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Me262 Jet Fighter Print Pack. - MilitaryArtCompany.com

DHM1640C. In Defense of the Reich by Nicolas Trudgian. <p> The legend of Willie Messerschmitts Me262, and the elite fighter Aces who piloted this revolutionary jet aircraft, is as secure as any born during the Second World War.  As they hurtled into the air, climbing at speeds hitherto unknown, a small group of seasoned pilots heralded a new generation of combat aircraft that would extend into the 21st century.  At the spearhead of this new era in combat flying was the mercurial fighter leader Adolf Galland.  Sacked for opposing the naive tactics of Luftwaffe supremo Hermann Goering, Galland found himself, as a General, once again leading a squadron of fighters into battle.  Although too late to change the spectre of imminent defeat, this tiny group of highly decorated Aces fought a courageous rearguard action during the final Defense of the Reich.  Seen blasting off an airfield in Bavaria are four Me262s, led by General Adolf Galland.  Glistening in the damp air these sleek fighters are on full power in their rush to climb to altitude.  Within minutes they will attack an incoming mass formation of B-17s and B-24s.  Below, the roads and buildings reflect the sunlight between the scattered clouds of a departing storm. <p><b>Last 2 prints remaining.</b> <b><p> Signed by General Adolf Galland (deceased), <br>General Walter Krupinski (deceased)<br>and<br>Oberst Hermann Buchner (deceased). <p> Signed limited edition of 75 publishers proofs. <p> Paper size 32 inches x 25 inches (81cm x 64cm)
DHM2662B. Return of the Hunters by Nicolas Trudgian. <p> Messerschmitt Me262s of JG7 race back to their base at Brandenburg after intercepting a USAAF bomber raid on Munich, and Luftwaffe air bases in the area. Below them a B-26 has crash-landed in the fields still covered with a sprinkling of late winter snow. In the distance the afternoon sun glistens on the Bavarian Alpine mountains. <p><b>Last 16 copies of this sold out edition. </b><b><p> Signed by General Adolf Galland (deceased), <br>Major Erich Rudorffer (deceased) <br>and <br>Leutnant Fritz Tegtmeier (deceased). <p> Limited edition of 100 publishers proofs. <p> Paper size 33 inches x 24 inches (83cm x 61cm)
DHM1751. Running the Gauntlet by Robert Taylor. <p> Though some 1400 of Germanys remarkable Me262 jet aircraft were built, fewer than 300 ever saw action during its short 10 month combat career, the 550 mph fighter-bomber arriving in service too late to make any impression on the course of the war.  Most famous of all Me262 units was Jagdverband 44, commanded by General Adolf Galland. Instructed by Hitler to set up a small defensive fighter unit to make the most of the new Me262, Gallands JV44 attracted other top-scoring pilots, including top aces Macky Steinhoff and Walter Krupinski, and the unit soon became dubbed Gallands Squadron of Experts.  Though doing their best to repel daylight attacks on jet production plants in Southern Germany, JV44 were fighting a losing battle. During a raid on 9 April 1945 the unit lost nine aircraft - a pattern that was to continue. Also, American fighter pilots, unable to catch the 262 in the air, found success taking the jets out as they took off or landed, catching them while at their most vulnerable. With the Allies driving deeper and deeper into Germany, production of aircraft, spares, fuel, and ammunition, steadily dried up. The point came when JV44, Gallands now legendary Squadron of Experts, finally ground to a halt.  Running the Gauntlet shows Me262s of JV44 returning 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 organised 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 Groups surprise attack. At the relatively slow speed required on final approach, the Me262s 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. <b><p> Signed by Major General Donald Strait (deceased), Lieutenant Colonel Clyde B East, Leutnant Norbert Hannig and Oberleutnant Walter Schuck (deceased). <p> Aces Edition : signed limited edition of 400 prints.  <p> Paper size 33 inches x 25 inches (83cm x 64cm)
DHM1156B. Defenders of the Reich by Graeme Lothian. <p> Major Rudolf Rudi Sinner of STAB.III/JG7 attacking B-17s of 91st Bomb Group during March 1945. Attacking in a Kette of three aircraft from behind and below targeting the tailenders and rising over the B-17s. Avoiding any debris and evading the incoming fighter escort, who are dropping down from their top cover positions. Rudolf Sinner acheived a total of 39 victories, including two in the Me262. <b><p>Signed by Major Erich Rudorffer (deceased). <p>Erich Rudorffer Knights Cross signature series edition of 240 prints from the signed limited edition of 1150 prints. <p> Image size 25 inches x 14 inches (64cm x 36cm)

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Me262 Jet Fighter Print Pack.

