission landing at dusk, over 20 hours later. Their task was interdiction. In plain language, they dive-bombed, strafed and raised hell with the enemy ground forces, knocking out bridges, communication lines and ground transport with every aircraft and pilot at their disposal. In the days that followed, the 56th's P-47 pilots flew constantly over the enemy lines, causing disruption and chaos ahead of the advancing Allied ground forces. It was a task the pilots reveled in, and one their tough P-47s were well equipped to handle.
Commemorating the 50th anniversary of D-Day, June 6, 1944, "ADVANCE INTO EUROPE" recreates a typical 56th Fighter Group interdiction mission. Roaring low over a recently liberated French village, Hub Zemke leads his P-47 pilots on a low-level strafing mission to the front lines. Below, American ground forces push on towards the battle front, to the exaltation of the local villagers, enjoying their first taste of freedom since the fall of France four long years earlier. Containing all the ingredients of a classic aviation collector piece, this superb print edition is considered one of Nicolas Trudgian's best works.
In addition to the artist this print was individually signed by one of America's most distinguished groups of great fighter aces:
- Colonel HUB ZEMKE
- Colonel PAUL CONGER
- Major General DONALD STRAIT
- Colonel FRANCIS GABRESKI
Comes with a Certificate of Authenticity.