In Defense of the Reich
by Nicolas Trudgian
|Adolf Galland scrambles a flight of Me262 jets to meet an in-coming USAAF heavy bomber raid, during the final stages of the Battle for Germany.|
|Overall size: 25" x 32"||Secondary market|
|1000||Limited edition||Signed by Adolf Galland - Hermann Buchner - Walter Krupinski||$425|
Adolf “Dolfo” Galland joined the Luftwaffe in February 1934, and in 1937 volunteered for service with the Condor Legion in Spain
where he flew 280 combat sorties. In September 1939 he took part in the invasion of Poland
flying 50 ground attack missions. Galland was posted to JG 27 and by the end of the French
campaign he had accumulated 14 victories. On 1 November 1940, Galland was promoted to Oberstleutnant and given command of JG 26.
On 21 June 1941, Galland was shot down, by the Polish ace Boleslaw Drobinski of 303 Sqn,
RAF, and baled out wounded. Galland had, by now, been ordered by Hitler and Göring not to fly
combat missions. However, he disregarded these orders and continued to rack up aerial victories.
On 22 November 1941, Galland was named General der
Jagdflieger. Late in the war he was given command of JV 44 which he led until 26 April
1945 gaining up to seven victories flying the
Joining SG1 in March 1942 he originally flew Bf109s on the Eastern Front, taking part in ground attack missions, and his first victory came in September over a Soviet LaGG-3. By December he had flown 215 missions, one of which included a forced landing. In February 1943 he was hospitalized after his aircraft exploded at high altitudet, but he
was soon back in action with SG1 and then SG1, where he flow Fw190s in the Crimea and Romania, protecting the oil fields.
In October 1944 he converted to the Me262, joining 9./JG7 where, on 26th November he shot down a P-38 Lightning, scoring the first jet victory in history. He became one of the foremost Me262 Aces with 12 jet victories, and finished the war with having flown over 630 combat missions and claiming 58 aerial victories, plus the destruction of 46 tanks and numerous other vehicles and anti-arcaft guns.
Following the completion of his fighter pilot training in Vienna in October 1940, Krupinski was transferred to 6./JG 52. In September 1941, Krupinski was operating over the Eastern front and by the end of the year he had seven victories to his credit. On 25 October 1942, he was shot down in aerial combat and baled out wounded. In May 1943, he was appointed Staffelkapitän of 7./JG 52 based at Taman on the Kuban bridgehead. He scored two victories on 5 July to raise his victory total to 90, however, on landing he collided with another Bf 109 and was badly injured in the resulting crash. In August, he recorded 27 enemy aircraft shot down, including his 100th victory on 18 August. Krupinski left JG 52 and Russia on 18 April 1944, with his victory total at 177, to return to Germany and take up command of 1./JG 5. Krupinski was transferred again, this time as Gruppenkommandeur of II./JG11. With the Allied invasion of France in June 1944, the Gruppe was rushed to Normandy to operate from makeshift strips on low-level ground support missions. Krupinski claimed a further 10 Allied aircraft shot down before he was wounded on 12 August when exploded motor of his Bf 109 G-5. He suffered burns to his hands and face requiring hospitalisation. Following recovery in hospital, Hauptmann Krupinski was posted to take command of III./JG 26 on 27 September 1944, and led the Gruppe until its disbandment on 26 March 1945. Krupinski joined Adolf Galland’s “squadron of experts” in JV44. He began training on the Me 262 on 2 April 1945. He was to record at least two victories flying the Me 262. In post-war years, Krupinski was to have successful career in the Bundeswehr rising to the rank of Generalleutnant. He passed away on 7 October 2000.
“Graf Punski” Krupinski ended the war with 197 confirmed victories recorded in 1,100 missions. He had gained 177 victories flying over the Eastern front and 20 over the Western front, including at least two four-engine bomber, eight P-51 Mustang fighters and seven P-47
Thunderbolt fighters. He had been wounded seven times, baled out on four occasions as well as surviving numerous crash landings.
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