DPK0246. Me262 Jet Fighter Print Pack.

Aviation Print Pack.

Items in this pack :

Item #1 - Click to view individual item

DHM1640C. In Defense of the Reich by Nicolas Trudgian.

The legend of Willie Messerschmitts Me262, and the elite fighter Aces who piloted this revolutionary jet aircraft, is as secure as any born during the Second World War. As they hurtled into the air, climbing at speeds hitherto unknown, a small group of seasoned pilots heralded a new generation of combat aircraft that would extend into the 21st century. At the spearhead of this new era in combat flying was the mercurial fighter leader Adolf Galland. Sacked for opposing the naive tactics of Luftwaffe supremo Hermann Goering, Galland found himself, as a General, once again leading a squadron of fighters into battle. Although too late to change the spectre of imminent defeat, this tiny group of highly decorated Aces fought a courageous rearguard action during the final Defense of the Reich. Seen blasting off an airfield in Bavaria are four Me262s, led by General Adolf Galland. Glistening in the damp air these sleek fighters are on full power in their rush to climb to altitude. Within minutes they will attack an incoming mass formation of B-17s and B-24s. Below, the roads and buildings reflect the sunlight between the scattered clouds of a departing storm.

Last 2 prints remaining.

Signed by General Adolf Galland (deceased),
General Walter Krupinski (deceased)
and
Oberst Hermann Buchner (deceased).

Signed limited edition of 75 publishers proofs.

Paper size 32 inches x 25 inches (81cm x 64cm)


Item #2 - Click to view individual item

DHM2662B. Return of the Hunters by Nicolas Trudgian.

Messerschmitt Me262s of JG7 race back to their base at Brandenburg after intercepting a USAAF bomber raid on Munich, and Luftwaffe air bases in the area. Below them a B-26 has crash-landed in the fields still covered with a sprinkling of late winter snow. In the distance the afternoon sun glistens on the Bavarian Alpine mountains.

Last 16 copies of this sold out edition.

Signed by General Adolf Galland (deceased),
Major Erich Rudorffer (deceased)
and
Leutnant Fritz Tegtmeier (deceased).

Limited edition of 100 publishers proofs.

Paper size 33 inches x 24 inches (83cm x 61cm)


Item #3 - Click to view individual item

DHM1751. Running the Gauntlet by Robert Taylor.

Though some 1400 of Germanys remarkable Me262 jet aircraft were built, fewer than 300 ever saw action during its short 10 month combat career, the 550 mph fighter-bomber arriving in service too late to make any impression on the course of the war. Most famous of all Me262 units was Jagdverband 44, commanded by General Adolf Galland. Instructed by Hitler to set up a small defensive fighter unit to make the most of the new Me262, Gallands JV44 attracted other top-scoring pilots, including top aces Macky Steinhoff and Walter Krupinski, and the unit soon became dubbed Gallands Squadron of Experts. Though doing their best to repel daylight attacks on jet production plants in Southern Germany, JV44 were fighting a losing battle. During a raid on 9 April 1945 the unit lost nine aircraft - a pattern that was to continue. Also, American fighter pilots, unable to catch the 262 in the air, found success taking the jets out as they took off or landed, catching them while at their most vulnerable. With the Allies driving deeper and deeper into Germany, production of aircraft, spares, fuel, and ammunition, steadily dried up. The point came when JV44, Gallands now legendary Squadron of Experts, finally ground to a halt. Running the Gauntlet shows Me262s of JV44 returning 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 organised 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 Groups surprise attack. At the relatively slow speed required on final approach, the Me262s 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.

Signed by Major General Donald Strait (deceased), Lieutenant Colonel Clyde B East, Leutnant Norbert Hannig and Oberleutnant Walter Schuck (deceased).

Aces Edition : signed limited edition of 400 prints.

