Out for Trouble
by Heinz Krebs
|Heinkel He-111 medium range bombers of KG53 Legion Condor cross the Channel coast. The yellow-nosed Messerschmitt 109 fighters of JG26, led by their legendary general, Adolf Galland, sweep through the bomber formation. The Luftwaffe crews are on their way to meet the Royal Air Force during the third and last phase of the Battle of Britain, that epic fight which altered the course of World War II.|
|100||Prestige edition||Signed by two He-111 pilots of the Legion Kondor and two JG-26 fighter pilots.||$650|
|Overall size: 26⅛" x 36¾"||Also included are the personally autographed photographs of Adolf Galland and Dietrich Pelz|
|Using conservation grade materials and methods, the print is double matted with a shadow box layer and includes the autographed photographs of Gen. Adolf Galland, commanding General of all German fighter forces, and Dietrich Pelz, Battle of Britain bomber pilot and the leading architect of the German bomber offensive against England in 1943.
Also included in the mount are high grade replica Fighter and Bomber clasps, Adolf Galland’s personal insignia and the Legion Kondor unit emblem.
|Note: As a particularly large package is required to ship this piece a $60 shipping charge is automatically added to each order. Additional charges apply to overseas orders, please email or call for a quote.|
Adolf “Dolfo” Galland was born on 19 March 1912 at Westerholt, Westphalia. At the age of 17 he started flying gliders, and began flying for Lufthansa after graduating from the German Commercial Air Transport School at Brunswick. In February 1934, he joined the Luftwaffe, by April 1935 he was a fighter pilot with Jagdgeschwader 2 “Richtofen”. In 1937, he volunteered for service with the Condor Legion in Spain. Galland was put in command of 3 Staffel of J/88, completing 280 combat sorties before being relieved by Werner Mölders in mid-1938. When World War 2 broke out Oberleutnant Galland was a Staffelkapitän of 4.(S)/LG 2 equipped with the Henschel Hs 123, a biplane Stuka. He took part in the invasion of Poland flying 50 ground attack missions. Galland was posted away to JG 27 at Krefeld, arriving there on 15 February 1940. He was assigned to the Geschwaderstab and assumed the role of Geschwader Adjutant. On 12 May, west of Liege, Belgium, he scored his first aerial victory. Two more victories followed that day. All three victims were RAF Hurricanes. By the end of the French campaign he had accumulated 14 victories. On 6 June 1940, Hauptmann Galland was appointed Gruppenkommandeur of III./JG 26. Promoted Major on 18 July, Galland stayed with III./JG 26 through the Battle of Britain.
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. Before settling into his new job, Oberst Galland directed the fighter protection for the Channel dash of the battleships Scharnhorst and Gneisenau, and the heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen, from Brest. Galland became one of the most controversial figures of his time through his skirmishes with Reichsmarschal Göring and his frank addresses to Hitler when he emphasized the need for more fighters to oppose the increasingly intense allied bombing raids over Germany. Galland’s contemporaries in combat commands eventually began planning to force Göring’s resignation, by seeking an audience with Hitler. Although Galland took no direct part in such activities, Göring attributed the incipient mutiny to Galland, sacked him and prepared a trial. Hitler intervened but then insisted, as an end to the “Galland affair”, that he be given command of a unit of jet fighters. Galland led JV 44 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 flown by 1st Lt James J Finnegan of the 50th Fighter Group, USAAF. 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. He was held in military custody for two years. He was released in 1947. Adolf Galland passed away on 9 February 1996 at Remagen-Oberwinter.
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.
Pelz entered military service as an officer candidate (army) in April 1934 and after transferring to the Air War School and subsequent flight training he began the war flying the Ju87A. Peltz flew 45 combat missions against Poland, attacking railway lines, traffic junctions and bridges. During the Battle of France he flew with the same Staffel, again targeting railway lines, traffic junctions and bridges. In addition he attacked shipping at Calais and during the Battle of Dunkirk sank a transport vessel. In total he flew eight missions against Dunkirk and was awarded the Iron Cross 1st Class on 22 May 1940. Peltz flew 102 combat missions over Poland and France, leading his Staffel through these campaigns without loss.
