by Robert Taylor
|Including the signature of Walter Nowotny (1920 -1944)|
"Stormbirds Rising captures a scene during the final weeks of the war as Leutnant Hermann Buchner, by now one of the most famous jet Aces and recipient of the coveted Knight’s Cross, joins his fellow pilots of III./JG7 as they climb to intercept a large formation of American bombers having just left their base at Parchim. Below them the tranquillity of the meandering River Havel, flowing gracefully through the countryside west of Berlin, is in stark contrast to the deadly encounters that will soon take place overhead.
|The Museum Presentation|
This four signature 'Collectors' edition print is triple-matted using conservation grade materials, and includes the extremely rare wartime signature of Walter Nowotny. Also featured is an artifact from the war period, an original WWII Luftwaffe officer's breast eagle.The mount also includes the signature of Luftwaffe multiple Ace Walter Krupinski.
|Overall size: 26½" x 34"||Shipping is free within the continental United States.(not available for delivery outside the U.S.)|
|Museum Presentation||Matted with Nowotny and Krupinskil signatures and WWII Lufwaffe officers breast eagle.||SOLD|
|Hpt. Walter Nowotny - KC Oak Leaves Swords & Diamonds / 258 vic.||Gen. Walter Krupinski - KC Oak Leaves / 197 vic.|
|Oberst Hermann Buchner - Knight’s Cross / 58 victories||Maj. Erich Rudorffer - KC with Oak Leaves & Swords / 222 victories|
|Oblt. Wolfgang Wollenweber - Iron Cross First Class||Leutnant Jorg Czypionka - Iron Cross / 2 victories|
Original WWII Luftwaffe officer's breast eagle included in the mount. This example was clearly
issued and saw service
(Officers breast eagles differed from those worn by enlisted men and NCOs in that silver thread was used and they were usually hand embroidered.)
|Walter Nowotny - (matted signature)
Walter Nowotny joined the Luftwaffe on 1 October 1939 and following flight training at Jagdfliegerschule 5 was transferred to the I./Ergänzungs-Jagdgruppe Merseburg on 16 November 1940, flying fighter cover for the Leuna industrial works. From 25 March 1941 to 10 March 1942, he flew with the Stabsstaffel of the Ergänzungs-Jagdgruppe JG 54 where he was promoted to Leutnant on 1 April 1941.
Nowotny flew a Messerschmitt Bf 109 E-7 "White 2" on his 24th operational mission on 19 July 1941 and claimed his first two enemy aircraft, both Polikarpov I-153 biplanes over Saaremaa. He was shot down in the same engagement by Aleksandr Avdeyev, and spent three days in a dinghy in the Gulf of Riga until finally being washed ashore on the Latvian coast. For the rest of his combat career, Nowotny always wore the trousers that he had worn during those three days in the Gulf of Riga - with one exception, his last sortie, at Achmer on 8 November 1944, when he was killed flying the Messerschmitt Me 262 jet fighter.
After having downed three enemy aircraft on 11 August 1942, Leutnant Nowotny carried out three victory passes over the airfield, despite having sustained combat damage to his own Bf 109 "Black 1". In the subsequent landing, his aircraft somersaulted and he sustained moderate injuries. In January 1943, JG 54 started converting to the Focke-Wulf 190. With the new aircraft Nowotny scored at an unprecedented "kill" rate, often averaging more than two planes a day for weeks on end. Nowotny was promoted to Hauptmann on 21 September 1943. On 14 October 1943, he became the first pilot to reach 250 victories, following his 442 combat missions. Nowotny was celebrating this feat in the Ria Bar in Vilna when he received a phone call from Hitler himself, announcing that he had been awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds. He claimed his final two aerial victories on the Eastern Front on 15 November 1943. In total, he had claimed 255 confirmed kills plus a further 50 unconfirmed, before he was taken off combat duty.
In September 1944, Nowotny was made commander of a specialist unit dubbed Kommando Nowotny, flying the newly developed Me 262 out of airfields near Osnabrück. On 8 November 1944, news reached the command post of a large bomber formation approaching. Two Rotten of Me 262 were prepared for take-off, Erich Büttner and Franz Schall at Hesepe, and Nowotny and Günther Wegmann at Achmer. At first only Schall and Wegmann managed to take off because Büttner had a punctured tire during taxiing and Nowotny's turbines initially refused to start. With some delay, Nowotny took off and engaged the enemy on his own, Schall and Wegmann having since retired from the action after sustaining battle damage. Nowotny radioed that he had downed a B-24 Liberator and a P-51 Mustang before he reported one engine failing and made one final transmission, his last words were, "I'm on fire" or "it's on fire". The words were slightly garbled.
Walter Nowotny flew over 442 missions in achieving 258 victories.
|Original wartime signature of Walter Nowotny
Walter Krupinski - (matted signature)
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 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.
|matted signature of Walter Krupinski
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