Paper size 33 inches x 25 inches (83cm x 64cm)


Item #4 - Click to view individual item

DHM1156B. Defenders of the Reich by Graeme Lothian.

Major Rudolf Rudi Sinner of STAB.III/JG7 attacking B-17s of 91st Bomb Group during March 1945. Attacking in a Kette of three aircraft from behind and below targeting the tailenders and rising over the B-17s. Avoiding any debris and evading the incoming fighter escort, who are dropping down from their top cover positions. Rudolf Sinner acheived a total of 39 victories, including two in the Me262.

Signed by Major Erich Rudorffer (deceased).

Erich Rudorffer Knights Cross signature series edition of 240 prints from the signed limited edition of 1150 prints.

Image size 25 inches x 14 inches (64cm x 36cm)


Website Price: £ 850.00  

To purchase these prints individually at their normal retail price would cost £1645.00 . By buying them together in this special pack, you save £795




All prices are displayed in British Pounds Sterling

 

Signatures on this item
NameInfo




General Adolf Galland (deceased)
Adolf Galland fought in the great Battles of Poland, France and Britain, leading the famous JG26 Abbeville Boys. He flew in combat against the RAFs best including Douglas Bader, Bob Stanford Tuck and Johnnie Johnson. In 1941, at the age of 29, he was promoted to Inspector of the Fighter Arm. In 1942 Hitler personally selected Galland to organise the fighter escort for the Channel Dash. He became the youngest General in the German High Command but open disagreements with Goering led to his dismissal at the end of 1944. He reverted to combat flying, forming the famous JV44 wing flying the Me262 jet fighter, and was the only General in history to lead a squadron into battle. With 104 victories, all in the West, Adolf Galland received the Knights Cross with Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds. Born 19th March 1912, died 9th February 1996. Born in 1911, Adolf Galland learned to fly at a state-sponsored flying club in the early 1930s. In 1933 he was selected to go to Italy for secret pilot training. Galland flew for a brief time as a commercial airline pilot prior to joining the clandestine Luftwaffe as a Second Lieutenant. In April of 1935 he was assigned to JG-2, the Richtofen Fighter Wing, and in 1937 he joined the ranks of the Condor Legion flying the He-51 biplane fighter in support of General Franco during the Spanish Civil War. Despite flying 280 missions, Galland attained no aerial victories, a rather inauspicious start for a pilot would go on to attain more than 100 aerial victories - the highest for any pilot who flew on the Western Front. During Germanys invasion of Poland, Galland was assigned to an attack squadron and he flew over fifty ground sorties. He was promoted to Captain for his efforts, but Galland was anxious to return to a fighter squadron, and he got his wish in October of 1939 when he was transferred to JG-27. It was with JG-27 that Galland first learned to fly the Bf-109. In May of 1940 JG-27 flew in support of the invasion of Belgium, and Galland achieved his first combat victory on May 12. Two months later his score had risen to more than a dozen, and at this time he was once again transferred to JG-26 situated on the Channel Coast. Engaging the RAF on a daily basis during the Battle of Britain, Gallands score rose steadily until it exceeded 40 victories by September. After a short leave Galland rejoined JG-26 in Brittany, where the squadron played a defensive role. Following Germanys invasion of Russia in June of 1941, JG-26 became one of only two German fighter squadrons left on the Channel Coast. This resulted in plenty of flying, and by late in 1941 Gallands victory totals had reached 70. Following a near brush with death when the fuel tank of his 109 exploded, Galland was grounded for a time, and sent to Berlin where he was made the General of the Fighter Arm, reporting directly to Goring and Hitler. Galland spent most of the next few years carrying out inspection tours, and was at odds with his superiors about the need for an adequate fighter defense to negate ever-increasing Allied bombing of Germanys cities. He continued to fly combat missions when the opportunity presented itself, despite Gorings orders to the contrary. In January of 1945 almost 300 fighters were lost in an all-out attack on Allied airfields in France, a mission Galland did not support. He was dismissed as General of the Fighter Arm for his insubordination, but reflecting his flying abilities Hitler ordered Galland to organize JV-44, Germanys first jet-equipped fighter squadron. By March of 1945 Galland had recruited 45 of Germanys best surviving fighter pilots, and this new squadron was given the difficult task of trying to counter the daily onslaught of 15th Air Force bombers coming at Germany from the South. Gallands final mission of the War occurred on April 26 when he attained his 102nd and 103rd confirmed aerial victories prior to crash landing his damaged Me262. Several days later the War was over for both Galland and Germany. General Galland died in 1996.