Following the Battle of France Pelz converted to the Ju88 and posted to KG 77 and flew 70 daytime and nocturnal missions in the Battle of Britain including special operations of him alone attacking specific targets. He was appointed Staffelkapitän in KG 77 in November 1940 and promoted to Hauptmann. The unit fought in the Russian campaign from June to September 1941, when Pelz was called back to serve in Berlin, then on to Italy and later France as commanding officer of the bomber commanders school.
In early 1943, Peltz was appointed Inspector of Combat Flight, a role in which he oversaw the
strategic development of the German bomber arm. As of August 1943, he was appointed
commanding general of the IX. Fliegerkorps and was tasked with reviving the German bomber
offensive as Angriffsführer England (attack leader England) against Britain and was awarded the
Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords on 23 July 1943 for his leadership.
This initiative lead to a night-time strategic bombing campaign against southern England
code-named Operation Steinbock, which ended in heavy losses for German bombers in early
He was tasked with the entire aerial Defense of the Reich in March 1945 and advocated the idea
of ‘ramming’ to halt the air campaign against Germany even at the risk of sustaining high losses.
His last service position was commanding general of I. Fliegerkorps (1st Air Corps)
| Werner Molge
Molge finished school in 1939 and then gained an aprenticeship as a toolmaker at VDM Luftfahrtwerke, which was involved in manufacturing propellers. During that time Molge joined the Flieger HJ, a state run youth organization in which he received glider training and gained his 'A' class licence. In May 1943 he was sent to a work camp in Poland and in July he was drafted into the Luftwaffe and sent to Cherbourge, France for his basic training. He was awarded his wings in June 1944 and posted to JG103 in Pomerania for fighter training, and converted to the Fw190. In September he joined JG26, at age 19 one of the youngest members of the unit. He flew in Operation Bodenplatte in which he attacked Johnnie Johnson's Canadian Wing at it's base near Brussels on Dec 31st. 1944, where many aircraft were destroyed on the ground. On 4th. January 1945he was attacked by Spitfires of 442 Squadron and forced to make a crash landing. In early May his aircraft exploded from an unknown cause and he was forced to bale out. A few days later he was captured by the Allies and held as a P.O.W. until August.
Engel flew He111 bombers with 5./KG 53, he and his crew flew the 30,000th mission performed by the 'Kondor Legion' and achieved a certain amount of fame as they appeared in the "Der Flieger" and "Flieger, Funker, Kanoniere" publications. He was awarded the Knight`s Cross in February 1945 having completed 400 missions, including launching a number of V-1s at England from his Heinkel He 111 aircraft whilst flying over the North Sea.
Wittmann flew He111s with KG88 during the Spanish civil war . In May 1940 he took part in attacks on the Maginot line and later against England. He went to the Eastern Front in 1941 where he stayed for the next three years, credited with the destruction of 30 supply trains, ten tanks and two gunboats, in addition to damaging rail links and marshalling yards. He also bombed Moscow on seven occasions. He was awarded the ‘Ritterkreuz’ on 23rd. November 1941 and appointed Kommandeur II/KG 55. He flew at least 467 sorties and was forced to bale out numerous times. He was awarded the Eichenlaub on February 1st. 1945.
Gehrke joined the Luftwaffe in August 1941 after having obtained his glider licence. Graduating from the military flight training facility at Straubing, Bavaria in June 1943 he was posted to LG 107 in Nancy, France, then to Marseille. He was then posted to 11./JG 26 in February 1944 where he flew as wingman for Gen. Walter Krupinski. While flying with JG26 Gehrke became an Ace, downing three P-47s and two Hawker Tempests. The first four victories were scored whilst flying the Bf109, and the final victory, a Tempest of 274 Sqdn. was scored on 22nd. February 1945 while Gehrke was flying a Fw190D.