DAY OF THE FIGHTERS
by Nicolas Trudgian
Overall Print Size: 35" x 24½"
Edition Size: 100
THE STORY: The pilots of I Gruppe JG-1 were up early on August 17, 1943. It was high summer, and even as the first streaks of light appeared in the sky to the east, four pilots got airborne out of Deelan, Holland, and headed for the coast. It was the first routine reconnaissance of the morning. By 0730 German listening services were picking up signals indicating large formations of enemy aircraft assembling to the west of Great Yarmouth, South East England. By 0800 it was clear to the German interceptor fighter groups stationed in Holland that this was going to be no ordinary day. Shortly after 0930 the first wave of a force of some 375 B-17s and B-24s, heavily escorted by fighters, started crossing the Dutch coast south of the Scheidt estuary, their destination Schweinfurt and Regensburg. They were shadowed by the German fighters of 1, 2, and 3 Gruppe along their entire route over Europe. When the Allied fighter escort turned back at the limit of their range, the Luftwaffe fighters made their attack. It was the start of a day of incessant aerial combat which raged all the way across Holland, Belgium and Germany, and all the way back to the coast again as the Americans returned to England. It was one of the longest air-to-air battles of the war and became known by the Luftwaffe pilots as the "Day of the Fighters".
"DAY OF THE FIGHTERS" borrows the title from the Luftwaffe fighter pilots who flew on that epic day, and depicts Fw190s of 1 Staffel, number 1 Gruppe JG-1, as they return from the final mission on August 17, 1943. Low on fuel, but high on adrenalin, the Fw190 pilots hedge¬hop along a canal, low over a stunningly painted Dutch landscape. Away to the right a B-17, brought down on the outward leg of the raid earlier in the day, has crash-landed in the marshes. This is a superb study of the Fw190, considered by many German Aces to have been the best Luftwaffe fighter of the war.
In addition to the artist this print is individually signed by THREE FW190 Aces:
- Oberleutnant ADOLF GLUNZ (72 victories)
- Hauptmann ALFRED GRISLAWSKI (133 victories)
- Major GERHARD SCHOPFEL (45 victories)
Comes with a Certificate of Authenticity.