General Walter Krupinski (deceased)
Walter Krupinski first saw combat against the RAF on the Western Front. Transferring to the east, he became a Squadron Commander in the legendary JG52. In 1943 his victories reached 150 but, in March 1944 with 177 victories to his name, he was transferred to Germany to command JG11. Flying high altitude Me109s, he chalked up another 12 victories before being wounded. In September 1944 he was promoted Kommandeur of III./JG26 and led them on Operation Bodenplatte before joining Galland's famous JV44. He completed the war with 197 victories in over 1100 missions.

Walter Krupinski, known as Graf Punski or Count Punski in the Jagdwaffe, was a swashbuckling fly-boy with a phenomenal record of 197 aerial victories. Krupinski not only never lost a wingman, but also had the ability to help beginners develop to their full potential. He joined the Luftwaffe in 1939 as a student in the 11th Flying Training Regiment. He first served with the Jagderganzungsgruppe JG52, a combat replacement unit, flying the Me109, in October 1940. By the end of 191, he had earned the Iron Cross 1st class after his seventh victory and was awarded the German Cross in Gold and the Knights Cross one year later after scoring over 52 aerial victories. Krupinski taught the aerial art of closing with the enemy aircraft until it filled the windscreen before firing. It was during this time that the young Erich Hartmann was assigned as Krupinskis wingman. The young and overly enthusiastic Hartmann was seriously struggling in his first attempts at aerial combat, resulting in severe reprimands by the group commander. However, under Krupinskis expert tutelage, Hartmann mastered the art of aerial combat and went on to become the top scoring fighter ace in the world with 352 victories. While still a first lieutenant, Krupinski was selected as Dquadron Commander of 7.JG52 in the spring of 1943. On 5th of July of the same year, he scored victories 80 to 90 - 11 in one day! He later transferred to the Reich Defence in the west with 1./JG5 in the spring of 1944. His units mission was to help halt the Allied strategic bombardment campaign against Germany. Krupinski continued to rack up aerial victories and was awarded Oak Leaves to the Knights Cross after his 177th victory. He was promoted to Captain and became Group Commander of II./JG 11. Later, Krupinski became Group Commander of II./JG 26 Schlageter Group. In March 1945 he joined General Adolf Gallands famed Jagdverband 44 and flew Messerschmitt Me262 jet fighters until the end of the war. After logging a total of 1,100 combat missions, Krupinski was officialy credited with 197 aerial victories. Krupinski was also wounded seven times in aerial combat and received the Verwundetenabzeichen in Gold - the German equivalent of the American Purple Heart. A civilian after the war, Krupinski later joined the new Luftwaffe in 1952 and was promoted to major in 1955. He received jet fighting training from the Royal Air Force and became the first commander of the Jagdbomber Geschwader, Fighter-Bomber Wing - 33. Krupinski flew various jet fighters in the German Air Force, but held dear the last aircraft he flew until his retirement, his beloved F-104G Starfighter. General Krupinski retired as Commander of the German Air Force Tactical Air Command in 1976.

He received the Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves. He died 7th October 2000.




Oberst Hermann Buchner (deceased)
Hermann Buchner was born in Salzburg, Austria, 30th October 1919. Hermann Buchners first combat role was ground attack. After 215 combat missions he was badly injured when his Me109 exploded at 22,000ft. Returning to action in 1943, he flew a further 200 missions before again being wounded. Back in action a third time, he fought in the Crimea and Romania. After 500 ground attack missions he transferred to join Nowotny, the Me262 jet trials unit, and then 9./JG7. He was the first jet pilot in history to score a victory. Hermann Buchner had 58 air victories plus 48 tanks, numerous trucks and anti-aircraft units. He was awarded the Knights Cross in July 1944. Hermann Buchner died in Lorsching, 1st December 2005, aged 86.
Signatures on item 2
NameInfo




