by Nicolas Trudgian
Overall Print Size: 33" x 24"
Edition Size: 500
By late April 1945 most of the Third Reich had been cut to shreds by the advancing Allied forces, and those units remaining intact were regrouping in southern Germany and Austria. With American advance units nearing the outskirts of Munich, on 28 April Adolf Galland took he decision to evacuate his precious jets to Salzburg, deep in the mountains. Bad weather prevented their departure until the following morning, and they only just managed to escape under the noses of the encirc1ing Americans. From their new secluded base Galland intended battling on with JV44 until the bitter end, but the unsuitable mountain airfields prevented this famous fighter wing from doing much to delay the inevitable. So the beautiful Alpine meadows became the final resting place for what was potentially the most formidable fighter unit of the war. In just a few days the jets were left abandoned, their short, exhilarating war consigned to history.
"ALPINE THUNDER" shows the Me262s of JV44 on April 29, 1945, as they scorch through the beautiful mountain scenery towards what they hoped would be their Alpine fortress. Led by Oberstleutnant Heinz B? JV-44's last commander, flying his unique Me262A-1a/U5 equipped with six 30mm cannon, the flight heads for their mountain hideaway at Salzburg. Defiant to the end, later in the day B?claimed a P-47 Thunderbolt, bringing his personal tally in the Me262 to sixteen, placing him the third most successful jet fighter pilot of WWII. This wonderful aviation print that blends the power and beauty of flight with the sheer magnificence of nature. Painted by an artist whose stature is now recognized the world over, and with the edition signed by Luftwaffe pilots who flew the remarkable Me262 in combat, each print is destined to become a valuable collector heirloom.
In addition to the artist this print was individually signed by THREE highly respected holders of the famed Knight's Cross who flew the Me262 during World War II:
- Oberleutnant WALTER SCHUCK
- Oberst HERMANN BUCHER
- Major WERNER ROELL
Comes with a Certificate of Authenticity.