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 I,
II, and III 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”.
Overall size: 24½" x 35"
one copy only
Signed by three Fw190 Aces
Oberleutnant Adolf Glunz – 72 victories
Hauptmann Alfred Grislawski – 133 victories
Major Gerhard Schopfel – 45 victories
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