General Adolf Galland (deceased)
Adolf Galland fought in the great Battles of Poland, France and Britain, leading the famous JG26 Abbeville Boys. He flew in combat against the RAFs best including Douglas Bader, Bob Stanford Tuck and Johnnie Johnson. In 1941, at the age of 29, he was promoted to Inspector of the Fighter Arm. In 1942 Hitler personally selected Galland to organise the fighter escort for the Channel Dash. He became the youngest General in the German High Command but open disagreements with Goering led to his dismissal at the end of 1944. He reverted to combat flying, forming the famous JV44 wing flying the Me262 jet fighter, and was the only General in history to lead a squadron into battle. With 104 victories, all in the West, Adolf Galland received the Knights Cross with Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds. Born 19th March 1912, died 9th February 1996. Born in 1911, Adolf Galland learned to fly at a state-sponsored flying club in the early 1930s. In 1933 he was selected to go to Italy for secret pilot training. Galland flew for a brief time as a commercial airline pilot prior to joining the clandestine Luftwaffe as a Second Lieutenant. In April of 1935 he was assigned to JG-2, the Richtofen Fighter Wing, and in 1937 he joined the ranks of the Condor Legion flying the He-51 biplane fighter in support of General Franco during the Spanish Civil War. Despite flying 280 missions, Galland attained no aerial victories, a rather inauspicious start for a pilot would go on to attain more than 100 aerial victories - the highest for any pilot who flew on the Western Front. During Germanys invasion of Poland, Galland was assigned to an attack squadron and he flew over fifty ground sorties. He was promoted to Captain for his efforts, but Galland was anxious to return to a fighter squadron, and he got his wish in October of 1939 when he was transferred to JG-27. It was with JG-27 that Galland first learned to fly the Bf-109. In May of 1940 JG-27 flew in support of the invasion of Belgium, and Galland achieved his first combat victory on May 12. Two months later his score had risen to more than a dozen, and at this time he was once again transferred to JG-26 situated on the Channel Coast. Engaging the RAF on a daily basis during the Battle of Britain, Gallands score rose steadily until it exceeded 40 victories by September. After a short leave Galland rejoined JG-26 in Brittany, where the squadron played a defensive role. Following Germanys invasion of Russia in June of 1941, JG-26 became one of only two German fighter squadrons left on the Channel Coast. This resulted in plenty of flying, and by late in 1941 Gallands victory totals had reached 70. Following a near brush with death when the fuel tank of his 109 exploded, Galland was grounded for a time, and sent to Berlin where he was made the General of the Fighter Arm, reporting directly to Goring and Hitler. Galland spent most of the next few years carrying out inspection tours, and was at odds with his superiors about the need for an adequate fighter defense to negate ever-increasing Allied bombing of Germanys cities. He continued to fly combat missions when the opportunity presented itself, despite Gorings orders to the contrary. In January of 1945 almost 300 fighters were lost in an all-out attack on Allied airfields in France, a mission Galland did not support. He was dismissed as General of the Fighter Arm for his insubordination, but reflecting his flying abilities Hitler ordered Galland to organize JV-44, Germanys first jet-equipped fighter squadron. By March of 1945 Galland had recruited 45 of Germanys best surviving fighter pilots, and this new squadron was given the difficult task of trying to counter the daily onslaught of 15th Air Force bombers coming at Germany from the South. Gallands final mission of the War occurred on April 26 when he attained his 102nd and 103rd confirmed aerial victories prior to crash landing his damaged Me262. Several days later the War was over for both Galland and Germany. General Galland died in 1996.




Leutnant Fritz Tegtmeier (deceased)
Born in 1917 he joined 2/JG-54 in October 1940, but after being injured in a crash it wasn't until 1941 that he achieved his first victory. A brief time as a fighter Instructor in 1943 he returned to the Russian Front and his score soon started to mount, By May 1944 he had over 100 victories. August 1944 saw his appointment as Staffelkapitan of 3/JG-54. In March 1945 he transferred to JG-7 flying Me262 Jet. By the end of the war he had flown 700 combat missions and had 146 victories. He was awarded the Knights Cross. Fritz Tegtmeier died on 8th April 1999 aged 81.




