by Robert Taylor
|Having completed a successful bomber interception high above Salzburg, the ME262s led by Adolf Galland, are returning towards Munich-Riem at full throttle, hugging the deck to avoid the attentions of USAAF escort fighters. Below the crew of a B-24, brought down in the air-fighting has survived a dramatic crash-landing amid spectacular surroundings.|
|Overall size: 25" x 33"||Secondary market|
|Artist's proof||Signed by Adolf Galland and three veterans of JV44 - one only||$625|
Generalleutnant Adolf Galland
Adolf “Dolfo” Galland was born on 19 March 1912 at Westerholt, Westphalia. In February 1934 he joined the Luftwaffe, 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 the death of Oberst Werner Mölders on 22 November 1941, Galland was named General der Jagdflieger. Late in the war Galland was given command of JV 44 which he led until 26 April 1945 gaining up to seven victories flying the Me 262 jet fighter. On that day day he was bounced by a P-47. Galland was wounded in the right knee and his aircraft received further damage. He was able to bring his crippled jet back to München-Reim and successfully land, but the wounds suffered in this encounter were serious enough to end his combat flying. Galland surrendered himself to American forces at Tegernsee on 5 May 1945. Galland achieved 104 aerial victories in 705 missions, all on the Western front. Included in his score are at least seven victories flying the Me 262 and four four-engined bombers. He was himself shot down four times.
Major Hans-Ekkehard Bob
Joining the Luftwaffe in 1936, Bob flew during the French campaign and the Battle of Britain. In October 1940 he was appointed Staffelkapitän of 9./JG 54. Later, he participated in the Balkan campaign, where he recorded his 20th and 21st victories. On 23 June 1941, he recorded his first victory in Russian airspace. During this combat, his Bf 109 was hit by return fire, resulting in a forced landing behind enemy lines. He evaded capture and returned to his unit two days later. Between 13 July and 30 October 1941, Bob made three more emergency landings behind enemy lines, but in each case returned to his unit. On 17 April 1943, Bob recorded his 57th victory; the ramming of a Boeing B-17 near Bremen. He bailed out and survived the crash without injury. On 1 August, Bob was promoted to the rank of Major and was appointed Gruppenkommandeur of IV./JG 54. He returned to the Eastern Front but by May 1944, he was back at the Western Front as Gruppenkommandeur of II./JG3. In August, he was transferred to Erprobungskommando 262 where he trained on the Messerschmitt Me 262 and was selected as one of the aces to fly as a member of JV 44, led by Adolf Galland. Hans-Ekkehard Bob flew approximately 700 combat missions and claimed 60 victories. He recorded 37 victories over the Eastern front.
Generalleutnant Walter Krupinski
Walter ‘Graf Punski’ Krupinski was born on 11 November 1920 at Domnau, in the Friedland region of East Prussia. He was employed by the Reichsarbeitdienst before being discharged a few days after the outbreak of war in 1939 to take up a place at the Luftkreigsakademie at Berlin-Gatow where he underwent basic military and flying training. Following the completion of his fighter pilot training in Vienna in October 1940, Krupinski was transferred to 6./JG 52. He flew combat missions over France and England and, although frequently in contact with enemy aircraft, did not gain any success. 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. Leutnant Krupinski was awarded the Ritterkreuz on 29 October 1942 after 56 victories. In May 1943, he was appointed Staffelkapitan 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 which had returned from the far north for
Reichsverteidigung duties. He gained four further victories with JG 5. Krupinski was transferred
again, this time as Gruppenkommandeur of II./JG11 based at Hustedt, near Celle, taking up the
post in May 1944. 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. He claimed his 192nd to 195th victories flying
with the unit. He 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.
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
Leutnant Gottfried Fahrmann
Steinhoff’s long standing wingman and Adjutant at JG77 in Italy, Fährmann joined JV44 to continue as Steinhoff’s wingman. One of the original members of JV44, he scored one victory in the Me262 and survived being shot down by a P-51. He was alongside Steinhoff when he crashed.
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