by Nicolas Trudgian
Overall Print Size: 33½" x 24½"
Edition Size: 1000
German 'Kriegslok' Locomotives, built specifically to haul vital armaments and supplies to the battle-front, were an important target for marauding Allied aircraft, particularly during the period leading up to and following the Normandy invasion, and the advance through Italy. Many ground attack missions were mounted against these freight trains, and it was common practice for fighters returning from all manner of battle sorties to add to the mayhem by shooting up rolling stock as it trundled across the countryside of occupied Europe. One of the primary tasks of the Fighter Groups of the 9th and 15th Air Forces during that crucial phase of the war was to impede supplies heading for the various battle fronts. This vital role was something for which P-38 pilots gained an admirable reputation. Based in 1944 at Andover, in the southern counties of England, 485 Squadron, of the 370th Fighter Group, were in the thick of these dangerous low-level attack missions during that tumultuous episode of the war, and their pilots were typical of the many who racked up big scores of ground attack victories in the European Theater.
"LIGHTNING ENCOUNTER" recreates a typical scenario, with P-38 Lightnings launching a surprise attack on a German freight train as it winds its way through the hills in northern France. Caught by the P-38 pilots as it crosses a viaduct - previously damaged by Resistance saboteurs - the train will be lucky to make its destination. Already some of the wagons are on fire, the locomotive has taken some hits, and there are three more Lightnings on the way into the attack. This action-packed print, one of the best depictions of the awesome P-38 Lightning ever done, is full of accurate and exciting detail and vividly encapsulates a few awesome moments of an air war fought so desperately over sixty years ago.
In addition to the artist each print is individually signed by FOUR distinguished P-38 Lightning pilots who flew in Europe:
- Captain LARRY BLUMER
- Lieutenant Colonel JOSEPH A. DOBROWOLSKI
- First Lieutenant ROBERT C. MILLIKEN
- Colonel DICK WILLSIE
Comes with a Certificate of Authenticity.