Major Erich Rudorffer (deceased)
Erich Rudorffer was born on November 1st 1917 in the town of Zwickau in Saxony. Erich Rudorffer joined the Luftwaffes I./JG2 Richthofen in November 1939, and was soon flying combat patrols in January 1940 and was assigned to I/JG 2 Richthofen with the rank of Oberfeldwebel. He took part in the Battle of France, scoring the first of his many victories over a French Hawk 75 on May 14th, 1940. He went on to score eight additional victories during the Battle of France and the Battle of Britain. Rudorffer recalled an incident in August 1940 when he escorted a badly damaged Hurricane across the Channel - ditching in the English Channel was greatly feared by pilots on both sides. As fate often does, Rudorffer found the roles reversed two weeks later, when he was escorted by an RAF fighter after receiving battle damage. By May 1st 1941 Rudorffer had achieved 19 victories, which led to the award of the Knights Cross. In June 1941 Rodorffer became an Adjutant of II./JG2. In 1942 Rudorffer participated in Operation Cerberus (known as the Channel Dash) and flew over the Allied landings at Dieppe. Erich Rudorffer along with JG2 was transferred to North Africa in December 1942. It was in North Africa that Rudorffer showed his propensity for multiple-victory sorties. He shot down eight British aircraft in 32 minutes on February 9th 1943 and seven more in 20 minutes six days later. After scoring a total of 26 victories in Tunisia, Rudorffer returned to France in April 1943 and was posted to command II./JG54 in Russia, after Hauptmann Heinrich Jung, its Kommodore, failed to return from a mission on July 30th 1943. On August 24th 1943 he shot down 5 Russian aircraft on the first mission of the day and followed that up with three more victories on the second mission. He scored seven victories in seven minutes on October 11th but his finest achievement occurred on November 6th when in the course of 17 minutes, he shot down thirteen Russian aircraft. Rudorffer became known to Russian pilots as the fighter of Libau. On October 28th 1944 while about to land, Rudorffer spotted a large formation of Il-2 Sturmoviks. He quickly aborted the landing and moved to engage the Russian aircraft. In under ten minutes, nine of the of the II-2 Sturmoviks were shot down causing the rest to disperse. Rudorffer would later that day go on and shoot down a further two Russian aircraft. These victories took his total to 113 and he was awarded the Oak Leaves on April 11th 1944. Rudorffer would on the 26th January 1945 on his 210th victory receive the addition of the Swords. In February 1945 Rudorffer took command of I./JG7 flying the Me262. He was one of the first jet fighter aces of the war, scoring 12 victories in the Me262. He shot down ten 4-engine bombers during the "Defense of the Reich missions". He was the master of multiple scoring - achieving more multiple victories than any other pilot. Erich Rudorffer never took leave, was shot down 16 times having to bail out 9 times, and ended the war with 222 victories from over 1000 missions. He was awarded the Knights Cross, with Oak Leaves and Swords. Erich Rudorffer died on 8th April 2016.
Signatures on item 3
NameInfo


Leutnant Norbert Hannig (deceased)
Norbert Hannig began operations with JG54 on the Eastern Front near Leningrad in early 1943, flying first the Messerschmitt Bf109G, later converting to the Fw190. He became a Staffelkapitan with JG54, notching up an impressive 42 victories. Towards the end of the war, in early 1945, he converted to fly the new jet fighter, the Me262, and flew it in combat with III./JG7 from their airfield base at Brandenberg-Briest. Norbert Hannig died on 21st February 2014.




Lieutenant Colonel Clyde B East (deceased)
Born in Pittsylvania County, Virginia on July 19, 1921, raised on a rural family farm. At 19, Clyde East traveled to Hamilton, Ontario, Canada and enlisted into the Royal Canadian Air Force. Soon after, East was admitted to pilot training and completed his training in 1942. Clyde East went on active servcie to England, where he flew interdiction missions in the P-51A Mustang, attacking ground targets in France, Belgium, and Holland. He also searched for U-boats over the water. Clyde East flew P51 Mustangs with 414 Fighter / Reconnaissance Squadron RCAF in England, before transferring to the USAAF in January 1944. He joined the 15th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron on 2nd February flying F-6C Mustangs. On June 6, 1944, East participated in the D-Day invasion of Normandy in the Mustang. It was during this mission that East and his wingman stumbled upon several FW-190s landing and promptly dispatched them with their .50 caliber machine guns, claiming the first aerial victories of the invasion. During one mission East claimed three aerial victories and, on another, was able to jump a German Messerschmitt 109 flying low. In late 1944, East fought against a German counteroffensive in what is now known as the Battle of the Bulge. Becoming a confirmed ace in March 1945, East would go on to claim a total of 13 aerial kills against the German Luftwaffe and flew over 200 combat missions with them during the war. He later served in Korea, flying 100 missions in RF-51s and RF-80s. After his return from Korea East was given command of several different tactical recon squadrons, one of which flew an additional 100 visual and photo missions over Cuba. He retired from the Air Force as a Lieutenant Colonel in February 1965. Clyde East died on 30th July 2014 aged 93.




