SAVAGE SKIES - The Green Hearts Edition
The weather on 31 December 1944 was already unpleasant. In the Ardennes, hard-pressed German troops were battling Allied ground forces advancing through several inches of snow. Above the skies hearlded the arrival of more snow.
At 10.45am, in deteriorating weather, a battle formation of 30 Fw190D fighters climbed out of varrelbusch and headed south over the snow-covered landscape. Under the command of 12./JG54 Staffelkapitan Oberleutnant Hans Dortenmann, and initially tasked to provide air cover to their beleaguered comrades below, the Group was re-assigned to intercept enemy aircraft in the region of Limburg almost immediately the pilots were airborne. Flying south they ran directly into the oncoming weather, and with visibility dangerously reduced, Dortenmann elected to climb through the solid cloud into clear air.
As the Fw190D's broke cloud above the area of Koblenz they sighted a formation of nine 2nd Air Division B-24 Liberators and formed up for an attack. Some 6000 feet above, top cover Mustangs had watched the Fw190's climbing through the banks of clouds, and turned 180 degrees to position behind the Luftwaffe fighters. Diving in from their height advantage, the Mustang pilots entered the fray and within seconds the sky is filled with swirling dogfigths.
Robert's dramatic painting shows the beautiful Fw190D-9 as it rips through the B-24 formation at a massive closing speed. The Liberators plough doggedly on as P-51 Mustang fighters peel in from behind.
The Edition has been Signed by TEN veterans from either side that fought in WW2:-
Major Erich RUDORFFER - JG54
Major Hans-ekkehard BOB - JG54
Leutnant Norbert HANNIG - JG54 & JG7
1st Lt Albert 'Bert' BIEL - 453rd Bomb Group
Leutnant Hugo BROCH - JG54
Colonel Wilbur 'Web' CLINGAN - 453rd Bomb Group
Unteroffizier Gustav DREES - JG54
Lt. Colonel G.W. FORD - 543rd Bomb Group
Feldwebel Heribert KOLLER - JG54
Leutnant Hermann SCHLEINHEGE - JG54
The Print measures 35 x 23.5 Inches
I have one copy in Mint Condition with CoA and Brochure.