RUNNING THE GAUNTLET
“With as few as 300 Me262 jet fighters we could, on any day, have shot down a minimum of 200 bombers. Over a week or two the daylight bombing of Germany would have been stopped” General Adolf Galland
Though some 1400 of Germany’s remarkable Me262 jet aircraft were built, fewer than 300 ever saw action during its short 10 month combat career, the 550 mph fighter-bomber arriving in service too late to make any impression on the course of the war.
Most famous of all Me262 units was Jagdverband 44, commanded by General Adolf Galland. Instructed by Hitler to set up a small defensive fighter unit to make the most of the new Me262, Galland’s JV44 attracted other top scoring pilots, including top Aces Macky Steinhoff and Walter Krupinski, and the unit soon became dubbed ‘Galland’s Squadron of Experts’.
Though doing their best to repel daylight attacks on jet production plants in Southern Germany, JV44 were fighting a losing battle. During a raid on 9 April 1945 the unit lost 9 aircraft – a pattern that was to continue. Also, American fighter pilots, unable to catch the 262 in the air, found success taking the jets out as they took off or landed, catching them while at their most vulnerable. With the Allies driving deeper and deeper into Germany, production of the aircraft, spares, fuel and ammunition steadily dried up. The point came when JV44, Galland’s now legendary Squadron of Experts, finally ground to a halt.
Running the Gauntlet, a superb painting by Robert Taylor, shows Me262s of JV44 returning to base in southern Germany, having come under attack from P-51 Mustangs of the 353rd Fighter Group. Almost out of fuel and ammunition, the Me262s have little option but to complete their landing sequence, hoping fervently they are not “bounced” by American fighters loitering in the area. They are out of luck on this occasion, and although Galland has organised a unit flying Focke-Wulf Fw190D-9s to provide air cover in the area of the airfield, they too have been caught by the 353rd Fighter Group’s surprise attack. At the relatively slow speed required on final approach, the Me262’s handling is sluggish and the pilot is having enough trouble without the attentions of a bunch of P-51 pilots. At this point the JV44 Me262 remains unscathed, and with the arrival of the Fw190s, there is the possibility this particular jet pilot will survive the day.
Overall Print Size: 33” wide x 25” high
THE ACES EDITION
Joining artist Robert Taylor, each print has been individually
signed in pencil by FOUR outstanding WWII fighter pilots.
Major General DONALD J. STRAIT
400 Aces Edition signed and numbered FOUR signatures
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THE WAR IN EUROPE EDITION
The EIGHT signature WAR IN EUROPE Edition is additionally signed by the following four fighter Aces.
Colonel DONALD CUMMINGS
200 War in Europe Signed and Numbered
25 War in Europe Artist Proofs
THE GENERAL’S EDITION
With all the signatures of the ‘War in Europe Edition’, the ‘Generals Edition’ is signed by the following additional fighter Aces.
Furthermore each individual print was signed in pencil during his lifetime by General Adolf Galland, and they are now released. There are a total of TWELVE signatures in this highly collectible edition.
‘This edition represents a remarkable tally of almost 1100 victories between the signatories',
Captain JIM BROOKS
120 Generals Edition TWELVE signatures
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