Major General Donald Strait (deceased)
Don Strait was born on April 28th, 1918 and grew up in Verona, New Jersey. From an early age Don Strait wanted to be a pilot, and after working for Prudential Insurance Company for a short period Don Strait enlisted in 1940 in the 119th Observation Squadron of the New Jersey National Guard. Initially Don Strait was an armorer and moved up to become an aerial gunner in the two-seater O-46 and O-47 observation planes. He qualified as an aviation cadet in early 1942 and started his training at Maxwell Field, Alabama. After Basic and in January 1943 Strait received his wings and his commission. Don Strait got his ambition to become a fighter pilot, he began flying the P-47 Thunderbolt at Westover Field, MA. After checking out in the P-47 and completing transition training he was assigned to the 356th Fighter Group, then at Bradley Field, CT. By August, 1943 Don Strait had been promoted to Captain before being transferred to England. Captain Don Strait with the 356th Fighter Group went to Martlesham Heath in England flying first the P-47 Thunderbolt. Martlesham Heath was just five miles from the North Sea, which made it relatively easy to find when returning from a mission in bad weather. The 356th made its first combat sorties in October, 1943, with sweeps over Holland and northern France; sightings of Luftwaffe planes were quite rare, and the group took over a month to score its first aerial victory. Strait's first combat occurred on February 6th, 1944, when his flight bounced a pair of Fw190s while on an escort mission. He immediately attacked. The 190s split apart and he chased one down to the deck. He scored hits on it and the pilot bailed out - Strait's first kill. But he and his wingman had used too much fuel, and barely made it back to base. He shot down a couple more Bf109s while flying Thunderbolts on February 10th and May 19th. Having completed well over 200 combat hours, he was entitled to rotate home, but agreed to continue front-line flying, provided that he was given command of the 361st Fighter Squadron. He took a 30-day leave and returned to Europe in September, 1944. He and Captain George May, the intelligence officer, reviewed daily sightings and disposition of the Luftwaffe, which helped him plan and lead the squadron's missions. Don Strait took part in long range bomber escort and ground support missions, taking part in all the D-Day operations, before converting to P51s. The group flew their first Mustang mission on November 20, the same day that Strait assumed command of the 361st FS. In two combat tours he flew a total of 122 missions. He led the squadron again on November 26, 1944, when it flew an escort mission over the heavily defended Ruhr. After linking up with the B-17s just east of Holland, the pilots were advised of 40 bandits approaching from the south. As Strait's sixteen Mustangs arrived in the Osnabruck area, they spotted the 40 Bf109s at 25,000 feet. They dropped tanks and attacked. Then Strait spotted about another 150 German fighters at various altitudes, preparing to attack the bombers. "We've got the whole damn Luftwaffe!" he radioed. He closed to within 350 yards of an enemy airplane and fired - it dived away smoking. Strait's wingman saw it crash. Strait soon bounced another 109, but it eluded him. He spotted a third and closed to within 300 yards, and exploded it (a shared kill with Lt. Shelby Jett). After this dogfighting, fuel began to be a concern, so they headed home. That day the 356th FG destroyed 23 enemy aircraft without losing a single American. After two more victories on December 5th, Strait found more air combat on Christmas Day. In action again against Bf109s, he had a nasty moment when his first victim left oil and engine coolant all over his windscreen. Skidding away, Strait almost rammed his foe. He continued shooting down German planes in 1945 - an Fw190 on Jan. 14th, another Fw190 on Feb 14th, and three Fiesler Storch light observation planes on Feb 20th. Don Strait commanded the 361st Fighter Squadron, and became the Group's leading fighter Ace with 13 and a half air victories, all but three of these flying the P51. After the war he rejoined the NJ Air National Guard. He later commanded the 108th Tactical Wing in Korea, where he flew the F86, F84, and F105 jet. Participated in the Cuban Missile Crisis, and Vietnam. He retired from the Air Force in 1978 with the rank of Major General, and was inducted into the New Jersey Aviation Hall of Fame in 1989. Donald Strait died on 30th March 2015.




