Most Memorable Day
by Robert Taylor
Robert Taylor’s fine painting shows Adolf Galland completing his first attack of his “Most Memorable Day”
PILOTS COMBAT REPORT
The following report was written personally by General Adolf Galland in 1991 exclusively for the publishers of ‘Most Memorable Day’:
‘My most memorable combat occurred on June 21, 1941, with JG-26 in Northern France. At about noon I took off from Audembert with my ‘Staff’ Squadron to intercept a formation of Blenheim bombers with about 50 escort fighters heading for the Luftwaffe airfield at St.Omer-Wizernes.
Intercepting the formation near Dunkirk, in a single pass I shot first at a Spitfire without seeing the result, and then a Blenheim which was quickly finished. After diving steeply I shot down a second Blenheim in flames, and saw two crew escape by parachute. This was my 69th victory.
I was then set upon by several Spitfires, receiving severe hits in the engine, which began to smoke, and I switched off immediately. Luckily, Calais-Merk was within gliding distance and I belly-landed there. My number two, Bruno Hegenauer, had been shot down in the combat, and bailed out without injury.
In the afternoon I foolishly took off alone to intercept a second incursion north of Boulogne. Before joining up with my squadrons I sighted a Spitfire formation below and attacked a single aircraft, shooting at very close range. It promptly exploded. Unprotected from the rear, my Me109 received hits from a second Spitfire. I got splinters in my head and arm, and with fuel burning in the cockpit, was forced to bail out.
I was unable to jettison the canopy and, trying to climb out with it hanging open, my parachute became caught in the rear section. Flames were now blowing over me and just as I was about to take off my chute, somehow the radio mast saved me and I was out.
After some treatment, relaxing over a glass of brandy and a cigar, I learned I had been awarded Swords to the Knight’s Cross – and an order directly from Hitler forbidding me to fly any more combat missions for the time being.’
Robert Taylor, the world’s acknowledged Master of aviation art, relives General Adolf Galland’s personal account at noon on June 21, 1941. In this superb painting Adolf Galland is seen powering his Me109 through the leading formation of Blenheims, raking the lead aircraft with cannon fire. In the background a fierce dogfight is developing between the Me109s of JG-26 and Spitfires of 303 Squadron. Losses and victories will be high on both sides today – Adolf Galland’s ‘Most Memorable Day.’
Overall print size: 33" wide x 25¼" high
print is signed in pencil by the artist Robert Taylor and four leading
Adolf Galland, Oberst
Overall print size: 33inches wide x 25¼ inches high
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