by Heinz Krebs
|The German Me 262 jet fighters, used primarily to attack USAAF heavy bomber formations in early 1945, were very vulnerable to fighter attacks during take-off and landing. The Allies had therefore adapted a strategy of having fighters patrol in the vicinity of Me262 bases, waiting for the return of the German jets from their missions. These ambushes soon proved highly effective, with the Luftwaffe losing many jets to the guns of the USAAF.
To counteract the mounting losses special units were formed, equipped with the Focke-Wulf 190 D-9 ("Dora Neun"), regarded by many as the Luftwaffe's finest piston-engined fighter of the war. Manned by experienced veterans of JG52 and JG54, they were tasked with providing top cover for the jets at their airfields at Munich, and Ainring near Salzburg. In order to make these aircraft clearly discernable to the German anti-aircraft gunners, their undersides were painted red with white stripes, thus the legend of the "parrot wing" was born.
One of this unit's elements was the so-called "strangler swarm" led by Lt. Heino Sachsenberg.
Here we see Sachsenberg in his Focke Wulf 190 Dora 9 "Rote 1" W.Nr. 600424, as he turns into P-51s over the airfield of Ainring in an attempt to protect the approaching jet fighters from the Mustangs' attack.
|Overall size: 26" x 31½"||Available in the following editions|
|750||Standard edition||Signed by: Willi Reschke - Alfred Ambs - Ernest Giefing - Robert Winks - Clinton Burdick||$195|
|200||Gold edition||As above plus Günther Rall and C.E. 'Bud' Anderson.||$295|
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|C.E. 'Bud' Anderson
'Bud' Anderson went to England with the 357th Fighter Group in 1943, the first 8th Air Force group to be equipped with Mustangs. On 29th June 1944, leading his squadron on a mission to Leipzig, they ran into a formation of Fw190s. In the ensuing battle Anderson shot down the leader, and two others. After a short rest in the US he returned for a second tour, arriving back just in time for the 357th's big day on 28th November. With the 353rd they took on a huge formation of some 200 enemy fighters, Anderson adding three more to his score. His final victory came in another fierce contest west of Berlin, and he finished the war with 16 air victories.
Bob Winks joined the Army Air Force in March, 1943, earning his wings in early January, 1944.
Posted to England he was assigned to the 357th FG based at Leiston, and flew his first combat
mission on July 18th, a fighter sweep over Northern France, where he encountered the notorious
His tour in Europe included combat over the Ardennes during the Battle of the Bulge, the Arnhem operations, and the Battle of Berlin, when the 357th destroyed 56 enemy aircraft. After some sixty nine combat missions in his Mustang "Trusty Rusty" Bob ended the war as an Ace, with three Fw190's, one and a half Me109's and an Me262 to his credit.
Clinton Burdick signed up for the service on his 18th birthday in 1942. After pilot training he joined the 361st FS, 356th Fighter Group at Martlesham Heath in England, in October 1944.
Flying his first combat mission in November, his first victory came quickly on 25th of that month, and like his father, a WWI Sopwith Camel pilot, he too was to become an Ace.
Clinton flew 53 combat missions during his tour, and with 6 victories was one of only five aerial
Aces in the 356th.
Günther Rall was a young pilot with III./JG52 at the outbreak of war, and quickly demonstrated
his natural ability and leadership qualities. He scored his first victory early in the Battle of France, and by July 1940 was leading 8./JG52. After transferring to the Eastern Front his victories soon mounted but he was hospitalized following a crash. Returning to combat as Kommandeur of III./JG52, he gained the Wing's 500th victory, before being posted Kommandeur of II./JG11 on the Western Front, flying high altitude intercepts in Me109Gs. He was later Kommandeur of JG300, and finished the war as the 3rd highest Ace in history with 275 victories.
He was awarded the Knight ’s Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords.
After pilot training, Willi Reschke was transfered to I./JG 302 based at Götzendorf near Wien.
On 2 July he achieved his first success when he shot down two B-24s over Budapest. He rammed
the next B-24 he downed on 7 July when his guns malfunctioned, he successfully baled out of his
stricken aircraft. On 24 August, he claimed a further B-24 Liberator, but shortly after, during an attack on a second, his aircraft was hit by return fire, he baled out when P-51 Mustangs began pouring fire into his Bf 109. After re-equipping with the Focke-Wulf 190 A-8, I./JG 302 was redesignated III./JG 301 on 30 September. In October the unit transfered to Stendal airport near Berlin. On 1 January 1945, Reschke downed a B-17 for his 22nd victory but was again hit by return fire and baled out of his Fw 190 A-8 "White 6". On 13 March, he was awarded the Deutsches Kreuz in Gold. In March he transferred to Stab JG 301. On 14 April, he flew a Ta 152 and claimed an RAF Tempest, later that month he was awarded the Knight's Cross.
Willi Reschke flew about 48 combat missions, achieving 27 confirmed victories, 20 of them four-engined bombers. He was shot down 8 times, baling out 4 times, and was wounded once.
Alfred Ambs was born on January 22nd, 1923 in Gladbeck, Germany. He joined the Luftwaffe on July 10th, 1942, and served in Flg.Rgt. 53, Luftkriegsschule 3, Flugzeugführerschule C14 (Prague), Flugzeugführerschule B33 (Prague-Rusin), and Zerstörergeschwader 101. Ambs received his type rating on the Me 262 in Lechfeld, Bavaria and was subsequently posted to JG7 as a line pilot. Ambs flew about 75 combat missions on the 262 in which he gained six confirmed victories.
His last mission (in the Me 262) was flown on March 23rd, 1945.
Ernest Giefing was born on February 7th, 1924 in Stockerau, Austria. After graduating from flight school he joined the training unit "Jagdschule 107" in July, 1943 and later joined "Jagdschule 107" as a flying instructor. Five months later, Giefing was posted to Jagdgeschwader 2 "Richthofen" (JG2), followed by a posting to JG 7 in December, 1944. Ernest Giefing held the rank of Flight Sergeant by the end of the war, having flown approximately 75 combat missions including 12 in Me262 jets, and gaining four confirmed aerial victories, two in the Me262 and two flying the Me109. Ernest Giefing was shot down four times, the fourth time on March 24th, 1945 - the day of his last combat mission.