Oberleutnant Walter Schuck (deceased)
Initially with JG3, Walter Schuck was posted north to 7./JG5 in April 1942. On 15 June 1944 he chalked up his 100th victory during a day when he shot down 6 aircraft. Two days later he had his most successful day, achieving 12 victories in twenty-four hours, a feat never surpassed in JG5. On 1 August, he assumed command of 10./JG5. Walter Schuck transferred to fly the Me262 as Staffelkapitan of 3./JG7, and achieved 8 further victories flying the new jet. His final tally was 206 air victories. He was awarded the Knights Cross with Oak Leaves. Walter Schuck died on 27th March 2015.
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Major Erich Rudorffer (deceased)
Erich Rudorffer was born on November 1st 1917 in the town of Zwickau in Saxony. Erich Rudorffer joined the Luftwaffes I./JG2 Richthofen in November 1939, and was soon flying combat patrols in January 1940 and was assigned to I/JG 2 Richthofen with the rank of Oberfeldwebel. He took part in the Battle of France, scoring the first of his many victories over a French Hawk 75 on May 14th, 1940. He went on to score eight additional victories during the Battle of France and the Battle of Britain. Rudorffer recalled an incident in August 1940 when he escorted a badly damaged Hurricane across the Channel - ditching in the English Channel was greatly feared by pilots on both sides. As fate often does, Rudorffer found the roles reversed two weeks later, when he was escorted by an RAF fighter after receiving battle damage. By May 1st 1941 Rudorffer had achieved 19 victories, which led to the award of the Knights Cross. In June 1941 Rodorffer became an Adjutant of II./JG2. In 1942 Rudorffer participated in Operation Cerberus (known as the Channel Dash) and flew over the Allied landings at Dieppe. Erich Rudorffer along with JG2 was transferred to North Africa in December 1942. It was in North Africa that Rudorffer showed his propensity for multiple-victory sorties. He shot down eight British aircraft in 32 minutes on February 9th 1943 and seven more in 20 minutes six days later. After scoring a total of 26 victories in Tunisia, Rudorffer returned to France in April 1943 and was posted to command II./JG54 in Russia, after Hauptmann Heinrich Jung, its Kommodore, failed to return from a mission on July 30th 1943. On August 24th 1943 he shot down 5 Russian aircraft on the first mission of the day and followed that up with three more victories on the second mission. He scored seven victories in seven minutes on October 11th but his finest achievement occurred on November 6th when in the course of 17 minutes, he shot down thirteen Russian aircraft. Rudorffer became known to Russian pilots as the fighter of Libau. On October 28th 1944 while about to land, Rudorffer spotted a large formation of Il-2 Sturmoviks. He quickly aborted the landing and moved to engage the Russian aircraft. In under ten minutes, nine of the of the II-2 Sturmoviks were shot down causing the rest to disperse. Rudorffer would later that day go on and shoot down a further two Russian aircraft. These victories took his total to 113 and he was awarded the Oak Leaves on April 11th 1944. Rudorffer would on the 26th January 1945 on his 210th victory receive the addition of the Swords. In February 1945 Rudorffer took command of I./JG7 flying the Me262. He was one of the first jet fighter aces of the war, scoring 12 victories in the Me262. He shot down ten 4-engine bombers during the "Defense of the Reich missions". He was the master of multiple scoring - achieving more multiple victories than any other pilot. Erich Rudorffer never took leave, was shot down 16 times having to bail out 9 times, and ended the war with 222 victories from over 1000 missions. He was awarded the Knights Cross, with Oak Leaves and Swords. Erich Rudorffer died on 8th April 2016.

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